Doom Patrol’s second episode sees the show fall even more into its own absurdity and it works wonders. Firstly before I forget again, the opening credits for the series are fantastic. Haunting, bizarre, and immaculately animated they set the tone for the show excellently. On a similar note, the recap at the beginning of this episode is one of the most creative takes I have seen when it comes to television series recaps. The show breaks the fourth wall and plays with storytelling structure brilliantly. It feels extremely reminiscent of Grant Morrison’s writing (a good thing considering the team is most famous under Morrison’s pen) and is such a breath of fresh air.
Having read a good amount of Morrison’s work (albeit not Doom Patrol, yet) I can safely say if you are a fan of his work this show is definitely up your alley. This show will scratch one itch or another for a ton of comic fans. I was trying to keep track of all the easter eggs and references throughout but I lost track and I’m also positive there are a plethora that flew over my head. While this episode continues to cement the tone and style of the series, it also brings more phenomenal character work.
Donkey Patrol introduces the DC Universe incarnation of Cyborg (Jovian Wade) and I loved him. He’s got a fantastic introductory scene, and the episode does a great job at exploring so many facets of his character right from the start. We learn about his accident without spending too much time on it, we know his daily habits, what his goals and aspirations are, how his relationship with his father is and we even get glimpses as to the scale of his powers. I thought the way the show presented his powers was handled well, and I cannot wait to see what else he has to show off.
The same technical production quality carries over to this episode and it makes the show a treat to watch. I also don’t have any CGI complaints this time around, I’m not sure if that’s because I feel that any wonky CGI fits the tone more now, or if it is because the CGI is overall better in this episode, but I’m happy either way. The prosthetics department also deserves a major shoutout for this episode.
As for the plot, without getting into spoilers too much, the team investigates an albino donkey that was at the scene of the mass destruction happening in town at the end of the series’ pilot. The donkey also happens to be a door to another universe, where things aren’t quite as they seem.
This other universe is easily my favorite part of this episode, and while I won’t spoil anything it creates situations that deep dive into the core of these characters even more. The emotional core in this show is something that’s not quite as in your face but it resonates as you’re watching. The exploration of the struggles that each team member faces, and the performances each actor gives make for top-notch television. There are a lot of tender moments that give everyone an opportunity to shine and no scene overstays it’s welcome.
Overall this episode really knocked it out of the park. It took everything the pilot did right and amplified it. Fantastic characters and chemistry between the cast, excellent production quality, a laser-focused tone with an involving plot, and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious jokes at times. I can easily recommend this show to anyone, except for kids, as it still very much earns its mature rating.