Doom Patrol “Puppet Patrol” Review
The Doom Patrol continue their search for their beloved Chief. Even Cyborg convinced his dad to let him stay. Cyborg tries to lead this group of misfits, despite being the only one who has it together. While the Doom Patrol humor was still represented in this episode, “Puppet Patrol” was a much darker and sadder episode than we have seen so far.
Cyborg decides to become the leader of the Doom Patrol and calls a briefing. His fellow heroes have no idea what a briefing is, so he just gathers the troops to discuss the next steps for finding Niles Caulder. Cyborg wants to go to Paraguay in search of answers about Eric Morden aka Mr. Nobody. Cyborg was going to rely on his Star Labs connections to use their resources, but his dad wants him to go it alone. Of course now that means the crew has to drive their strange black bus all the way to Paraguay. What could go wrong?
One aspect of this episode that was both heartbreaking and wonderful was learning more about Larry Trainor. Back in 1961, Larry was struggling with his secret relationship with his boyfriend, John. It was the night before his flight, and John was ready to leave the Air Force; he’s tired of having to tiptoe around everyone in the military. John asks Larry to leave with him, but Larry can’t think beyond the flight and gets frustrated.
We then get a glimpse of Larry’s home life with his wife. It’s clear that she at least knows that something is going on with her husband, and she more than likely knows that he’s gay. She mentions that she was hoping there wouldn’t be any more late nights with the guys. Naturally, tensions are still high when Larry takes flight and eventually crashes with his entity onboard.
Larry has begun trying to talk to the entity inside of him, but it doesn’t seem very receptive. After asking for ground rules, Larry woke up on a beam in the ceiling. Then, on their drive to Paraguay, Larry begins to yell at his entity, which is definitely the worst thing that he could do. The entity decides to ruin the bus and leave the heroes stranded nowhere near Paraguay. Larry doesn’t understand how to control his passenger, but Crazy Jane might have some insight for him. She tells Larry that she doesn’t try to control her people. She respects their right to exist, and maybe Larry should stop trying to control his passenger.
After the crash, Larry is radioactive. He has to recover in a lead lined box. His friends and family have to communicate through an intercom. When Larry’s wife comes to visit, she has some bad news; she’s not sticking around. Larry wants her to hang on, but she says she’s been doing that for far too long. She leaves Larry but lets him know that she hopes he recovers and one day finds the love that he deserves. On the other hand, John didn’t leave the Air Force and actually adds more years to his commitment. John tells Larry that he will be by his side for the entire recovery, but Larry tells him to leave. So now, in Larry’s most vulnerable state, he has no one.
After the bus breaks down, the Doom Patrol is pretty annoyed. Cliff, Jane, and Larry decide to head to Paraguay on their own, leaving Cyborg and Rita behind. Cyborg works on the bus, and Rita tries to pull herself together, quite literally. Cyborg points out that Rita is afraid to look for Niles, but Rita puts it right back on Cyborg. She points out that Cyborg could have looked for the Chief without dragging them into it, and he might as well admit that he’s just as scared as they are.
Cliff, Jane, and Larry arrive at Fuchtopia, legacy of Sturmbanhfuhrer Von Fuchs. Von Fuchs gives a puppet show to explain the many options for the procedures where you can turn yourself into a meta human. In the puppet show, they show that the Chief messed up Morten’s experiment, helping to turn him into Mr. Nobody. Of course, it doesn’t take long before Von Fuchs sends his minions after the Doom Patrol.