REVIEW: Doom Patrol, S1E12 – Cyborg Patrol

Doom Patrol finally presented another episode centered on Vic (Joivan Wade) in “Cyborg Patrol,” though things didn’t quite turn out the way anyone hoped. After the Bureau of Normalcy kidnapped a Grid-less Vic and took him to the “Ant Farm,” the rest of the team were left with no other choice but to rely on Silas Stone to get him back.

Daddy loves you…

The episode opened on a very strange and downright eerie scene where the Bureau debriefed the situation thus far, and where a higher official delighted over a fast food meal and warned the others not to “upset the butts.” The fact that those words were foreshadowing tells you just how out there “Cyborg Patrol” was.  Poor Vic was left defenseless in the meantime, especially now that he didn’t have his operating system on him, which meant that the Doom Patrol needed to figure out how to help him.

This provided Larry (Matt Bomer) an opportunity to explain his history with the Bureau, which led him to believe to that no one could save Cyborg other than Niles (who’s not available right now) or Silas (who Vic doesn’t trust). But thankfully they didn’t have to make the choice to betray Vic themselves, because Silas himself stormed into Doom Manor looking for his son and quickly uncovered the terrifying truth. And so a plan was born to sneak in to the Ant Farm and… Turn the Doom Patrol over to the Bureau in exchange for his son?

While his friends were being trapped by agents – thanks, Silas! – Vic was busy continuing to wrestle with his tech. Despite having taken out the Grid earlier, it was rebuilding on its own and filling his mind with painful memories – not to mention filling his body with even more cyborg parts. This made “Cyborg Patrol” feel like more of a countdown than ever, as Vic needed to be saved before he became fully machine. It also wreaked havoc on our opinions of Silas Stone, who seemed a villain callous enough to bargain with the Doom Patrol’s lives one moment yet a concerned and misunderstood father the next.

Don’t fall for Karen.

As it turned out, Silas had already planned out the “capture” of the team alongside them, with Rita (April Bowlby) acting as a the lynchpin of the plan thanks to her gooey powers. Jane (Diane Guerrero) had some pretty hysterical interactions with her captor, whom she quickly trapped under her spell as Karen thanks to “her song” playing. Eventually “Cyborg Patrol” became an escape romp out of the Ant Farm, complete with Cliff (Brendan Fraser) releasing all the other “weirdos like us” from their cells, which was a lot of fun to watch. That is, until the images in Vic’s head grew so loud and strong that they led him to believe his father had always wanted him to become a machine. He beat his father to death in a rage, only to learn that Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk) had been messing with him all along. The final shot was of his friends watching in horror as he cried over his father’s body, and it was heartbreaking and infuriating at once. Why has all the focus Cyborg received on Doom Patrol so far revolved around him being responsible for his parents’ deaths? If that was the last time we’ll see Silas alive, and thus be able to enjoy Phil Morris’ cool yet steady performance, at least he proved that he was a loving father.

Another point of interest in the episode included Larry learning that the Bureau never stopped trying to upgrade him, and they presented another tube that seemed like it contained another version of Negative Man. Larry was reunited with his energy being at the end of the hour, but will it be the same one? Whether it is or isn’t, it’s powerful enough that Larry chose to take his other half with him. Oh, and those butts we talked about earlier? They got loose, and they had teeth. The show doesn’t go for body humor often, but when it does it’s grotesque. Finally, the one iota of hope for Silas to still be alive is that we saw what the final piece of his plan to get them out of the Ant Farm was, only that it required Vic to reinstall Grid. Perhaps we’ll have our answer when he does just that next week?

Doom Patrol drops new episodes every Friday on DC Universe’s streaming service.