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Doom Patrol: Fame Patrol

"We’ll figure this out together. I promise."

The imminent destruction of space and time takes a bit of a pause to set up its Insta story.

That was not where I expected this to go.

When we last left our heroes, they had just comprehensively failed to prevent the rising of Immortus. Seeing as how Immortus has been built up all season as an all powerful baddie who's going to devour all of space and time, it's with some small measure of confusion for both the team and the viewership when they do neither, choosing instead to arrive in the form of the long missing Isabel Feathers and then going for a bit of a walk.

I'd like to note at this time, I'll be using they/them pronouns for Immortus as a being until such time as we receive some intel on how they personally identify. Because, honestly, who even knows what's going on there. When discussing Immortus as manifested in Isabel I'll be going with she/her. Again, until further information should happen to surface advising otherwise.

The entire opening montage is well crafted here. The opening panorama of the destruction we saw begin in the final moments of the previous episode sets the mood of confused, chaotic destruction nicely, and the choice to accompany it with 'The End of the World' is kind of inspired. On the most basic, surface level we're listening to a song called 'The End of the World' as we're expecting to see... you know... the world ending. But as the episode metaphorically pulls back the camera, we're encouraged to pay more attention to the complete sentence. 'Don't they know it's the end of the World?'

Because we were kind of promised that the world was ending. Are we not doing the whole 'world ending' thing? What's even going on?

Which is why, even though we're a bit pressed for time with only five episodes remaining in the series, it was a great choice for them to spend so much time on the team watching Isabel Feathers take her leisurely stroll back to town. We're in the same headspace as the team, and the show gives us a good long time to wallow in our confusion.

Is this actually Immortus? Is it just Isabel Feathers? Are they still planning on the whole 'devouring everything' plan, or was she just looking for a little cardio? This is not what we've been prepped to expect.

And, to be fair, in a way this episode can be justifiably accused of being a big pause button between lighting the Immortus fuse and having it explode a little closer to the penultimate episode of the series (one assumes). But they're using the pause to raise so much interesting confusion about what Immortus actually is versus what we'd been led to expect that it would be hard to call that a flaw.

It's an interesting question to ponder as to how much of Isabel/Immortus' behavior here is being driven by Isabel's wants/needs, and to what extent Immortus is just going along with things. Are they even two separate consciousnesses, or are they a full hybrid mind now? Certainly it seems clear that Isabel, prior to being pushed into the time rift by Madame Rouge, was nothing more than your standard or garden variety 'local community theater diva.' She's in all the productions, she always gets the lead, you might have seen her in Waiting for Guffman.

It's equally clear, however, that she's much more than that now, even though she's still being driven by the same fundamental desires just with a lot more ammo to back them up. So, Waiting for Guffman, but also that episode of The Twilight Zone that had Billy Mumy in it, at the same time.

It's interesting that Immortus doesn't appear to be acting out some prearranged grand master-plan. If that were the case then Isabel's social media clout-chasing wouldn't keep going awry, forcing her to 'rewind' reality and attempt a do-over. And at the same time, despite clearly being aware that she possesses enough power to destroy reality, Isabel's only goals really do seem to be 'get clicks,' and 'be famous.'

It's a fascinating and unexpected blend to find in an all powerful supervillain, and I'm here for it.

Of course, the real benefit of doing a 'let's just pause that big Earth-shattering event for a bit' episode is the opportunity it affords to really dig into some character work before the bombs start flying. That's the entire reason that episodes like Buffy's 'Weight of the World' exist. And Doom Patrol doesn't waste the opportunity. From Rita barely even trying to pretend like she wants to kill Isabel for anything other than personal reasons to Larry's so on point instinct to immediately give up and resign himself to failure, everybody gets some moments to shine in this one.

The conceit of Dorothy trying (and succeeding) to be emotionally supportive for Casey after the death of her father works in a nicely subtle way here. It opens the opportunity for the two of them to then organically open up to idea of supporting the rest of the team, beginning with Cliff and Jane, respectively. And thank God that somebody has finally managed to successfully call Cliff out on his belligerent self destructive instincts. Several have tried to make that point with him before, but it felt like his talk with Dorothy might have actually gotten through.

And speaking of moments that have been too long in the making, how wonderful was Rama with Larry here? He called him out on his self pity at every turn, but did so in the most loving and supportive way imaginable. I'm really sold on those two as a couple.

And so, after everyone gets to do a bit of self reflection, we all end up deciding to go to the parade with friends. Major bonus points for the parade float being Peanut Butter, the Farting Donkey. All of which leads us naturally back to more or less the same ending as last episode, but this time in the real world and with more emotional clarity.

More please.

Bits and Pieces:

-- I'm going to miss Deric, but it's nice that his priority was to check on his family. I hope we see him again before the end. Oh, and there's no way in hell he got an Uber there that quickly.

-- Does Isabel/Immortus realize that it's kind of pointless to threaten people not to do things and then rewind time so that they don't remember you threatening them?

-- Speaking of, what's up with Madame Rouge appearing to be able to remember the things that Immortus makes un-happen?

-- What was it Jane kept hearing throughout this episode? Is this going to be one of those things where we see the same events from a different perspective a few episodes later on and she's talking to like 'invisible Cliff from the future' or something?

-- The sight gag of Isabel refusing to give up space on the couch was wonderful.

-- Clair Delaire, the Mayor, is my current vote for spinoff series.

-- The World of Wut opening credits start with a shot of Peanut Butter the Farting Donkey.

-- If anybody got a bit short changed on character work this week it was Vic. But to be fair, he took care of most of his a couple episodes ago.

-- We got to see the bodies of Wally and Torminox, e.g. the people Casey cared about, but there was no sign of my beloved Dr. Janus. I choose to believe that that means she lived.

-- Cliff, you probably should have prioritized the whole 'escaped zombie butt' situation a little more. But you've had a pretty eventful couple days plus everybody is already pissed at you for giving Immortus the last piece they needed to rise, so I get it.


Laura: "A pile of dead corpses in a giant crater is fairly sobering."

Casey: "So, what kind of engine you workin’ with here, huh? Dutonium fire-water? Combustible neutron droplets? Purple crystals?"
Dorothy: "It runs on apples. You feed them to the mountain goat over the dashboard."
Casey: "...Huh."

Dorothy: "They’re the only family I have left. And they’re dying."

Cliff: "I’m fine. Totally not reckoning with my mortality in multiple very-real scenarios."

Vic: "Woah. When did you become all dark and vengeful?"
Laura: "Apparently it’s been a thing for quite some time."

Rita: "I think it’s important to remember that at the time I was trying very hard NOT to destroy the town."

Dorothy: "It’s not your condition that’s a burden, it’s your obstinance!"

Rama: "You only have so much time on this earth, and your friends want you to go to a parade. Why wouldn’t you go?"

Isabel: "I’m not evil. I’m famous."

Rita: "Isabel Fucking Feathers."

A fun episode that threw us a whole lot of curve balls, even if it didn't do a lot to move us forward toward wherever all this is going.

Eight and a half out of ten giant blob balloons.

Mikey Heinrich is, among other things, a freelance writer, retired firefighter, and roughly 78% water. You can find more of his work at the 42nd Vizsla. If you'd like to see his raw notes for this and other reviews, you can find them at What Was Mikey Thinking.


  1. I am also fully sold on Rama and Larry! After four seasons of misery, he really deserves some happiness.

    I wish the season hadn't been split up by so much time. I'm enjoying the aging arc but I think it would flow very differently with the momentum of an entire season behind it.

  2. I absolutely love the unexpectedness of this series. I actually keep getting surprised at how great Rama and Larry have become, despite how problematic their lives are.


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