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

The fourth season of “Doom Patrol” kicks off right from the ending of the last one, which saw some massive developments taking place since the team’s introduction. Cyborg, aka Vic, relinquished his powers and cybernetic body parts for human-like synthetic skin, which gave him a sense of becoming a “regular human” once again. After the defeat of the Brotherhood of Evil and Sisterhood of Dada at the hands of “Doom Patrol,” the villainous Madam Rouge, aka Laura de Mille, wishes to reform herself and joins the team of misfits. Jane gives control of Kay’s psyche to the psychoanalyst and alters Doctor Harrison in order to save the other personalities. Larry parts ways with the negative spirit residing inside him but gives birth to another sentient negative spirit named Keeg, whom he treats like his child. Cliff strengthened his relationship with his daughter and grandson. Dorothy bid farewell to the team and went on new adventures with the “Dead Boy Detectives.” Rita managed to convince the team to partake in superhero-ing as she assumed the role of team leader. 

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Spoilers Ahead


‘Doom Patrol’ Season 4, Episode 1: Recap And Ending

The episode begins with a brief sequence of a steampunk-armored Vic scouting Cloverton town in a post-apocalyptic future. The scene moves back to the present day as Doctor Harrison (now Jane’s substitution in Kay’s body) analyzes the psyches of team members of “Doom Patrol” as part of her record-keeping. From her psyche dissection, we get to know the role of team leader means a lot to Rita, as she finds a sense of fulfillment in this despite being neglected and disrespected by the rest of the members for it. She has also managed to lead the team on eight successful missions so far, and the fact that she keeps Vic away from direct combat means she fears losing another family member (well, that’s what this ragtag team is, after all, a dysfunctional family). Losing his powers, Vic is reduced to being the team’s IT guy, but he yearns to be more productive like earlier. Rouge is repentant for her actions in the past and bears all the insults thrown at her by Rita, as she truly wants to make amends. She also faces the sins of her past on a regular basis, in the form of searching for people she weaponized as a former member of ‘The Bureau of Normalcy.’ Larry tries to convince himself that he is content in his relationship with Keeg, which he is not. Overall, the team is submerged in extreme self-loathing in Niles’ absence.

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Doctor Harrison visits Jane in Kay’s subconscious and questions her inactive state despite Kay’s disappearance. Dr. H deduces that Kay’s disappearance during Jane’s primary status resulted in such active neglect on her part, which Jane scoffs at. Meanwhile, Vic and his dad Silas have managed to make Cliff a robotic hand that can receive tactile sensation. Overjoyed at this, Cliff manages to convince the group to travel to Florida to meet his family, as after decades of being unable to feel, he wants his first touch to be special—by holding his grandson. By the way, the group uses Rouge’s time travel machine to jump across time and space in their new heroic adventures. However, due to some hiccups in the timestream caused by Isabel Feathers’ presence, the team mistakenly arrived in 2042. The team goes to Doom Manor after seeing the dilapidated state of post-apocalyptic Cloverton, where they meet the only surviving member of the future team, Vic (the same one we were shown at the beginning of the episode). They get to know from their respective ghosts or spirits that the world has become overrun by zombified butt monsters (the ones escaped from the Bureau of Normalcy in season one and later were destroyed), and the majority of the population died a horrible death, including the rest of the team, everyone except Vic, who is present with them, and Madam Rouge, who went AWOL. After a brief distraction, the team finds that future Vic is trying to hijack their time travel machine to desert them and they subsequently overpower and leave him to die at the hands of zombie butts. In his final moments, future Vic engraves on the wall of the time machine the message that he can’t have it all.

After returning to the present, the team concentrates its efforts on changing the course of the future by changing its present actions. In her subconscious, Kay returns the role of primary to Jane, and upon waking up, Jane finds a bag full of puzzle pieces as Dr. H vanishes. Kipling, at the Templar Knights gathering, gets an ominous premonition from Bunbury that Immortus will rise.

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‘Doom Patrol’ Season 4, Episode 2: Recap And Ending

The second episode begins with a display of a viciously fatal attack on butts in the ‘Bureau of Normalcy’’s covert site ‘Ant Farm,’ where they were held captive in 2016. A renowned anthropologist and linguist named Dr. Margaret Wu are consulted by the Bureau to weaponize the butts by making them follow commands. Gradually through the years, Wu manages to unravel the butts’ potential to show empathy and human emotional exchanges and deduces them as capable of behaving in a civilized, organized way – as she displays them performing dances to songs. However, the Bureau is only interested in making killing machines out of them and dismisses the doctor. During the events of the first season, when Ant Farm is raided by “Doom Patrol,” we see Wu rescuing a butt she’s named Nicholas.

The team gets increasingly worked up in their effort to avert the crisis. Rita, with her charming enthusiasm, tries to persuade the team to change their former habits in small steps to make a larger impact, but to her dismay, the team asks for a change in leadership. During their visit to the future, Rita learned from her ghost self that she failed as a leader to protect her team, and this major decision taken by the rest of the members hurt her even worse when they chose Madam Rouge as their new leader. Given the fact Rouge’s past villainous instincts might help them to get an edge, and she was the only AWOL member in the future, the group officially elects her as the leader. However, the team has to take Rita’s suggestion to proceed with their plan to rid the world of zombie butts by killing Darren Jones, a former Bureau member who is now a zombie.

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Rita is deeply aghast at Larry’s betrayal in electing Rouge as the new leader, as we have seen so far, as Larry was her closest friend through thick and thin. Larry has his own problems to deal with, as Keeg has stopped communicating with him after coming into contact with future adult Keeg in the previous episode, and he doesn’t want to share with Larry what has spooked him so much. Jane and Vic share their plans for the future, beyond the scope of this season of disappointment, and Vic shares with her the information and shows her on videotape that earlier, when Kay was a primary student for a period of time, she wanted Jane to have a purpose of her own—beyond merely saving her. According to Vic’s tracking, the Bureau is collecting one remaining zombie butt from a bounty collector named Butt Hunter. Jane joins Vic to intercept the meeting beforehand by posing as a Bureau agent.

After engaging the rest of the members elsewhere, Rouge brings Cliff to zombie Darren Jones’ farm to kill him. En route, Cliff sees a ’74 Gran Torino, which reminds him of his past memories as a race driver and life with his mechanic father. Upon reaching Darren Jones’ farm, they see him being docile, refusing his zombie instincts, and being willing to die. Cliff finds it hard to kill a harmless person (zombie) and hesitates, and Rouge enables Darren’s zombie instincts by removing Cliff’s brain-scent-protecting helmet. As Darren attacks, Cliff has to engage in self-defense and crushes his skull using his hands. The situation turns grim as instead of a possible warm, wholesome sensation from touching his grandson, Cliff’s first memorable touch delivers a cold death blow, a sensation he is unable to shake off. Back in Doom Manor, Vic and Jane have managed to bring the only surviving butt, but as everyone leaves soon after a brief meeting, Cliff is once again tasked with killing, and he is visibly shaken. In the last scene, it is shown that Doctor Wu is living happily with the butt she rescued, Nicholas, in her home. 


Thoughts

The fourth season of “Doom Patrol” retains its trademark bizarre craziness sprinkled with enough heart, humor, and pathos. After going through quite a cathartic ride through three seasons, Rita finally had her moment to shine as a team leader, which is important for her as she has been plagued by a sense of low self-esteem throughout her life. Unfortunately, misfortune seems to follow her at every step, as her fear of failure and the team’s negligent attitude have had her stripped of the role. Cliff finally gets a chance to experience the life he knew earlier, but he, too, falls victim to his doomed fate. Jane’s quest for self-discovery will focus on Kay’s tragedy, as Vic’s effort to adjust to his new reality will make him come to terms with less superhuman and more human perspectives. Larry seems to be unable to get over his loneliness, and Rouge’s quest for redemption hints at more sinister elements being discovered. Overall, the series continues to balance the melancholy with batshit craziness up to the point where it will make viewers sympathize with vicious sentient butts, and we are definitely not complaining.


See more: ‘Doom Patrol’ Season 2: Recap And Ending, Explained – Innocence Spells Danger


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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