November 29, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Doom Patrol “Doom Patrol Patrol”

Season One, Episode Six

So, why don’t these people age?

That’s not a terrible question.  Rita, arguably, doesn’t age due to the nature of her powers, and maybe the same is true for Larry.  Cliff won’t, but then there’s Jane and the Chief and I got nothin’.

Anyway, Jane got a message from Mr. Nobody that she needs to find the Doom Patrol.  Small problem there:  she has no idea who the Doom Patrol is.

As it is, a little research tells her the Doom Patrol was a lesser-known superhero team from the 50s.  They disappeared one day.  Jane found that information online, but Rita also knew that already because she used to have a thing for one of its members:  Steve “Mento” Dayton, the formerly fifth richest man in the world.  Back in the day, after Rita’s blob powers accidentally suffocated a sleazy moves exec on his own personal casting couch, the Chief had introduced Rita to Steve to help her control her powers, and it worked.  The two had a thing for a while, but it ended suddenly when Steve read stuff from Rita’s mind she didn’t want him to see…something about how Rita’s advice to another actress with another sleazy exec led to said actress killing herself.

Now, Jane has an address, but she won’t take Cliff there.  She still thinks he’s a monster, so he stays behind and has some stuff with Cyborg as Cliff tries to get to cyberstalk (for lack of a better word) his now-grown daughter.  Instead, Jane teleports Larry and Rita to the Doom Patrol manor, Rita as an “in” and Larry as back-up.  And…it’s a school for young metas with lessons from the two female members, namely Arani and Rhea.  Now, Rhea doesn’t really talk much in this episode…heck, I’m not sure she talks at all.  But the women introduce the new Doom Patrol to their school administrator, Joshua Clay.  Jane stays with him.  Rita goes off with Steve, who hasn’t aged a day, and Larry goes back to Arani’s place for a drink.

It gets a little weird for Rita and Larry from there.  See, Larry has known the Chief for decades, so it seems a bit surprising that he didn’t know that the Chief was funding a school for gifted young metahumans.  Oh, and Arani says she married him.  And the Chief even wheels his way inside.

And Larry passes an arm through him like he’s not real.

Heck, the whole building seems to blip back and forth.

Plus, it turns out Rita and Steve may not have had the smoothest break-up.

Point is, something happens in the trophy room (which includes a special brain-carrying case), and Steve seems to lose it.  And then the building goes dark, the Chief disappears from Arani’s room, Arani looks a lot older, and all the newcomers start to see their worst nightmares come true.

For Rita, it’s that suicide again.

For Larry, it’s a military officer with hypodermics for fingers looking for Larry and his male partner.

And Jane is drowning in jigsaw puzzle pieces as a hand comes out to grab her.

Now, it turns out Joshua Clay was still the same.  And he tells Jane a bit about what’s happening.  See, the original Patrol went into battle with Mr. Nobody…and Nobody broke them.  Maybe that was why Nobody sent Jane to see the Doom Patrol:  as a warning.  Steve keeps himself and the other two more or less happy as illusions of their younger selves run a school when in reality, Clay is their doctor/caretaker (and a meta when he has to use his powers), the students aren’t real, the three are all elderly and mentally unbalanced, and Steve’s Mento helmet keeps everyone more or less happy and mentally calm.  If he switches to nightmares, it will only get worse especially with Rhea’s magnetism and Arani’s hot-and-cold blasts.

Fortunately, the Negative Spirit can easily steal Steve’s helmet, giving Rita a chance to calm him down.  Jane and the others go home.

What happened at Caulder Manor?  Well, Silas Stone came by to reboot Victor, and Vic promised to help Cliff get to see his daughter’s social media stuff if Cliff kept an eye on Silas.  That meant defending the younger Stone while Vic was unconscious, something Cliff was able to do with some well-placed arguments.  Both semi-mechanical men got what they wanted, sort of, as Vic palmed a thumbdrive of his father’s that had…something on it in Vic’s programming, and Cliff got to see his daughter’s social media stuff…where she was calling another man her dad.

Cliff isn’t happy now.