TV REVIEW: DC's "Doom Patrol" S1 E15 "Ezekiel Patrol"



It has been quite a strange and entertaining journey through the first season of Doom Patrol. Season one has been brilliantly written, wonderfully acted, and with spot on directing, each episode leaves you simultaneously satisfied and eager for more. We have watched five people who could barely stand each other grow, change, and mature into a team, quirky and unusual, but a team nonetheless. They saved the town from a donkey, stopped the apocalypse of the Decreator, killed some Nazis in Paraguay, and freed the "Hero of the Beach" Flex Mentallo from The Ant Farm. Their journey to find Chief (Niles Caulder) and save him from Mr. Nobody has lead them to the Grant Morrison inspired "White Space" (the white space on a comic book page outside the panels) where they find the Chief, and where they learn the horrible truth, that Niles Caulder is responsible for the events that made them the way they are now.


Throughout this season, the focus has been more character driven than plot-focused, though it all ties together incredibly well. There are several episodes that deal mainly with developing and growing the main characters, with some bizarre and epic action thrown in to balance it out. That has made Doom Patrol a consistently compelling show. What's great about "Ezekiel Patrol" is that it is almost two episodes in one. One being heavy on the character work, the other being all about the adventure.


After a very funny season recap by Mr. Nobody, "Ezekiel Patrol" picks up right where "Penultimate Patrol" left off, with the team asking why. Why would he (Niles) do this to them? Mr. Nobody quickly sends them away on their own, stating that "this has never been about them," it's always been about Niles "destroying Eric Morden." After some gloating by Mr. Nobody, we move forward six months to the present and we get to see what each team member is up to on their own. Rita Farr (Elasti-Woman) and Larry Trainor (Negative Man) are renting a home together in the suburbs, and RIta has even taken a job as a high school acting teacher. They make a promise to each other, "no more hiding." The others don't seem to be handling the news of Niles' truth as well. Vic Stone (Cyborg) has decided to focus on cyber crime instead of street-level activities. Jane (Crazy Jane) is living in the team bus under a bridge, and dives head first into what seems to be superhero version of an opium haze. Cliff Steele (Robotman) is out in the world, also no longer hiding, but he still keeps a very close eye on Jane. It's very heartwarming to see how much he cares for her, and even though she won't really show it, she cares deeply for him as well. Their semi-father/daughter relationship is special and is most definitely a highlight throughout this season.


In between seeing what each team member is up to on their own, there are flashbacks to Niles' past with the Bureau of Normalcy, where you see him planning the "accidents." As the years pass, you witness the toll it takes on him emotionally. At first, he is supremely confident in his actions and motivations, the ends justify the means. As the years go on, it's harder and harder to justify these actions and decisions. There's a very sad and intense scene between Niles and Vic's mom Elinore, where he confesses to her his regrets for what he's done, and confides in her his secrets.


Now for the adventure, Mr. Nobody soon grows tired with his victory over Niles, not fully satisfied, when he remembers Chief's ancient hairy love interest. He is not through with Niles yet; he wants to really make him pay this time. Joined by two tiny characters we have seen in past episodes, this trinity of sorts sets off for vengeance! The members of the team are all lead back to Doom Manor when Danny summons them with a certain Chumba Wumba song, and if you were around in the 90's, I'm sure you'd remember it. Not wanting anything to do with Niles, the team reluctantly agrees to help, but not for Niles' sake, they will do it for Danny, who is in danger. So, it's time for one more crazy battle for the Doom Patrol. What follows is too crazy and weird to go into without spoiling the ending, so I'll just say that Cyborg comes up with a plan that takes everyone working together, even Mr. Nobody, to stop a giant attack. If you thought that season one would end with all your questions answered and everything wrapped up neatly, you were wrong. The ending is fun, bizarre, hilarious, and extremely interesting; you may have questions, but I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Season 2 looks to be just as amazing as the first, if not more so. No date has been set for season 2 yet. In the meantime, we will all be anxiously awaiting.



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