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Ernest AKA The Beard Hunter. Photo courtesy of KSiteTV.

Please Keep In Mind That This Article Contains Potential Spoilers For “Hair Patrol” and Events That Occurred Prior

Huh. Well, I guess beard eating trackers are now a thing? What a fantastically hilarious introduction we were given to the concept. This week marked the introduction of Beard Hunter, played wonderfully by Tommy Snider. It’s amazing what this show can accomplish in perfectly introducing zany small print characters from the comics’ original run. It was a pleasure to see Beard Hunter come to life in a unique manner, and with him came plenty of laughs.

The whole angle at which he was fleshed out was fantastic. A grown, out of shape man, living with his mother made for plenty of great absurd moments as she rooted for his new mission. It’s that absurdity that just makes you laugh out loud simply thinking about it. What a unique and uncomfortably gross set of powers as well. If you didn’t at least shift in your seat while he was eating Nile’s sink gunk—you may be too comfortable with that idea. I also just love the fact that the entire team is just going with the flow after everything that’s already happened. It’s a nice detail that has not yet failed to bring the laughs. I do want to note however, that despite even them calling themselves out, I’m now sure why this bureau would ever align themselves with Beard Hunter. He kind of seems like the exact example of who they would be targeting in the first place.

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Rita and Cyborg trying to decode Danny’s clue. Photo courtesy of KSiteTV.

Now while Beard Hunter was on the hunt for Niles, his inability to keep his compulsions at bay led to him forming a strange connection to Cyborg. Not only was this a great way at demonstrating how Ernest’s powers can actually work when in motion, but it provided a nice way into Cyborg’s insecurities. Thanks to Ernest, we now know that something has been wrong with Vic ever since his reset—and he’s very scared of becoming what was portrayed on that very ominous painting shown to them by Jane. While the Cyborg character stuff was nice, it did feel like there was room for more within that plot (the present day in general). For example, Rita sadly got next to nothing to do besides a few funny lines and being a quick shoulder for Cyborg to lean on.   

Now the other half of the episode focused on Niles, and his very surprising backstory. While sometimes a tad bit unsettling, it was a nice unexpected pivot for the show to shed some light on how he came to be the Niles that (we think) we know. There are so many questions to be had when it comes to the woman’s immortality, and her best friend. But I’m sure that was quite intentional. The important thing that the show wanted to get across was how Niles found his love and caring for the unexplainable—which I think came across pretty well. The downside of this plot however was how it felt pretty disjointed from everything going on in the present. Even with the very thin connection of the Bureau of Normalcy between the two, it was sometimes jarring to be jumping back and forth between the two.

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The Chief, in a much different time in his life. Photo courtesy of KSiteTV.

While Doom Patrol continued giving us quality content, there’s no denying that this week’s episode was oddly pieced together—often feeling disconnected. It also never reached the same emotional depths as the previous installment. There was still plenty to love however. We got Beard Hunter’s arrival, some new information on Nile’s surprising history, some crucial Cyborg moments, and a much needed addition to the Bureau of Normalcy’s mythos.  The real question though, is what the hell did Ernest just walking himself into?

Bonus Notes:

  • Best moment of the episode could easily have been Cyborg’s “You better step back.”
  • I’m not gonna lie, at the end of last week’s episode I thought that something may have been happening between Vic and Rita. It would seem that I was wrong.
  • Poor Larry having to essentially sit out two whole episodes.
  • The added history to the Bureau of Normalcy helped elevate it above the extremely simplistic portrayal that we saw on Danny Street. Only by a little though. However the show is on the right path, and with the right choices, that elevation can easily continue.

You can catch new episodes of Doom Patrol when they air on DC Universe streaming network every Friday.