Season 3 Episode 2 “A relaxing vacation to escape the Doom Patrol’s recent loss proves to be anything but – especially when an unexpected evil lurks nearby.”
What I Liked
1. Riley Shanahan and Matthew Zuk’s names have finally been added to the opening credits. The two put in so much effort when portraying Cliff and Larry physically so it was very nice to see them get rewarded for it.
2. We get our first physical appearance of Monsieur Mallah and the Brain. The two were a delight to watch and the voice used for the Brain was a very unexpected but hilarious surprise.
3. We are introduced to Garguax (played by Stephen Murphy) and his assistant Samuelson (played by Billy Boyd). The two aliens are a very odd but fascinating pair and a welcome addition to the weird world of Doom Patrol
4. S.T.A.R. Labs have cut off their support for Vic when they discover that he let Roni go when she attempted to blow up a building full of people. It was so easy to feel bad for Vic in this scene as he has now lost Niles, Roni and pretty much all of his benefits as Cyborg.
5. Kay is much more open with Jane now that Daddy has been defeated. The character has previously been very quiet and somewhat creepy when around her, so this was a very interesting turn. The fact that Jane only agrees to go on Rita’s vacation because Kay wants her to just shows how far she’ll go to make her happy.
6. We get a somewhat ominous scene where Cliff’s daughter discovers that he might be getting Parkinson’s disease. If this turns out to be the case (and it more than likely will), then Cliff has an absolutely heartbreaking story ahead of him.
7. Larry’s trip into space ends on a confusing but nonetheless depressing note as it confirms that he will not truly find peace and happiness in the foreseeable future.
8. Rita is forced to sit in a bag for the majority of the episode due to blobbing out at the beginning. It was particularly hilarious to see her forced to have a drink with an extremely long straw.
9. The group is still conflicted over the death of Niles. Jane in particular is shown that she does not even know how to feel. When Rita and Jane agree to be happy that Niles is dead, the latter is still shown to be unsure. It is great to still see the Chief’s presence on the show despite him no longer being around.
10. Cliff and Garguax have a terrific first meeting in a sauna when the two bond over their shared hatred of Niles. Garguax is also shown to be a very charming and friendly individual despite being an alien supervillain.
11. Vic is shown to be so desperate in trying to prove that he can still be a hero and do the right thing after letting Roni go that he immediately accuses Garguax of being evil when he hears his bizarre and suspicious titles of a conqueror and planet eater. The group rightfully calls him out on this which leads to a very emotional argument where Vic upsets Cliff by revealing to everyone that his brain is starting to fail which causes Jane to defend Cliff and chew Vic out. It’s a very sad but still heartwarming scene as while the group is still at each-other’s throats like usual, they have definitely developed a bond by this point in their lives.
12. Cliff tries to prove himself by climbing up the hotel’s attraction called “the backbone” but is unable to finish the climb when his brain starts to fail again and the ladder falls over as a result. It showcases Cliff’s awful situation but still manages to do it in a very funny way.
13. After having a beautiful moment together, Rita, Jane, Cliff and Vic are murdered by Samuelson (who had killed Garguax seconds earlier). It’s a very shocking moment to end the episode.
What I Disliked
Nothing to report this week.
The part in which Kay forces Jane to dance causing Rita, Cliff and Vic to join in and dance together to “Forever Young” was a magnificent scene as Kay knew that making Jane dance was the push the team needed to finally have a happy moment after such misery. The entire scene is one of my favorite moments from the entire show and showcases that while they may hate Niles for ruining their lives, there is no denying that a true family was created because of his actions.
I would have to say that the standout character of the episode for me was Garguax. Unlike Samuelson who is very dedicated in the Brain’s evil goals, Garguax had clearly become disillusioned with the Brotherhood of Evil and wanted to move on with his life, especially after no progress had been made for over seventy years on his mission of assassinating Rita.
This was a fantastic installment of the show and might just be one of the best episodes in the entire series. Despite the fact that the group is contained in a small environment, it was so refreshing to see most of them together again after they had been split up for their own stories during the second season.