'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 8: Why Niles Caulder is the most tragic villain in the DC Universe
Spoilers for 'Doom Patrol' Season 2 Episode 8 'Dad Patrol'.
DC Universe's 'Doom Patrol' Season 2 is almost at its end. Episode 8 'Dad Patrol' brought a lot of the season's plotlines to a head and, in the process, reveals exactly why Niles Caulder / The Chief (Timothy Dalton) is the most tragic villain on any DC Universe show. Yes, the Chief is one of the protagonists of the show but if you think that makes him a hero, think again. The man has done horrible things to each and every member of the team, including his daughter Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro) whom he locked away without any contact for decades.
While his actions were almost exclusively motivated by his love for Dorothy, that doesn't make him any less of a villain. In fact, it just adds to the tragedy of his life. Niles has constantly and consistently made decisions out of love that have backfired and caused terrible harm to those around him. And none of those bad decisions even hold a candle to his simple desire to have some quality time with Dorothy before sending her away with Willoughby Kipling (Mark Sheppard).
Because Niles delayed the rendezvous with the Knights Templar, Dorothy already came of age. And with Dorothy hitting puberty, the Candlemaker (Lex Lang) had been unleashed on the world. Ironically enough, we always thought the Candlemaker would be released when Niles dies and Dorothy makes a wish to bring him back. And now, it looks like the Candlemaker being released might be what kills Niles after all.
The things the Chief did to his team were atrocious enough but the Candlemaker being released is something that could potentially destroy the world at large. At the moment, we don't see any clear way in which the monstrous entity can be defeated and it really does look like Niles might have inadvertently doomed the world just to get one extra day with his daughter.
We've seen a lot of tragic villains on superhero shows before but Niles Caulder holds a special place among them as the only one to have possibly caused the apocalypse by trying to be a good father. And you thought Trigon (Seamus Dever) was the baddest dad in the DC Universe. 'Doom Patrol' Season 2 streams on Thursdays on DC Universe and HBO Max.