I like to believe I’m a very tolerant person when it comes to my television viewing experience. I can handle a lot of things. Deadly Class gave us the worst chainsaw scene since Scarface and I handled it like a champ. Game of Thrones tests my ability to love fictional characters even though I know harm will befall them, and I’m willing to get hurt again and again. Better Call Saul brings us Saul Goodman and it breaks my heart and I can’t wait for next season. I’ve been the ringer and keep coming back for more, but I have to say this week’s Doom Patrol, “Hair Patrol”, tested my limits, and it had nothing to do with James Bond having a love scene with a Neanderthal woman. No, that’s the type of weird that is kind of in line with this DC Universe show. I do draw the line with characters who eat hair out of drains though. Can’t do it. It’s repulsive and goes over the line of weird to disgusting, and no I’m not being dramatic (maybe a little), I’m serious. This broke me and kind of encompasses my relationship with this entire series thus far.
Much like last week’s “Jane Patrol” we have an episode that is willing to explore a character in depth providing some answers about the Chief. Maybe. I’m not entirely sure if I’m being honest. The majority of his story was a flashback that took place in the early 1900s as he searched for immortality and worked for a government agency that sought out oddities. That would eventually change to the department of normalcy because reasons. After breaking his leg and being held captive by this Neanderthal creature the Chief falls in love with her and spends a blissful year up in the snowy mountains together. It’s a strange story that doesn’t really explain much of anything other than the fact that Chief becomes protective of these oddities and leaves his lady love alone so she won’t be terminated by the department of normalcy. There is no explanation given to how she can lead to immortality or how the Chief hasn’t aged a day since the 1900s.
Of course, this flashback is all a plan from Mr. Nobody to hurt Chief as he tries to gain the same information but I found the whole thing ineffective and strange. I get that the Chief wants to help oddities like the Doom Patrol and I get that he’s shady and secretive, but this… this didn’t’ humanize him at all for me. It all seemed very selfish and convoluted and felt like a misdirect. Here’s an hour of characterization with no real characterization given. I feel like I still have zero clarity on who the Chief is or why I should care about him. With this being a central plot point of the series, I feel like I should be more invested but I only care about the Chief being found because the show is telling me.
Then factor in that the department of normalcy is also looking for Chief, probably because of his 1900 love affair, and have hired a man to find him whose superpower is knowledge through eating facial hair. It’s gross. It’s weird. And it did nothing to further this story. At all. All it gave us was more bickering between Cyborg and Rita, where Cyborg continues to treat her like trash, as well as Cyborg program problems. Nothing new. The same run around which is getting tiring. Just because you throw in a character who eats hair from drains doesn’t make this any more interesting or add any depth of growth to the story. At this point, I’m quickly becoming over the whole thing.
Doom Patrol is losing its luster. The weirdness isn’t refreshing anymore and almost a plot device to cover up the fact that this story is going nowhere. Cyborg has essentially turned into a chauvinist with the way he continuously treats Rita as a lesser human being. The Chief… I can’t figure this guy out. Larry’s progress continues to be a mystery. And we now have a character who eats drain hair. I’m becoming less and less tolerant per episode. Such a bummer considering how exciting this series felt when it debuted.
What about you Geeklings? How are you feeling about Doom Patrol? Are you all in or hoping for some sort of growth/story progression? If you’ve got thoughts or feelings sound off in the comments. If you’d like to talk more Doom Patrol with yours truly you can find me on Twitter @iageek32. Let’s have ourselves a good ole fashion therapy session. I’ll see you all next week with a brand new episode review. Stay weird my friends!
Kevin Carey is an
unapologetic geek who strongly
believes his mind works much like an episode of
Community. Has a strong love for pop culture that focuses on
TV, comics, movies,
and books. Kevin also enjoys writing fiction and has self published a short
Amazon. While awaiting his Hogwarts acceptance letter, Kevin lives on
Long Island with his cat and extensive
Pop Vinyl collection. You can find him here on Fan Fest, at his blog I Am Geek, or the I Am Geek Podcast spreading geekiness to all.