Doom Patrol: Finger Patrol

Vic gets an upgrade?

Things are never particularly normal for the Doom Patrol. That should go without saying by this point. But events are getting weirder and potentially more dangerous as the second season hits roughly halfway (they lost an episode due to the coronavirus shut down, as did so many shows). There’s a painful family duty, an interesting reunion with a reveal about someone’s past, a fantasy sequence of a tv show (no, really), a play date, and all sorts of interesting ways that all of that goes to hell. The title even gets grotesquely illustrated in “Finger Patrol.” Personally, I think they’re reaching a bit with some of these episode titles.

The show starts with what seems like Cyborg getting to see someone from his recent past, but things quickly go both wrong and crazy, even for this show. He wakes up being at an odd angle as Cliff, never really all that considerate, has lifted up the couch Cyborg is napping on to look for a recently acquired but still prized possession. Things get a bit weirder as a holdover from last episode’s insanity shows up, but Cliff takes it in his mechanical stride. Elsewhere in Doom Manor, the Chief is talking to Jane about some of what she’s been through. Jane is taking the internal problems she’s having seriously, and shares them, in her own vitriolic way, with the Chief, who makes a suggestion or two. Somewhere in here a shift gets triggered, and Baby Doll pops up, making her own beginnings at reconciling with the Chief. This leads to the Chief introducing Baby Doll to Dorothy for a sort of play date. It at least starts off well.

Rita is trying to both get some of her life back under her own control and rebel against some of what her mother did to her. Her attempt doesn’t go well, as she gets some flashbacks in the middle of things that distract her, and there’s a comedic end to her personal tragedy. Continuing his search for his lost item, Cliff goes through the Chief’s lab and ends up finding some interesting sketches. They talk about possible plans for the future and some required patience. Cliff raises some legitimate concerns about a mentioned time frame for some events. Larry talks with Rita about some personal business, and ends up inviting her along on a trip that is going to be painful.

Baby Doll and Dorothy continue their play date, plaguing Cliff a bit in passing. Cyborg and Cliff compare notes on the kids running around, and we see a funny little side effect of what’s going on. The two kids (for lack of a better term) go outside to play, and a few cracks appear in the best friends routine. Cliff interrupts some cyberstalking to talk with Victor about their respective experiences and sensations. Cliff talks about some future plans and lost memories. Once again returning to Greensboro, Indiana, Larry helps his son Paul clear out Gary’s house. It’s an awkward family meeting/reunion, while Rita looks on and tries to be helpful.

In the Underground, Jane argues with Hammerhead about Baby Doll being out in the world. Jane makes some good points, but Hammerhead has some decent rebuttals. True to Hammerhead’s worries, Baby Doll runs into some problems she’s not equipped to handle. The Chief does his best to help her through it. Cliff and Victor have gone to Detroit to pitch an idea to a familiar face. Cliff makes some good points, but the one they went to talk to isn’t really in the mood to listen and has some interesting points to make. Larry talks with his great-grandson about his condition as they sort through some belongings. Then Paul tells Larry several surprising things about the family past. Trying to process this, Larry talks with Rita, who continues to show she’s a good friend.

Trying to plan out their next move, Cliff and Victor sit in Victor’s car and talk about some things from Victor’s more recent past. Cliff leaps to some mistaken conclusions, Victor sets him straight, and they talk about one of Victor’s current problems. Cliff has some actual useful advice, drawing on his own not exactly squeaky-clean past. Victor gives it a shot, and Cliff proves to be right. The Chief and Jane work on a meal together, Dorothy drops by, and we get a hint of some trouble that will be coming. Left on his own, Cliff has a really strange daydream which gives a really long and pretty well-done sequence. It may have been the most entertaining bit in the show. Coming back to reality, Cliff tries to act on his dreams, and it goes horribly badly, as well as explaining the title of the episode.

Rita has a chat with Dex, the youngest in Paul’s immediate family, which is more rambling monologue than an actual conversation. Then she gets some good news which I’m sure will make things immensely complicated in the near future. Victor finally gets some time to catch up with Roni Evers, and we hear more about her past, which ties her more closely to Ron Evers, the DC Comics character she’s sort of based on. Out at the Trainor family, the feel-good vibes have come to an end. Paul has been carrying a grudge, and has decided to act on it. Things go badly, and then tragically, and Rita and Larry end up fleeing.

Things keep going downhill as the episode nears the end. Baby Doll and Dorothy meet up again, but little girls aren’t the best at managing their emotions, especially when they feel wronged. Somehow or other, the Chief thought it was a good idea to let them run around unsupervised, and this goes really, really badly. They have a fight, mixing the way out of proportion emotions of mad little kids and superpowers. It’s ugly, and looks like it will have lasting repercussions.

What I liked: Cliff’s weird little daydream was pretty damn entertaining. I’m glad Victor got to see Roni again. Things with Baby Doll and Dorothy started off well, at least. It was good that Victor tried to help Cliff out. Larry got some nice moments with his family before things went south.

What I didn’t: The end fight was ugly. Why in the world would Chief leave those two alone? He should be smarter than that.

This was one of their better episodes. They did a lot of good stuff here, for both plot and emotional impact. I’m going to give this one a low 4 out of 5. Things should get interesting in the aftermath.

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