Well, another alternative elseworld bit of DC fare has just been released. As with the majority of their animated films of late, this one is a mixed bag. The answer to how bad could it get if Superman lost his #$%^ however is gamely answered. My review follows below.

The voice work was solid though Anson Mount’s Batman/Bruce Wayne did not have the proper depth and power preceded by such stellar vocal artists as Bruce Greenwood and Kevin Conroy. He was a little judgier than the Dark Knight tends to be. Justin Hartley’s Clark Kent/Superman mingles a hopeful tone and demeanor which makes his fall all the more pronounced. Laura Bailey’s Lois’ announcement frames the film. A trip to Metropolis by the Joker is the catalyst for what’s to come. Ultimately his genocidal action along with his more personal action sets a course that is easily visible by a hundred miles, and sadly relate-able. The ongoing pushed argument throughout the movie is that the Joker (Kevin Pollak) should have been eliminated longer before for less that what he currently does.

Batman’s un-crossable line is at the heart of the film. What follows is a descent into grief and a rise to vengeance. Superman’s action creates a schism in the hero community where many opt to support and bolster him. Wonder Woman (Janet Varney) is done no favors with this uneven, by time, unhinged depiction. She backs Supes as a warrior and force of order. I will admit I did enjoy watching Supes and her kick the crap out of dictators and gradually take control of matters of war. One knows however that matters will escalate and the the schism will become an all out war.

Batman’s pleading for reason and allowing the Man of Steel to grieve rings hollow as truly he had lost far more than the Dark Knight ever had. Derek Phillips’ Nightwing/Dick Grayson was well depicted, including both his physical combat style and desire to help Damian /Robin (Zach Gallison) better himself. A later moment yields a very dark turn and one of the most powerful depictions of Batman breaking down and being lifted up by Selina Kyle (Anika Noni Rose). This was one of the film’s best moments and paves the way back from oblivion.

The end game naturally features criminal manipulation interfering with Superman’s original orderly goal. Supes’ snapping on a group of Joker Worshippers breaks his support from the poorly acted and performed Wonder Woman. The end segment fell a little flat, presenting the one thing Superman cannot defeat – a manifestation of his loss. Overall, much was solid about this entry but its lack of necessity when other more powerful parables( such as “Kingdom Come”) is yet to be mined presents another attempt by DC to set a new non connective offering that really brought nothing new to the table. Injustice was worth watching but far removed from outstanding.

The Protege- A Review

Posted: 10/24/2021 in Uncategorized

Well, this was quite the unexpected find. After the barely passable “Jolt”, the underwhelming “Kate” and completely unwatchable “Gunpowder Milkshake”, a superior female led actioner was duly offered. Maggie Q is the lead and as “Anna” she presents a fun, engaging, superbly capable anti-heroine. The supporting cast consists primarily of Samuel Jackson as “Moody” and Michael Keeton as “Rembrandt”. My review follows below.

The opening segment presents Anna as blisteringly lethal. Seeing her fluidly in action is a testament to her speed and violent efficiency. A follow up with Moody allows that the tandem works well together and have done so for quite some time. The partnership is informed by one traumatic event that is briefly traced at the opening and mid sections of the film. The two meeting up on his birthday is funny, sweet and endearing. Even though both are assassins, they have allowed themselves lives and live them reasonably well. Her gift to him implies a long understanding familial connection. Both live by the same moral code.

His later fate is the catalyst that brings her to her origins and dreadful beginning. An encounter at her true passion, her extremely rare books store, brings in the film’s third major party -Rembrandt. He is sly, guileful and a charged connection between the two is easily promised. We know with immediacy that he is probably a very bad guy but we want to know more about him. His giving Anna his card with the hope of a call sets the stage for the ‘relationship’ that follows between the two.

Anna’s return home is brokered via a final search by Moody. His seeking out a child whose father he slew in an earlier mission offers up a mystery with enough turns and twists to keep the viewer engaged to the end. Anna’s journey is fraught with pain, sorrow and loads of amazingly brutal action. The fight sequences throughout are fantastic. Keaton’s are especially good. We forget by times how top shelf Michael Keaton truly is as both an actor and genuine cinematic presence. This film easily reminds us of how good he is. His scenes with Anna are charged with both an electric chemistry and deep empathy. Both are eerily similar and the path each has taken leads them both toward each other and ultimate resolution.

The word I would use most liberally when speaking of this under the wire action film is satisfying. Anna is easy to root for. Moody is likeable and relatable. Rembrandt is equal parts chilling and charming. This was a really great watch. “The Protege” was a lovely surprise and absolutely worth your time

Well, this was just proper effed. The Sisterhood of DaDa I must admit is getting away from me. This doesn’t mean I don’t find the arc provocative and interesting. It is unquestionably odd but there is much humanity and cerebral trippiness to qualify my ongoing investment. My review follows below.

We meet modern day Laura Demille/Madame Rouge (Michelle Gomez) as she endeavors to ‘rally the troops’ and get the Doom Patrol to batten down, preparing for the Sisterhood’s onslaught. Cliff (Brendan Fraser) attempts to make amends with Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) for selling her albums and other possessions to pay for his gambling addiction. She takes it pretty well considering her temperament and fragmented personas. She teleports him to his daughter’s where he can hopefully clear his head. The Parkinson element takes play yet again though the emotional trigger brought forth by Clara (Bethany Anne Lind) intimates that his issue might be psychological rather than physical. Both Jane and Larry dismiss Laura out of turn.

Laura’s attempt to elicit Larry’s (Matt Bomer) help yields a bit of empathy and hilarity after he ‘unleashes’ a possible parasite. The glow within him throughout his harboring his passenger reads more as a birth but with negative dimensions and all the madness being juggled, who can say? The banter between the Laura and Larry is laugh out loud funny. Her advice to him while logical seems misplaced. His later course is more…well….Larry like.

Vic’s (Joivan Wade) journey takes him to a potential reinvention. His reaching out to Roni (Karen Obsilom) yields both respect and concerned advise at his motivations. The discussion between the two about heroism and playing the cards you are dealt had resonance and were among the better moments ion this run.

A flashback to happy Rita (April Bowlby) and Malcolm ( Micah Joe Parker) frame the truth about Laura and the magnitude of her ambition and betrayal. This arc played amazingly well and easily segued into the Dead Patrol arc earlier this season The notion of the “Eternal Flagellation” as both art and vengeance due to the S.O.D. not being heard or respected transcends into a grand reckoning. Seeing Rita plead for Laura’s inclusion when the other members of the order realize she is no longer one of them sets up Demille making her play and ultimately undoing all her previous good work. The seamless pulling in of Larry, Cliff, Vic and Jane at key moments in their respective lives presents the actions of the Sisterhood as apocalyptic indeed. Seeing the order at work begins playfully with silly dance moves before the return of Rita escalates matters and offers Demille atonement. What follows is absolutely bat@#$% and frames the remainder of the season.

This is easily this show’s most philosophical, heady season. While it is still mostly entertaining, a line must be closely followed before a potential dip into nihilism and worse- unwatchability. I am still a huge fan of this this show and look forward to its finale to see exactly how this all plays out. At over the halfway mark, I am gamely invested but a little more cautious than I would normally be. Doom Patrol is still DC’s most interesting show.

Well this pre penultimate episode promised much and delivered a great deal. After last week’s absolute beat down via Eclipso (Nick Tarabay), the team now consisting of Pat… (Luke Wilson) and Jen/Jade (Ysa Penarejo) return to give grim news to Barbara (Amy Smart). A somber opening framed what was overall a thematically balanced run. My review follows below.

I’ll begin by saying I am so not a fan of the series star Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl (Brec Bassinger). I simply can’t get behind her. The actress is limited in her emotional range acting wise and just does not manage to elicit empathy. The incessant reference to her light and inherent goodness seems disingenuous or at the very least cloying. So, as I don’t like the heroine, how can I keep watching and expressing positive remarks regarding said show? The answer is that it is an ensemble show with a tremendously promising legacy that just broke through to the current reality.

Rumors of Courtney’s death are premature but her getting into trouble with immediacy without the benefits of her powers yields her being in the debt of Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy). Cindy is a one trick pony, a wondrous antithesis to Stargirl in that she is just evil. Though she … and as such a darkness to Courtney’s light. While Cindy has endured trauma, she has essentially killed two decent parents while rejoices in perpetually killing her not decent malevolent father. Like Bassinger, DeLacy’s acting skill is fairly one trick…nasty bitch to mildly weepy. She is unlikable but not in a “love to hate” way. The two women forging an alliance seems inevitable but it is ultimately another source who helps Courtney get out of her situation. Kudos must be given to Milo Stein who plays creepy Bruce Gordon, the child version façade of Eclipso. His attempt to break Courtney frames the bulk of the episode.

The presence of Dr. McNider/Midnite (Alex Collins) was refreshing and added a proper emotional layer and further reminder that an original JSA series would kick loads of ass. Midnite’s moment with Courtney revealed both his suffering and strength. The connection between Midnite and the Shade (Johnathan Cake) was deeply mined, presenting the villain previously intimated as“complicated” in a sympathetic light. The moments between Barbara and the Shade had punch with Smart delivering a strong performance. The latter moments featuring the Shade and Midnite elevated the show and primed the series for what’s to come. Stargirl remains on point to finish its second season with a flourish.

Oh my sweet Lord, they did it. With one fell swoop, the show runners for the Titans were able to deliver a finale that was fun, engaging and optimistic. Cool effects, excellent fight sequences and absolute delivery. “Purple Rain” was a close as DC has come in a long time to delivering an absolute blast. My review follows below.

I had misgivings about Donna Troy (Connor Leslie) leading the rising citizens against heavily armed Gotham cops. With one quick turn and action by Raven/Rachel (Teagan Croft), this concern was quickly assuaged. Seeing Raven heed Dick’s request and “unite the Titans” was wondrously cool. Jay Lycurgo’s Tim Drake getting in a shot was a bit disingenuous as was the “you’ve got this” mantra from his family, but this is a minor complaint.

The Blackfire/Komandr (Danaris Lewis) and Superboy/Connor Kent (Joshua Orpin) arc threatened to undermine this episode and season via a potential “Luthorish” petulant turn. Blackfire actually shows more maturity in her reaction to SB’s sabotage than Starfire/Koriandr (Mame-Anna Diop) who seemingly loses her S@$% at every turn. What set this episode apart from some of the middling turns this season (though they were thankfully few and far between) was the ability of the team to move past betrayal and unrest for the greater good. Blackfire admires Connor for his dedication of purpose while acknowledging his action was selfish. A later moment between Connor and Dick/Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites) allowed that he too can move past being wronged.

Speaking of moving past…I simply can’t forgive Jason Todd/Red Hood (Curran Walters) and on the plus side, neither can he. While acknowledging his atonement, he and Dick both know that while he can help out the Titans, he cannot ever go back. Jason’s handing over taking down Crane (Vincent Kartheiser) to Nightwing and Co showed some level of growth and was a great moment.

Crane’s madness gets a good run. His master plan is prefaced by his watching a war documentary. His control of the GCPD led by Fletcher (Greg Bryk) yielded that the police force is pretty much doomed. The intercession of Vee (Karen Robins) on Barb Gordon’s (Savannah Welch) behalf played exceedingly well and promises yet another Titan presence down the line. Vee being a member of an established DC Universe agency kicked the show into high gear and allowed Barb to restore some order.

The use and decommissioning of the Lazarus pit was quite epic. Seeing Blackfire, Starfire and Raven work together with Superboy “sciencing” the situation was superior stuff. Seeing the results of the team’s working to undermine Crane’s genocidal plan was hopeful and presented a very powerful scene. This finale gave an excellent demonstration of what the Titans can accomplish when properly motivated.

Even the closing coda had legs. Dick’s moment with the returning Bruce Wayne (Iain Glenn) cleared the air as did a superb segment featuring the Dark Knight and the Red Hood. Endings begat new beginning and the rise of a new hero. The final punctuation by Dick on Crane via Raven illustrated that they are not to be trifled with as they delivered a more perpetual justice than Crane had thus far received. Man, this was just so good. Bravo DC. I am hoping I can to use those two words in tandem again

Oh DC…so much potential. So uneven…so…DC. You have two episodes left to get to the finish line. High tension stakes? Check. Gathering forces against a growing mad evil? Check. A foolish redemptive arc featuring an irredeemable character? Check. A meandering undesirable arc featuring a tertiary character and bringing down the value of a stronger character. Check and mate. Oh DC. My review follows below.

A mad race to Nightwing by Rachel (Teagan Croft) and Gar (Ryan Potter) leads them to finding his body. My hope for Rachel’s healing abilities taking the lead was dashed as they arrived “too late”. Queue a superb visual featuring Gar in Beast Boy mode transforming into a bat. The entire CW budget was spent in an instant here and even the bats raising up Nightwing was superior. The other course of action to bring back Dick Grayson/Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites) plays out pretty well. The fight for Dick Grayson’s soul led to two superb caveats- a great segment featuring Dick manifesting as Batman’s greatest villain and a cool potential Kingdom Come future arc teased regarding his romantic future. Rachel’s musing about Gar’s power manifesting via “love”, a DC standard trope, didn’t disrupt the narrative too much.

Vincent Kartheiser’s Crane is now truly unhinged, becoming a scarier version of Scarecrow. His driving off the pathetic Red Hood/Jason Todd (Curran Walters) is dismissive and really should be as for the first time this season, Crane truly has fully taken the reins. The connection between Dick and Jason- hence the episode’s title- is deepened via Dick’s most recent trauma. While Jason takes the second chance and runs it as a quest for vengeance and hatred, Nightwing uses it to gain empathy and allow a minor redemption with the terse, “you’ll never be a Titan” as a given.

Donna Troy/Wondergirl (Connor Leslie) leading Gotham citizens out of harm’s way is disrupted via Tim Drake’s (Jay Lycurgo) quest for heroism. As with many a foolish dream, he gets his wish. I really want to see Donna unleash as the show runners have been building her up as a force and the few outings they have shown have been solid.

Dick putting forth the call to Rachel and Gar to “unite the Titans” to save the city hearkens to next week’s season finale and fight for Gotham. Tim Drake’s arc is not given room to breathe however and his evolution from fan to victim to ‘new Robin” is very, very rushed. Donna’s firm “you think you can do better than us?” to a battle hungry Tim is earned.

What truly disrupted the traction of the episode was the ever unnecessary Komandr/Blackfire (Damaris Lewis) arc. Here the writing is just poor. On one hand, she cares for Connor/Superboy (Joshua Orpin), enough to save him and suggest a partnership with him. On the other, she quickly is willing to drop a relationship with an essentially new and deeply naïve half human being to fly back and take her throne. This arc is unbalanced and by this episode’s end, so might be Superboy.

Again, I hope against hope that this time around, DC will provide us with a truly satisfactory end. Barb Gordon’s (Savannah Welch) cool escape and intentions certainly hold promise for events moving forward. Still, there is an awful lot of story to deliver in one finale. Here’s hoping we get what we deserve this time around. Titans is very good but could be absolutely great.

This was a powerful episode for most of the team. Cliff however gets the very short end of a very pointed stick. This show continues to be DC’s oddest offering. My review follows below.

Rita ended last week with the goal of becoming a world famous time traveling hero. The journey is narrated beautifully by Matt Bomer and one actually feels relief for her as the trip erases her memories and with it her anguish. Seeing a free fun loving Rita Farr (April Bowlby -who continues to slay with her delivery) was refreshing. Her ending up at the bureau of normalcy opens her narrative and explores that her abilities are naturally, easily occurring when she gets out of her own head. Her effortlessly extending her arms upon being interviewed by Laura Demille/Madame Rouge (Michelle Gomez) earns her the title of “not a weapon”.

We learn quickly enough that Laura isn’t the demon Niles purports her to be. She in fact saves metahumans, giving them menial, yet safe positions to spare them from scrutiny and ill-use by the Bureau. With the Fog/Shelley Byron(Wynn Everett), she in fact creates a safe haven for those deemed freaks and spends her time among them as whether it is known by the Bureau or not, Laura is a meta human. The episode is zany and madcap, with Lloyd (Miles Mussenden),Holly (Anita Kalathara),Sachiko (Gina Hiraizumi), Malcolm (Micah Joe Parker), Shelley, acknowledging their Sisterhood of Dada as a means of spiritual freedom. Among the Bureau, they are treated as pariahs. Among themselves they are loony, fun loving entities who enjoy life to the fullest. A moment of rebellion could have played badly but Laura’s intercession curbs such matters. How the Sisterhood could go from a convivial order to disenchanted bitter warriors with a plan for grand scale vengeance will play out for the remainder of the season. Laura’s role stands to be fantastically treacherous. The episode opening with a blast from the DP’s past via the Brain and Mr. Mallah was cool as hell.

Larry (Matt Bomer) gains some traction in this run. His long suffering, self loathing existence seems to be coming to an end. His one on one with his son Paul (John Getz) was deeply liberating and one feels practically like cheering as he tells his son off perfectly and disabuses him of his preconceptions. Vic’s (Joivan Wade) journey into pursuing a greater degree of normalcy is also deeply relatable and well depicted. Jane (Diane Guerrero) standing up to the Underground and giving Kay (Skye Roberts) a day above is beautiful and pushes the true victim of trauma toward a proper healing. About the only stumbling point was Cliff’s (Brendan Fraser) ongoing decline. Along with self-medicating for a disease he may or may not have, his developing an addiction and screwing over his friends makes for crappy drama in what is otherwise a very solid season.

Rita’s arc was definitely the high point including a potential romance with a character who might tie into an earlier arc this season. So far, so good with the zany gonzo reality that is among DC’s best offering so far.

Code 8 – A Review

Posted: 10/14/2021 in Uncategorized

Well this piece of Canadian Sci-Fi was a fun surprise. Made for a very modest budget and produced/starring cousins Robbie and Stephen Amell, we got a very solid offering of what could easily have been straight X-Men-ish derivative fare. This was a surprisingly good outing and proves handily that neither Amell need to be relegated to series television to make a solid entertainment industry impression. My review follows below.

Robbie Amell’s Conor Reed is relatable. He wants to make a living, have a normal life and look after his sick mother, Mary (Kari Matchett). This would play like a Hallmark tv drama were it not for the fact that both mother and son are enhanced; she with cold creating ability and he with the power to generate high intensity electricity. The twist is that her abilities are contributing to her illness and potential demise. She works at a grocery store while he works as a day labourer. Both are treated like third class citizens.

The film’s opening frames the film with a brief history of super powered people and their role in society. The inevitable decline of their perceived usefulness yields a reliance on criminal enterprises and the powered becoming feared pariahs. Mary tries to guide Conor but the odds do not favour them in what is now essentially a policed state. We can see Conor’s getting involved in criminality out of pure desperation. His mother’s declining health pushes him in an unavoidable direction.

His accepting an offer from Garrett (Stephen Amell) paves the way for misfortune but makes for solid drama. Amell effortlessly channels the grit required in playing a career criminal. The action sequences enhanced by very solid visuals make his appear to be a much bigger movie than it actually is. At a 2.1 million dollar budget, it plays as well as such B fare as “Lock Out” and unlike this larger budgeted film, Code 8 has mostly received favourable reviews.

We have such trope-ish characters as Marcus Sutclife (Greg Bryk) as a B level gangster running a drug game who is in deep to far worse people. His people include a seeming junkie, Nia (Kyla Kane),who plays a much grander role than expected. His enforcer Rhino (Simon Northwood) could be played by any number of actors and brings nothing new. Garrett’s ambition is both his asset and downfall as he recruits and trains Conor for various jobs leading of course to the one big job that will settle accounts and allow both characters to walk away with what they need.

The supporting characters for Garrett include Freddie (Vlad Alexis ) and Maddy (Laysla De Oliveira). Both make a memorable impression. The former character is deaf and conveys wry humour through hand gestures and body language; he is gifted with super strength. The latter is bold, fun and loyal…with the power to generate extreme heat. There are some cool visual effects and watching the two work with Garrett includes some of the film’s better sequences. Conor’s inclusion yields some big screen bombast particularly in the grand hiest-ier aspects of the film.

Ultimately the film is about choices and truth in one’s nature. Scenes featuring Conor and Mary are well acted and bring forth gravitas laden, beautiful moments. This is equally the case between Conor and Nia. The intersection of all three characters presents the case of inherent decency. Garrett’s end game comes at great cost and exemplifies his nature.

This film can stand on its own or lend itself easily to a sequel. Either way, it was a refreshing piece of sci -fi and at a brisk one hour and forty minutes, well worth your time.

This might have been this season’s best episode thus far. Down to two members and Pat as leader, the new JSA fights internal division and moody teen judgement to stop Eclipso at all cost. Much occurred with this run and much of it was good. My review follows below.

An opening segment featuring Starman (Joel McHale) and Pat/Stripesy (Luke Wilson) was powerful. It allowed for the cost of the original Justice Society’s end game move against Eclipso (Nick Tarabay). The admission by Starman that the choice the team made was a wrong one was beautifully presented. A subsequent apology to Pat along with a thanks for all he had done for him by Starman was earnest and had due gravitas. The notion of family by choice is proffered and is thematic throughout both this season and its predecessor.

Flash forward to the current family spat in which Courtney/Stargirl (Brec Bassinger) berates both her mother Barb (Amy Smart) and step father Pat for keeping the secret of the original Society’s murder of Bruce Gordon to save well…pretty much everybody. The preceding flashback segment pushes that there is nothing one would not do to protect one’s family from harm. This point is pushed throughout the episode in an effort to cudgel reason into the series lead who opts to criticise and judge in lieu of understanding. A later moment with Jen/Jade (Ysa Penaryjo) runs with the same trope opining that there isn’t much one would not do to protect one’s family.

The return of the Shade (Jonathan Cake) kicks the show into high gear. His return allows that he is mortally wounded. Pat’s mistrust finding the man in his home is warranted. He blames the Shade for the corruption and breaking of the original JSA. A counsel by the still living Dr. Midnite/McNider (Alex Collins) advises Beth Chapel(Anjelika Washington), the new Dr. Midnite, that Shade was not an outright villain and might in fact have saved him from death. Shade’s having saved Barb previously earns him further credibility. The Shade/Barb scenes were among the show’s strongest. Shade is a wickedly complex and necessary character to this series.

Pat’s discovery of Jen’s actions elsewhere leads him to seek her out to bring her back in to help the team against Eclipso. This action is precipitated by Shade’s advising that reforming the black diamond will enable the big bad’s recapture. Courtney uses her still damaged staff unsuccessfully to reform the diamond. Pat logically figures that Jen/Jade has the raw power to finish the job. The reconnecting with Jade reveals that she still seeks out her brother and that a new sinister agency is in play. I suspect this arc will be put aside until next season. Jade’s immediate willingness to go back with Courtney and Pat demonstrates her inherent heroism and reason. She puts aside her cause to help with the grander problem. It seems like nearly every character on this series is sadly more noble and balanced than the series protagonist.

A later scene between McNider and Beth illustrates that the series villains are a damned bit smarter than its heroes. A desperation ploy by Shade plays well for him but poorly for Jade, Stargirl and Pat. The visuals in their three way battle were however solid and the tension is assuredly built up for next week’s run. A final end credit segment featuring Mike (Trae Romano) teases one thing but stands to deliver something else. The writing on this show has vastly improved from last season. For a series featuring teen aged heroes, it does not shy away from darkness and dark themes. Stargirl stays the course, delivering solid watchable fare.

Okay, this one was weird, but weird in a standard Doom Patrol way. The mystery of Laura Demille aka Madame Rouge (Michelle Gomez) continues to unravel and a potential new villain gets a delving with this run. Still uneven but after last week’s absolutely bat@#$% foray, we at least are on more familiar ground. My review follows below.

Madame Rouge takes the reins as leader of the Doom Patrol. This is not a mantle she is given nor desired by the team. Her calling a team meeting allowed for juvenile humor and behavior from Cliff and Jane. The general sentiment from the group, with the exception of Rita (April Bowlby) is irritation. They do agree to run a mission for her regarding the “Sisterhood of Dada”. After her encounter with Niles (Timothy Dalton), Rouge discovers she is probably not a good person. She essentially tells the team if they go collect intel on the order’s current doings, she will leave them be. A road trip occurs and these are usually top shelf on this show. This time, it was a little underwhelming and heavy on the pretension and general oddness.

We learn that when the DP broke into the “ant farm” to rescue their people in season one, they freed not only the “Were-Butts”, but the Sisterhood. As the team rarely learns from past mistakes, they go all in and attempt to find and undermine their current target. Cliff’s (Brandon Fraser) dealing with what may or may not be Parksinson’s is a stumbling block this season. His behavior is nihilistic. His tripping on dopamine is meant to play for dark laughs but in time becomes a subject of despair.

Larry’s (Matt Bomer) burdens double in this run. While he may not have cancer, he has a growth that moves around his body. By the end of the episode, he has the additional problem of caring for his treacherous son Paul (John Getz). Honestly, with this ep, the team gets a serious emotional beatdown with the exception of Rita.

Rita’s side narrative with Laura/Rouge allows that both are somewhat desperate for friendship and are lost. Demille is troubled both by her loss of memory and the notion that per Niles she might be an awful person. Rita seeks purpose, her goal to be a hero, but her instincts are to withdraw and self-loathe. The two women bond over gin with Rita confessing to Laura that she has the component that can fix her time machine. Rita is energized with the notion/delusion that she is a world famous time traveler via her viewing a 1917 film in which she directs a film featuring Laura and another woman. Laura/Rouge’s drunken proclamation that Rita is wrong and this is not who she is prompts the former actress to take an action that can’t possibly end well.

The team encountering the sisterhood yields some pretty confusing @#$%. The clearest arc featured Shelley Byron aka ‘The Fog’ (Wynn Everett) who sits in a sweet shop feeding Kay (Jane’s young and ‘true’ persona) ice cream. Jane (Diane Guerrero) sits with Shelley and the two banter with Jane pushing the leader of the Sisterhood for information. The discussion becomes an attempted seduction as Shelley sees past Jane’s attempt to join her order. The “Grand Flagellation” is brought up and Shelly gives a bit of her backstory though mired in double speak and riddles. Shelley’s ability to separate Kay (Skye Roberts) and Jane frames what will stand to be this fragmented character’s arc this season. Shelley offers Jane the ability to simply enjoy herself and step away from her role as protector and advocate. The remainder of the underground disagrees.

Vic/Cyborg’s moment with another member of the order was a little maddening. Lloyd (Miles Mussenden) tasks Vic with answering why he is? A debate becomes heated with Lloyd questioning Vic’s knowledge of suffering as he continually turns his back to him and makes a mock up sculpture of Cyborg as “Approximate Man”. I personally found this segment annoying af.

Cliff’s encounter with Sachiko (Gina Hiraizumi) begins with issues with communication and ends with the same. She uses her abilities to allow him to communicate with her in Japanese. He tells her of his fears regarding his grandson and life overall. She too confesses fear of death. His misreading the moment and attempting to hug her yields his breaking her glass prison/home? along with further chaos.

The discovery by Shelley, Lloyd and Sachiko that the team has been sent by Laura elicits a violent exchange and leaves them with no real answers. Cliff’s end credit segment is not promising. Jane’s yields that she might want to live a little or give in to something worse. Vic burns with anger after this encounter. Only Larry has something that might hearken some hope.

This episode opened up the show and stands to make for some interesting fare if the show runners can managed to not go completely off the rails. The thing is,….they don’t have to. Doom Patrol remains DC’s most intriguing and bizarre show.