Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2 recap: Vacay Patrol

April Bowlby, Brendan Fraser, Diane Guerrero in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2 - Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
April Bowlby, Brendan Fraser, Diane Guerrero in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2 - Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

After the premiere episode, Doom Patrol Season 3 continues with a significant focus on the team’s individual journeys while getting a much-needed vacation.

The following article contains SPOILERS for Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2.

Before we get to the titular team, we travel back to the 1950s. Audiences are provided with a droid-style bond villain and a gorilla general sending Garguax the Decimator (Stephen Murphy) to Earth to target Rita Farr. This is done to try and get to Niles Caulder, but he ends up spending decades waiting for Rita. Garguax and his lackey Samuelson (Billy Boyd) end up waiting at that resort for seventy years for some sort of signal from their device to absolutely no success.

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In the present day, the mansion is still a little quiet following the death of the Chief. Vic discovers the authorities might be onto him for interfering in a crime and letting Ronnie escape. His eye and chest light go blue, and after a call with his sad, Vic finds out that he is cut off from Grid along with losing his abilities and powers. Cliff is still with Clara, her wife, and their newborn daughter.

Robotman is overstepping his responsibilities as a grandfather by trying to make up for the lost time and is becoming a minor nuisance to Clara and her wife. Clara notices Cliff’s tremoring arm and tries to say something, but her dad shuts him down. Then Rita is eating her feelings with ice cream to keep her caloric intake high and likely because her emotions are messed up following the death of Niles and having the responsibility of the mysterious key left by Chief.

April Bowlby in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
April Bowlby in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2: The team gets away from the mansion

Rita eventually loses control of her emotions and becomes a full blob, and is disgusted by herself. The team decides to go on a vacation to get away from Niles’ home and his memory. Jane is initially hesitant to go but is eventually convinced by Kay down in The Underground. After the “Secretary” persona finds the perfect trip, So after picking up Cliff at his daughter’s house, the four of them go to their secluded cabin resort and have privileged culture shock since it is much more secluded than they are used to.

At the cabin, Vic and Cliff have a conversation near the activity called The Backbone. Legend says it is “The quickest way to discover who you really are. The only way to reach the top is to let go of all your fear.” Cliff looks to try and accomplish it, but his shaking hand prevents him from even attempting it. Vic is trying to convince Cliff not to risk it since there is clearly something going on with Cliff’s brain.

Since he is an old-school man with a good spoonful of toxic masculinity, Cliff is putting off this exam out of the fear of finding something wrong. To deflect talking about his issues even more, Robotman inquires about why Vic’s eye is blue. Cyborg explains his situation with Ronnie, so Cliff naturally mocks him for helping a girl he loves escape justice even though he claims to be all morally high.

Jane and Rita are off on their own, having their own eye-opening and heartful conversation. Jane is feeling weird since Kay has been the one supporting her when it should be the other way around. Rita is still in her own head as a sack of goo, but she and Jane both agree Niles being dead is best for everyone since he created a lot of pain and suffering for all of them.

This common theme of everyone saying it’s good having Niles dead and gone is a little too common to be true in my mind. I have to imagine that every member of the eponymous team will have a breakdown about their respective sadness of Niles being gone. Knowing this show, I could see them all admitting their sad feelings about Niles at the exact moment his ghost appears, or he even is resurrected by Kipley.

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2: Larry and the Negative Spirit

In the Negative Realm (is that the name for it? No idea…) Larry is seen as his old, without bandages, and not poisoned self. The former pilot wants and is hoping to achieve this by going into space with the Negative Spirit.

Off in the distance, Larry sees his current, true self, and when this actual version gets close enough, the handsome, normal-looking Larry fades away once again, and he is back to being all bandaged up. This story of Larry’s journey looks to be a full-season arc, and the work that Matt Bomer and Matthew Zuk (the bandaged performer) put into this character makes Larry Trainer so enjoyable. So far, during this third season, Larry Trainer has been the sole character I am fully invested in learning more about.

Matt Bomer in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Matt Bomer in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 2 – Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

Following a sauna trip where Cliff meets Garguax and Vic confronts the Decimator at dinner, there is some tension between Cyborg and his team. In classic Doom Patrol fashion, they have a falling out with immature and childish insults and go their separate ways within the resort. Cliff climbs

The Backbone before making it fall, Jane mediates about her role in Kay’s life, Vic struggles to live with limited technology, and Rita is still contemplating the key left by Niles. Eventually, they all meet up again and, again in classic Doom Patrol fashion, put aside their differences to dance along to “Forever Young” by Alphaville. However, this joyous scene ends with murder and death.

While they were all dancing, Garguax and Samuelson finally received a transmission from their device just as Madam Rouge arrived at the resort as well. Cut to Garguax running into the banquet hall where he utters “run” before collapsing.

The Doom Patrol sees Samuelson arming an alien Gatling gun. Cliff, Vic, Jane, and Rita all try to escape, but none are successful. Rita almost escapes through the side door exit, but that is where Madam Rouge is and locks her inside. The episode ends with all four of them and Garguax lying on the dance floor, looking to be dead.

Considering the next episode is titled “Dead Patrol,” I am assuming the next episode will be some supernatural stuff and the team down in the underworld or afterlife of some sort. How this works for characters like Jane and Cliff will likely make this episode very entertaining for me.

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