Season 3 Episode 9 – With Madame Rouge vying for her old spot in the Brotherhood of Evil, the Doom Patrol brace themselves for their impending visit.
What I Liked
1. The episode opens with a flashback of Rita with Madame Rouge and the Sisterhood of Dada. They once again play their weird games and have a very warm moment before the episode immediately cuts to the present day with Rita confronting Madame Rouge about her betrayal. She accuses Rouge of lying about wanting to change the world through art and only wanting power and influence. Rouge brushes off Rita’s accusations and brags that she will go back to the Brotherhood of Evil, claiming that they will welcome her with open arms.
2. Larry has a nightmare about Cliff and Jane taking his alien parasite away from him on the grounds that he is unfit to be a father given that he squandered his relationship with both of his kids. After waking up he discovers that the parasite has the same abilities that the negative spirit had.
3. After getting his surgery, Vic has an emotional talk with his father. Silas tells a story about how he always wanted to make sure that Vic never ended up in a hospital but was never able to fulfill that goal. Silas reveals that he missed Vic’s important football game because he was stopped by a racist S.T.A.R. Labs security guard. He explains that he never did anything about it because he was afraid of what might have happened if he fought back.
4. After realizing that his father does not actually support his decision to get the synthetic skin, Vic lashes out at Silas, stating that he basically became a S.T.A.R. Labs security guard and is absolutely disgusted that his father won’t even hug him after gaining the ability to look like a normal person again. Vic storms off, leaving his father in tears. Like always, Joivan Wade and Phil Morris both absolutely crush it in their performances.
5. Jane confronts Kay on what happened to all the other personalities only to find out that she does not know or care for that matter. Jane attempts to convince her that she needs them but Kay refuses to listen and claims that Jane does not know her at all. However, Kay soon sees that she is in over her head when it comes to being her own primary. At the first sign of danger she panics and runs back into the Underground.
6. Madame Rouge attempts to rejoin the Brotherhood of Evil by talking to Monsieur Mallah and the Brain who are now retired and living together in Florida. Mallah attempts to send her away but the Brain lets her in.
7. Vic comes back to see that none of the members are happy about his surgery. It is later revealed that they are all jealous that he gets a fresh start while they can never achieve a fresh start that is as noticeable as his.
8. Rita becomes increasingly frustrated that no one from the team aside from Cliff can contribute to her desire to fight Madame Rouge and the Brotherhood. Her frustrations only become worse when Cliff gets distracted by his daughter coming over.
9. Madame Rouge catches up with the Brain and convinces him to help her destroy the Doom Patrol. He only agrees when the thought of destroying the legacy of Niles Caulder is put into his mind. While the two talk, Monsieur Mallah hilariously pouts in the kitchen while making a smoothie and rudely ignores the Brain when he tries to get his attention.
10. Madame Rouge and the Brain look through a box of the latter’s creations. While the Brain pathetically gloats about his useless weapons, Madame Rouge points out that he failed to assassinate Rita after sending Garguax and Samuelson to kill her at the hotel. The Brain then counters that she hasn’t done a single thing after joining them and needs to earn their respect before she can actually be considered a true member.
11. Cliff’s daughter confronts him about the Parkinson’s medication that he found online and insists on calling a doctor for him. Even after Cliff lied to her and used her money behind her back, it is nice to see Clara give him another chance.
12. We get a beautiful scene in which Kay and Vic talk to each other in the room where Niles interviewed all of the personalities in the Underground. The two find it easy to get along with each other due to both of them feeling that people have always tried to control them and make their decisions for them. The part in which Kay asks Vic to interview her was an especially sweet moment.
13. After Cliff is kidnapped by Madame Rouge, Rita urges Jane to help the team rescue him even though she is more interested in figuring out what is going on in the Underground. Throughout the scenes in the Underground, distant screaming is heard, implying that the other personalities are trapped somewhere.
14. Cliff meets the Brain while tied up. The metal cap on Cliff’s head has been removed leaving his brain exposed. Cliff is unimpressed by the villain, who announces his plan to put his own brain in Cliff’s body to take control of it to which Madame Rouge adds that they will then kill the Doom Patrol from within. However, after explaining her intentions, Madame Rouge is immediately betrayed by the Brain who has Mallah knock her out before focusing his attention on Cliff.
15. Kay walks through the Underground and goes toward the room with the screaming sounds. Once she enters, she sees nothing but a ton of shadowy figures looming over her, scaring her enough to leave.
16. The team argues on the bus about their problems which culminates in Larry revealing to everyone that she let them die at the hotel after traveling through time.
17. Madame Rouge is wheeled away by the Brain who has now taken control of Cliff’s body. The Brain reveals that he no longer wants to rule the world and instead would prefer to live his life in Cliff’s body. He then knocks her out again and has Mallah take her somewhere else to be killed.
What I Disliked
1. Madame Rouge disguises herself as Clara’s baby to capture Cliff. After revealing herself, she has a brief fight with the team before making off with Cliff. The effects in the scene are honestly atrocious. I’m not sure if it’s because the budget went towards Monsieur Mallah or somewhere else but I honestly expected better CGI with a show like this. The effects in this show are normally amazing. This scene looked like it belonged on the CW with how cheap it looked.
The ending sees things going from bad to worse for our heroes. The Brain has taken control of Cliff’s body while Madame Rouge is thrown off a ledge by Mallah. Meanwhile, Kay reaches her breaking point and lets out a sonic scream that makes its way out of Jane who lets out the same scream on the bus. This causes the alien parasite to get startled and make the bus crash. I particularly love the Brain dancing to the song Les Champs-Elysées while everything unfolds. Riley Shanahan really needs to be commended for being able to do that crazy dance in that heavy suit.
I have to give the MVP award this week to the Brain. Going into this season I wasn’t sure how they would handle the Doom Patrol’s most famous villain from the comics but I absolutely love it. The character is still very manipulative but much more comical as well. The Woody Allen-like voice that comes out of him also just makes him even more entertaining.
Aside from the very questionable CGI, this was a terrific episode. It is a great proper introduction to the Brain and Monsieur Mallah who have always served as the most iconic villains from the Doom Patrol comics. The main characters once again deliver in terms of their development and individual stories. I have no doubt that next week will provide an insane and immensely entertaining finale.