This week’s Doom Patrol brings us the “long story” from “Jane Patrol” as well as a tale from Niles’s past. Get ready to keep getting weird because “Hair Patrol” is ramping up the odd and the disgusting with some pogonophilic perversion. As always, you should beware of spoilers . Here are five thoughts on “Danny Patrol.”
1. Fuck “This is Us”
Not all attempts to be edgy have hit the mark in the DC Universe catalog so far. Titans felt closer to Zack Snyder’s view of the DC mythos, with strong language and violence taking center stage. Doom Patrol has kept some of the over-the-top bombast of its predecessor but chooses to double down on its own bizarre premises. That unabashed intentionally-offensive nature takes a turn for the gross this week by featuring a character eating collected hair from a sink pipe which Vic refers to as “drain scum.” There are few things that can make me turn away from my television in revulsion but this scene turned my stomach.
2. A Man’s Beard Witnesses All Things
That said, Ernest Franklin has one of the more interesting powers to be featured in this or any comics and superhero related properties of late. He’s also played to perfection by actor Tommy Snider, offering up a great deal of physical comedy and personality. Franklin, “the man who defeated Cyborg,” even muses to himself “who will play me in the movie?”
While “The Beard Hunter” gets one of the more gut-churning moments of this episode, he also remains the most chuckle-worthy cast members, belting out some of the best lines like “canned peaches are on aisle 5, old timer.” While Ernest gets all the laughs, and some of the ralphs, he manages to be upstaged by another more unsettling pieces of this installment.
3. You Hairy Little Girlfriend
“Hair Patrol” features a turn the audience certainly isn’t anticipating. And I’m not talking about Timothy Dalton pooping in the woods. Although that is a thing I never expected to see in film or television. The other half of this episode delves into earlier days for Niles Caulder. As it turns out, Niles worked for the Bureau of Oddities, a precursor to the Bureau of Normalcy. On an expedition with partner Alastair seeking a deer-wolf monster, both are attacked by wolves, with Niles being rescued by an unknown Samaritan.
This turns out to be the native woman Oyewah, who holds a psychic connection to the creature and nurses Niles back to help, eventually falling in love with him. After a sex scene between Dalton and a woman with hypertrichosis one is given pause to ask where Doom Patrol has to go from here.
4. Secrets Have Consequences
Yet more is revealed through Niles’s flashback. Early on his own cowardice is on display as Niles flees the wolves attacking Alastair. This Niles is meek, fueled by his curiosity but inhibited by his fears. As time passes, living out in the wilderness with Oyewah hardens him into a man willing to make sacrifices for what he loves. Leaving Alistair to the water and Oyewah to the mountain, Niles returns to the Bureau of Normalcy, spinning a yarn devoid of his tryst in order to protect his “dream girl,” as Nobody refers to her.
5. This Unexpected Wet Dream of Yours
Speaking of Nobody, the series’s primary antagonist returns once again in this episode to reveal we’ve been watching Niles’s memories through Nobody’s own eyes. The dynamic between Tudyk and Dalton has been stellar in their few interactions throughout Doom Patrol. Tudyk nails the sinister and sadistic nature of his character as well as the effects of psychosis on Nobody’s mind. He’s “crafting a narrative” as he says, breaking the fourth wall and playing window to the viewer in addition to the main villain.
We’re headed towards a final showdown with this body-less bastard, but we’re sure to be taking a detour first as the episode ends with a collision of Ernest and Oyewah and what seems to be a Niles doll, an unsettling prop reminiscent of the serial killer’s mask from Nightbreed. Wherever this winding staircase is bringing us to, it is sure to continue the creeps, cringes, and cackles in the final five episodes of Doom Patrol.