DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Doom Patrol mid-season finale episode, “Hope Patrol,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, residents of Doom Manor! It’s mid-season finale time for our heroes, and things are as wacky as ever. While the outing briefly explains how the Doom Patrol returned to adult form (and somewhat glosses over it), it certainly ends on a tantalizing cliffhanger. It also introduces the world of Orqwith and the Scissormen into this universe.
“Hope Patrol” deals with mortality, notably Jane’s struggle with knowing her time is finite, finding love in unexpected places and mending fences. We see pairings like Rita and Laura, Vic and Deric, and Cliff and Jane growing closer than ever after healing old wounds. And, despite the high stakes and the pervasive threat of death, there’s a smidgeon of hope. Perhaps that’ll carry us through this show hiatus.
Ready to delve into “Hope Patrol”? Let’s get to it.
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We open with Cliff (Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan) tinkering on his car. Jane (Diane Guerrero) wakes with a start in the back seat. She recalls morphing into a baby at the end of episode five. Cliff provides the CliffsNotes version of what transpired. Cliff found Jane after he turned back into an adult. His fatherly instincts kicked into high gear, and he cared for her until she morphed into an adult. Sure, Willoughby might’ve reversed the de-aging spell, but the Knights Templar, particularly that pushy bunny, stole Jane’s longevity. Jane is bewildered to find gray hairs and wrinkles like Rita did in “Youth Patrol.”
Jane tries to persuade Cliff to join her crusade against Immortus. They have to stop him from rising and get their longevities back. However, having stared death in the face for far too long because of his Parkinson’s, cliff decides to sit this one out. He encourages Jane to squeeze every drop out of whatever life she has left. Not satisfied with sitting on her hands, Jane storms out to take action. After she goes, Cliff’s oven-mitted hand starts talking to him. Why? Because it’s Doom Patrol, so why not?
Meanwhile, Deric (Elijah R. Reed) drives Vic (Joivan Wade) back to Cloverton. Deric can’t figure out why Vic appeared on his doorstep before transforming into a baby. Jane heads to the Underground to check on Kay, but Pretty Polly (Hannah Alline) insists that Kay doesn’t want company. So, she gave the personalities puzzles to solve. Laura (Michelle Gomez) grabs coffee for herself and Rita (April Bowlby), who slumbers peacefully on a bus bench while a pigeon makes his home on top of her.
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Rita wakes and decides to go home instead of solving the Immortus issue. Laura lights a fire under Rita’s ass, urging her to shoulder the leadership mantle again. I love the complex, messy, layered relationship between these two. Laura convinces Rita to accompany her to the Bureau. Laura surmises that this starts and ends with Project Imortus, Niles Caulders’ experimentation with immortality. Rita reluctantly agrees to make the trek.
Next, the Scissormen lead Larry (Matt Bomer/Matthew Zuk) to what appears to be a bone castle in a place called Orqwith. Rama (Sendhil Ramamurthy) attempts to persuade the Scissormen to let Larry go free because our Negative Man is his responsibility. After freeing Larry from the formidable dudes with scissors, Rama explains where they are — a pocket dimension. Rama must steal Larry’s longevity here. The higher-ups must’ve grown frustrated with Rama’s inaction and taken the situation into their own hands.
Rama reveals he believes in the power of Immortus. He knows Immortus’s arrival will help him gain control over his volatile, elemental abilities. Larry vows to aid Rama in that regard. After he and his Doom Patrol buddies eradicate the Immortus threat, of course. Violence is never the answer. Rama proclaims his absolute trust in Larry. My boyfriends!
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Cliff’s hand is still talking to him as his grandson’s voice. That’s normal. Jane visits Shelley Byron (Wynn Everett), who’s surprised to see her. Jane confesses she’s ready to take their connection to the next level. She can’t stop thinking about Shelley, and the latter admits the same. Love is in the fog! Jane doesn’t disclose the lack of longevity on her end and that she fears death. Shelley reassures Jane that they can go as slow as she wants. Jane leans in to kiss Shelley, but she quickly jerks away, wondering aloud what could be holding her back. Kay, perhaps? Jane flees to her room.
Later, Cliff finds an open portal in the kitchen, through which Larry and Rama arrive. Cliff believes Rama’s still a baddie; however, Larry reassures his pal that Rama is Team Destroy Immortus. Cliff senses the sexual tension between these two; you can cut it with a rusty butter knife. Unfortunately, Keeg has other plans. He shoves Larry and Rama back through the portal into Orqwith.
Then, we see Laura and Rita infiltrate the Ant Farm using their respective powers. They look through the Bureau’s immense catalog to find information on Project Immortus. Laura notices a notecard in place of where the file for Project Immortus would be. It details the location of Wally Sage, the Metahuman who created Flex Mentallo. Laura topples headfirst down a shame spiral, sending her into self-flagellation mode (we already did that last season, Laura). Now, it’s Rita’s turn to comfort her friend. As the leader, Rita gently urges Laura to accompany her to Wally’s cell.
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Meanwhile, Vic and Deric find the portal in the kitchen. Cliff explains that Larry and Rama are on the other side. Vic hops through it to save them, leaving Deric behind. Deric grabs a kitchen knife before jumping in after his buddy. Cliff’s upset because that was the good knife. Le sigh. Vic chastises Deric for following him into dangerous territory. Deric reminds Vic he doesn’t have his Cyborg tech anymore, so he’s vulnerable, too.
Next, Rita and Laura enter Wally Sage’s quarters, which consist of thousands upon thousands of drawings plastered to the walls. The words “Enter the Kingdom of Orqwith” and “Immortus Will Rise” are emblazoned on said walls. Laura finds a sketch of Malcolm before hearing the voice of Wally (Daniel Annone) behind the bars of a darkened cell.
Vic and Deric get honest with each other while hunting for Larry and Rama. Vic admits he wound up on Deric’s doorstep because he wanted to relive the good times they shared before falling out. Deric reveals he’ll always stand by Vic regardless of what happens. They’re stuck together like glue. I’m not crying; you are.
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Speaking of crying, Cliff apologizes to Jane for brushing her off earlier. He’s ready to give Immortus hell. Jane wonders if she’s worth being loved. Why would anyone love her? Cliff removes the oven mitt on his new hand (you know, the one with the touch sensation he’s saving for Rory) and clasps Jane’s hand in his. Again, I’m not crying; you are. What a profound moment. Guerrero is killing it in this episode.
Our besties find Willoughby (Mark Sheppard) in the hallway looking worse for the wear. He’s bloodied and beaten. Willoughby reveals the agents of Immortus attacked the Knights Templar. His poor bunny buddy is among the fatalities. He encourages Cliff and Jane to refrain from pursuing Immortus. It’ll only end in their death. However, Jane’s more empowered than ever to take down that bastard.
Then, Vic and Deric spot the Scissormen standing guard outside the bone castle. Deric notices the flowers around them are made of newspaper print with pens for pistils. He believes he knows how to get past the Scissormen. Laura tries to free Wally from his cell. Rita asks him about Orqwith, but the latter doesn’t seem to be all there. Nobody would be after spending at least 60-some years alone in a cell. Laura finally gets the door open, and Wally stumbles into the light.
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However, upon seeing him, Rita transforms into a blob out of shock. Laura morphs into a bird and flies away while Rita’s blob overtakes the space, presumably squishing Wally to death. Meanwhile, the Scissormen take Larry to meet some dudes in robes in the bone castle. Agents of Immortus, perhaps? They strap Larry to a board to steal his longevity. Keeg finally shows Larry what Adult Keeg revealed to him when they traveled to the future. In said future, we see the Were-Butts tear Larry apart. Then, an injured Larry and Keeg fly into the Sun to protect humanity.
Larry tries to persuade Keeg to trust him. They prevented the Butt-pocalypse. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. It looks like the Scissormen are draining Larry of his longevity. Vic and Deric draw their Mr. Invincible robot design with the paper flowers and pens in Orqwith. Suddenly, Mr. Invincible comes to life, and Deric orders it to eradicate the Scissormen threat. I love that both Vic and Deric say Cyborg’s catchphrase: Booyah.
Then, Rita wakes after her blob spree, and Laura informs her about what happened. Rita can’t believe she killed Wally. Laura simultaneously comforts her friend while urging her they need to escape before the Bureau catches them. In Orqwith, Cliff and Jane arrive to find Mr. Invincible squaring off against the Scissormen. The robot that’s not Cliff isn’t successful, and he bursts into a flurry of newspaper print. The Scissormen seize Jane, Cliff, Vic and Deric. The robed figures from earlier appear outside the bone castle. The leader removes his hood, and we see it’s Wally Sage. He welcomes them to Orqwith.
Meanwhile, Cliff’s oven-mitted hand starts talking to him again, reminding him he left the freezer door open. Earlier, we saw the frozen baby Were-Butt Cliff was supposed to dispose of right underneath the cheese sticks. Well, now that baby Were-Butt is no longer frozen. He emerges inside the kitchen of Doom Manor.
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Performance-wise, “Hope Patrol” belongs to Guerrero. She infuses Jane with heartbreaking, soul-baring vulnerability. It’s painful to watch but inexplicably cathartic. We can all relate to Jane’s fear of death and her lack of self-worth. We know what it’s like to feel undeserving of love. She mines Jane’s depths for nuance, enriching her with facets we haven’t explored until now. I hope Jane finds happiness with Shelley. My girlfriends! Similarly, I hope Larry finds happiness with Rama. Like Jane, like all of our Doom Patrol, he deserves love.
“Hope Patrol” isn’t the strongest outing in Doom Patrol‘s arsenal, or even the weirdest for that matter, but it’s challenging to follow up a banger like “Youth Patrol.” That said, this show’s beating heart, the humanity of it all, takes center stage amid the Were-Butts, Scissormen and Tim Burton-esque pocket dimensions. It’s still a consistently entertaining episode.
Do you think the Immortus agents will steal Cliff’s longevity since he’s the last one standing in that regard? Will the lone Were-Butt at Doom Manor wreak havoc in Cloverton? What’s happening with Casey Brinke and Dorothy? What about Dr. Yu and Nicholas? Here’s hoping we learn more soon.
Doom Patrol will return for Season 4 Part 2 sometime later this year.
Doom Patrol Seasons 1-4A are now streaming on HBO Max.
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