Review: ‘Doom Patrol’ Season 1 Episode 11 "Frances Patrol"

"Frances Patrol"


Director: Wayne Yip
Writer: April Fitzimmons
Starring: April Bowlby, Diane Guerrero, Joivan Wade, Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, Tom Fitzpatrick, Gary Basaraba, Kyle Clements and Bethany Anne Lind. Featuring Riley Shanahan and Matthew Zuk.
Review by Steve J. Ray
Wow. This episode waded into deep waters and really had bite. Every single week I think that the previous episode cannot be bettered, get any crazier or play with my emotions more than the one before. Every single week I'm happy to be proven wrong.

I don't think that any show I've ever watched has delivered 11 excellent episodes in a row.

Alone In A Crowd

Matt Bomer's Larry Trainor is in the spotlight this episode, having mainly been sidelined in the last two. This week's story is vitally important for him and his development. The way Bomer portrays great strength, yet still comes across as sympathetic and vulnerable is a testament to his acting ability. He seemed to finally be at peace with himself and his sexuality at the Cabaret, but in this chapter, surrounded by people who should remind him that he isn't alone, he seems more out of place than ever.
It was fantastic catching up with Larry's former lover, John Bowers, and seeing the growing relationship between Larry and Rebis, the negative energy being that lives within him.

Make It Snappy

The second story of the week focuses on Cliff and Rita, as they travel to Florida in an attempt to reconnect with Clara, Robotman's daughter. After years apart the clock is ticking on their relationship, and if Cliff doesn't fix things with her then it could really be a case of, "See you later, alligator."
Relationships are often complicated, and while this all may seem totally unfair and a real croc, Cliff finally tries to live up to his responsibilities. He may need to watch himself, though, as time waits for no man and he could really feel its bite if he's not careful. He may not age, but he's no Peter Pan. In fact, in this episode he shares a lot more in common with Captain Hook!

He's Of Two Minds About The Whole Situation... She's Of Sixty Four

Fans of Crazy Jane and Cyborg need not fear, as they aren't left out. While Cliff and Rita are away geographically, Larry is reminiscing and then making house calls, Jane and Vic go on a side-quest of their own.
After locking herself away in the confines of the Underground, Jane seems more together and lucid than ever before. After discovering the Chief's abandoned team, and learning that there was a chance of herself possibly ending up with them, Jane is more determined to find Niles Caulder than she previously had been. Let's just say that this doesn't end well for either herself or for Cyborg.
Victor's near meltdown and reset, followed by Jane's shocking painting have him doubting his sanity and humanity. He makes a discovery about himself this week that does nothing but exacerbate his fears.

Conclusion

While the pace and the crazy were taken down a couple of notches this week, I don't see this as a negative. With only four epsiodes left this season I really feel that this is the calm before the storm. We still got some great action, laughs and resolutions.
I genuinely feel that Larry and Rebis have turned a corner, so much so that a real chance at healing can begin.
Of course, this is Doom Patrol. One rickety old door may have been closed, but there are still cans out there, brimming with worms just waiting to ooze and wiggle out of them. Cliff's knee deep in a swamp of his own making, and Victor is raging against the machine.

More importantly, the Chief is still missing in action, and both the Bureau Of Normalcy and Mr. Nobody are still lurking in the shadows. Lest we forget, we keep hearing about Steve... good ol' Steve. When he's not trying to bite his own head off, that is.
This week's cliffhanger is a doozy, and I'm invested. More, please!
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