After an emotionally driven eighth episode, Doom Patrol marches forward into the penultimate ninth episode titled “Evil Patrol.” After Madame Rouge is confronted by Rita, she flees in search of long-lost allies in the form of the Brotherhood of Evil, who have plans for revenge.
Developed and executive produced by Jeremy Carver, starring Diane Guerrero (Crazy Jane), Matt Bomer (Larry Trainor / Negative Man), Brendan Fraser (Robotman), April Bowlby (Rita Farr), and Jovian Wade (Cyborg), Doom Patrol tells the story of a dysfunctional group of metahumans that were the test subjects of a mad scientist on the quest for immortality. The episode is directed by Rebecca Rodriguez, who also directed the prior episode.
In the previous episode, “Subconscious Patrol,” the team was spirited away into their own subconscious as they’re forced to relive their most difficult memories and their repressed feelings. Each member experiences a different memory and a different reason for being forced to face a part of themselves they’d long tried to bury deep within themselves. The emotional impact was quite heavy.
Now in Episode 9, the team picks up the pieces of a very raw experience, for which each of them has forever been changed. Vic is no longer Cyborg after his successful skin graft, Kay has taken control of the underground, Larry has a second chance at fatherhood with his space parasite, and Cliff finally seeks help for his Parkinson’s self-diagnosis.
The internal confrontation the team overcame served as a huge metamorphosis for each member. Change isn’t always smooth however, it’s messy and bumpy, and there are sacrifices to be made. Vic no longer has access to his Motherbox technology, and Kay/Jane has no powers. While each of them are happier, they are fractured as a meta-human team.
The episode, however, is heavy in plot set-up and dialogue, with little action or heavy moments of excitement, bar one epically weird fight scene. While on this topic, I was a little disappointed in the CGI department for this, as it just looked quite cheap. It was extremely weird and it works, but visually quite underwhelming.
The driving factor of the quality of the episode lies with the fantastic performances from the Brotherhood of Evil, most notably Monsieur Mallah (Jonathan Lipow), and the Brain (uncredited at the point of publication). With Madame Rouge now back to full capacity and linking up with her former teammates, it gives the season a brand new direction especially leading up to the season finale.
What makes this most exciting is how this continuing story can flow through into the next season as well, by setting up a larger, more dangerous threat. The show has been lacking an overarching villain since its initial season with Mr. Nobody. It has, however, taken the time to really flesh out its prime cast of characters leaving us with many questions about what comes next for the Doom Patrol.
Overall, Episode 9 “Evil Patrol” of Doom Patrol doesn’t particularly feel like an impactful penultimate episode bar the last 10 minutes. The show this season has absolutely dug into more character-driven exploration, which has left the team more featured than ever. It was a fun episode, but with a heavy use of dialogue, it’s certainly slower.
Doom Patrol Season 3 Episode 9, “Evil Patrol,” is available now exclusively on HBO Max, with the season finale coming next Thursday.
Doom Patrol Season 3 Episode 9 “Evil Patrol”
- Rating - 7/107/10
Episode 9 “Evil Patrol” of Doom Patrol doesn’t particularly feel like an impactful penultimate episode bar the last 10 minutes. The show this season has absolutely dug into more character-driven exploration, which has left the team more featured than ever. It was a fun episode, but with a heavy use of dialogue, it’s certainly slower.
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.