Doom Patrol wasn’t just a great show; it was a revelation. It was the first show to really gives us the weirdness and meta-ness of a Grant Morrison comic. It gave us the completely and utterly bonkers, while also giving us well-written and well-developed characters, grounding an insane show with some of the best writing and acting around. And it wasn’t afraid to go for the gut, often juxtaposing the weird with the heartbreaking.
So let’s count down the five best scenes.
In the aptly-named episode “Therapy Patrol,” Cliff has a full blown meltdown and decides, quite reasonably, that he (and everyone else) needs some talk therapy. The way he goes about this, however, is, well, very Cliff-like:
And even though Cliff’s problems were actually caused by a rat that had crawled inside him (the rat, Admiral Whiskers, was attempting to get revenge for the time Cliff ran over his mother), their talk therapy group does help some people. Well, it helps Rita and Larry. Jane, on the other hand...
...Jane hides inside her own mind, first allowing the man-crazy Karen to have to control over her body and then simply going catatonic. In the opening scene of “Jane Patrol,” we finally see what’s inside Jane’s mind — the mental landscape called the Underground — and a lot more of Jane’s alternate personalities and how it works.
“Jane Patrol” doesn’t just delve into how the Underground works, but it’s also a deep dive into Jane’s own psyche and how tired and alone she is, even with 63 other personalities to keep her company.
The episode “Doom Patrol Patrol” takes a look at the members of the titular group — which are not our main characters, but instead Mento, Celsius, and Lodestone, who now teach at a school for metahumans alongside Joshua Clay. But when the secret is revealed — that, in fact, these young superheroes are not only old, but they were driven insane years ago by Mister Nobody — the fact that they live in a Mento-induced dream becomes something of a comfort.
The ending of “Doom Patrol Patrol,” then, shows Joshua Clay taking some publicity shots — and then transitions into reality, where he’s actually administering medication — all to the tune of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day.” It’s a perfect song for a tragic ending, especially as the show uses it to further develop Larry, Rita, and Cliff.
What happens when Flex Mentallo flexes the wrong muscle? Everyone (aside from poor Cliff) orgasms. Yes, even the street they’re on orgasms.
This is just the funniest scene in the entire show and possibly in forever.
Probably the best scene in the show, however, comes right in the middle of “Danny Patrol,” where Cyborg and Larry finds themselves meeting Danny the Street, a sentient, genderqueer street. Danny likes to make their “Dannyzens” happy (because Danny runs on happiness and joy) and so they run a perpetual cabaret. While Larry is there, he is challenged to come out of his shell and sing, resulting in a version of Kelly Clarkson’s “People Like Us” that is at once extremely fitting and amazing.
Unfortunately, the entire sequence is merely in Larry’s head, as the scene tragically cuts at the end to show him sitting alone and refusing to sing. It’s not until later that he begins accepting who he is, but the song he sings in his head is an important reminder of his inner life and inner turmoil.
If you’ve seen the show, what’s your favorite scene? And if you haven’t: watch it already, dammit.