'Doom Patrol', T2: sharper drama, more extreme characters and classic villains for a very promising start
The first season of 'Doom Patrol' ended, after reaching the unusual number of 15 episodes, betraying some problems derived from its lack of measure. The tip of the iceberg were somewhat repetitive conflicts (how many flashbacks from Rita or Larry's past did we see that, at one point, they did not bring anything new?) And some characters less interesting than others (he took the Cyborg palm, which in comics never He has been openly included as part of the group and is chaining versions outside of them at full speed -'Justice League ', this and' Teen Titans Go! 'coexist in time-). 'Doom Patrol' was a very promising series, but it had to analyze its strengths and problems, enhance some and solve others for the second season.
It is early to determine if this new installment has fitted the pieces of the puzzle well (there are three episodes already available on HBO, which will be released weekly thereafter), but what is clear is that the DC Universe production is very clear what makes it special, even if some weaknesses continue to persist. For example, Cyborg remains the least charismatic character in the pack, though the start of a special-guessing relationship with a traumatized ex-military man promises to be juicier (and dramatic) than his parental traumas from the previous round of episodes.
In this second season, the Patrol has discovered that Niles (Timothy Dalton) did not reunite them out of altruism, but for their own benefit and to protect their own daughter, an ape-faced girl whose origins we also already knew and whose powers have not yet been revealed. have fully calibrated. With the team unstructured, but most of them with nowhere to go, they have before them a good amount of trauma of their own to face, grudges to overcome and new enemies to tan their backs.
In fact, that was one of the main problems of the first season: very diffuse enemies. Mr. Nobody was present from the first moment, but his presence as an intelligence in the shadow that kept Niles held blurred him a bit. Luckily, there were his two minions, a rat and a cockroach that ended up coming up in a particularly joyous way, lifting like a sewer kaiju the somewhat faded final stretch of the first season. The government agency that imprisoned strange phenomena drew tenuous lines between characters such as Larry, Niles, Danny la Calle and Flex Mentallo, but it was also - as it could not be otherwise - too much in the shade.
Here, however, the first three episodes are more focused in that regard. There is a revelation (Niles is a manipulator), a purpose (related to a recently lost immortality) and a couple of enemies that come out, in true 'Doom Patrol' style, out of nowhere. We will not reveal much about them, but one was created in 1964 and the other by Grant Morrison at the head of his legendary stage in the 1980s series, and to whom this production owes everything on an iconographic and tone level.
Both cases (in principle), acquire the character of monster of the week, but especially with regard to the second, it may be a nemesis too important to be dispatched so quickly. If we will see that second villain become something else (it could be, with butterflies as a recurring element in the promotion of the series) it is a question that will have to wait to see answered, but of course the character has power to put the 'Doom Patrol' in serious trouble.
Best and most interesting dramatic notes
With the characters already introduced, the second season can also afford to set aside the origin stories and delve into more original and interesting conflicts, confronting them with a couple of constants that seem to mark this season: immortality as a curse and the need to reconcile with themselves. In this way, we continue to delve into the multiple nature of Crazy Jane, but in the form of conversations of Jane with her other selves, and delving into some of those that are still immersed in the mystery.
Also Cliff's relationship with his daughter seems to have reached a standstill, and he has become an intractable and angry character, almost a villain within the Doom Patrol ranks (in fact, his imbalance makes the credibility of the series such as the portrait of a team united despite everything hangs on a fine thread; hopefully it will last). And he is responsible for the series becoming the series with the most profanity per second on current television, which puts the writers in the trance of needing to overcome the number of verbal profanities with almost every line of dialogue, a challenge that at the moment they are surpassing with note.
In between, some character who promises both good and bad times (it will be necessary to see if Niles' daughter is a vehicle for the easy drama of parental feelings built with second-hand ideas, such as those that weighed down Cyborg in season 1) and others (again Larry and Rita, who are developing a fairly powerful and emotional relationship) who are still at the starting line. We will have to see how they evolve.
'Doom Patrol' has become, based on extravagance, smart scripts and performances that are out of the norm, in one of the best superhero series of the moment, along with 'The Boys' (with which he has abundant points in common ), 'Teen Titans Go!' or 'Legends of Tomorrow'. His problems are in sight, as well as his very obvious virtues: hopefully this second season will be that of the encounter with a definitive tone, one that will send its undisputed potential to the stratosphere.