Doom Patrol is always at its strongest when it’s focusing on character and less so on villains of the week or fantastical McGuffins. Episode five of this season, titled “Finger Patrol”, is evidence of that as from start finish it gives us the team all going off to handle various struggles close to them and shows the series at it’s absolute best. Every one of the plots serves a very clear purpose and allows all of the players ample room to breathe and explore new territory for better or worse. If last week’s episode, “Sex Patrol”, doubled down on its absurdity and comedy then this week’s goes all-in on some very dark and tragic moments for more than one of the characters while still managing to imbue itself with the humor viewers have come to expect. This tonal shift would be odd in any other show, but Doom Patrol is odd in itself and continues to nail it at every turn.
“Finger Patrol” is split into three plots with the teams more or less heading off in twos. First, you have Vic (Joivan Wade) and Cliff (Brendan Fraser) going off on a trek to enlist the help of Vic’s father Silas (Phil Morris) in the hopes of helping Cliff regain a sense of touch in the same ways that he helped Vic. Vic and Silas continue to have a very strained and complex relationship and Cliff is soon brought up to speed all while bonding even further with Vic given that they are both machines. It’s a bond that I’m very pleased to see unfolding and growing. They have such different personalities and make for an extremely entertaining dynamic. So much so that Cliff even suggests them having a team-up and becoming a crime-fighting duo.
This is a sentiment that we’ve seen come up this season more than once and it’s great seeing another member of the squad consider journeying down this road. We even get to see him thwart a carjacking in the most chaotic way that only Cliff can offer. Cliff and Vic also manage to garner the biggest laughs of the episode together and it was nice to see them get to have a better go of things after going through hell the last few episodes.
Cliff also served as a bit of a wing-man and relationship advisor for Vic this episode. Which you’d think would be cause for concern given his track record with women and his marriage, but he gives Vic some very sincere advice that is well-meaning and thoughtful. Vic is trying to move forward with his romance with Roni (Karen Obilom) after standing her up previously due to his insecurities. I thought their relationship earlier episodes this season was dragging its feet a little, but I’m now definitely on board for Vic and Roni as a couple. They are both trying to find a place in the world after having traumatic experiences that changed them forever and Vic was really in need of someone outside of Doom Manor to lean on since it’s clear that it isn’t always the best place for healing.
Elsewhere, we get to see the adventures of Rita (April Bowlby) and Larry (Matt Bomer). Rita is feeling low after not being able to get back into acting and decides to tag along for moral support while Larry returns to the home of his son Gary after his passing to take care of his belongings. Rita and Larry continue to be my favorite friendship on the show and it’s very clear that there is a lot of love there for each other. Some of the moments between Larry and his estranged relatives are extremely awkward and uncomfortable given the bizarre circumstances, but Rita sticks it out with him and if that’s not a sign of a great friendship then I don’t know what is. And it’s the moments with Larry’s family that carry the biggest emotional heft of the episode. It’s extremely apparent that with every tidbit of information that he’s given about the things he’s missed over the years, Larry feels like he barely knew his wife or his kids and it’s heartbreaking to have to see him have to reconcile with those notions. Larry has always been the most tragic character and his experience being brought up to speed on his family that he hardly knew just further punctuates that fact.
Rounding out the episode, we have Jane (Diane Guerrero) continuing to struggle with the other personalities within the Underground and after a very abrasive discussion with the Chief (Timothy Dalton), she reverts to her child-like Baby Doll persona. Chief quickly introduces her to Dorothy (Abigail Shapiro) so they could both have someone to play with as even she is aware of what he has done to the other members of the Doom Patrol. Once again, Diane Guerrero manages to bring this persona to life, and its a testament to her acting skills that she always manages to make it feel seamless and believable when she’s jumping from character to character as she does.
She also has a great relationship with Dorothy and the scenes of them playing together are truly adorable. Their fun is short-lived unfortunately as we start to see a little more of that dark side that Dorothy has been slowly revealing throughout the season. She has a bit of a clash with Baby Doll who is legitimately a child while Dorothy maybe looks like one, but is over a century old and is starting to understand that she isn’t another kid. Once again, Dorothy’s descent into a more potentially antagonistic role is shown here even more intensely than in the previous episode when she was on the verge of killing Danny. After “Finger Patrol”, I think it’s all going to be downhill from here for her and that’s going to be bad news for everyone while she has Candlemaker whispering in her ear. I’m very excited to see what comes of her and the remaining episodes and it looks as though things with Dorothy are only just getting started.
“Finger Patrol” was another fantastic episode. One that was not held back by a single unnecessary moment or plotline. While some may have been more intense and dramatic than others, even the more lighthearted and humorous aspects of it served the characters perfectly and gave them all very welcomed moments to shine in their own right. “Finger Patrol” goes heavier on the darker aspects of the series than we’ve seen in all of this season so far and it’s all the better for it. This season continues to move on at a great pace and not a single episode thus far has felt unnecessary. They all have either served the overall arc or served the interest of character development and in both of those regards, it has been amazing.
Doom Patrol, Season 2 Episode 5 – "Finger Patrol"
- Rating - 8/108/10
“Finger Patrol” goes heavier on the darker aspects of the series than we’ve seen in all of this season so far and it’s all the better for it. This season continues to move on at a great pace and not a single episode thus far has felt unnecessary. They all have either served the overall arc or served the interest of character development and in both of those regards, it has been amazing.