DC Universe’s Doom Patrol season 1, episode 13 recap: Flex Patrol


Doom Patrol find Flex Mentallo, but the latest episode of the show isn’t one for celebrations. Mr. Nobody is watching the team’s every move and he’s ready to strike.

In Kansas 1964, Flex Mentallo (Devan Chandler Long) was the Man of Muscle Mystery, the hero of his town with a beautiful wife, Delores, who seemed to love him. He attempted to help a little boy rescue his kitten, and was instead trapped in the Ant Farm. That’s where Doom Patrol find him.

The Ant Farm

Victor Stone/ Cyborg was duped by Mr. Nobody into attacking his father, Silas, on the previous episode of Doom Patrol. Rita Farr/ Elasti-Girl establishes that Silas is still alive, but the team starts arguing about how to get out of the Ant Farm. There’s absolute anarchy over there, with Darren Jones shooting everybody in sight.

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The Negative Spirit, who has now been separated from Larry Trainor/ Negative Man, locates the last inmate at the Farm – Cyborg’s neighbor, 722. Rita immediately recognizes him as Flex Mentallo, the missing ‘hunk’ from an ad in a comic book. The team has been on the hunt for him as he is a clue to finding Niles Caulder/ The Chief. Flit, one of Crazy Jane’s personalities, teleports the team back to Doom Manor. She then teleports Vic and Silas to a hospital and sends Rita to be with them.

Cliff Steele/ Robotman is chuffed that this group was able to rescue a superhero, but his elation dies down when 722 doesn’t remember that he was once Flex Mentallo.

Doom Patrol — Ep. 113 — “Flex Patrol” — Photo Credit: Mark Hill / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Larry doesn’t seem to be coping well without the Spirit inside him, but when the Spirit makes contact, Larry is transported to 1964. The Ant Farm had been torturing Larry, before eventually trying to attack the Spirit instead.

With their experiment successful, Larry was locked in a cell, next to Flex. Flex’s powers allowed him to hear the Negative Spirit, and he was also able to make a dent in the cell. Larry’s fear of the outside stopped him from helping Flex escape, though Flex and the Spirit seemed to bond. Instead, the Ant Farm continued to torture Flex, who was unable to use his powers because of the power-dampeners the Farm had placed on him. When Flex refused to cooperate, the Farm captured his wife and threatened her. Flex gave in to their demands.

Larry wakes up from the Spirit’s vision and realizes that Delores is the key.

Doom Patrol and 722

Flex has been referred to only as 722 and locked up in the Farm for so long, he’s forgotten everything about himself. When Jane and Cliff interrogate him, Flex can’t remember his name, his powers, how he ended up in the Farm or anything. His mind is numbed by watching too many soap operas.

Doom Patrol — Ep. 113 — “Flex Patrol” — Photo Credit: Mark Hill / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jane decides to give 722 a makeover in the hopes that it jogs his memories. 722 now looks like Flex Mentallo, but he’s no closer to being him. While 722 watches a soap, Jane comes up with a crazy plan – torture Flex to get his powers working again. Cliff tries to anger Flex by breaking the TV, but it only results in Flex bursting into tears.

Jane thinks they should take it up a notch, but she and Cliff aren’t seeing eye to eye. He feels guilty for invading her privacy and entering the Underground without her consent, but there may be something else bothering Jane. When Larry tells them about Delores, Flit teleports to go and find her.

Delores has been under the Ant Farm’s influence all these years but she and Flex immediately remember their lives together when they meet. Unfortunately, Delores was probably bugged and her departure causes the Farm to kill her. In his rage, Flex’s powers re-activate.

Victor and Rita

Vic can’t stop beating himself up about being played by Mr. Nobody. Rita tries to convince him to reinstall the Grid, but Vic still feels conflicted about it. Rita gives the microchip with the Grid to Vic and leaves.

Doom Patrol — Ep. 113 — “Flex Patrol” — Photo Credit: Mark Hill / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

While alone, Rita is haunted by the sound of a child crying and is then interrupted by an elderly patient who asks for her help to guide him to his room. Rita’s too polite to decline. The man tells Rita about how he left his family and it’s the worst thing he ever did. Rita thinks he should count himself lucky. She regales him with the story of how she used to be an actress. After she reached ‘a certain age’ she didn’t get as many calls as she used to. She was friends with a powerful producer, Gene Stanton, who once asked Rita for a favor – he wanted to meet a young Hollywood starlet, and Rita was to fix it up.

Everything seemed to work out. A year later, the starlet had won an Oscar, Rita was getting more offers and Gene ‘got what Gene wanted’. Rita continued doing Gene favors and every one of those starlets rose to stardom. But then, one girl, Mary Beth Wugen, ended up having a child. Gene wouldn’t step up and Mary Beth had no one else. She asked Rita for help, but Rita sent her away with $100. A week after Mary Beth came to Rita, she committed suicide and there was no mention of her child.

Before Rita could consider taking responsibility for the baby, she was offered the lead role in Forbidden Congo, the shooting of which we saw in the pilot episode of Doom Patrol. Rita believes that she deserves everything that happened to her on that set – turning into Elasti-Girl and being shunned by the cast and crew. She’s been searching for absolution and will never get it. With that off her chest, Rita returns to Victor and convinces him to re-boot the Grid. Despite his fears, Victor acquiesces. It’s the only way to find the Chief. Of course, the old man was none other than Mr. Nobody, but Rita doesn’t know that.

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With the Spirit no longer keeping the radiation from poisoning his body, Larry is slowly dying. Larry refuses to let the Spirit re-enter his body, wanting to give something back for everything it’s done for him. But the Spirit doesn’t abandon its friend. Larry is saved just as Rita returns to Doom Manor. The team is ready to find the Chief. Unfortunately, Mr. Nobody has been watching them all this time and he’s ready to face Doom Patrol.

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