Not even the preservation of all life in the universe was enough to brighten the Doom Patrol’s spirits. They might not feel good on the inside, but the team continued to display their unique heroic prowess in their battle with the Decreator. The exit of the sky eyes didn’t signal the end of the tenuous alliance between the Doomers and Mr. Nobody, however. He had one more task for them: find the Doom Patrol. Unfortunately, they were successful, offering them a glimpse at their possible fate in the process. Escaping the past might be the only shot the team has at not repeating it.
The DP OG’s
Jane, clearly still upset at Cliff, sequesters herself in her room to pour over tapes of her past sessions with Chief. His mention of the Doom Patrol during a conversation with Baby Doll catches her attention. She tells the team of Mr. Nobody’s request to find this mystery team. The mention of the team perks up Rita. The Doom Patrol was a team of heroes active in the ‘50s that dropped of the face of the earth. Rita reveals that she had a romantic relationship with their leader Steve “Mento” Dayton that left her scarred. Larry and Rita don’t like the idea of fulfilling a request from Mr. Nobody, but Jane isn’t having any of it. Flit teleports Larry, Rita and herself to a school for meta-humans staffed by the former Doom Patrol. The school’s administrator, Joshua Clay, recognizes Jane but doesn’t know about Chief’s disappearance.
After a short tour, including passing by Jane’s room at the school, Joshua details the school’s history. It was established by Chief after the Doom Patrol retired, keeping them on as teachers to train the next generation of crime fighters. The mention of Mr. Nobody harshens the mood. Larry follows Arani “Celsius” Caulder while Jane stays with Joshua. Outside, Rita is reunited with Steve. The two have a spicy back and forth before retiring to Steve’s trophy room for a martini. Back in Joshua’s office, he tells Jane that they need to leave, but she isn’t leaving without answers.
The reason why Rita and Steve’s romance failed comes to light as more of Rita’s past is detailed. Rising within the Hollywood studio system of the ‘50s as a woman meant dealing with producers that were privy to sexual assault. Rita is no exception, though her unstable cell structure allows her body to fight back even when her mind doesn’t. She accidentally kills a producer via blob, leading her to Chief in an attempt to gain control of her new body. Chief links her up with Steve, who uses his psychic abilities to help her find her psychological footing.
Their chemistry can’t be ignored and the two end up getting physical, though Rita does worry that her body will betray her if Steve doesn’t wear his helmet. Things go south when Steve reads Rita’s mind without her consent, breaking a promise made when they first met. The darkness within her, specifically the image of a woman named Mary Beth committing suicide, leads Steve to end their relationship.
Left behind at Doom Manor, Vic and Cliff deal with their own technological issues. Vic remains in safety mode due to Cliff triggering his emergency protocol while Cliff asks him for aid accessing Clara’s Facehole account. Their struggle is interrupted when Silas arrives to reboot Vic. He must put his son in sleep mode to do so, a fact that doesn’t sit well with Vic. He offers to help Cliff with his social media deficiency if he watches over him while he reboots. With Vic exploring his own BIOS, Silas works to remove one of his son’s fingers that was embedded in Cliff’s arm during the explosion. Silas actually consulted with Chief on the construction of Cliff’s robot body.
The conversation shifts to Vic’s accident with Cliff giving a concerned Silas the details. Cliff sees Vic’s actions as noble and worthy of Silas’ admiration. Silas strikes a nerve by questioning Cliff’s emotional knowledge of almost losing a child. Cliff storms off at the comment, leaving Silas to contemplate his approach to his child. Vic awakens to find his father relinquishing control, setting Vic in actual privacy mode and empowering him to be his own man. Vic’s first act of independence is to swipe his father’s data drive as they embrace. He keeps his promise and sets Cliff up with a Facehole account so he can view Clara’s profile. What starts off heartwarming turns frustrating when Cliff notices that his former crew chief, Bump, stepped in to raise Clara as her new father. The sight drives him to destroy his laptop in anger.
It wouldn’t be an episode of Doom Patrol without something not being as it appears. This go-around its Chief’s school. The cracks begin to form when the retired heroes recount how they defeated Mr. Nobody during their final mission. A butt balloon, insanity inducing jukebox and police-turned-pinatas tale unravels when Arani details how the Chief, a man without superpowers, ultimately struck down Mr. Nobody. Larry further questions this conclusion when Arani reveals that she’s married to Chief and he enters the room. He quickly uncovers that the figure isn’t real as Rita breaks the news of Mr. Nobody’s return to Steve. Bad Move.
The illusion comes crashing down, showing the school as the dilapidated, empty building that it is. There are no students. Only old, broken souls driven mad by their encounter with Mr. Nobody. Steve transitions from keeping up the facade to plaguing the team with images from their past. Mary Beth begs for forgiveness as she commits suicide in front of Rita. Larry is confronted by a shady government agent bent on harnessing his unwanted roommate. Joshua is reminded of his true talents by a menacing Chief. Jane is pinned to her padlock-riddled door by a flood of jigsaw puzzle pieces, a voice beckoning her to “join me” as an arm rises out of the pile. The energy being ends the illusion by removing Steve’s helmet.
Joshua reveals that he is a meta in the wake of the incident, but chooses not to use his powers. He’d rather take on a caretaker role for a catatonic Rhea, obsessively mournful Arani and haunted Steve. Rita forgives Steve, pointing out her own need to move past what haunts her. She replaces Steve’s helmet, restarting the illusion. The experience leaves Jane questioning if Chief sent her to the “school” because he gave up on her just as he did with the Doom Patrol.
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