For a kinda-quick crash course on who the Doom Patrol are, and the story behind the wildly imaginative storylines, click here for our helpful DOOM PATROL 101 article.
The second installment of season two, “Tyme Patrol” is another introspective episode with very little superhero action, but instead lots of character development, backstories, and flashbacks, no doubt to introduce new viewers to the cast. As I stated in my review for episode one, it’s informative and interesting for season one returnees, but it's not a very exciting way to hook the new viewers on HBO Max.
Niles “The Chief” Calder’s daughter Dorothy will apparently be the main storyline this season. Her backstory continues in a flashback to 1927, where Calder finds her at a carnival, caged as a sideshow attraction. He had been searching for her the world over, and is shocked to also discover she shares her mother’s gift for summoning a demon-like forest creature. It was established in episode one that she can communicate with and summon many various strange entities and creatures, and this is likely why Calder warned the Doom Patrol that “she is a danger to us all.”
After a Dorothy-summoned massacre at the carnival that only Calder survives, he takes Dorothy to live with the sentient street Danny, last seen in season one. He promises to return a soon as possible. When he finds her decades later, she strangely hasn’t aged a day, and neither has he, since he has prolonged his life with a magic talisman. His experiments that created each member of the Doom Patrol were intended to unlock more secrets to longevity, so he wouldn’t have to depend on the talisman.
Now we know why giving the talisman to Willoughby Kipling as the price to free and embiggen the team from "The Battle In The Painting" was such a high sacrifice. Will he age naturally now, or will Nature rush things along to catch up?
The side stories of members of the Patrol are engaging and do make us feel closer to them, even if it's slow and talky-talky. Vic (Cyborg) meets a vet in group therapy that really gets the motor oil flowing in his brain and elsewhere, and Larry (Negative Man) gets some much-needed closure—and a bit of guilt— at his son’s funeral. Cliff (Robotman) grills The Chief for more details on his demise and resurrection in his robot body. Jane continues to battle her multiple personalities by trying to keep them sedated.
The only action in this episode is very brief, during the team’s mission to help The Chief find more of a rare, life-extending, time-altering space mineral. The only known remaining source is in the possession of a time-traveling being know as Dr. Tyme. This is obviously a riff on Doctor Who, but it’s cool, even if his cheesy, Silver Age DC villain-inspired helmet isn’t. This Dr. is a real whacko, whose idea of the perfect time and place to stay is a 1970s roller disco. How the team members agree to help The Chief in this episode really strains belief, after his revelation of being responsible for their current individual conditions. But, they’ve all grown fond of Dorothy…so maybe they’re doing it for her.
Will the team get the mineral for The Chief? Will upcoming episodes feature more action? Will Dorothy destroy the world?
Doom Patrol, season two airs on HBO Max. The pay channel is offering the first episode of season two for free at this link
Season one of Doom Patrol is available on Amazon Prime Video.
The Doom Patrol Archives Vol. 1 (2002), collecting My Greatest Adventure #80-85, Doom Patrol #85-89
Doom Patrol Book One and Two (2016), Collecting Grant Morrison’s Vertigo run
Doom Patrol by John Byrne: The Complete Series (2020)
MOST RECENT APPEARANCE:
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1-7 (2019)