'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 4: 'Sex Patrol' has one of the most consensual and strangest sex scenes on TV
Rita Farr and Flex Mentallo set a new bar for bedroom consent, mutual respect and supportiveness
Spoilers for 'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 4 'Sex Patrol'
While Rita Farr (April Bowlby) and Flex Mentallo (Devan Chandler Long) may have never kissed, or for that matter, even touched, what transpired between the two of them was most definitely a sex scene. What else do you call it when one person intentionally and consensually brings another to orgasm? Their rendevous may have been interrupted by an apocalyptic sex demon, but before all that, the scene sets a high bar for consent and respect in the bedroom, as portrayed on film and television.
Farr may be visibly holding herself together for the most part, but she is still a woman with a complicated relationship with her own body - a body that she is just now gaining control over. While she's made a significant amount of progress since the series began, she's still a long way from complete control - meaning that conventional sex is something that's just not possible for her right now, if that's something she even really wants to have. What she does want, however, is something that she's not been able to have in a long time - an orgasm and there's only one man she knows who is able to give it to her.
Mentallo is a unique character. He is a minimally-clad, oiled up muscle man, but he is somehow never overtly sexualized - even when acting in a sexual capacity. In fact, his absolute mastery over his muscles and the ability to bring people to orgasm makes him closer to a sexual therapist than anything else. Though Farr stares at him and his impressive muscle control throughout the episode, her approach to him isn't one born of lust - she's seeking his aid in regaining control over her own body and that is something Mentallo respects, every step of the way.
It's rare to see a woman with complicated control be allowed to take the lead in the way that Farr does this episode. She is the one who approaches Mentallo, she is the one who broaches the subject and she is the one who sets the rules. Mentallo for his part, is entirely respectful of her every decision. There are no smug smiles when he realizes what she wants him to do, or the other extreme , complete awkwardness. Mentallo is as comfortable with his sexuality as he is with his body and he's happy to do what he can to help others with their bodies in a way that's supportive and not self-serving. Hilariously, when he thinks that Farr is asking for him to bring everyone to orgasm, he brings up specific protocols immediately - meaning that while his slip-up last season may have accidentally brought everyone their moment of pleasure, he has since done it on purpose for the Dannyzens - always with respect and with a nod to what's safe. When she asks him to, he puts his nose to the dot, no questions asked.
Though it's interrupted in the strangest of ways, the bedroom scenes between Mentallo and Farr give us a unique look into what sex can be like for people still trying to understand their bodies - a safe space, an understanding partner and a willingness to acquiesce to unconventional requests out of respect to one's partner. Despite the sex ghosts, depraved demons, and apocalyptic babies that quickly got involved, it is somehow still one of the most wholesome sex scenes on TV.
The next episode of 'Doom Patrol' airs July 9, on DC Universe and HBO Max.