Doom Patrol Season 3 Premiere Episodes Review: Death, Dancing, And Detectives
The season 2 finale of Doom Patrol was not a proper finale, though it did end on a huge cliffhanger. So, the premiere episodes for Doom Patrol season 3 are both finale and something new. The first episode picks up right where the finale left off. I am not sure if this is the finale as it would have been had COVID-19 not ended production early. Yet, it feels like it very could have. In a way, the resolution of the cliffhanger may annoy some folks. Yet, this was never a typical superhero or comic book show. We also a get a backdoor pilot for the new HBO DC series, Dead Boy Detectives. There’s quite a lot of death in the season 3 premiere episodes, even for Doom Patrol. Truth be told, the series starts on a very down note.
Doom Patrol season 1 was a pure delight. They did fairly straightforward adaptations of comic stories leading to a big showdown. Even before the pandemic cut short production, season 2 was much less focused. They dove into the disparate stories of the individual traumas of the titular Patrol. Yet, like every episode since the show began, the ultimate driving principle of the show is that these characters keep going.
Also, it appears that a regular cast member may have left the series, but to say who would be spoiler territory. If you’ve not yet watched the season premiere of Doom Patrol, the first 3 episodes tell a (mostly) complete story. We’re left with the core group facing a future that is, finally, their own. Which will make for a very interesting season, especially since the Dadaists are coming.
Spoilers for the premiere episodes of Doom Patrol season 3 to follow.
Possibilities Patrol Wraps Up the Season 2 Drama
Image by Bob Mahoney via HBOMax
The first episode is, basically, the finale of the second season of Doom Patrol. The show proves it’s not your typical cape-and-tights fare by not giving us a battle royale. Rather, Abi Monterey’s Dorothy Spinner gives it a stern talking to. Because she possesses vague, yet god-like power, they are able to travel back to the planet we visited in “Space Patrol” so she and the Candlemaker can be friends again. While we don’t see this amicable and patient conflict resolution, we do see the result. However, it wasn’t enough to save Timothy Dalton’s Chief Niles Caulder. Rumor has it Dalton did not want to return for season 3 for COVID reasons. So, while he does appear, it feels as if the Chief’s death will stick, at least for now.
The real resolution of the story for season 2 was, as per usual, in the emotional journeys of the characters. Most specifically, Diane Guerrero’s Jane who is still facing off with the evil still infecting her soul. This culminates in all (or at least most) of the personalities working together to save their body. April Bowlby’s Rita Farr blows her return to the stage and reveals she is the “blob lady” the play is based on. Larry Trainor (played by Matthew Zuk and Matt Bomer) agrees to leave Doom Manor and go to space presumably heading to the planet or dimension the Negative Spirit hails from.
Jovian Wade’s Cyborg and Cliff Steele (played by Riley Shanahan and Brendan Fraser) find less closure with their stories. However, both will seemingly play a big role in Doom Patrol season 3.
Vacay Patrol and Dead Patrol Episodes Kickstart The Future of the Doom Patrol in Season 3
Image by Bob Mahoney via HBOMax
The next two episodes feature the gang going on vacation and getting themselves killed. They are taken out by Billy Boyd in a hilarious role as a red-skinned alien. (It’s Doom Patrol!) Dorothy returns from burying her father to find Larry mad with grief over the loss of their friends. Thus, she enlists the aid of the Dead Boy Detective Agency, made up of three kids, two of whom are ghosts. Just like in the latest episode of Titans, we get a look at the afterlife. (And there is some visual consistency there, even though these shows aren’t connected like the Arrowverse.)
The group is pretty broken in these episodes, despite surviving their latest ordeal. They are facing a life truly unimpeded by the Chief. Yet, without him, they don’t quite know what to do with themselves. Then they all, well everyone but Rita, get to see what their reward is like. Cyborg talks to his mother, Robotman talks to his dad. They know that happiness and peace awaits them at the end, but because of comic book shenanigans, they’re pulled out of their sweet rewards into a very strange death factory.
Ultimately, they escape, and Dorothy decides to go off with the detectives. Thus we are left with the core group of season 1 heroes, minus the Chief. Of course, we do get to see Madame Rogue, the character Michelle Gomez is playing in season 3, but only for the briefest of moments. We know from the marketing that she’s a time-traveler, and she also seems to have a very familiar power set.
Doom Patrol debuts new episodes Thursdays on HBOMax.
What did you think of the season 3 premiere episodes of Doom Patrol? Where do you think the story will take our reluctant heroes? Share your thoughts, theories, and your own reviews in the comments below.
Featured image Image by Bob Mahoney via HBOMax
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.