Boo-yah, baby! Doom Patrol is something of a mixed bag this week in “Finger Patrol.” That’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable. But the balance between humor and heart–whether that be the warming or the breaking variety–feels like it is suffering from a touch of vertigo. While this week may be shorter on the jokes, there is one big exception to that as well as a heavy dose of melodrama. Does it “spark joy,” though? Let’s unpack five thoughts about “Finger Patrol” and remember, as always, beware of spoilers.
1. Steele and Stone
There’s far less of Cliff’s cursing quips in “Finger Patrol” but we are treated to a montage à la seventies cop-show credits that does not disappoint. Vic Stone with an afro–I mean aside from where there’s metal plating on his head–is something I did not know I needed in my life. The buddy-cop relationship in Cliff’s daydream is a perfect representation of his view of their relationship, slightly-problematic blackspoitation predilections included. Though I would absolutely tune into this show if they produced it as a side-series of shorts.
2. Sour Little Girl
“Finger Patrol” heavily centers around the interactions between Jane’s Baby-Doll persona and Dorothy. This goes quite south but we’ll talk more about that in a moment. Overall, it makes for an enjoyable episode. Seeing them play together begins fun before creating an ominous tone that feeds the theme of the entire episode: good things go bad in Doom Patrol.
3. Sex Ghosts
The sex ghosts return in “Finger Patrol” and this makes the second thing this week I didn’t know I needed more of in my life. It’s a short beat but the remnants of “Sex Patrol” make for a nice call back to the last episode. I truly hope Doom Patrol will continue to use this weird device and reference as the next four weeks play out, as it is the exact kind of bizarre we’ve come to expect.
4. Real Catharsis
“Finger Patrol” doesn’t hit you more in the feels anywhere than with Larry’s story. They truly had me hook, line and sinker as he reconnected with the three generations his missed time with. I should have known this was a setup to something awful. As I said, the theme of this week is good things go bad in Doom Patrol. But the emotional weight is so palpable as Larry and Paul slowly unpack the possessions of their lost loved one.
The deepest betrayal from these writers lies in the rocket ship Gary had made for Larry. Paul tells him there was nothing he cried over more than how much Larry hated it. We saw this play out in “Sex Patrol” but “Finger Patrol” reveals he had kept it in his locker right up until his supposed death. Paul turning him in to the Department of Defense–and the consequential loss of his son–leaves you gutted.
5. Make a Wish
One thing “Finger Patrol” definitely holds the distinction of is most “holy shit” moment at the end of an episode. Everything that plays out here absolutely does have me hooked, as I was hoping last week. While season two takes a bit longer to rope me in, it feels very worth it. Larry’s son turning on him sticks the knife in, but Dorothy and Baby-Doll’s fight twists it around. It left me floundered to watch Jane’s fire-persona to torch Dorothy’s Manny manifestation but seeing the Candlemaker ravage the Underground and seemingly murder three personalities was legitimately shocking.
What does all this mean for next week’s “Space Patrol?” I’m left with absolutely no clue and that’s exactly how I love for an episode of Doom Patrol to leave me feeling.