Doom Patrol As Amazing And Weird As Ever With Zombie Episode
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Doom Patrol Shows It’s As Amazing And Strange As Ever With Zombie Episode

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BY September 30, 2021

The season 3 premiere episodes of Doom Patrol did double-duty. They wrapped up the story from the season 2 finale and set the residents of Doom Manor on a new path. (They also worked in a backdoor pilot for the Dead Boy Detectives series coming to HBOMax.) In the new episode of Doom Patrol, called Undead Patrol because it’s a zombie episode, the series shows its still as delightfully odd as ever. Since shifting from the now-defunct DC Universe streaming service to HBOMax, the shortened season in 2020 left some fans worried. Let’s face it, this show is weird. It is not your typical superhero series. There is also no guarantee that the DC folks at HBOMax believed in this series as the DC Universe folks did. Even if that is the case, Undead Patrol is a strong case as to why Doom Patrol is so special.

Spoilers for the episode to follow.

The Zombie Episode of Doom Patrol Is the Show at Its Grossest (and Sweetest)

Image by Bob Mahoney via HBOMax

One of the best gags in the last episode of the show was when an agent of Death, played by Ruth Connell of Supernatural fame, spits on them. She sends a high arcing shot of some kind of green slime at them. They celebrated after it hit because it was “just vomit.” Yet, that proves not to be the case. The vomit is magic (Comic Books!), and it turns the Doom Patrol into zombies. Another veteran of Supernatural, Mark Sheppard returns as John Constantine-alike Willoughby Kipling.

In the first scene, we see Kipling in possession of the head of the Chief, Niles Caulder. (Timothy Dalton doesn’t appear, but did some voice work for this episode.) It’s all part of some plan for him to woo the spectral horsehead Baphomet. Yet, he instead encounters an old foe from Season 1. Jon Briddell returns as Darren Jones, an agent of the Department of Normalcy that was last seen being subsumed by carnivorous butts. (Doom Patrol!)

The fight between Jones and his, uh, allies is hilarious and gross at the same time. Only the Doom Patrol could still do some “minor superhero-ing” while infected by a zombie virus. Yet, the real grossout comes at the end of the zombie episode, when the Doom Patrol has no choice but to devour the reanimated head of their leader. It’s both disgusting and remarkably sweet, especially considering how the show destroyed the relationship these characters had as main tension point of the series. There’s logic (so to speak) in this, as the unique magical qualities of Niles’ situation is the cure for the rest of the Doom Patrol. However, this self-sacrifice (of sorts) brings a kind of emotional closure as well, especially considering that Chief’s death was very sudden.

Madam Rouge and the Sisterhood of Dada

Image by Bob Mahoney via HBOMax

This was also a breakout episode for the character played by Michelle Gomez, Madam Rouge. After discovering a video of herself in the manor, she wants to seek out the Chief to ask him about it. She does get her answers, but it’s pretty clear that Niles thinks she’s a villain. Hilariously, because they’re so upset with him, this fact endears her to them. While the members of the Doom Patrol grunt out subtitled dialogue, a kind of zombie speak, Gomez carries the episode.

She drives the story from place to place and give Sheppard an actor to play directly off of. Yet, it’s also the character’s emotional journey that hooks us throughout the episode. She is seeking her identity and, unlike the rest of the Doom Patrol, seems to be delighted that she also has powers of some kind. When she discovers what Niles thinks of her, she’s crushed. It seems pretty clear that she’s set up to be related to the Sisterhood of Dada, a gender-swapped version of the Big Bad Group from the Doom Patrol comics. However, it’s this Doctor Who fan’s hope that she’s set-up to be “redeemed” and perhaps stay on in the mansion as a replacement for Niles Caluder. Of course, a huge part of this is that any show that gives us more Michelle Gomez is one that understood the assignment.

Undead Doom Patrol Zombie Episode michelle-gomez-brendan-fraser-dianne-guerrero-matt-bomer-april-bowlby-joivan-wade Image by Bob Mahoney via HBOMax

Doom Patrol is debuts new episodes on Thursdays on HBOMax.

What did you think of the zombie episode of Doom Patrol? Was it funny, touching, too gross? Tell us your thoughts, reactions, and theories about what’s to come in the comments below.

Featured image by Bob Mahoney via HBOMax

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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.

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