REVIEW: Doom Patrol, S1E15 – Ezekiel Patrol

Doom Patrol remains as wacky as ever in its season finale, “Ezekiel Patrol,” yet still manages to weigh the ridiculousness of a Godzilla-sized roach kissing a rat against the emotional journeys of its characters. After Niles (Timothy Dalton) admits that he orchestrated the team’s accidents, they all go their separate ways until a new Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk) plan forces a reconciliation that brings many revelations with it.

My feelings about super-sized roaches exactly.

“Ezekiel Patrol” flashes back and forth in time, uncovering pieces of the Chief’s past interactions with the Doom Patrol and explaining how he crossed paths with several of the characters in the show. His cold reactions to, say, Joshua worrying about Larry (Matt Bomer) and Rita (April Bowlby) are proof enough that he wasn’t the saint setting out to help the needy. His friendship with Vic’s (Joivan Wade) mother Elinore is even more disconcerting when it becomes clear that he must have engineered her death so that Cyborg could be born – and this was all after his romance with Slava was meant to have humanized him. In fact, it is that relationship that drive some of his terrible actions under the Bureau of Normalcy. As he revealed at the end of the hour, he was left with a daughter whose power was so terrible to behold that he performed experiments on others to ensure his own immortality in the hopes of keeping her and the world safe from each other. The young girl is Dorothy Spinner, a classic member of the team with psychokinesis, but the season ends before viewers are fully aware of her powers or what role she will play in the story. Hopefully it gets renewed so that we can find out.

In the present, the members of the Doom Patrol are all coping with Chief’s betrayal in their own. Some of them have adjusted rather well: Larry bonds with the energy inside him and sets it free on a daily basis, Rita teaches theater to unruly high schoolers, Vic fights cyber crime and keeps in contact with their father. Some not so much: Jane (Diane Guerrero) steals Joshua’s opiates so that she can escape the pain, and Cliff (Brendan Fraser) keeps a close eye on her while mourning his lack of relationship with his daughter. Actually, the moment where Jane lays down in the middle of a (imaginary) park along with her personalities and apologizes to Kay for not protecting her well enough is probably the most powerful part of “Ezekiel Patrol,” despite not actively contributing to the plot.

Do it for Danny.

Regardless, all five of them are pulled from their respective new lives when Mr. Nobody gives up on his current revenge plot of making everyone mad at Niles – thanks to the reviews telling him it’s cliché, of course – and joins forces with Ezekiel the roach and Admiral Whiskers the rat. Having promised themselves “no more hiding,” Rita and Larry are the first to volunteer to stop him and thus mark the most complete character arcs in Doom Patrol‘s first season. All of them eventually agree to help Niles for Danny the Street’s sake if not for the Chief’s, and the town seems devoid of people (though a newspaper explains that Flex sent Dannyzens to safety, so no worries!) except for Dorothy who is somewhere hidden on the premises. And Beardhunter, who was responsible for selling Danny out to Mr. Nobody in exchange for a few delicious strands of hair.

What ensues is even stranger than usual for Doom Patrol, as Mr. Nobody is now a drunken shell of himself now that Dorothy has enlarged Ezekiel and Admiral Whiskers to enact their own version of a kaiju movie. Jane and Chief’s connection is what coaxes Dorothy out of the shadows, and in the meantime Rita has to coax Mr. Nobody into taking back the title of Big Bad simply because he would be less dangerous than the vermin he’s let loose. And so, much like Rita took control of her narrative (and narration!) last week, this time it is Mr. Nobody who uses his disembodied voice to redirect the compatriots and convince Ezekiel to eat the team so that they can tear an interdimensional hole in him. Did they save Danny and the world? Well, the former is a brick at the end of “Ezekiel Patrol,” and the latter is safe from Mr. Nobody who is now trapped in a painting but is about to contend with Dorothy. What does that mean? It’s unclear, seeing as the season ends on the most ambiguous of notes. And yes, it remains satisfying throughout, since the five halfway heroes managed to come together and believe in themselves despite Niles rather than because of him.

Stay tuned for news of Doom Patrol‘s Season 2 renewal on DC Universe.