As a result of the team’s previous group therapy session, Jane retreats to The Underground, a treacherous place deep within her own mindspace. There, she encounters the various facets of her many personas and journeys to discover the dark traumas of her past.
Following the end scene of last week’s episode I had really high expectations for “Jane Patrol”. I have been desperate for a glimpse in to The Underground since we first heard about it and finally we got it.
Before we get down to business it’s also great to see the movie beginning to experiment with its storytelling again. Next week’s episode will tell the story of what happened to Vic and Rita whilst Cliff was inside Jane’s head.
Even though we’re nine episodes in to the series there’s still plenty of room for experimentation on the show whilst it nails down its formula going forwards.
Back to the main storyline and this is Doom Patrol at its finest. The episode has some of the best set design, costume design and costuming of the series to date.
I applaud the choice to cast different actors as each of Jane’s personalities inside The Underground. As much as we know that Diane Guerrero can handle these characters it made much more sense to represent them on en masse using a group of actors.
Firstly it meant that Guerrero didn’t need to act out scenes 10-12 different times on set. Secondly it reduced the complexity of the production in that respect and probably also shortened the production time. With the show being relatively low in budget they saved on some serious green screen time by casting different actors.
That aside it also helped to bring to life all of the different personalities for the characters. They were all represented visually so well by the costume designers. Though there were on screen captions when each was introduced you almost didn’t need them because the costumes instantly gave it away.
Completely as expected Hammerhead steals the show. Her scenes are some of the best in the episode.
Aside from Hammerhead we spend a lot of time with Penny Farthing. Oddly I found her to be a little more forgettable, mostly because her personality fades in to the background a bit. Her appearance becomes more of a guide for Cliff and Jane as they navigate The Underground.
It was more than a little heartbreaking to see Cliff going in to Jane’s mind to try and save her. That fatherly bond comes out of him right away. It’s been bubbling away right from the pilot and we’re seeing it really come to the fore following their trip to Nurnheim.
It was equally heartbreaking to see Cliff represented back with his normal face. It became all the more creepy to see him rip off his skin to find the robot underneath.
It will be interesting to see where the relationship goes from here. The episode ends on a less hopeful note than I expected. Although after several episodes absence it will be good to have Jane back with the team full time.
The storytelling of Doom Patrol has really evolved to a point where it can balance the weird and wonderful with the strongly emotional.
We discussed in our podcast on the pilot episode that it was a testament to the strong writing that I was able to care about the characters so much within the space of one episode. At this stage I’m so emotionally invested that it’s possibly bordering on unhealthy…
Yes again Doom Patrol knocks it out of the park this week. A really interesting deep dive in to Crazy Jane’s psyche turns in to an amazing, emotional tale for both Jane and Cliff.
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.