REVIEW: ‘Doom Patrol,’ Season 2 Episode 6 – “Space Patrol”

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Chief in Space

“Space Patrol” picks up exactly where last week’s episode left off with Dorothy (Abigail Shapiro) making a wish to her not-so-imaginary friend Candlemaker to kill Baby Doll, one of Jane’s (Diane Guerrero) many personas after the two had some childish fun that went a bit too far. It was easily the biggest event of the season and one that had its seeds being sown since we were introduced to Dorothy.

So I have to say that I was fairly surprised going into this to see things not ramping up in the way I had expected. This was a much more subdued episode than I anticipated. Things also get weird in the classic Doom Patrol manner when the Pioneers of the Uncharted stop by to pay Chief (Timothy Dalton) a visit, but they mostly play the role of a deus ex machina element to drive the episode into space. It’s not all messy, though. The character work on display is of the high caliber that you’ve come to expect, but “Space Patrol” dialing back the intensity of last week’s episode after having built up so much momentum up to this point is only hurting it in the long run.

Things take off, quite literally, rather quickly once the Pioneers of the Uncharted arrive and Dorothy launches herself off in their spaceship to go into hiding out of remorse for what happened with Baby Doll. Chief and Cliff (Brendan Fraser), who is only a reluctant participant, follow in their spaceship that is in a cellar on the Doom Manor grounds. Despite everything that she’s done, she’s still a child, and her remorse and needs to apologize does feel authentic. This brings with it some very real protective feelings when Chief is showing his true colors while talking to Cliff and essentially saying he intends to lock Dorothy away again. At this point, Candlemaker and Dorothy feel like a red herring because I feel that the true villain of the season is the Chief, which has been pretty evident in retrospect given that the majority of it has focused a lot on the various skeletons in his closet. Let alone his involvement with the Doom Patrol’s various “accidents”. After “Space Patrol,” I can very well see there being a final straw towards him and there being even more animosity among the core of the group.

Back on earth, the Pioneers are stuck waiting around since they are now without a ship. Their leader, Moscow, gets the most to do and bonds with Larry (Matt Bomer) over them both having Negative Spirits within them. She even plays a bit of a mentor role towards him seeing as how she is way more advanced in her understanding and even control of her spirit. It’s always been evident that Larry resents his circumstances for stealing his life away and leaving him in such a debilitating state, so it was very important for him to find a friend who has been through what he is currently going through. It fills him with hope and that’s something that he has been lacking for decades at this point. Larry is easily the most tragic of the group so to see him feel that there is a light at the end of his proverbial tunnel was a much-needed reprieve for him and viewers who just want him to be happy. And this is the first time that we’ve seen him pursue that happiness with the strongest resolve he’s ever had.

We catch up with Rita (April Bowlby) joining a local acting troupe to relive some of her glory days as an actress and inadvertently being psychoanalyzed by one of the aspiring actresses. She has the plot-line this episode that is the lightest in tone, but that is in no way a bad thing. To her surprise, she ends up involved in the production of a play about the civilians affected by the Doom Patrol and Mr. Nobody’s conflict in season one and thus has to deal with how she is perceived by people when she loses control of her abilities and goes into her blob form. This gives her a chance to be more introspective and focus more closely on her traumatic childhood which we have learned previously is the mental block that is keeping her from reaching her full potential. I’m ready to see Rita come into her own as a hero since that’s where she has been leaning this season and once she truly masters her skills she’ll be that much closer. She’s grown into a character that I do truly love so seeing her overcome her past is equal parts gratifying and inspiring.

Jane and Hammerhead

One of my hang-ups of this season is how it’s felt that Jane’s overall story-line has been meandering quite a bit as she’s still at odds with her other personas about being the primary and them wanting to oust her from that role. Things do escalate significantly with her though after their run-in with Candlemaker as we see the personas in complete disarray because they don’t fully understand how death works within their world, but ultimately it amounts to a series of arguments among all of them. I do love Jane so it does make me upset that this was the weakest part of the episode for me. Diane Guerrero’s performance is top-notch as always, but it more so makes me wish she had something a bit more substantial to do this time.

The strongest element of “Space Patrol” was easily Vic AKA Cyborg (Joivan Wade) and Roni’s (Karen Obilom) relationship getting some time to breathe. The entirety of their scenes together takes place in a bedroom and their chemistry and vulnerability make it feel real and believable. I was on the fence about this plot-line early on, but I am now 100% on board for them after the last few episodes. They spend time sharing their stories surrounding their trauma involving their augmented bodies and Vic gives a very abridged summary to her of a handful of events of season one. They feel like a real couple with everything from flirtatious banter to genuine affection for each other while learning hard truths and even connections about each other’s experiences.

The main theme in “Space Patrol” is the past and the majority of the characters are grappling with it in some regard. While there are some powerful moments about overcoming trauma and moving forward, its spotlight being moved away from the plot that’s been building surrounding Dorothy and her powers were more to its detriment especially after such a hard-hitting episode last week. With only three episodes left this season, there is still time to delve back into that central narrative so this stumble doesn’t completely break the show, but just serves more like a slight hiccup in what has been a fantastic season up to this point.

Doom Patrol is currently streaming on HBO Max and DC Universe.


"Space Patrol"
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

The main theme in “Space Patrol” is the past and the majority of the characters are grappling with it in some regard. While there are some powerful moments about overcoming trauma and moving forward, its spotlight being moved away from the plot that’s been building surrounding Dorothy and her powers were more to its detriment especially after such a hard-hitting episode last week. With only three episodes left this season, there is still time to delve back into that central narrative so this stumble doesn’t completely break the show, but just serves more like a slight hiccup in what has been a fantastic season up to this point.