DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Doom Patrol season premiere episode “Possibilities Patrol” is riddled with spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome, residents of Doom Manor! Doom Patrol is back, and all is right with the world again. I’ve sorely missed these dorks! “Possibilities Patrol” is a solid, consistently fun season opener. The plot primarily deals with the Chief’s death and how that affects our Doom Patrol in many ways. With Rita’s blessing, Larry seeks a higher purpose once he feels he’s no longer tethered to Doom Manor by the Chief.
Cliff somewhat makes peace with the Chief and becomes a grandfather in the process. Dorothy keeps Candlemaker at bay and seizes control. Jane and her personalities band together to defeat the fake Miranda. Vic wrestles with his desire to help Roni Evers. The Chief entrusts Rita with a significant task.
In short, the possibilities are endless for our gang.
On another note, Michelle Gomez‘s arrival on Doom Patrol is pitch-perfect, just like she is.
Ready to delve into “Possibilities Patrol”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Dorothy (Abi Monterey), imprisoned courtesy of Candlemaker. After freeing herself from her cage, she vows to keep Candlemaker trapped until she’s sure he won’t lash out again. Thankfully, Dorothy gains the upper hand and puts Candlemaker in his place because he is her imaginary friend, after all.
Next, we see the wax melting off our incapacitated Doom Patrol. Rita (April Bowlby), Larry (Matt Bomer/Matthew Zuk) and Vic (Joivan Wade) find the Chief (Timothy Dalton) looking pretty dead. Dorothy emerges atop the head of a giant Candlemaker — he disappears, and she sobs over her father’s body. Jane (Diane Guerrero) is unconscious, and Cliff (Brendan Fraser/Riley Shanahan) is in pieces.
Later, we fast forward one week. Vic helps Cliff with his robotic parts, notably to regain control over them after Candlemaker severed them. Cliff’s hands shake, indicating there’s something wrong with his brain.
Meanwhile, Rita and Larry bicker about what to do with Dorothy. The Chief’s corpse is lying on a table where it’s stayed for a week, and it’s starting to smell. Rita urges Larry to establish a connection with Dorothy.
Next, Larry encourages Dorothy to move forward with her life and not remain ensnared in the past. It’s a wonderfully touching scene featuring Bomer and Monterey.
Then, Rita receives a posthumous gift from the Chief — it’s a key. He’s entrusting her with a massive task, explaining there are magical things that’ll inevitably show up on Doom Manor’s doorstep.
Jane clambers out of the well in the Underground while armed with Kay’s stuffed animal. She spots Kay (Skye Roberts) sitting in a cage, and the little girl is preoccupied with a puzzle. Jane calls out to her but to no avail, and she slips the stuffed animal into Kay’s cage.
Rita is rehearsing for “Our Town” (Doom Patrol‘s version that takes some liberties). As the beekeeper, she runs across the stage when “Elasti-Girl” and the Doom Patrol appear (The flatulent portal donkey is there too!). However, Rita takes center stage and delivers an emphatic, tearful monologue about the Chief and what he could want her to do with the key. To me, it looks like Rita’s grief overflows.
Suddenly, her cells destabilize, and her body falls apart in front of everyone. Rita flees the scene.
Meanwhile, Silas Stone (Phil Morris) visits his son. Vic breaks the news about the Chief’s death. We learn Vic’s objective to aid Roni Evers and how he’s struggling to let her be. Silas imparts pearls of wisdom to his son.
Later, Jane wanders over to the train that transports Underground residents topside. All of her personalities are engrossed in their puzzles and entranced, even. Jane tries to snap the train conductor out of her reverie so that she can leave the Underground.
Then, Jane encounters Miranda (Samantha Marie Ware) on the train — but she’s not the actual Miranda, and she’s an infection that predates any of Kay’s personalities. She murdered the legitimate Miranda and a host of other personas, disposing of them in the well. Now, she wants to be the primary.
Next, Cliff researches “brain problems” on the internet. Chief’s ghost materializes, much to Cliff’s dismay. Chief asks Cliff to burn his body as it’s the only way he can move on. Naturally, Cliff refuses because he loathes the Chief. Chief reveals he sent Cliff’s daughter Clara the tape. You know, the one that explains Cliff’s transformation. While Cliff doesn’t believe he’ll ever forgive Chief for what happened, he’s thankful for that gesture.
Rita receives a phone call from her director, who disparages Rita and tells her to stay away from the theater.
Negative Spirit rouses Larry from slumber, and we learn that he wants the latter to leave Doom Manor. However, Larry asserts he must stay for Rita’s sake — she needs him.
Meanwhile, Roni (Karen Obilom) robs Quorum Labs. Vic hijacks the system therein and urges her to stand down. She refuses to allow her tormenters to walk free, so Vic gives her a two-minute headstart before he alerts the police.
Kay finds Jane inside the train, enveloped in a puzzle a la the rest of the personalities. Kay gives Jane her stuffed lamb in the hopes it’ll help the latter regain control.
Back in Doom Manor, Cliff receives the news of Clara’s labor — he’s going to be a robotic granddad! Dorothy visits the sleeping Jane and apologizes for everything, including what happened to Baby Doll.
Next, Kay leads Jane to an airplane, one used before the train to leave the Underground. Unfortunately, Fake Miranda tracks them down, and she impedes Jane’s flight path. Thankfully, the other personas arrive in time to help.
Meanwhile, Jane wakes up topside, but she’s not herself; it’s Fake Miranda masquerading as Jane. She taunts Dorothy, and the little girl rallies the rest of the Doom Patrol in a bid to stop Fake Miranda.
Suddenly, Fake Miranda fashions a noose and tightens it around her neck. She’s killing Jane’s body. In the Underground, we see Fake Miranda cause hurricane-like winds to hold the personalities back. Fake Miranda morphs into Daddy, but he’s composed of puzzle pieces. Jane gets the plane off the ground and flies through him, thereby destroying him and Fake Miranda.
Then, Jane returns to her body, and Cliff arrives just in time to save her from the noose, and she embraces Cliff. Back in the Underground, the personas find an interesting disposal method for the puzzle pieces, and they bond over it.
Later, Larry divulges Negative Spirit’s desires to Rita. She urges him to explore — figure out what NS is trying to show him. She’ll be peachy keen. We love this friendship.
Vic discovers Roni evaded capture again, and he looks content about it. Cliff cradles his grandchild, and it’s a lovely sight to see him reunite with his family. His daughter notices his shaking hands. Larry soars through the sky, and we see his bandages fall away to reveal his appearance from 60 years ago. Jane puts Chief in a body bag in a van. The van is Danny, and they’re driving Dorothy and the Chief to a secure location to bury the body.
Rita hears what sounds like a phone ringing, but it’s the key Chief gave her. The sound leads her to a bookcase, and after removing a handful of books, including one called “The Secret,” she sees a phone. The phone is saying, “Arrival imminent.” Rita’s afraid to answer it, so she lets it ring. She snakes out an arm, but it melts under the weight of her anxiety. Finally, the ringing ceases.
Next, it’s opening night for “Our Town.” After the show, the woman playing a skewed version of Rita encounters a machine that emerges from the ground. Madame Rouge (Gomez) steps out, and the first thing she does is urinate, using homegirl’s playbill as toilet paper. Her face contorts to take on the woman’s physical appearance.
Suddenly, the woman, frightened by Madame Rouge’s shapeshifting abilities, falls into the crevasse left by Madame Rouge’s time machine. The ground closes up, and MR sets out to look for Dr. Niles Caulder.
Overall, “Possibilities Patrol” marks a new chapter for our core crew. The episode deftly explores grief and the importance of moving forward in life, in whatever form that takes. It’s bolstered by masterful performances, notably Guerrero and Bowlby, who steer this weird as f*ck ship into uncharted waters for Doom Patrol‘s junior season. This episode is kooky and chock full of heart, and Gomez perfectly fits in.
New episodes of Doom Patrol are available to stream on Thursdays on HBO Max.
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