Director – Dermott Downs
Writer – Tom Farrell
A non-binary, sentient street named Danny. A karaoke extravaganza in a drag club. A twisted set up for a wedding. Just some of the elements in the 8th episode of the increasingly bizarre, but ever so brilliant Doom Patrol. In a show that truly revels in its offbeat nature, this weeks upped the ante and then some.
Mining the treasure trove that is the Grant Morrison run from 89/90, the show introduced its most unusual character to date, Danny the Street. Lifted from those iconic comic book pages, this fully sentient, non-binary street (yes, you read that right), is a living breathing character with feelings and an overriding sense of optimism, a rare commodity in Doom Patrol. Introduced this week as an old acquaintance of Niles Caulder, Danny reaches out to The Chief for help, but receives a visit from Cyborg and Negative Man in his absence.
Danny’s reason for existence in the show is to “scoop up people that have fallen between the cracks of society”, teleporting from place to place to offer the offbeat a place that they can be themselves. None more than the delightfully named Maura Lee Karupt, a drag queen with a difference. His difference? He came to Danny undercover from the Bureau of Normalcy, a conservative, clandestine government group. His eyes opened to his true self, he is now a key part of the weird and wonderful group of people living on the street. A great character with a penchant for a caustic one-liner, his character really dominates the Danny set part of the episode, as his former colleagues come calling….
The Bureau are also shown in flashbacks to 1963, as Larry, post accident, is subjected to all manner of excruciating torture. The torture leads to the first manifestation of his negative energy spirit, a literal out of body experience. It will be interesting to see how the Bureau are shown as the season, and future seasons, progress. Speaking of Larry, he was a key component of one of the most upbeat moments of the season so far. A moment of unbridled joy for a character that has seen precious little of that thus far. Remember I mentioned a karaoke set piece? Enjoy below…..
The other main plot arc concerned the whereabouts of Crazy Jane, now reverted to the personality of Karen. An utterly bonkers, overly perky character with the metahuman ability to make other people love her, Karen has shacked up with her on/off love interest, with her heart set on wedding bells, fast! A great subplot, it really serves to showcase the versatility of Diane Guerrero, as we get to see her play another side that we haven’t seen before. Crazy Jane must be a dream part for an actor to play, as it is almost like playing multiple characters in one hit.
Spoiler territory is something we want to avoid here at DC World, so please watch the episode to see the craziest wedding set up ever depicted on a television screen. Violence, profanity, twisted love and a bemused Cliff Steele acting as a pseudo-father of the bride. With an ending that sets up an intriguing episode next week, as we may finally get to see inside the labyrinth of Jane’s personalities. Either way, i think “Jane Patrol” is going to be another slice of macabre humour and pathos, with a side order of violence. Same time next week? But of course……