The Chief has disappeared and the only clue that the team has to his whereabouts is an average donkey.
If you thought the pilot episode of Doom Patrol (reviewed here) was good then just wait for episode 2. “Donkey Patrol” is a fantastic episode which drives home just how nuts this series is going to be.
It picks up right where the pilot left of with the team in the middle of the chaos in Cloverton, Ohio. Though the episode utilises it less it does open with another brilliant monologue from Mr. Nobody. This time he is speaking to us directly from the bus where we last saw him with Niles Caulder.
If you felt that the series broke the fourth wall in episode one then these scene alone will probably blow your mind. Having watched the previous episode a couple of times I was expecting some weirdness from Alan Tudyk but I did not expect a DC Universe reference let alone for him to name drop Grant Morrison!
With DC the underdog at the cinema it seems many have underestimated the companies ability to poke fun at itself. To do so via one of its own villains was just perfect in the context of the show.
There’s no doubt that the story of “Donkey Patrol” moves at breakneck speed. We are given the most fleeting glimpse at some of Cyborg’s back story. His first appearance is similar to Crazy Jane in the pilot in that he is given some context but not a full exploration of his history. Given we’ve seen some of this in trailers it should be coming pretty soon.
He makes an interesting addition to the team. There’s certainly more of a hopeful feeling with him. He’s been working as a hero for a minimum of five years according to the flashbacks. He also name drops the Justice League when talking about his aspirations.
It will be interesting to see how he fits in with the team moving forwards. There are obvious connections with Robotman. I wonder if these will be more of a point of conflict between them with Vic having a more human-like appearance.
This episode also chooses to pair off the four leads introduced in the pilot. Robotman stays with Crazy Jane whilst the others venture in to the flatulent donkey (now there’s a phrase you don’t write every day!).
Elasti-Woman and Negative Man make for an interesting pairing. Neither is particularly willing to own their power which makes them incredibly reluctant heroes. Larry clearly is at odds with his inner self and that seems to kick off what could be a very interesting arc for him.
Similarly through Mr Nobody and the weird donkey world we get some hints at the past of Rita Farr. We’re beginning to see the humanity inside her and understand that perhaps there is more to her than meets the eye.
Niles Caulder points out early in the episode that Mr Nobody is trying to control the narrative. It’s a very interesting point. Everything we’ve seen so far has almost been from his perspective. Could our ideas about these character be being controlled by him?
Hats off to the visual effects team for managing to deconstruct and entire town and then rebuild it at the end of the episode. There were some excellent effects on this episode that far surpass what we saw on Titans.
There’s also some equally excellent music. I hope that DC Universe begins to release soundtrack albums for its original properties in the near future as all of this needs an isolated playback.
“Donkey Patrol” is an excellent follow-up to the pilot. Filled with great character moments as well as an absolutely bonkers story. This is off-the-wall comic book TV at its absolute finest!
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.