Doom Patrol Season 3 Episode 1 recap: Possibilities Patrol

Diane Guerrero, Abi Monterey in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 1 - Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Diane Guerrero, Abi Monterey in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 1 - Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

Following a showdown with the Candlemaker, Doom Patrol Season 3 kicks off with the titular team mourning a member and trying to figure out who they all are.

The following article contains SPOILERS for Doom Patrol Season 3 Episode 1

Last season on Doom Patrol, we saw the titular team fight for Niles “Chief” Caulder’s daughter in Dorothy, but not for the Chief himself. The team of outcasts and oddballs are trapped in wax by one of Dorothy’s imaginary friends, who just so happens to be the evilest one of the bunch, the Candlemaker. This firey antagonist has also taken Dorothy to an unknown second location, which has left Niles an emotional wreck.

After The Candlemaker leaves the carnival, the Doom Patrol are freed from their waxed cages. Cliff Steele’s head is alone on the ground. Jane is unconscious following Fake-Miranda throwing her in the well down in The Underground. Vic Stone is still shaking from seeing Doctor Cowboy, and then Rita Farr and Larry Trainer are reunited. All conscious and walking-able members eventually go to Chief, only to find him lying on the ground and not moving.

Dorothy and The Candlemaker look like they’re in the Yukon locale where Dorothy is from and trapped in the circus cage where Dorothy spent too many hours. The Candlemaker menacingly approaches little Dorothy, and she panics. Eventually, she finds a bow and sends an arrow to the most dangerous imaginary friend living within her. Before it punctures the villain, Dorothy uses her magic to transport them to what looks like another dimension, stops the arrow, and takes back her autonomy. This version of Dorothy is incredible to see, considering how much power she hides behind her adorable face and personality.

She clarifies to this once intimidating character that she is the one who is in control, and The Candlemaker must listen to her. Dorothy plans on staying in this dimension until the antagonist agrees. We do not know how much time goes by, but the next thing we see is Dorothy with a new hairdo arriving back at the carnival and seeing her father lying unmoving on the ground. It is discovered that Niles has died of the emotional stress that he endured within his old and mortal body.

Abi Monterey in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 1 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Abi Monterey in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 1 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

We jump one week into the future. Everyone is coping with the Chief’s death, a man who turned them into heroes but ruined their lives for an experiment. Dorothy mourns her father and keeps his lifeless body in the mansion until Jane wakes up. Rita breaks down in public during her musical rehearsal, and the rest of them are feeling conflicted.

Even Cliff, the most outspoken member regarding his hatred of Chief, feels weird about Niles being gone, especially since his robot arm and hand are not cooperating. Vic analyzes Cliff, but Cyborg sees nothing wrong with him and implies that his brain could be the problem.

Cliff tries researching how to fix his body when suddenly the soul of Chief appears. Niles tells Cliff that he will not pass on to the next world until his body receives a proper funeral service, meaning incineration. The Chief tries to convince Cliff to convince Dorothy to burn his body, appealing to Robotman’s love of being a father. If he does this, Cliff will be able to burn the body of a man he hates. This backfires since Cliff decides to keep Niles split between worlds since he finds more torture in that.

In The Underground, we see Jane escape The Well as she must deal with the fallout of Fake Miranda running amock as Kay’s primary. On her way back to and at the train station, Jane finds Kay’s personified subconscious and all of the personas in a trance as they are all doing the same puzzle.

Jane confronts Fake Miranda and finds out that this entity is not a persona but an infection that has been around within Kay just as long as the personas have been there. Jane almost succumbs to the same fate of being trapped until Kay’s subconscious comes to the rescue. The Infection nearly destroys the body in the real world before Jane and the personas take her down with a plane and destroy her puzzle pieces.

After Jane returns and The Infection is stopped, it appears as though everyone has processed the loss of Niles’ passing. After being manipulated by the negative spirit within him, Larry finally decides to go to space like Valentina Vostok suggested last season.

Before he leaves, he has one last talk with Rita to reassure himself that he is doing the right thing by leaving the team. He admits that he doesn’t know what to expect or if he will be back, but Larry knows this has to be done. As he flies into the atmosphere, we see the bandages unravel, and the actual, unscarred, and handsome face of Larry Trainer emerges looking happy.

Matt Bomer, April Bowlby from Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 1 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Matt Bomer, April Bowlby from Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 1 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

The final scene sets up the possible big bad of the entire season. After performing the mediocre musical Our Town based on the Doom Patrol, Isabel Feathers (Charity Cervantes), the actress who played Rita’s character, is riding high. That bliss is short-lived after she witnesses a weird drilling vehicle come up from the street. A woman comes out and takes a very long pee on the road before killing Isabel Feathers. The amazing Michelle Gomez plays this woman, so I am very excited to see where her character goes.

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A mid-credits scene shows Niles, still haunting the Doom Mansion, about to join the couple who have been having sex since last season. The whole scene is amusing, especially when Niles’s soul starts disappearing and viewers hear his frustrations. I immediately thought this meant Dorothy put her father to rest. But in actuality, Kipley beheaded Niles’s corpse, saying he isn’t done with the Chief. Considering Timothy Dalton is not a series regular this season, I doubt Kipley and Chief’s story will be prevalent in every episode.

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Stream Doom Patrol Season 3 on HBO Max with new episodes every Thursday!