DC Universe’s Doom Patrol season 1, episode 11 recap: Frances Patrol


Cliff and Larry come across unexpected personal news, while Victor tries to analyze what is wrong with his system in the latest Doom Patrol episode.

Episode 10 of Doom Patrol was an uninspiring dip in the season, but the showrunners pick up the pace with some emotional characterizations for the main characters in ‘Frances Patrol’, as well as an unexpected plot twist.

Larry’s Dreams

Whenever the Negative Spirit leaves Larry Trainor/ Negative Man’s body, Larry goes into a deep dream. For all these decades, the dreams have been torturous, but now they’ve changed. When the Spirit left Larry’s body to enable Cliff Steele/ Robotman to enter Crazy Jane’s mind in episode 9 of Doom Patrol, what did Larry see in his dream?

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In a faraway motel in the middle of nowhere, Larry wakes up in a room in time for John Bowers, his secret lover, to arrive. This meeting between the two of them never took place in reality, so it looks like the Spirit didn’t send Larry into a memory. Perhaps, it’s time for some wish fulfillment for Larry, but facing the real world is even more painful for him now. Once Jane is awake and the Negative Spirit returns to Larry’s body, Larry pleads with his ‘pal’ to take him back. Ugh, this is heart-breakingly acted by both Mathew Zuk and Matt Bomer.

Doom Patrol — Ep. 111 — “Frances Patrol” — Photo Credit: Mark Hill / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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It takes some doing, but the Spirit finally relents and leaves Larry’s body again. This time, though, the dream takes place in a gay bar, and Larry is displeased. He wants to go back to the motel. John introduces Larry to his friends at the bar, but Larry is very uncomfortable. He was hoping for some privacy. When John reminds him that this is a dream and that the only thing holding them back is Larry’s inability to change with the times, Larry wakes up desperate for answers from the Spirit.

John mentioned that he didn’t want to spend his last days fighting with Larry, but what does that mean? The Spirit has a message for Larry – go to Erie. There, Larry finds an elderly John (Tom Fitzpatrick) ailing, but still full of life. He’s been sharing Larry’s dreams and now they’re meeting in real life again.

John asks after Larry, who tells him that he hasn’t had much of a life since his accident. Larry’s wife died in 1989, and he hasn’t kept in touch with his sons. John, on the other hand, moved on and seems to have had a fulfilling life. While Larry takes a moment to tell John about the Negative Spirit, John dies peacefully next to him. Larry bids him farewell and thanks the Spirit. He needed this closure.

Cliff Tries to Meet His Daughter

In a surprising turn of events, Cliff sees on the news that his former pit-crew boss, Bump Weathers, was attacked and killed by an alligator, leaving Cliff’s daughter Clara without a father, again. During their team meeting, Jane is devastated by how useless the team is at locating Niles Caulder/ The Chief, but when Cliff tells her about Bump and how he wants to see Clara, Flit takes over and teleports Rita Farr/ Elasti-Girl and Cliff to Florida for Bump’s wake.

Rita fits in comfortably at the wake, giving people her real name, Gertrude, but Cliff has to pretend like he is wearing a costume to hide his true nature. A friend of Bump’s, Big D (Gary Basaraba), tells Rita about ferocious Frances – the alligator who ate Bump. All Cliff can think about was Bump having an affair with his wife, but then he catches sight of his daughter Clara (Bethany Anne Lind).

Clara gives a moving speech about Bump taking her in after her parents were killed in the car accident (as viewers saw in the pilot episode of Doom Patrol). It’s obvious that she doted on her adopted father; Clara even considered Bump to be her hero. This frightens Cliff and he leaves the wake without speaking to his daughter.

To try and be Clara’s dad again, Cliff decides to recover an item from Frances. The only thing left of Clara’s parents was Cliff’s gold watch. Bump had given it to her as a memento, and on her 18th birthday, Clara had it inscribed to celebrate her official adoption as Bump’s daughter.

In an effort to be a hero in his daughter’s eyes again, Cliff wants to extricate the watch from Frances, but Rita tries to talk him out of it. Just when Cliff’s about to give up, Frances breaches the water and attacks him. Due to budget reasons, we don’t see the epic showdown between Frances and Cliff, but Cliff returns the watch to Clara, and once again leaves before speaking to her.

What’s Wrong with Cyborg?

Doom Patrol — Ep. 111 — “Frances Patrol”– Photo Credit: Tina Rowden / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Victor Stone/ Cyborg is on a mission to find out what is wrong with his cyber-systems. He is worried about losing control and killing the rest of Doom Patrol, and a conversation with the Grid (his internal systems) only fuels his fears. The Grid tells Cyborg that he is becoming stronger, and that is because his internal systems are evolving. After cutting open his arm, Vic realizes that his organic systems have begun to change into cybernetic ones. The machine is taking over.

Jane returns to Doom Manor with news about the model from the comic book that Danny Street had given Vic. Flex Mentallo is the missing ‘hunk’ that Rita had pointed out in the previous episode of the show, and Jane has discovered he has a wife the team could talk to. Vic begrudgingly joins her.

At the rendezvous point, Vic confides in Jane about his fears and finds a kindred spirit. Jane isn’t as terrified of the painting she made of Vic killing the team because she doesn’t trust the source – Mr. Nobody. Vic isn’t so sure.

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When Jane tries to stop a quarreling couple, the man tries to fight her. While Jane easily defeats him, Vic is incapacitated by an unknown woman. Who are these people? Victor wakes up to find himself in restraints. Darren Jones welcomes him to the Ant-Farm. Oh no!

What did you think of this Doom Patrol episode? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!