‘Doom Patrol’ Season 3: Recap And Ending, Explained – Return of Evil Fraternities

After ending the previous season on a cliffhanger and abruptly (schedule conflict due to the pandemic), season three of “Doom Patrol” swings back into its weird, emotionally juxtaposed glory with a completed schedule comprising ten episodes, in the previous season, Dorothy – Niles Caulder, aka Chief’s daughter, used her metahuman powers of summoning imaginary friends to wreak havoc. Dorothy’s conjuration of the monstrous entity Candlemaker spells doom for the team as two of Kay Challis’ personalities get killed by the entity. Jane sought out the truth behind the Miranda-impersonator alter, to be the embodiment of Kay’s childhood trauma of her abusive father. Niles’ effort to protect Dorothy goes in vain as the entire team gets turned into statues by the Candlemaker and Dorothy prepares to confront it.


Spoilers Ahead

‘Doom Patrol’ Season 3: Recap And Ending

Dorothy engages with Candlemaker to end its threat once and for all but stops herself midway. She reasons with the entity, refuses to fight it and manages to tame it into submission. As Candlemaker becomes obedient to Dorothy’s commands, the team returns to their regular state after being thawed. They find out that Niles has died of old age.


The narrative jumps forward a week, and we get a glimpse of how the team is holding up in the Chief’s absence. Cliff’s brain starts acting up, which seems to be a sign of Parkinson’s. Dorothy doesn’t want to bury the Chief until Jane wakes up, as she seems to be in a comatose state due to fake Miranda’s uprising. Niles’ spirit visits Cliff to ask for his help in creating his body, until which his spirit may never rest. Cliff berates Niles at first for his hatred over how Niles destroyed every member’s past life by causing their respective tragedies, but he softens up when he comes to know Niles tried to mend Cliff’s relationship with his daughter, Clara. Meanwhile, in Kay’s subconscious, underground, a fake Miranda takes control and tries to force Kay’s body into killing itself. With the help of other alters, Jane manages to decimate its form in the Underground, and in the nick of time, Cliff saves her in the external world. Larry reconciles with the residing negative spirit and leaves Doom Manor as the spirit takes him to space. Another week passes, and Rita is alerted of someone’s arrival, and we see a shapeshifter woman arriving in Cloverton in a time machine in search of Niles. In the Yukon territories (where Slava resided), occult detective Kipling digs up Caulder’s severed head and remarks he still has duties to fulfill.

Long-time Doom Patrol enemy group “Brotherhood of Evil,” is introduced with two of its leaders, Brain – the disembodied brain of an evil mastermind kept inside a container laced with cybernetic enhancements centered around it, and Monsieur Mallah – an intellectually enhanced gorilla with the ability to speak and an IQ of 178. The Brotherhood is shown to contact alien warlord Garguax and his secretary, Samuelson, to kill Rita Farr covertly in a resort. The duo goes to the place and keeps vigil to get a signal from the Brotherhood, and they keep waiting through months and years for their target, even after getting to know that the Brotherhood of Evil has been defeated by Niles and his former “Doom Patrol.” In the present day, the team decides to take a vacation to take a break from Niles’ pervading memories in the Doom Manor; coincidentally, in the same resort, Garguax has been waiting for his target for 70 years. Garguax identifies the team as their target but reveals to Samuelson that he has had a change of heart through the years and no longer wishes to serve this purpose. A simpleton like Samuelson fails to understand the importance of free will, and when the Brotherhood’s signal finally reaches them after all these decades, he ends up killing Garguax and the entire team. Rita almost escapes but is halted by her lookalike and killed in the same way. Only Larry gets spared, as he has returned to Doom Manor from space. The negative spirit had taken him to its birthplace, the Negative Nebula, and parted ways with Larry.


The dead bodies of Cliff, Vic, Rita, and Jane are delivered to Doom Manor, and Larry feels truly shocked and aghast after losing his best friends. Elsewhere, the deceased team wakes up in the Underworld and plans to escape. In the Manor, Larry and Dorothy ask Danny the Ambulance for help and contact “Dead Boy Detectives,” an agency of teenage detectives comprising two ghost members, Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine, and one alive medium, Crystal Palace. In the Underworld, each Patrol member is visited by their parents in static past memory. The Dead Boy Detective trio manages to save the team by helping them escape Death’s Servant, Night Nurse. Upon their return, Dorothy leaves the team to go with the Dead Boy agency to find new adventures.

The team meets the mysterious shapeshifter woman at Doom Manor, whose name is revealed to be Laura de Mille. The team slowly turns into zombies as they are in close association with Night Nurse. Caulder’s head sacrifices itself to cure the team of this affliction. It is revealed that Larry is carrying an offspring of the negative energy, which is slowly growing in his body. The team learns from older film reels that Laura was a member of the Bureau of Normalcy and later became a founding member of the “Sisterhood of Dada.” Rita ends up in the future after using Laura’s time machine, and her now amnesiac self is chased by the Brotherhood occasionally. At Jane’s request, Kay momentarily takes the position of primary. In the past, Laura betrayed the sisterhood to the Bureau of Normalcy and got several members of the Bureau killed. Later, she also joins the Brotherhood of Evil under the name “Madame Rouge” and is tasked with delivering Niles’ technologies. However, Rita manages to track her down and thwart her plans, but the rest of the team is unable to assist her. Vic gets synthetic skin grafted on his body thanks to his father, Silas Stone, and relinquishes his powers.


The problem with Brotherhood got solved on its own as none of the team leaders were interested in pursuing such a career. Jane experiences that in the Underground, the rest of the alters are suffering due to the presence of a malevolent force after Kay’s sudden disappearance, and she gives away her position as primary to Dr. H’s alter. Larry gives birth to an infant with negative energy named Keeg, and after hesitating initially, he starts rearing it as his own child. They both merge, and Larry gains a sense of becoming whole once again. Throughout season three, the series showed Cliff trying to be a better granddad and making efforts to make amends. After being betrayed by the Brotherhood also, Laura starts reflecting on her actions regretfully and asks for Rita’s forgiveness in order to join the team. Rita motivates the team to pursue more traditional superheroic endeavors with her as the team leader.


The third season of “Doom Patrol” has achieved the most tonal and character arc development in the entire run of the series. We find members choosing not to be their usual depressed recluse selves; instead, they are actively trying to find and fit into life beyond the Manor. Rita was the MVP of the season with how much control she assumed in the narrative, and April Bowlby continues to amaze us by portraying such an under-discussed character so well. In the aftermath of Niles’ death, we find members coping in their own ways, with Jane’s psyche getting worked up to Dorothy leaving the team to distract her with adventures of the world outside. DC’s Sandman series addition, “Dead Boy Detectives,” was a fun addition, and a separate spin-off series with them has already been announced this year. “Brotherhood of Evil” is obviously the infamous Doom Patrol supervillain team that inspired the creation of Marvel’s “Brotherhood of Mutants,” and it was indeed exciting to see the leaders of the Brotherhood on screen for the first time after they were teased throughout the first two seasons. Michelle Gomez joins the team as Madam Rouge and will become a series regular in the upcoming season. The self-awareness of the series once again helps in balancing the humor and emotional quotient. The relationship between Rita and Larry and Cliff and Jane is as solid as ever, and part of the reason the series effortlessly meanders through the craziest conceivable scenarios without even trying to give an explanation (as peak comic contents should be). All in all, season three solidifies this weird brilliance of a show’s position as the best comic book/superhero content in live-action media.


See More: ‘Doom Patrol’ Season 4, Episode 1 And 2: Recap And Ending, Explained

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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