‘Doom Patrol’ Season 4, Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained – Who Is Space Case?

The third episode of the fourth season of “Doom Patrol” was centered around Rita’s retrospective. We saw Rita and the team getting abducted by the villainous Dr Janus and Mr. 104 as they got stuck in the reality of Rita’s filmography. Dr Janus, an emotion-feeding vampire, extracts Rita’s emotional essence, and at the end of the episode, as the team returns to Doom Manor, Rita lies unconscious. Episode four takes a break from the main narrative and focuses on Dorothy Spinner, the late former “Doom Patrol” leader Niles Caulder’s daughter. We saw her last in season three, as she left with the “Dead Boy Detectives” for new adventures. “Doom Patrol” Season 4, Episode 4 explores what Dorothy has experienced so far and what lies ahead of her.

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Spoilers Ahead


Season 4, Episode 4: Recap And Ending

The fourth episode of “Doom Patrol” Season 4 begins with a webtoon or comic book panel montage that narrates the story of a space-adventurer heroine named Space Case, whose mission is to defeat her archenemy, the villainous space monster warlord Torminox. The scene shifts to the present day, at Danny’s ambulance, where we find Dorothy narrating the story of her heroics—how she, her imaginary friend Candlemaker, and the “Dead Boy Detectives” managed to find and take Niles’ immortality talisman. Dorothy has the talisman now, which they used to conjure Niles, her father, from the afterlife, and she mentions that she told her father everything she wanted to say before his death.

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The scene moves to the Dannyzens, accompanied by Maura Lee Karupt, visiting a real-world location to redraw their art sign, “Bona to Vada,” which keeps getting vandalized by bigoted rascals. Before the drag queens return to the camp yard of Danny the ambulance, the rascals try to agitate them by imitating obscene gestures. Upon returning, Karupt sees Dorothy as being extremely detached and upset. Danny tries to cheer Dorothy up, to no avail. She doesn’t share what is bothering her, nor does she want to visit “Doom Patrol,” as advised by Karupt. In the meantime, Dorothy’s obsession with the “Space Case” comics is shown, and taking a clue from this, Karupt tries to encourage her to explore her life beyond the shelter of Danny, to be the hero of her own adventures. When Karupt seems busy with Dorothy at her trailer, outside, a bunch of mechanical bugs start attacking unsuspecting Dannyzens, rendering them unconscious.

As Karupt returns outside, she finds out every single Dannyzen has been infected with the bug, has a metal mask affixed to their heads, and, in a zombie-like trance, has started attacking them. Danny is unable to move to a secure place in this condition, as Dorothy and Kurupt find themselves trapped. Dorothy remarks that she, too, is unable to use her imaginary friends at this point. Seeing their masks, Dorothy deduces the mind-controlled assailants to be similar to the lackeys of the villain of her comics, Torminox. As their last resort, Dorothy tries to bring her favorite heroine into real life, which results in the appearance of a peppy, cheesy, pulp action protagonist, Casey Brinke, aka Space Case, who makes quick work of the mind-controlled Dannyzens. Casey rescues the duo and mentions she’ll help them restore their friends to normalcy by beating Torminox, whom she has beaten 143 times previously. After sharing pleasantries with Dorothy and Kurupt, Casey feels the sensation of hunger for the first time in her life. Dorothy and Karupt deduce the reason to be Casey’s journey from the fictional to the real world, and they notice that Casey is unaware of the fact. Initially unwilling to divulge the truth, after Casey’s repeated innocent pleadings, they share the news with her, but Casey is understandably confused. Suddenly a mind-controlled Dannyzen, or as Casey calls them according to the comics connotation, Vectra attacks them, and after beating him, Casey starts charging up her bolts to fire at him. Dorothy and Karupt stop her at once as, under the influence of Vectra, The Dannyzen, who is their friend, is still alive, and they mention to Casey that, unlike the fictional world, in real life, death is permanent.

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They show Casey the comic book she materialized from, and Dorothy tells her all the life details she has known by reading her stories. Dorothy’s description of Casey’s father, Frank Brinke, being deformed after an accident and getting turned into Torminox, her mother sacrificing her life and Casey inheriting her mother’s powers, and Casey losing her right leg in her lifelong battle against her father, matches accurately with Casey’s lifelong “fictional” experience. Shaken, confused, and deeply hurt over this revelation, Casey asks where she got these books and learns they are by Flex Mentallo. Before their conversation continues, Torminox attacks in the real world and the trio exits Danny’s camp yard to face him. Torminox demands Niles’ immortality talisman from them and attacks using his Vectra. Casey freezes and is reluctant to attack Torminox. Dorothy summons Candlemaker, but both he and Danny are turned into mechanical cubes. The trio barely escapes and regroups nearby.

Dorothy, shocked at Casey’s inactivity during their battle, asks her the reason. An agonized Casey reveals she fears that if Torminox loses and dies, she will lose her father forever; as she has learned from Dorothy, in the real world, death is permanent. Karupt contemplates whether any alternate way of solving the problem exists. Suddenly they locate and confront a teen who they thought was vandalizing their pride mural, but it turns out he was actually trying to conceal the obscene graffiti that was ruining it. Karupt hits upon a plan, and using that boy’s spray can, they draw a childhood memory of Casey with her father, Frank, back when he was still human. Confronting Torminox for the second time, they show him evocative art—something that might change the villain. However, the plan fails, and Torminox holds Casey hostage. This brings out the frustration and anger of Dorothy to the surface as she confesses that the necklace was brought by Dead Boy Detectives solely; she or Candlemaker weren’t involved. She has not been able to. In fact, she has not talked with any of her imaginary friends for months because they remind her too much of her father, and for the same reason, she has not visited the “Doom Patrol.” She laments that her father kept her a child all her life when he was alive, and now that she is growing and dealing with all the emotions, she has no control over, Niles is absent, and she hates him for it. Dorothy berates Torminox for not being the father Casey needs and hands him the talisman. Torminox returns Casey, Candlemaker, and Danny and leaves.

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In the closing sequences, we see Dannyzens unite again as Karupt suggests they explore their life in the outside world, where there might be troubles, but her recent experiences have taught her that they’ll also meet allies. Danny agrees with her, as all the Dannyzens join Karupt in a song. In Dorothy’s trailer, Casey contemplates meeting the writer of their story one day to rewrite their lives. Dorothy finally wishes to make an effort to move on. The next day, Dorothy and Casey take their leave, as Danny gifts them a car, and they set their destination for Cloverton. Karupt watches happily as Danny opens a portal, through which the duo enters. In the final scene, we see Dr Janus handing over the emotional essence collection vial to a person who is drafting the Space Case comics. Torminox gives him the talisman of immortality and asks whether the rise of Immortus will let him be with his daughter in his human form. The unseen person assures them that with Immortus’ rise, they will achieve everything they ever dreamed of. The final shot is of a sketch by the unseen writer/artist, the same sketch that Karupt drew on the wall earlier.


Thoughts

Episode four of “Doom Patrol” Season 4 once again showcases the trademark traits of the series, strong with emotionally wrecking moments at the focal point. Dorothy’s troubled mental state after Niles’ death had worsened, as in her extreme depression, she had locked herself away in pain, and her loneliness increased her agony even more. It is only after the honest emotional outburst during her confrontation with Torminox that she feels relieved and feels the need to visit her old friends, the “Doom Patrol.” Given Rita’s condition, they, too, could use some company. Abi Monterey returns to Dorothy’s role after a break and nails the character with her usual perfection. Casey Brinke, aka Space Case, played by Madeline Zima, is another significant addition to the series’ brilliant roster. Her poignant performance moves from initially a vacant smile and tired demeanor of a superhero to have recently come out of fiction to a confused pathos after knowing the truth and feeling vulnerable, to hoping for a better future. Her involvement as a character adds to Doom Patrol’s metanarrative and raises the question of destiny and free will for the audience too. The character has been taken from writer Gerard Way and artist Nick Derrington’s run of “Doom Patrol.” In comics, she was created by Danny the Ambulance. “Doom Patrol” Season 4, Episode 4 also had some good CGI work despite its minimal budget. Any episode of “Doom Patrol” with Danny and Dannyzens always includes sincerely emotional moments, and this one was no exception. Danny embodies the spirit of the series, which is a safe haven for minorities and the marginalized. This genderqueer sentient street is one of the best characters of the series, and the way she uplifts the LGBTQIA narrative in a positive way by rising against hate goes to show the creativity and care on the part of the makers. Karupt, played by Alan Mingo Jr., is another awesome character we love to see, and her performance is once again strong enough to demand a spin-off series of Danny Zens led by her.


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


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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