Doom Patrol 2×06 “Space Patrol” review

The truth is, we’re all struggling to figure out what kind of people we are. Who knew that a robot man’s speech could be so insightful and affecting, as this week’s episode sees the gang arriving at significant turning points as they start to embark on their journeys of self acceptance. Each begin to move on from the past and look to the future in another emotionally moving and shocking instalment.

“Space Patrol” chronicles the fallout of The Candlemaker’s destructive attack on Jane and the Underground, as Dorothy runs away from her mistakes to space, conveniently stealing a spaceship that lands at Doom manor that day. There’s also mourning in The Underground as Jane and the other personalities hold a funeral, while Vic uncovers a concerning connection between love interest Roni and S.T.A.R. labs. Like “Finger Patrol”, the writers once again diverge the character’s storylines into separate plots, with Larry left babysitting the bizarre Pioneers of the Uncharted trio while watching over Jane, as Niles jets off to space.

Following the heartbreaking betrayal of his son, it’s great to see Larry connect with a similar soul as he discovers one of the crew, “Moscow,” a.k.a. Valentina Vostok (Mariana Klaveno) also has a negative spirit. The difference is she managed to embrace hers, reaching harmony with it in only five years. Their touching interactions prove vital for Larry, as the space explorer tells him it’s ok to move on from the past, signalling a hopeful future for the ex-pilot. So far this season’s main theme has revolved around moving on and learning from your past, focusing on what really matters – family, and this is nicely captured in both Larry and Valentina’s arc.

The adventurer has returned to Earth to bury her comrades “Specs” (Jason Burkey) and “Zip” (Derek Evans) and although its sad (and kind of creepy), she has a positive outlook, recognising that even suffering has it’s own meaning and meaning is beautiful, perfectly summarising the journey of these broken characters. The subsequent discovery that Niles actually sent the trio out to space in 1955 to figure out how to incorporate the negative energy he ultimately used on Larry was also a pretty big blow.

Elsewhere, it’s uncharted territory for Jane and the other personalities in the Underground as they mourn the loss of Baby Doll and Flaming Katy while stuck in a coma. While they carry out a funeral procession, Jane questions whether they’re actually dead considering the Underground is a construct of Kay’s imagination, and she has a point. Worryingly though, previous primary Miranda (Samantha Marie Ware) shows up out of the well, proclaiming that it will allow them to be “reborn,” just like she was. As previously teased, the other personalities believe it’s time for change, and reinstate the former primary – but at what cost?

Following the beginning of an important turning point for Cliff in last week’s episode, the ex driver continues to reassess his perspectives (and prove himself as one of the shows MVPs) whilst attempting to retrieve Dorothy from space. Brendan Fraser absolutely nails the tragicomedy in this episode; hilariously proclaiming he’s Team Jane (“is Dorothy playing dress up with Rita’s skin?!”) to having one of the most touching and frank conversations with the confused Dorothy, following Niles’ awful parenting. The scientist admits that his actions lead to the manifestations of her friends, and that he just wanted his daughter to be normal. Just as you think Niles can’t get any worse, he shockingly ejects Cliff into space as he saves his daughter – I knew he couldn’t be trusted!

Elsewhere, Rita’s trauma is pretty hilariously deconstructed in the town play she’s rehearsing for, as she quickly realises it’s not the Thornton Wilder play Our Town, but rather an original production called Our Town! The play chronicles the day Cloverton was sucked into the ground, with Rita’s new nemesis brilliantly psycho analysing her as the character “the blob lady” (“craving attention for so long, she’s so scared of anyone seeing the real her”) as the previous star is relegated to playing the Beekeeper. Victor also makes the shocking discovery that Roni’s slowly being poisoned by the top-secret government tech that was taken away, and plot twist – it was the work of S.T.A.R. Labs and Caulder Robotics. Uh oh…

Verdict

With only three episodes left in this shorter season, there appears to be a lot of setup in “Space Patrol”, reaffirming Niles’ duplicity (with not just one revelations but two) while establishing Miranda as the new primary. However Cliff going to freaking space and his moving speech was worthy of an episode alone, but where we go from here is anyone’s guess, with the main question over Dorothy’s control of the Candlemaker stills looming.

Rating:

Nicola Austin

Lover of all things Marvel, DC, Game of Thrones, Disney, Pokemon and Studio Ghibli. Favourite superhero is Ms Marvel closely followed by Spider-Man.

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