April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doom Patrol “Frances Patrol”

Season One, Episode Eleven.

Who is Frances?

She’s an alligator.  This episode isn’t so much about her as it is saying goodbye.

For the past two episodes, we’ve seen what the various characters have been up to.  Well, now we see what Larry was doing.  He was unconscious (obviously), but also meeting his former male lover at a hotel in what he thinks could be a dream because it can’t be a memory.  It’s weird.  Then again, “It’s weird” could describe this entire series.

Now, Larry has been getting these visions and such, but they never quite make sense.  He figures the Negative Spirit can send him back to his aborted time in the hotel.  Instead, he sees himself in a gay bar, and his lover John makes an odd comment.  Something about how he doesn’t want to spend his last days catering to Larry’s problems.

What does that mean?  It means Larry needs to make a road trip.  He hasn’t been having dreams or memories.  The Negative Spirit has been making psychic connections to John.  John’s an old man now because some people actually age.  As it is, Larry gets one last chance to see John, make up with him, and then say goodbye.  It’s a sweet plot.

On the other hand, there’s a less sweet plot.  Cliff’s old pal Bump died.  Who’s Bump?  Well, he bumped uglies with Cliff’s wife, but mostly he raised Cliff’s daughter Clara.  As such, Cliff heads down to Florida (with a reluctant Rita) to visit Bump’s favorite bar, find out how the guy died, and maybe Cliff can finally talk to his now-adult daughter.

Some of those things happen.  Rita (using her real name of “Gertrude” when guys in the bar hit on her) passes Cliff off as a guy in a Halloween costume, but Cliff can’t bring himself to speak to Clara.  She does give a speech about how a gold watch she gave Bump, a watch that used to belong to Cliff, was lost when Bump died.  How did Bump die?  Frances the aforementioned alligator ate him.  Bump just could not give up the gator hunting.  That means Cliff realizes there is one way to connect to Clara:  find Frances and get the watch back.

That kind of works.  Rita follows him for a while in a boat before giving up and going back to town.  Or before Swamp Thing showed up.  Whichever came first.  And just as Cliff is about to give up himself, a giant gator jumps out of the water to eat him.

That’s a really dumb gator, isn’t it?  Cliff’s digestible parts are buried under a lot of strong metal.  Of course Cliff gets away and returns the watch.

He just doesn’t give it directly to Clara.  He leaves it for her to find in the bar.  That’s less sweet than Larry’s trip.  It’s more bittersweet.

Oh, one more goodbye, and that’s to Vic.  Although he is surprised to learn he’s more machine than he was before, the real shock comes when he and Jane go to check on the one lead to the Chief they have: Flex Mentallo.  The one clue Danny gave them about the Chief was that guy, whoever he is.  Jane found evidence of an elderly wife, and since Vic is the only one left, it’s just the two of them.  They don’t find the wife.  Instead, someone with a mind-zapper on her elbow puts the whammy on Vic.  They try to hit Jane as well, but she’s faster.  Vic’s gone.

Or not.  He wakes up as a prisoner of the Bureau of Normalcy.