Woo wee! I hope y’all were just as excited as I was when I finally got to watch Doom Patrol return with their new season. I was so happy like a fat kid eating cake and Doom Patrol is my cake. Best part is, having 2 episodes to binge watch right out the gate. So without further adieu, let’s get these cakes.
In the opening scene, we are able to see that Cloverton has been overrun by some kind of disease given the apocalyptic atmosphere and a poster that gives us this hint of infection. Then we see a “homemade” version of Cyborg with a crossbow attached to his arm where his hand cannon would have been before the synthetic skin procedure Vic underwent in season 3. Seems like old habits die hard and Victor had no other choice but to revert to Cyborg’s defenses.
Afterwards we are brought back to the present timeline with our Doom Patrol members and under the leadership of the beautiful Rita Farr. She is seen explaining the rundown of a mission they are preparing to go into and they immediately go through their anticipated codenames; Cliff as Robotman, Jane as Crazy Jane, Larry as Negative Man, Vic as Cyborg and Laura de Mille, having a special place in Rita’s list, is called by a less pleasing codename. All the while, Dr. Harrison, who is taking place as Kay’s primary, is giving each of the patrol members their diagnosis from what she has observed over the time she has worked with them. Essentially wrapping up what their characters have endured throughout the show and giving the audience a better understanding and perhaps a deeper connection to their flaws because after all they were once humans just like us.
This is something I have admired from each individual character and the actors who portray them all too well. They breathe so much life into these characters, with the emotions behind they’re expressions. Which is why it astounds me the most is Brendan Fraser’s work for Robotman because his character is just a bucket of bolts! So how do you bring life to a lifeless being, something that is cold and empty? By voicing their thoughts and emotions, their wants and needs. This is beautifully portrayed in the following scene when Vic and Silas have reconstructed Cliff’s hand, despite looking the same as it used to, they have now incorporated nanites to help give Cliff the sense of touch in one finger. Hopefully over time, the nanites will spread throughout the rest of his hand and he’ll be able to experience what he has not been able to for over 40 years since his tragic accident. The heart and feeling behind Brendan’s voice hits deep when he is explaining that he would rather save this new feature of his to be able to hold his beloved grandson in his arms as the first thing he touches was an incredibly wholesome scene.
In this brief moment of excitement and happiness for Cliff we see the group members also being in the moment until Rita and Laura cross sights and they are reminded of the cold tension between them too. Laura de Mille is seen throughout the episode trying to redeem herself and obey Rita’s command despite her evil tendencies. She wants to show that she can be good and how deeply ashamed she is of her past mistakes but Rita refuses to forgive her and makes it her sole mission to make Laura suffer for her crimes. However, Rita’s new found control of the team has been turning into a burden onto the other patrol members making them feel inadequate to fulfill their duties.
For example Vic, who has renounced his tech for synthetic skin to be able to recover the life he lost. So Rita assigns him to stay as far away as possible to protect Vic and is given the position as the team’s IT guy. However, he still wants to help and save the world despite being rendered to a normal human being. He has to work around his situation and do things the old fashioned way. He also shows some hesitation of getting his old life back when he reluctantly messages one of his old buddies but before he clicks send he erases the message. Could this really be what he truly wanted? Will Victor Stone recover what he lost or will he choose to embrace the fact that he is Cyborg? Perhaps underneath the tech, Cyborg will always be Victor because of the love and morals his mother embedded into him as he grew up. Even though he promised himself as a child that he would never make a mistake again, sadly his outrage ultimately took his mother away from him. Something he may never forgive himself for.
Since the previous season, the team have customized the time machine by attaching it atop the head of the giant robot Cliff embodied in the end of season 3. Allowing them to travel through space and time together as a group. Through trial and error they also solved the loss of memory by tieing a jellyfish on their heads. Which Laura tends to refuse wearing as a way of escaping her burdens of hurting those she cared about. Rita sees through this and forces Laura to wear it so she can remember her oath of eventually leaving the group.
The team take off in Shipley, which they named the time machine, to celebrate with Cliff and see him rejoice with his daughter and grandson but in their travel they bump into Isabel Feathers, the actress portraying Rita in the town’s play from Possibilities Patrol episode in season 3. This collision causes them to veer off course and land in the apocalyptic world we see in the beginning of this episode. The team investigates and returns to the mansion to where they find a bowl of vienna sausages and skittles. Cliff’s curiosity triggers the trap and this is where they meet future Vic. Dumbfounded by this discovery, Present Vic asks Future Vic if he’s wearing tech again but when he takes his helmet off we can see that Vic has in fact aged while the synthetic skin remains the same.
Future Vic brings the team up to speed and informs them that they landed in the year 2042 and the world had been eradicated by Zombie-Were-Butts since the outbreak 20 years prior. The rest of the team begin to wonder what happened to them and they are told that they remain to themselves in their rooms. As Rita, Cliff, Larry and Jane head up to see their future selves, Future Vic calls Laura back and tells her that she hasn’t been seen since before the outbreak. She had mysteriously and all too conveniently left before things got hairy.
When the others get to their rooms they find they’re now ghosts. They ask themselves how it is they turn up to be ghosts. Ghost Rita explains that they failed being team leader just like they failed being a high school drama teacher. Ghost Cliff never released exact details about what exactly happened other than “You don’t wanna know,” and this only enrages present Cliff. Jane/Dr. Harrison warns that because she was so self absorbed in dissecting the Doom Patrol that they failed their only mission; to protect Kay. Larry however did not find his future self in his room like the others but rather in the greenhouse with his beloved plants. He finds his ghost self sitting in a corner curled up rocking back and forth. Larry asks about Keeg and ghost Larry responds with “He doesn’t live here anymore”. When he asks more about what happened to Keeg and gets frustrated with his ghost self, Future Keeg shows himself to have been living off the dead plants. Baby Keeg then comes out and appears to link up with Future Keeg before dissipating and baby Keeg returns to Larry. Larry is now confused with what they could have told each other and what he could have possibly done for them to end up separated.
Later we see Laura looking through some old newspaper clippings in the kitchen and finds a journal titled “Missing”. She opens it up and reads that Silas Stone was last seen leaving Star Labs. So she and Vic’s dad are nowhere to be found. Laura continues to rummage through the newspaper clippings and finds a clue about her future self about being elected to represent one side of negotiating committees in their attempts to seek peace with the Butts. As she tries to find the rest of the column she finds blueprints and formulas on the mechanics of the time machine. Laura ends up going to the basement and finds a frame resembling the Time Machine and that is when she realizes that Future Vic, who had been working on rebuilding it now plans to steal it and finds present Vic tied up with tape around his mouth.
Vic and the team confront Future Vic and try to convince him to join them and return to the past so they can work together to avoid this pending crisis. Future Vic refuses to go with but before they return to their current timeline, Future Vic leaves a message carved to the exterior of the machine for present Vic, “You can’t have it all.” Despite this note, Vic decides to at least try his best in “having it all” and finally reaches out to his friend in meeting up to catch up and hangout.
Jane confronts Dr. Harrison in the underground and admits to hiding in Kay’s memories because she needed a break from being primary but after seeing what the result was she decides that it is best she returns as primary. Just then, Kay reveals that she had been hiding all this time as Dr. Harrison, which raises the question, what actually happened to Dr. Harrison and the other personas?
Keeg and Larry are tense with what they experienced in the future leaving Larry torn when Keeg keeps his distance from him. Leaving him to wonder what he did to mess everything up between them too.
Rita is seen packing up her leader outfit we see in the beginning and is approached by Laura considering going back on their previous agreement of leaving to instead stay and help the group fight the future. This of course upsets Rita even more on top of what she learned from her talk with Ghost Rita.
Cliff makes a promise to himself to stop the butt-pocalypse and to not touch a single thing until he saves the world for Rory and Clara.
In the end of the episode we see Willoughby and others dressed in what appears to be Knights armor and a bunny named Bunbury on a table with a pentagram drawn on it. Bunbury relays to them a photograph of what seems like a crop circle phenomenon but instead it reads “Immortus Will Rise.” Willoughby finds this hard to believe saying that “He’s not real.” Willoughby then mentions that the prophecy only spoke of the butts so if this is a true threat then they may be facing something more than they can handle.