Well, this is nice. Due to the plot circumstances, both Matt Bomer and Brendan Fraser got significant screen time. Usually, this show just uses their voices, but thanks to the Sisterhood’s…whatever it is they’re doing, the actors themselves get to come on and even play opposite the suited-up actors that provide the physical performances for their Doom Patrol characters.
But this is still Doom Patrol, so all that means is there will be a lot of silliness mixed in with a lot of heavy stuff.
Alright, so, the Sisterhood of Dada sent out those weird bird things that made the Doom Patrol disappear except for Laura, who turned on them in the 40s, and Rita, who as part of the Sisterhood simply helped them out. Apparently, after turning on the Sisterhood, Laura joined the Brotherhood of Evil, apparently just Mallah and the Brain, and they renamed her “Madame Rouge” and sent her on a mission to go to the future in the time machine, get the Chief’s tech, and then come back to give it to the Brotherhood and ruin the future.
Rita overheard all that and went back to the future first, allowing her to make sure she died in that resort to meet Malcolm in the afterlife and get the whole time travel thing started in the first place. Regardless, this is the Eternal Flagellation. The idea is everyone in the world will be replaced with their own secret, innermost self, and they can’t switch back until they have a breakthrough of some kind. Somehow, the Sisterhood believes this will defeat evil.
Yeah, even the other characters on the show think that’s unlikely.
So, what happened to the others? Vic sees a childhood memory where he’s told not to rock boats and get a soldier action figure when he couldn’t get a black superhero. He gets replaced by a life-sized version of the toy while becoming the boxed doll in his subconscious. Jane finds herself a handpuppet with all the other alters while Kay is the host of a children’s show-style version of the Underground, then Kay goes up. Larry is replaced with himself on his wedding day when he couldn’t stand up to his own mother about his sexuality. And Cliff, well, he and his innermost self seem to get along fine before switching places so Cliff can go to a party his pit crew threw for him. He only realizes why it’s bad when the stripper said Cliff left his young daughter in the car the entire time.
From there, Cliff can go fetch the others. Yes, Jane returns to the real world as a puppet.
Rita, meanwhile, tried to find Laura for revenge or something, but she found out the others are kinda useless when they’re replaced by their inner selves. Yeah, why did she think the opposite was true?
Well, everyone gets a revelation. What did our heroes learn about themselves?
Larry learned he doesn’t think he deserves love, and he more or less realizes that he’s wrong.
Cliff realizes he’s repeating all the bad parenting stuff he did when Clara was a kid, and he hates himself for it. Also, Cliff did all that because he didn’t think he deserved success and may be dying right now. This was a really deep episode for the Doom Patrol’s most impulsive member.
Vic knows he can make his own decisions and not just do what he thinks he ought to do like a good soldier.
And Jane/Kay? Kay resents Jane for overprotectiveness because Jane is restraining Kay too much. Considering Jane is the one alter that seems inclined to let Kay out, that was a bit surprising, but she has been running roughshod over the others.
Revelations out, everyone gets their body back, and then they go back to wherever they were when this all started. Larry gets his larva back. Cliff is asked to leave Clara’s house, and he doesn’t object. Vic looks human now. And Jane agrees to negotiate with Kay and the others over some new rules…but Kay’s the only one in the Underground. The others are…gone.
That seems disquieting.
Also, I don’t think it defeated evil, but that’s just me.