'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 4 shows the pain of Larry's awkward loneliness eating away at him
Larry Trainor's social awkwardness reveals a lot of pain wrapped up beneath his many protective layers
Spoilers for 'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 4 'Sex Patrol'
The party to revive Danny the Street is possibly the most fun that Doom Manor has seen for decades - but not everyone is able to join in on the festivities. Though Larry Trainor (Matthew Zuk/Matt Bomer) is enthusiastic about helping Danny, the last time he had fun at a party has to have been some time in the '60s. Larry doesn't know how to dance, how to flirt and eventually he slinks away from the party to do the one thing he actually does know how to do - wallow in the miserable belief that people are better off without him.
We all, at some point in our lives, have been Larry Trainor at a party. Willing to party on, yearning to be able to, but ultimately not knowing how. Too used to wallowing in our own sadness to know how to be happy and walking away so we don't keep bringing down the room. Larry has a lot to be hurt, angry and resentful about, but that's not what's bothering him. No, the lost chance at being an astronaut, his life, his broken destiny - these are the things that Larry is used to feeling bad about and articulating those same, tired concerns is the only way he knows how to express his feelings. And anyone who tries to help lift him up - like Cliff Steele (Riley Shanahan/Brendan Fraser) - deserves to be pulled down into misery with him, as far as Larry is concerned.
The thing that truly upsets Larry is that he's lost touch. He doesn't know how to be around people who aren't helping him run away from the world. He doesn't know how to be around his family. Larry is a man all wrapped up in himself, under layers of protection that he believes keeps his toxicity from harming everyone around him and to an extent, he's right. There's a lot of toxicity that he has to deal with before he can safely be with other people, but that's where the metaphor ends. Unlike the radioactivity that would melt the faces off of everyone in a ten-foot radius, Larry's inner toxicity is something he can open up about. Larry can accept help, let people in, and stop lashing out when he's feeling particularly hurt by his own lack of sociability.
Everyone has their pain. Over 60 years of carrying it, however, should have helped Larry realize - he doesn't need to do it alone.
The next episode of 'Doom Patrol' airs July 2, on DC Universe and HBO Max.