'Doom Patrol' Season 2: The tragedy of Larry Trainor continues as his failure as a father confronts him
What Niles Caulder / Chief's (Timothy Dalton) menagerie of misfits often choose to forget is that, while they have certainly suffered, they have also caused a lot of pain to others
Spoilers for 'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 1 'Fun Size Patrol', Episode 2 'Tyme Patrol', and Episode 3 'Pain Patrol'
Pretty much every character on DC Universe's 'Doom Patrol' has undergone extreme trauma and faced more tragedy in their lifetime than the average human. And yet, what Niles Caulder / Chief's (Timothy Dalton) menagerie of misfits often choose to forget is that they have also caused a lot of pain to others.
This becomes especially clear in the case of Larry Trainor / Negative Man (Matt Bomer). Like the rest of Doom Patrol, Larry has also had his life tragically affected by the Chief but even before he was turned into a radioactive mummy, Larry made some terrible decisions that impacted those closest to him for years.
In Season 2 Episode 1 'Fun Size Patrol', we see how Larry was a difficult and exacting father to his son Gary Trainor (Carson Minniear). He leaves Gary feeling as if he could never earn his father's love and that eventually leads to Gary committing suicide. After learning of the death of his son, Larry goes to his funeral in Episode 2 'Tyme Patrol'. While there he meets his surviving son and heads to Gary's house where he discovers a barn filled with mementos dedicated to Larry.
Larry discovers that his son spent his entire life believing that Larry was still alive, even though the whole world thought otherwise. He finds crude letters scrawled in crayon that Gary sent to him, and eventually breaks down crying. The truly tragic part of this story isn't that the Chief stole Larry's life from him. It's the fact that Larry was a terrible father even before his accident and subsequent disappearance.
When he had the chance, Larry was never the father he should have been and now he will never get that chance again. And while he may blame the Chief for taking him away from his family, the fact remains that there's nothing to suggest he would have been a better dad if things had gone differently. Of course, Larry has more than paid for his sins, even being abducted at the end of Episode 2 and tortured by the villainous Red Jack (Roger Floyd). But none of that can compare to the pain he must be feeling in his heart over the mistakes that he made.
'Doom Patrol' Season 2 streams on Thursdays on DC Universe and HBO Max.