'Doom Patrol' Season 2, Episode 6 'Finger Patrol': 'Steele & Stone' is the spinoff-worthy pairing we needed
Victor Stone and Cliff Steele's relationship mirrors every classic buddy cop film there is and deserves to be highlighted a lot more
Spoilers for 'Doom Patrol' Season 2, Episode 6 - 'Finger Patrol'
It turns out that 'Doom Patrol' has been hiding the ultimate buddy cop series in the background, all along. The relationship between Cyborg (Joivan Wade) and Cliff Steele (Riley Shanahan/Brendan Fraser) has been following the format right from their very first meeting, and this episode highlights a relationship that should have been a lot more obvious from the start.
When Cyborg met Robotman, the latter was an incompetent rookie hero chasing a donkey around the ruins of a town that the donkey had been forced to swallow. The two immediately got off on the wrong foot, and would snipe back and forth at each other throughout the series, until veteran cop - that is, superhero - Cyborg learned to smoothen some of his prideful rough edges, and Cliff learned to accept other people's help in order to become a better hero. The two may be bound by technology, but the thing that truly connects them is their shared humanity. It is the premise for the greatest buddy cop film never made.
This episode is the first one that really explores the bond between the two heroes in a way that we've never seen before. The two both rely on their technological enhancements in a way that nobody else can really understand. Though Cyborg's is vastly more advanced than Cliff's, the two were still forced to accept their tech through a traumatic accident. Additionally, the two both share a complicated relationship with their father figures, who built their robotic bodies from scratch, birthing them anew. Both Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) and Silas Stone (Phil Morris) are manipulative, overprotective parents - and in dealing with them, Cliff and Victor have become brothers.
When Cliff learns that there's a possibility he may be able to feel again, Cyborg is the first person he talks to, and Cyborg couldn't be happier, because he understands more than most just how much that means. Cliff has a rare frank conversation about just what he's been going through without the sensation of touch - how he's forgetting what things feel like - and it's a moment of vulnerable honesty that Cliff could use more of.
Where Cliff once mocked Victor for his superheroic aspirations, everyone, deep down, wants to save the day. Cliff has softened his position, and there's no one he'd rather team up with than Cyborg himself. The imaginary title sequence we saw of the two of them on a detective series is hilarious - and it deserves, in its own way, to become a reality. Cyborg and Robotman deserve, if not a spinoff series, than to be paired up more often. Their brotherly relationship is a special one, and it's amazing that it's taken this long to realize how cool "Steel & Stone" would have been.
The next episode of 'Doom Patrol' airs July 16, on DC Universe.