“Donkey Patrol” provides a fittingly nutty continuation of Doom Patrol’s pilot, featuring flatulent donkeys, pocket dimensions and the introduction of Cyborg.
This recap of Doom Patrol Episode 2, “Donkey Patrol”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Another week, another oddly wonderful episode of Doom Patrol, which is easily the most proudly comic-book-y thing on TV or in film at the moment – odd, considering it’s quite flagrantly deconstructionist too. And yet here we are. The aptly-titled “Donkey Patrol” did indeed feature a donkey, though in true Doom Patrol fashion it was a flatulent donkey with a universe inside it. Because why not?
Anyway, we pick up where the pilot left off, with a giant hole in the middle of Calverton, Ohio, Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk) still gleefully narrating proceedings while in pursuit of Chief (Timothy Dalton), who has been dragged into the vortex along with Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero), who dove in after him, and the rest of the Doom Patrol feeling a bit down in the dumps about it all.
An injection of enthusiasm comes from Cyborg (Joivan Wade), who arrives on the scene as a fresh-faced fledgling hero trying to make a name for himself. He’s trying to creep out from beneath his domineering father, Silas Stone (Phil Morris), so that dynamic is intact, and has pleasantly practical robotic accoutrements that get on the nerves of the show’s other practical robot man, Cliff (Brendan Fraser).
While Cliff and Cyborg deal with a regurgitated Jane, Larry (Matt Bomer) and Rita (April Bowlby) try their best to keep to themselves; the Doom Patrol’s underlying theme of reluctant, anguished heroes still very much a part of the show’s core makeup, after all. But dealing with Jane isn’t easy – and dealing with the donkey even less so. There’s a scuffle with some of Jane’s more aggressive personalities – who’re apparently stored deeper and deeper in a place called “the Underground” – but venturing inside the donkey requires the help of Rita’s morphing physique. With Rita, Larry and Cyborg all sucked inside the donkey, they’re susceptible to the memory-meddling of Mr. Nobody, and it occurs to me that anyone reading this without having watched the show will think I’m making this **** up.
Anyway, here are a couple of important things that suggested themselves amid all the insanity. Firstly, Larry is trying to form a relationship with the energy being that lives inside him, and that helps he, Rita and Cyborg escape from the donkey universe and restore the missing portion of Calverton. And it’s also strongly implied that Cyborg is more of a machine than he thinks; that his memories, and core aspects of his personality, have been implanted by his father in a kind of software-update sense, which would be a shame since Cyborg truly believes that he’s making his own decisions – one of which is to stay at Doom Manor.
“Donkey Patrol” was an excellent continuation of the pilot, in part because the two taken together feel like a feature-length introduction sliced in two. The show’s extreme wackiness is consistently entertaining, but its core character dynamics are what really stand out, and I’m excited, intrigued and a little terrified to see what the show comes up with next.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.