'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Maintains Weirdness, Touches Upon Trauma, But Ends Too Quickly

Doom Patrol season 2: Fear and loathing - Daily Planet

Doom Patrol just wrapped up its second season (sort of). Trying to be as spoiler-free as possible, I have very mixed feelings about how it ended. However, this is still my favorite live-action DC show. To those unfamiliar, I may have to provide a little background about the characters.

Based on the DC team of the same name, the show started out as a DC Universe original, with its second season airing on both DC Universe and HBO Max. It is a show about misfits who, despite all the trauma that they endured, become a team of superheroes. Of course, their path to that place is not plain and simple. Each character has had to endure character growth.

For Rita Farr (April Bowlby), who can stretch and grow into a blob, “character growth” may be quite literal. She used to be an actress until a toxic gas altered her cellular structure. She sometimes struggles to maintain her human form, causing her to appear deformed at some points. Season 2 delves a bit more into her backstory, and how her mother may not have been the best influence on her, and she uncovers repressed memories of her mother.

Jane (Diane Guerrero) has 64 different identities that she can change between. She has also suffered from trauma pertaining to her father. While this issue is confronted in season 1, it is clear that it still haunts her at the end of season 2, which feels very realistic. After all, one does not heal from trauma very easily.

Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser) is a former NASCAR driver who got into a car accident, leading to his brain being used by a wheelchair-bound scientist named Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) for a robot suit, referred to as Robotman. Having lost his wife (to whom he was unfaithful) in the accident, he has been away from his daughter for three decades and wishes to reconnect with her. Season 2 sees him trying to make strides in being a better parent, but this is complicated by his hostile attitude toward Niles’ daughter Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), who has an ape-like face (her mother having been a primitive woman) and can bring dangerous imaginary friends to life.

Season 2 also sees Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer) trying to check up on his family. Half a century earlier, he was a US Air Force pilot having an affair with a man. An accident led to his face getting disfigured and a negative spirit living within him, keeping him alive despite his two boys believing him to be dead. While season 1 focused more on the affair, it felt like it did not acknowledge Trainor’s sons enough. In season 2, we finally get to see him confront what’s left of his family, and the results are rather heartbreaking.

And of course, there is Victor Stone, better known as Cyborg. While he was never a member of the Doom Patrol in the comics, he feels like a natural fit with the group on the show. He has also endured an accident that resulted in his superhero identity, and he has his own family issues. Still, compared to the rest of the team, he seems to have his life more together and is more comfortable being out and about, which is ironic when one takes into account how he grapples with this early on in the comics. Cliff and Rita even look up to him and aspire to be well-known superheroes like him, as depicted by hilarious fantasy sequences in season 2. This season also had him dealing with a love interest named Roni, who has her own secrets.

All of these characters have endured trauma. They have powers, but they have issues and disabilities and find it difficult to fit in. Despite all of the ridiculous events that take place on the show, these characters feel real. Season 2 maintained the weirdness established by season 1 and kept the heart beating to remind us of how human these characters are.

However, while the first season had 15 weekly episodes, the second only had nine, with the first three being released on the same day. This made the season feel like it ended much more quickly, and the ending feels very abrupt. It actually ends on a cliffhanger (pun not intended), and the reason for this is that the proper season finale was not finished, due to complications with the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with Insider about a month ago, Dorothy Spinner actress Abigail Shapiro revealed, "It was basically all finished. There was going to be one more episode and we only had a couple of scenes left, but we never got to finish that episode." So while the first season had a mostly complete story with a satisfying ending and a little tease of what was to come, season 2 has a rather bleak ending.

This feels comparable to how season 1 of Titans had a bleak finale episode that was originally intended to be the penultimate episode of the season. The originally intended finale became the basis of the season 2 premiere, which felt rather odd given how one thread is resolved midway in that premiere, while the rest of the episode is spent introducing another thread. I cannot help but wonder whether something similar may happen with Doom Patrol. Such an occurrence could have mixed results depending on the execution.

In any case, I just need season 3 to be confirmed. Season 2 may not be as good as season 1, especially since season 2 lacks the fourth-wall-breaking villain Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk), though there is a meta explanation for his absence that is very amusing. Regardless, season 2 continued to delve into the inner struggles of these characters, and I very much need season 3 to continue their stories. And I especially need a resolution to what happened at the end of season 2. Perhaps we may get confirmation of another season at DC Fandome later this month. We will just have to wait and see.
Source(s): Insider

Comments