‘Doom Patrol’ Season 4, Episode 3: Recap And Ending, Explained – What Danger Lies In Rita’s Retrospect?

In the first two episodes of the fourth season of “Doom Patrol,” we found our beloved team of dysfunctional outcasts traveling to a future timeline of 2042, where they are faced with the grim reality of their deaths due to a global ‘Buttpocalypse,” as Cliff calls it. The team tried to avert the future by changing the course of events in the present timeline and chose Madam Rouge as their new leader by replacing Rita, which created a rift in the team. Cliff regained his tactile sensation with the help of Vic and his father, Silas, and wished his first touch after decades would be worth remembering. But instead of being able to touch his grandson, which could have given Cliff his long-awaited wholesome moment, Cliff had to kill a reluctant zombie named Darren Jones, the cold sensation of death being his first touch—once again, thanks to Rouge. Larry tries his best to console Keeg after the trip to the future spooked him out, and Vic ponders his life beyond the role of Cyborg.

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Spoilers Ahead


‘Doom Patrol’ Season 4, Episode 3: Recap And Ending

The episode begins with a mopey Rita, watching 50s movies in which she was supposed to star and gorging on turkey all by herself in her depressed state. She couldn’t take the group ousting her from the role of leader, and the ever-present feeling of rejection and failure got to her. As she sulks over her misery, Doom Manor’s doorbell is rung by an unseen visitor, and Rita finds a flyer from Cloverton Arthouse, which is hosting a private screening of Rita’s classic movies. Elated, Rita goes to visit the screening event.

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Jane is confused over her conversation with Kay, who asked her to find a purpose of her own. When listening to Spanish metal fails to calm her frustration and anxiety, Jane searches for clues in the puzzle pieces that Kay gave her. All of a sudden, she finds a piece with Fog, aka Shelley Byron’s (member of the Sisterhood of Dada introduced in season three), eye peeping through. Before she can realize what is happening, the Fog engulfs her and gives her an orgasm. (Flex Mentallo from season one is remembered.)

In his quest for self-discovery, Vic returns to Detroit to meet his childhood friends. Vic met his friends for the first time after his tragic accident and life as Cyborg started and ended (?); therefore, understandably, a change has taken place in their bond, which is apparent when his friends are not at ease while conversing. Vic’s Cyborg career gets more attention during the conversation among friends, and his life before the tragedy somehow keeps getting ignored. However, the friends are reminiscing about the better times during their college years when they won an award in robotics and bonded over the memories. 

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Rita arrives at the arthouse to find it all empty and starts watching the movie marathon alone when a green mist teleports her into the 1950s movie she is watching. Back at Doom Manor, Rouge finds Larry busy asking a disobedient Keeg to reunite with him. Rouge advises him to consider the possibility of Keeg not returning to him at all and to start afresh by leaving the past burdens behind, just like she did with her career as a villain. Larry retorts by saying that Rouge is trying to compensate by doing emotional check-ins after being elected as team leader, and she should try to make amends with whom she hurt most—Rita (from last season).

During his conversation with friends, Vic notices that the distance that was created among them after he became a cyborg has only widened. His friends have stayed closer to the ground, whereas Vic has had his reasons to keep himself far from familiar eyes and has come to reconcile only after getting his cybernetic enhancements replaced with synthetic skin. In the eatery, a laser tag competition is ongoing, and to rekindle the memories of the good old days, Vic urges his friends to join in the amusement. During the game, Vic and his former best friend Derek have a quarrel regarding Vic’s abandonment of his friends. Derek said they felt aghast at Vic’s efforts to distance himself when they genuinely tried to reach out as friends. Vic stresses the fact that he did not have a choice and is now trying to make up for the lost time more than ever. Derek reminds him that, unlike Vic’s mighty superhuman stature, his friends are only flesh and blood, dealing with daily, non-super struggles. Their argument ends when they lose the game.

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Meanwhile, in Doom Manor, Jane tries to share her experience with Cliff by reminding him of the collective orgasm scenario that happened long ago, thanks to Flex Mentallo. Cliff doesn’t want to hear about it, as it is the one feeling he misses the most since his “robotization,” and mentioning that incident is a painful reminder to him of his current state. A meeting is called by Rogue, who wants to provide a better structure for the team’s dynamics. The first part of her planned team activity is going to be joining Rita in her private screening and supporting her. The team arrives at the theater only to find Rita’s buckets of popcorn lying in the seats. As they start watching the movie, Larry, who has watched all of Rita’s movies, suspects foul play when he recognizes different dialogues in a known sequence. Rouge realizes Rita is stuck in her own movie, but before they decide to do something about it, the team is pulled inside the screen by the green mist, and Rouge escapes by transforming into a bird.

Larry gets stuck inside the movie Rita was starring in and met a mysterious stranger who seems to have some knowledge regarding Larry’s lonely existence. Larry agrees to follow him after he is convinced of his exit plan. Rita gets stuck in another of her gothic horror movies, and Jane and Cliff get stuck in the same world but don’t get to meet Rita. After Cliff apologizes for his earlier disgruntled behavior, Jane shares the experience and says the fog-induced orgasm felt different from Flex’s. Cliff says it’s probably something that Kay wanted Jane to have—her own tastes and expressions outside the constant concerns regarding Kay. The duo finally reunites with Larry and the unnamed stranger on a Star Trek look-alike set.

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Madam Rouge scans the flyer to see the name of Doctor Janus and searches around Niles’ files to come across the perp’s name. She gets to know that Dr. Janus is a vampire feeding on human emotions who ensnares people in different realities. Caulder’s files have the ‘ways to combat threat’ section blackened out; hence Rouge feels at a loss. A depressed Rouge in her drunken delirium tick marks the checklist of agony she thinks she has caused to the group – right from killing Rita’s beloved to causing Cliff to have a traumatic experience of the first touch. She ponders whether she is truly redeemable as all her efforts to do good keep getting spoiled. Rouge decides to return the role of leadership to Rita after or if the team ever returns. Unknown to her, Keeg swoops down and glosses over Rouge’s documents, which she used to plan Doom Patrol’s recovery. Vic bids farewell to his friends, and Derek gives him the robot they built together as a token of remembrance.

In the science fiction series, the team is trapped by the mysterious Strange, who introduces himself as Mr. 104. He reveals Doctor Janus, who was collecting Rita’s emotional quotient as she passed through her different movies, and she threatens to kill the entire team if Rita doesn’t hand her the emotions. After a heartfelt acknowledgment on Rita’s part, the emotional quotient is filled, and Janus takes it. Before departing, she announces that Immortus will rise. The team is rescued by Keeg, who enters inside Mr 104, and the rest of the group return to the theatre. The episode ends with Cliff rushing inside Doom Manor carrying Rita, who seems to be in a comatose state.

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Thoughts

“Doom Patrol” continues to prove its merit in portraying complex character studies. The slightly fractured state of the group after Niles’ death continues to affect Larry, who seeks companionship but feels rejected even by his sentient energy offspring. Michelle Gomez proves her caliber with Madam Rouge time and again, as she conflicted portrayal is as melancholy as it is eccentric. Vic’s quest for self-discovery puts him in a strange conundrum, as he finds that even before being the Cyborg, his self-doubts have made him a damaged individual. Jane’s journey to find a purpose highlights this season’s overall motif, which seems to be finding happiness for oneself. Even after going through many tribulations through all three seasons, Rita can’t catch a break and, once again, after some self-realization and confession, is found in a catatonic state at the end of the episode. The team will surely be tested with its heart, Elasti Woman, in jeopardy.


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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