DC Television

Doom Patrol – “Flex Patrol” Review

The show flexes its muscles. Our review of Doom Patrol "Flex Patrol" has arrived.
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Flex Mentallo flexing those muscles. Photo courtesy of Comicbook.com.

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

Well it looks like the show decided not to follow through with it’s brutal twist in “Cyborg Patrol”.  We started exactly where we left off, and Silas is clinging onto life, if only slightly. Bit of a shame that they didn’t go all the way with it—but I can see why they opted not to do that. It would be a extremely critical blow to Vic, one that he may never have come back from. At the very least, his actions have seemingly taken him off the battlefield when it comes to the fight against Mr. Nobody. Well, for now at least. I was left confused at a few things with Vic however, mainly in regards to Grid. Was none of that threat real? Was it all thanks to Mr. Nobody? They didn’t really make it super clear.

Now while they spared Silas’ life, the writer’s saved a different dark twist for this episode—one that doesn’t look like it has any take backs. We’ve known Flex Mentallo all but for an episode, and yet the show gives a harsh new tragedy to him right away. After reuniting with his wife after decades, she is dusted away right in front of him thanks to the bureau. It was quite sad to watch, and it would seem that Flex will fit in perfectly with the rest of the broken team. While the twist in of itself was sad, and played well to the tragic story of Flex, some beats didn’t fully hit home. For example, I felt that Flex and his wife regaining their memories fell flat—or at least the why behind it all fell flat. It was also rather sudden, and we didn’t even really get a moment to accept that those memories were back.

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Flex Mentallo doing what he does best. Photo courtesy of Comicbook.com.

What didn’t fall flat however was seeing Flex’s imprisonment within the Bureau. Not only did it give us more insight into what Flex endured, but it also served to show more about the Bureau themselves—and none other than our favorite Negative Spirit. Little did we know that Flex and the Spirit formed a connection as they tried to get Larry to help them escape. I enjoyed how one of our team members secretly had a connection to Flex for quite awhile. That does beg the question though, did Larry simply forget about his interactions with Flex? Did he ever actually see what Flex looked like? I assume not, because you’d think that the connection would have come up the moment Flex walked out of his cell.

While the connection between the Negative Spirit and Flex was certainly a focus, the main point of it all was to express how deep and important the connection between the Spirit and Larry is. This episode went on to show that Larry was indeed only being kept in a “healthy” state thanks to the Spirit. At the same time, without Larry as his host, the Spirit would slowly die when without the host. This provided some great and much needed mythos to the world that the show has created. However, there were still questions to be had. It was still unexplained how Larry was moving around without the spirit inside of him. Every other time he went unconscious, so why was this different? Furthermore, if the Spirit can’t live without a host, why did it even consider the idea of leaving the manor without Larry? That whole moment of it leaving and coming back likely should not have been there. I do look forward to the new dynamic that will be at play between the two of them, since they are actually on similar pages for once.

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Rita casually reflecting on life. Photo courtesy of Comicbook.com.

Now when it came to Rita, she had a pretty big moment this episode. Thanks to a random hospital patient (AKA Mr. Nobody), we got to learn some huge regrets that we’re racing war in Rita’s psyche. We learned how she looked the other way in order to be in the spotlight—an act that caused a person’s suicide and left an orphaned baby. April Bowlby have a magnificent performance as usual. I mean when hasn’t she this season? The only issue I have with the whole story is how we learned about it all—and the situation in which Rita went though these realizations. I get that this random hospital patient was Mr. Nobody, but it all still felt random. There had to have been a more poignant and powerful situation for us to have had all of this revealed—one came off a bit more natural and fitting. I can’t help but think that all of this could have been revealed back in “Doom Patrol Patrol”.

“Flex Patrol” properly introduced us to Flex Mentallo, a colorful new addition the the show’s wonderful roster. We got more insight on the Negative Spirit, Vic is seemingly benched, and Mr. Nobody continues to pull everyone’s strings. Speaking of Mr. Nobody, isn’t Alan Tudyk just a treasure? The meta-ness of his scene at the end of the episode was fantastic, and is a great example of how extraordinary unique this show is. With the team quite literally about to take on the narrator himself, how can you not be excited for what’s to come?

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

Bonus Note:

  • Flint was a great comedic highlight this week.

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