Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 4 recap: Undead Patrol

Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

After being exposed to some sort of substance, the titular team must find a way to reverse their zombification in this episode of Doom Patrol Season 3.

The following article contains SPOILERS for Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 4.

Although she doesn’t know her name, since audiences do, I will refer to Michelle Gomez’s character as Madame Rouge. This episode begins where Episode 3 left off, and that is Madame Rouge trying to get answers from the titular team. This newcomer has no idea why she is here, why she is looking for Niles, and who she is.

After figuring out Chief is dead, Rouge decides to go back in time. Since Rita recognizes the emblem from Madame Rouge’s jacket as the one from Episode 2, the former starlet sabotages Rouge’s time travel vehicle.

Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

Because they have some serious issues to work through, Cliff and Jane finally make strides to process everything going on with them. Cliff is seen trying to talk to neurologists about his brain and his limbs not working properly. Jane begins her process by making a scarecrow-like figure of Niles Caulder.

Since he doesn’t think she is doing enough, Cliff recommends that Jane talks to this version of Chief to try and get some solace or closure from the polarizing paternal figure Jane has had. While this is going on, Vic confronts his dad about what he discovered in the afterlife. Vic wants to know if there was another way to save his life without deforming the way he looks.

This leads to Silas Stone being offended and admitting there was a synthetic skin technology they could have tried. Understandably, Vic is angry about this and distances himself from his dad.

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 4: Rita comes clean

Rita takes Madame Rouge to the living room where we last saw Rita trying to figure out what the mysterious key and alarm was trying to tell her. After some tense scenes with Rita being over-attached because of the emblem she saw in Rouge’s vehicle, Madame Rouge discovers the keylock that Rita’s key unlocks.

She unlocks a hidden compartment where Madame Rouge finds a film. Madame Rouge watches the tape and instinctively does some sort of ceremonial dance. After this, she sees someone who looks a lot like her in the film, and the two people on screen do the same dance Rouge just did. Also, she finds out her real name is Laura DeMille and that she is a bird. The newly christened DeMille goes into the hallway to announce her revelation, only to find a zombified Doom Patrol.

Rita then does what she does best and confides her problems with Larry. She comes clean about Codsville and the second Rita who pushed her back into the lounge. After a mini outburst, Larry admits to Rita that he is dying and his inference the Negative Spirit took him to space one last time before he died. This whole scene is very somber until the two discover they are covered in something gross.

Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

Throughout the first half of the episode, we have seen the Doom Patrol be very scratchy. As the episode went on, it looked as though the team was getting dirtier and dirtier. It turns out this filth was not because they were unwashed but rather because their respective bodies were decaying.

Cliff is the first to assume it was because of the evil spider woman from the afterlife, and it makes sense. Just as they are about to attack Laura DeMille, Kipley appears, who we saw at the top of the episode using Niles’ reanimated head to smooth over his personal relationships. He tells everyone in Doom Mansion that The Chief’s head was stolen by a man, and they have to go get him to retrieve Caulder’s head back.

Using a Kipley orchestrated portal, the Doom Patrol, Kipley, and Madame Rouge travel to the barn of the man who stole Chief’s head. Kipley and Rouge are wearing hats that protect the smell of their brains so they can work with the undead team to complete their mission. It turns out the man who stole Niles’ head is getting revenge on The Chief and the eponymous team since they are responsible for turning him into a were-butt monster that we first saw way back at the end of Season 1.

The were-butt howls like a werewolf, and an army of killer butts attack Kipley, DeMille, and the Doom Patrol. This action scene is actually quite fun and very much on-brand for this show and its raunchy humor. The misfit heroes eventually defeat all of the killer butts and bring back the reanimated head of their despised Chief.

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 4: Reverse the zombie process

Since they do not have a decaying body, Kipley and Laura DeMille travel back through the portal first and are about to close it off before the Doom Patrol can follow them, but Niles informs his longtime friend that he knows how to reverse the zombie process occurring within his team. Since they do crave brains, Niles said the only way to fix his team is to feed his head to them.

While Kipley is a little hesitant, the mystical crazy man lets his old friend go. Laura DeMille says she will feed Chief’s head to the team, but she first asks Niles for some answers. Caulder is immediately standoffish and agrees to point DeMille in the right direction, but he makes her promise to leave the mansion immediately and stay away from the Doom Patrol. Madame Rouge is very confused since she has been nothing but nice to Niles’ team but agrees nonetheless.

The team eats Niles’ brain and head, which means that likely means it is actually the last time we will see Timothy Dalton in Doom Patrol. After they are returned back to their respective normal selves, the episode ends with a montage-style scene that wraps up each character’s episodic arc while giving some teases for the remainder of Doom Patrol Season 3.

Cliff clicks on a pop-up ad to get meds without a prescription which I am sure will go well, Vic uses reflections to imagine himself without all of the Cyborg tech on him, Jane burns scarecrow-Niles while finally getting some closure, and Larry throws up again but not before realizing he had a bump on his midsection (pregnant Larry Trainor??).

Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Doom Patrol season 3. Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

After Laura reads the documents about her true self, where Niles called for her execution because of the bad things she had done, Rita finds her re-watching the hidden film that helped DeMille figure out who she is. Laura is visibly upset because of her wicked past coming to light, and Rita offers her comfort.

After Rita goes to get some cookies ready for the newcomer, Laura sees a person who looks a lot like Rita Farr in the film. Does that mean there are two time travelers running about and is that other one Rita? I guess we all have to wait and find out in the future episodes.

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