The Doom Patrol set out for Paraguay where they discover the Nazi doctor who created Mr. Nobody and the connection between the Chief and the two villains.
Well this could be the easiest review I have ever written. To put it simply: this episode was excellent and I really mean excellent. It’s not perfect but it’s easily the most enjoyable piece of original content to come from the DC Universe platform so far.
“Puppet Patrol” has a well crafted story which takes the team out of their respective comfort zones. It makes for interesting viewing but is also mindful not to lose sight of the series storyline.
The thing which really stands out to me about this show three weeks in is the level of emotional maturity it is able to display in the midst of crazy, quirky action. There’s no shortage of action in this episode which also features the goriest fight we’ve seen to date. But interspersed is a much smaller scale, emotional story around Larry Trainor.
Whilst he may not be the runaway, fan favourite character of the series Larry has become the most compelling. Whilst the team were facing Nazi’s, Nazi puppets and confronting some of their own demons it really brought the show back to reality seeing Larry struggle with his sexuality in the 1960s setting.
There’s something tragic about looking back to a time when society was (even) less accepting and seeing someone struggle to feel comfortable in their own skin. Of course Larry eventually loses his own skin the accident and from there is only becomes even more tragic. The final scene between Larry and John verges on heartbreaking.
The dialogue in these scenes, as John talks in code whilst the audience understands exactly what he is saying are striking. It’s a huge development in storytelling over Titans which, as you know, I found incredibly enjoyable.
As for the other members of the Doom Patrol: it was good to see Rita begin to unravel. She finds herself paired with Cyborg as the two become left behind whilst the others go to Paraguay. The small cracks in her facade continue to grow and by the look of next week’s trailer she is on her way to an epiphany.
Finally we get to see Cyborg’s origin in a brief flashback to the explosion. His own mistrust of the video in his databanks was interesting. I wonder if down the line there will be more to learn about this story. It was also interesting to see ore of his relationship with his father.
There’s definitely some manipulation on the part of Silas which will unravel down the line. I also very much appreciated learning about how the Cyborg vigilantism programme is being bankrolled by S.T.A.R. Labs. It makes sense to have the character grounded a little more in reality given his already fantastical appearance.
Robot Man needs to continue to be paired with Crazy Jane. The two together is electric. They are also the most violent. The scenes with the crazy Nazi’s in Fuchtopia where just bizarre but so enjoyable and campy to watch.
I don’t want this review to become too long and rambling but there’s very little not to love here. There’s a scene set outside the mansion which features some shaky green screen work but that aside there is nothing not to love here.
Doom Patrol utterly revels in its own craziness in this episode and it makes it all the more enjoyable.
Well Doom Patrol you did it. Three episodes in and you’ve score a 10/10. “Puppet Patrol” is utterly genius. I need not say more other than this is a perfect slice of comic book TV.
On the next episode…
Doom Patrol stars Brendan Fraser as Cliff Steele, Matt Bomer as Larry Trainor, Diana Guerrero as Crazy Jane, Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody, April Bowlby as Rita Farr, Jovian Wade as Vic Stone and Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder.
The series comes from Berlanti Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. The one-hour drama is written Jeremy Carver (Supernatural, Being Human) and will by executive produced by Carver alongside by Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns and Sarah Schechter.