Quick Thought: Doom Patrol 2.03: “Pain Patrol”

Some thoughts on the new Season of the Doom Patrol TV Series. Assume spoilers.

So far this season is dividing the characters along a lot of individual paths, rather than uniting them as a team — or as a supportive, if dysfunctional, family. I’m not sold yet on how this will work out.

Red Jack

Red Jack is from the second story of the Morrison/Case run of the comic, a minor and mostly forgettable villain. I was wrong in predicting that Larry would be the focus of Jack’s interest. Building a connection between Caulder’s past willingness to cause pain and Jack’s feeding on pain worked well and was an improvement on the comic’s more vague motivations. I don’t understand though why they kept the release of the captured butterflies but didn’t follow through with the comic’s notion that their pain was the source of Jack’s power and that it was freeing them that ultimately destroyed Red Jack.

Jane’s story is progressing and seems going somewhere. She’s got issues to deal with and really challenging conflicts to resolve. Both Jane and the collective Underground are trying, though failing, to cope with their situation — but we can sympathize the reasons behind their bad decision. This contrasts with Cliff’s situation where he is just acting dumb and doesn’t appear to have learned anything or gained any perspective from his recent experiences.

The friendship between Larry and Rita was well presented, but the show needs to continue to build on that. Rita has had episodes building connections with other characters such as Cliff and Vic, but those seem abandoned now.

And Vic… He continues to be in his own Cyborg mini-series.

Quick Thought: Doom Patrol 2.02: “Tyme Patrol”

Some thoughts on the new Season of the Doom Patrol TV Series. Assume spoilers.

As much as I like tracing down ideas and noticing Easter Eggs from the Doom Patrol comics, I feel this show’s potential is in developing into its own vision of its own Doom Patrol. That’s mostly what we get in this episode. Results were mixed.

The Chief’s goals and motivations are laid out in some detail now — and I hope they will remain in place, as we don’t need more revelations and “shocking” secrets. I wonder where the show will ultimately go with the Candlemaker since, after setting up the initial idea, they could do anything they wanted with their interpretation.

Dr. Tyme

Dr. Tyme is an old silly villain from the original run of Doom Patrol comics. He also seems a way to play with one of the signatures of Richard Case’s villain designs: people with weird things for heads. Clocks, cathedrals, planets, etc. His main thing here is just not being what everybody expected of a time-traveling supervillain. He’s quite relatable, really. If you could manipulate time to your pleasure, might you also just find your favorite era and make an eternity of it? Otherwise his use in the episode was kind of thin and just setup the cliche of giving characters mysterious glimpses into the past and future.

Vic’s plot is okay, for an offbeat take on a superhero. The thing that concerns me is that he doesn’t really have a connection with the rest of the show. Cyborg had always been shoehorned into Doom Patrol, and while in Season One he provides some contrast with the other characters, now that he’s left the team it will take some work to justify bringing him back. His scenes just seem part of a different show.

Liza Radley

I don’t know where they are going with Jane. I keep thinking the “change” might be the arising of the Liza Radley persona, who shook things up in Morrison/Case comics.

Larry’s segment hasn’t really added much that’s new to his character. It appears mostly setup for the next story. The butterflies might or might not have been enough of a clue, if previews hadn’t already given things away. The Red Jack story in Morrison/Case centered on Rhea Jones, who in the TV series is one of the elder “Doom Patrol” members. It seems like Larry is being set up to take her place. But who know where the show will take it? Hopefully somewhere new and unexpected.