Season 4 Episode 3 – Larry and Jane seek new purpose in Keeg and Kay’s absence. Vic attempts to reconnect with his old crew. A mysterious invitation to a retrospective comes at the perfect time for a newly ousted Rita.
Please note, our reviews are based on likes and dislikes. These contain significant spoilers. If you haven’t already watched the episode, we recommend that you click off the article and come back once you have watched the episode. Enjoy!
What I Liked
1. After she wallows in self-pity by watching her old movies, we see Rita find a flyer of Cloverton’s art house hosting a retrospective of her film career.
2. While Jane tries to figure out the puzzle that Kay left her, she is suddenly given an orgasm by Shelley Byron/The Fog, one of the members of the Sisterhood of Dada. I was not expecting the show to set up a romance story for Jane, but I’m open to it.
3. Vic reconnects with his old friends in high school before he became Cyborg. It is a touching but also sad reunion as his friends are both very warm to him and happy to reconnect but they are also somewhat frosty towards him at certain points due to him leaving after he became a superhero. It culminates in his best friend explaining his resentment towards Vic for leaving and never contacting them until now. Vic defends himself by stating he needed to figure himself out and it should still matter that he came back at all. It’s easy to see where both sides are coming from in this situation. Thankfully, Vic ends the reunion with his friends on good terms as they are still able to connect in the end. His best friend even gives him the model robot that they built in high school.
4. Larry continues to have issues with Keeg, who is still hiding from him for an unexplained reason. He eventually loses his patience with the Negative Spirit child and claims that he’s going to ignore him from now on, with him even saying to Rouge that he should have “burned the little brat when he had the chance.”
5. Madame Rouge attempts to reach out to Larry. She tries to get him to cheer up and look at the positives of his situation. Larry doesn’t accept her olive branch and instead advises her to try to make amends with Rita instead.
6. Rita attends her film retrospective with glee (while eating no less than ten giant buckets of popcorn). Despite her being the literal only one in the theater, it is so heartwarming to see Rita so happy while she watches her films. As it obviously turned out however, the retrospective was a trap and a mysterious green gas knocks Rita out and transports her into one of her movies.
7. Despite knowing that something is obviously wrong, Rita decides to play along with the situation (as this was the happiest time of her life) and enjoys herself while doing so. The other actor gives her a necklace with a jewel that starts to become purple as she becomes more emotional.
8. Rouge gathers the team to go and support Rita at her retrospective. Larry is at first reluctant to do so but is pressured by the others to go. It’s very nice to see not only Rouge but Jane and Cliff so supportive of Rita.
9. Despite not wanting to go earlier, Larry quickly explains the movie to the others and knows each scene and line within the film. It just shows how strong his friendship is with Rita and how supportive they are of each other.
10. While watching the movie, the team soon finds out that something is wrong when they see Rita start to pick holes about her movie while she’s in it. The other actor then panics and begs her to finish the scene, revealing himself to be a prisoner of Dr. Janus, a meta-human who can alter reality and the one responsible for trapping her. It is quite a disturbing scene as the actor reveals that he hasn’t seen his family in years and is soon killed for breaking character.
11. The other members are soon knocked out by the green gas from earlier and transported into Rita’s films, except for Rouge who quickly flees.
12. After escaping from the gas, Rouge drowns her sorrows and laments on how she ruined Rita’s life and continues to be a monster whether she even attempts to be one or not. It’s quite sad to see her in this state and really makes you feel sorry for her. As per usual, Michelle Gomez once again just proves to be an outstanding actress in the scene.
13. Larry finds himself in one of Rita’s romance movies, where he meets Mr. 104 (played by Sendhil Ramamurthy). The man has a mysterious presence but also gives off a very sketchy vibe. Claiming to be a prisoner of Dr. Janus, he Larry pair up to find the others.
14. Jane and Cliff end up in one of Rita’s horror movies where Cliff humorously reveals that he has never actually seen any of Rita’s movies due to him always choosing to watch Top Gun instead (a decision that Jane fully supports and briefly bonds with him over).
15. The climax of the episode has our group reunite in one of Rita’s sci-fi pictures (and one that was her first ever box office failure according to Larry). Larry, Jane and Cliff are captured by Dr. Janus and Mr. 104, who reveals himself to be an ally of the latter. The three are locked in a cage over a pit of fire with a rickety bride being the only way to the other side. Rita is forced to save them and does so without hesitation. While walking on the rickety bridge, Rita admits that the team is the only family she will ever know and as such she will always choose to save them no matter what. This makes the necklace turn completely purple and allows Dr. Janus to take it while leaving the group to their fate.
16. Before leaving, Dr. Janus states “Immortus will rise.” They really seem to be building up this new threat and I am 100% here for it. It allows our possible new big bad to seem more like a presence who our group should dread.
17. Keeg enters the reality to save the group and attacks Mr. 104, who was holding up the bridge to save Rita when it broke. It’s very interesting to see this happen as this makes him seem more like a character who is rather morally ambiguous as opposed to being outright antagonistic. I do hope that this isn’t his only appearance and that we will see him again.
18. Jane, Cliff and Larry wake up, only to see that Rita is still unconscious, leaving the episode on a tense cliffhanger.
What I Disliked
Nothing to report this week.
While they are trapped in one of Rita’s horror movie and hiding from a creepy kid, Jane and Cliff talk about the orgasm that she had (this sounds way less weird when it’s shown in context and not in written form). Jane is unsure how to feel as she quite enjoyed it but is worried about Kay and what it means for her. Cliff however encourages her to be happy with the fact that she enjoyed it and states that it is perfectly okay to want to focus on herself some of the time. With Jane struggling to find her own purpose outside of protecting Kay, it is very nice to see her want to focus on herself without seeming selfish. It is also always so sweet to see Cliff have her back. The two have come such a long way since the beginning of the series and have definitely become close friends at this point.
The MVP award this week has to go to Rita. After callously being dropped as team leader in favor of Rouge, it is very understandable for Rita to be angry with the group. However, she proves to be quite possibly the bravest one of them by risking her life to save them even though it might have meant certain death. Her speech while walking on the rickety bridge said it all. She may get angry with them, but they are her family and when push comes to shove, she would do anything for them.
This was the best episode of the season yet. I always enjoy the concept of characters going into a movie or tv show and having to interact with the fictional characters within that world. It is obviously not the first time that this concept has been done but it’s still always so much fun to see it explored. Rita has already been the first member of the team besides Vic to play the role of the confident hero but it was very exciting to see her confidence and connection with the group be put to the test here. With him being a more recognizable Doom Patrol villain from the comics, it was great to see Mr. 104 and it will be very interesting to see what role he will play in the season and how he relates to the threat of “Immortus.”