Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 8 recap: Subconscious Patrol

(L-R) Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Joivan Wade, Diane Guerrero in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 7 -- Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
(L-R) Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Joivan Wade, Diane Guerrero in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 7 -- Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

The following article contains SPOILERS for Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 8

As the titular team travel in their subconscious, we learn more history between Rita and Laura De Mille in this week’s episode from Doom Patrol Season 3.

Check out our recap of last week’s episode here!

The episode opens with the Doom Patrol members as their Dada bird versions just hanging out on some telephone pole wires, as birds do. Throughout the next few scenes, each character will go through an emotional and metaphorical journey, and it is going to be an emotional rollercoaster.

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 8: The Eternal Flaggelation begins

Vic Stone is the first up and audiences see a memory of young Victor and Silas Stone at a toy store. Young Vic is looking for black superhero toys and throwing the white ones on the ground, come to find out the store doesn’t carry black superhero toys since they do not sell. After the white store manager accuses Young Vic of damaging property, Silas steps in and cools the situation. Aside, Silas tells Young Vic “We don’t get to make mistakes. One mistake could cost you your life.” Silas ends up finding an Army Man figure that is black so Vic will at least have something. When Vic’s Dada bird appears, Cyborg Vic transports into the Army Man’s container and he looks to be the new toy Young Vic takes home.

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 5 – Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 5 – Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

Jane is up next as we see her as a puppet version of Kay’s primary persona traveling to Underground Avenue, a clear Sesame Street parody. Jane is harsh when she calls it all out but it turns out they are now in adult Kay’s subconscious (which is somehow different than The Underground). While initially hesitant, Jane ends up rolling with this new version of Kay’s inner mind. the group is about to talk about trauma like it is the word of the day when Jane’s Dada bird swoops in and takes adult Kay away from her personas, leaving Jane and the rest dumbfounded.

Cliff Steele is then seen walking towards “Steele Racing” with a non-Robotman version of Cliff getting out of his car. After some on-brand ice breakers between Cliff Steele’s, the human omnisciently tells the robot he is in a specific memory within his subconscious. This leads to someone welcoming the robot into the complex with the Dada bird taking the human Cliff Steele away but not before he says, “Time to face the music big guy.”

Larry Trainor’s experience takes place inside some sort of church on what looks to be his wedding day. Just as Cliff did, Larry walks into a meeting with his human and unbandaged self. This former version of Larry warns that the Negative Spirit version cannot change anything because their life is a loop. After the bandaged former pilot sees what event he is at, he looks up to find his normal-looking self disappeared from the Dada bird.

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 8: Rita’s missing history is explained

This leads to Groom Larry walking into Doom Mansion where he meets Adult Kay, Human Cliff Steele, and Army Man Victor Stone. The group is all watching the TV where there is news coverage of a fog surrounding so many people and horrible monsters appearing and wreaking havoc. Rita Farr appears and fills in everyone on what is going on. The Eternal Flaggelation is occurring and that means everyone’s subconscious beings are swapped with their conscious selves. So the conscious selves are now reliving a memory or fantasy where they have deep shame or massive guilt until they have a breakthrough.

Back in 1949, we see Rita traveling through some ceiling vents and eavesdropping on the Brotherhood of Evil talking with Laura De Mille. The evil brain robot and militant Gorilla are preparing her for a mission of traveling through time to 2021 so she can steal all of Niles Caulder’s inventions, bring them back to 1949, and take credit for them. The two members of the Brotherhood of Evil also give Laura DeMille the name of ‘Madam Rouge’ which they all agree has a nice ring to it.

With the conscious selves, audiences see Larry’s evangelical mother forcing him to go through with the wedding so he does not bring shame to his God-fearing parents.  Jane and the other personas beat up Harry the Lamb since he claimed to know Kay more than they do. Toy Vic tells Young Vic that he has permission to be scared and be a kid. And then Cliff is mad at his memory friends for being bad people and confused about why he is at this memory, but after they got him a stripper that came out a car-sized cake, he was more on board with this experience.

in 1949 Rita and Madam Rouge air their grievances before De Mille goes on her mission to 2021. Rita explains that De Mille’s power-hungry self got caught up in her world and that led her to turn on every friend she had. Rouge does not care at all which leads Rita to strangle her, but Laura De Mille shapeshifts into Malcolm so she can escape Rita’s grasp. Rita sneaks into the room with the time travel machine and is able to follow through with traping Rita in the resort from episode 2 before swearing vengeance on Madam Rouge.

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 /

Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 8: Breakthroughs aplenty

Sub Doom Patrol doesn’t want to help Rita stop Madam Rouge but Rita convinces them. After going into the fog for a couple of steps, the team turns around goes back to the mansion. Groom Larry and Army Man Vic have a chat about how to get out of this cycle and move on, but they plan to do it in their pillow and blanket fort. Adult Kay, Army Man Vic, Groom Larry, and Human Cliff all try and talk about their trauma but everyone always reflects before Cliff finally begins monologuing about his life and how he is dying from Parkinson’s.

In their subconscious selves, Cliff, Larry, Vic, and Jane are all able to escape through a portal that is reminiscent of the ones created by Holly. Before they go, Vic is able to give his younger self the rock he got from his parent’s hiking path, and Jane leaves the other personas with a mess for the last time since they are fed up with Jane always leaving. This departure from the subconscious leads to both versions of the four characters being able to have an open discourse with the other about their deepest traumas and guilt. Once they make their respective breakthroughs, the subconscious versions are able to escape back to where they come from.

After the Eternal Flagalletion completes, each Doom Patrol member returns to where they were. Cliff is faced with Clara finding him using her credit card, Larry retrieves and saves the parasite that he left in the woods, Jane is told all of the personas within Kay are gone, and Vic wakes up from surgery with his new synthetic skin and no more Cyborg technology.

Diane Guerrero, Skye Roberts in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 6 — Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max
Diane Guerrero, Skye Roberts in Doom Patrol Season 3, Episode 6 — Photograph by Bob Mahoney/HBO Max /

Rita, however, ends the episode with her coming face to face with Laura “Madam Rouge” De Mille, who no longer has amnesia. This is the last shot of the episode before the credit roll and that just tells the audience next episode is going to kick off with a bang as the end draws closer to Doom Patrol Season 3.

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