DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Doom Patrol episode “Evil Patrol” is riddled with spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, residents of Doom Manor! We’ve reached penultimate episode territory with this week’s Doom Patrol. While the episode starts as a slow burn, it brilliantly builds toward an epic cliffhanger with Cliff’s brain plucked from his body and tossed over a cliffside, the Underground succumbing to destruction and the Doom Patrol’s bus crash.
That said, some lovely performances blossom from this outing, and it’s interesting to see how everyone “moves on” post-Eternal Flagellation, including those who aren’t part of the Doom Patrol, i.e., Silas Stone. While our crew appears to be happy with these changes at face value, I believe it won’t be long till we see Vic with his full cyber tech again, Jane taking the wheel as primary, and Larry abandoning his attempt to redo fatherhood.
Remember, happiness comes from within, y’all.
Ready to delve into “Evil Patrol”? Let’s get to it.
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We open in 1917, wherein Laura (Michelle Gomez), Rita (April Bowlby) and Shelley (Wynn Everett) discuss creating their film. You remember the one! Shelley and Laura urge Rita to dig deep and dance her heart out.
Back in the present, we see Rita confront Madame Rouge. She reveals she hid Madame Rouge’s time machine, and Niles Caulder destroyed the Brotherhood of Evil. Of course, Rita has vengeance on the brain and wishes to kill Madame Rouge.
However, Madame Rouge morphs into a bird and flies away before Rita can act.
Meanwhile, Cliff (Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan) and Jane (Diane Guerrero) fawn over Larry’s (Matt Bomer/Matthew Zuk) baby space parasite. Initially, the interaction seems sweet until it takes a drastic turn for the nasty. Larry wakes up from the nightmare.
Larry notices the kitchen is in a state courtesy of the space parasite. We learn Larry’s adopted kid can feel everything he’s feeling, much like the Negative Spirit.
Then, Silas (Phil Morris) visits his son, Vic (Joivan Wade), post-synthetic skin surgery. Silas isn’t as thrilled about the procedure as Vic. He tearfully delves into a race-fueled attack he endured some years ago. Silas gave Vic that tech in the hopes that it would protect him.
However, Vic wants to be his own person. He’s tired of folks making decisions for him. Phil Morris is mesmerizing in this scene.
Later, we see Jane in the Underground with Kay (Skye Roberts). Jane wonders where the other personas went. How could they disappear? Kay leaves Jane behind to go topside.
Meanwhile, Madame Rouge lands in Boca Raton, Florida. She finds Brain and Monsieur Mallah at a retirement facility. After a bit of back and forth, the retired supervillains let her in their humble abode.
Cliff heads home to find a metallic-free Vic — well, he still has the cyber tech; it’s just beneath his synthetic skin. Cliff doesn’t seem impressed.
Next, Rita hosts a team meeting so they can eradicate Madame Rouge for good. Kay attends the said meeting with Cliff, Vic and Daddy Larry (with a space parasite in his arms). Rita’s disappointed that Vic no longer has an arm cannon or fancy tech. Kay’s personas are gone save Jane, so no powers there. Larry doesn’t have the Negative Spirit.
Essentially, our crew seems to be quite normal. Who knew that could happen?
Back in Florida, Monsieur Mallah angrily juices while Brain chats it up with Madame Rouge. Sure, her initial mission failed because time travel screwed with her memories. That said, Madame Rouge can help the Brotherhood of Evil eliminate “Niles Caulder’s creations.”
Later, Claire (Bethany Anne Lind) stops by with Rory to see Cliff. She found his Parkinson’s pills and worries about the dangerous side effects they yield. Claire decides to schedule a doctor’s appointment for Cliff to get the treatment he needs.
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Next, Kay wanders into Niles’s interview room, and Vic finds her rummaging through the items therein. Kay confesses she’s never been interviewed by Niles, but her other personas have. Vic and Kay bond over their decisions to stop letting others dictate how they live their lives. It’s obvious Kay’s infatuated with Vic (Who wouldn’t be?). Kay asks Vic to “interview” her.
Meanwhile, Larry discovers Rita packing her things. She plans on tracking down Madame Rouge herself (again). Vic located Madame Rouge in Florida. I believe Rita wants to murder MR — I don’t believe she possesses the guts to go through with it.
Suddenly, Rita’s struck with a revelation. She pulls Cliff aside and asks him to observe his daughter. Does Claire’s behavior seem off to him? When Cliff hones in on Claire, we see her reemerge with Rory in her arms while Cliff cradles his grandson. Two Rorys!
Then, the Rory in Cliff’s arms morphs into Madame Rouge, and the gang proceeds to fight her while she’s, well, a baby. A baby with an adult head — quintessential Doom Patrol.
Kay hides away in fear while Cliff, Vic and Rita try their hardest to overcome Madame Rouge. Larry’s space parasite baby periodically shocks him with a red light that, presumably, occurs when he’s feeling overwhelmed.
Finally, Madame Rouge shocks Cliff unconscious and kidnaps him. Rita rallies the gang to their bus, and they make a beeline for Florida to rescue him.
Amid the battle, Jane resurfaced while Kay retreated to the Underground. She tells Rita that something happened to the personas. She heard a dreadful noise while in the Underground.
Next, Cliff wakes up in Brain and Monsieur Mallah’s retirement home with the metallic cap on his head missing, exposing his brain. Brain reveals his plan to utilize Cliff’s metal body for himself.
Suddenly, Monsieur Mallah incapacitates Madame Rouge and roars, ferociously stomping toward Cliff. In the Underground, Kay wanders down a darkened corridor. She hears wretched screams.
Meanwhile, our crew makes the trek to Florida on their bus. Larry urges Rita to confess the real reason she’s taking them to the Sunshine State. Not to save Cliff but for revenge against Madame Rouge. She hasn’t revealed her storied past with the Sisterhood of Dada — yet.
However, she confesses she traveled to that lodge and trapped them so Samuelson could kill them.
Later, Madame Rouge wakes up on a stretcher while holding a jar containing Cliff’s brain. We see Brain inside Cliff’s metallic husk, wheeling them toward the back of a van.
On the bus, Rita divulges how she felt like she had a family with the Sisterhood and had love and a purpose.
Kay stumbles upon a wall of glowing, ominous red eyes. She flees the scene.
Brain plays some music featuring the Brotherhood of Evil and dances the night away in his new (old) body. Kay runs into her room, utterly terrified. Topside, Jane senses her fear while the others loudly bicker around her. Kay’s door violently shakes, and she emits an ear-piercing scream, one that destroys the Underground. Well, we see it start to collapse, that is.
Suddenly, Jane shrieks in response, and its energy collides with the space parasite as it unleashes a shock. The bus crashes, and we see our crew tumble through it in slow motion.
Monsieur Mallah pushes the stretcher with an unconscious Madame Rouge and Cliff’s brain over a steep cliffside.
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“Evil Patrol” deftly brings the Brotherhood of Evil back into the mix, expertly planting seeds for what’s sure to be a cracking season finale. Chock full of poignancy, dark humor and great performances, the episode continues to explore grief and trauma and the ways we move forward from it all.
Recovering from trauma is a lifelong process, and our misfit crew’s weirdness is one of their superpowers.
Doom Patrol‘s Season Three finale streams next Thursday, November 11, on HBO Max.
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