'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 7 Review: Light-hearted absurdity rules as bad ideas come out to play
An infestation of bad ideas takes over the Doom Patrol in one of the sillier episodes of the season
Spoilers for 'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 7 'Dumb Patrol'
Though every episode of 'Doom Patrol' contains both light-hearted absurdity and more complicated explorations of deep-seated emotions, the focus seems to oscillate from episode to episode this season. With last week's more somber response to a death in the Underground, this episode ramps the absurdity back up with mind parasites and their Scant Queen (Jhemma Ziegler) and putting Larry Trainor (Matthew Zuk/Matt Bomer) in a doctor's coat on top of his regular coat. It's not as bad an idea as it sounds.
First things first, in case you haven't watched the episode and are concerned about everyone's favorite Robotman - Cliff Steele (Riley Shanahan/Brendan Fraser) is okay. Being kicked out of a space shuttle appears to be no big deal for him, as he crashes into the Earth right through a billboard of the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man (Alec Mapa), understandably furious at Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton), who is on his own quest to find another way to deal with the threat of Dorothy Spinner's (Abigail Shapiro) apocalyptic powers.
In the meanwhile, the rest of the Doom Patrol receive a package that immediately infests them with parasites that hyperactivate the part of their mind responsible for bad ideas. Amusingly enough, this also puts the rest of the team in a much more cheerful mood (is happiness a bad idea when you're living in Doom Manor?), giving Matthew Zuk the rare opportunity to portray some more upbeat body language under all of Larry's bandages. It's striking how rare it is to see the Doom Patrol in a cheerful mood, and though they may be under the influence, it still looks like a break they sorely needed.
The break comes for the audience as well, as the episode allows audiences to step away from the heavy subject matter and just sit back and have some fun. Guest star Jhemma Ziegler plays a charming Scant Queen, whose bright pink skin does nothing to distract from her sharp takedowns of the Doom Patrol's very worst ideas. It's one bad idea after another and the episode takes on a cartoonish, sitcom quality. Even Rita Farr's (April Bowlby) new superhero origin and Cliff's enraged attempts to get his limbs under control are packed with more fun than emotional weight. It gives us a side to these characters we don't usually get to see.
Speaking of new sides of people's personas, Crazy Jane's (Diane Guerrero) newest primary, Miranda, is one of her best new performances. There are very few alternate personas that truly stand out from Diane Guerrero's default Jane. Babydoll is one of them, as is Dr Harrison, but Miranda might just outdo all of them. Instantly charismatic, the only level-headed person in a house full of people who had terrible ideas even before being infected. She is someone who instantly gets along with everyone she meets and works with the team to find the best possible solution to every situation - in many ways, the complete opposite of who Jane tends to be.
The episode saves the best for last, though, as a chilling confrontation between Niles and the Candlemaker (Lex Lang) sets the stage for an upcoming apocalypse. It's implied that the only way to stop it is to end Dorothy's life and on that chilling note, the end credits play no music, but a howling wind. For all the fun that the episode was, there is still a cold-hearted monster at the heart of it all and we don't mean the Candlemaker.
The next episode of 'Doom Patrol' airs June 30, on DC Universe and HBO Max.