Doom Patrol ditches the distracting comedy monsters for a fun and inventive detour. This nostalgic installment explores multiple genres in a playful manner, whilst addressing the characters’ emotional states. It’s a much-improved episode that works well within its limitations.
We recap the HBO Max series Doom Patrol season 4, episode 3, “Nostalgia Patrol,” which contains spoilers.
The Doom Patrol believe they have saved mankind and finally rid the world of those pesky zombie creatures, you know, the silly ones that shall remain nameless for the entirety of this recap. With the apocalypse averted, they decide to focus on their new purposes in life, and “Nostalgia Patrol” explores the character’s current emotional states. Rita (April Bowlby) feels betrayed by her comrades and seeks appreciation elsewhere, while Vic (Joivan Wade) reconnects with some old friends. It’s a much-improved installment that ditches the schoolboy humor for some genuine, inventive fun.
Doom Patrol season 4, episode 3 recap
Saddened by the team’s decision to side with a complete stranger, Rita sits alone watching crappy TV and eating junk food in her pajamas. She hears the doorbell ring and finds a poster on her doorstep. The flyer is for a Rita Farr Retrospective. Rita feels touched by the sentiment and goes to the local cinema to finally be appreciated by her adoring fans. Of course, on arrival, she finds the cinema completely deserted. But she sticks around anyway, watching her first-ever film role back on the big screen. A green fog enters the room as the movie starts and the actress is knocked clean out.
Another lost soul, Jane considers her own purpose in life, after watching the interview with Kay. She tries to drown out her thoughts with some rock music and then attempts to solve the unsolvable jigsaw puzzle she’s been given. In her frustration, Jane comes across a puzzle piece containing an eye. Suddenly, a mist rises from the puzzle pieces and Jane is smothered in an orgasmic fog. Yes, you heard that right.
Larry continues his search for Keeg, who seems to be taunting his master, hiding in the walls and messing with the electrics. Rouge suggests Larry lets Keeg move on, something which he appears to have done in the future timeline already. Without Keeg, Larry is powerless though. Rouge thinks this is the perfect time for him to find a new purpose in his life. Larry is annoyed by Rouge’s pathetic attempts at supporting her teammate, but she argues that she is only trying to become a better leader. Larry suggests she starts by apologizing to Rita.
Meanwhile, Vic finds the courage to meet up with his old friends again. He confesses to them that he doesn’t have his powers anymore and has traded in his old look for new synthetic skin. They talk about their old school project, a robot called Mr. Invincible, and then cautiously address the death of Vic’s mother. Things start positively, but it soon becomes apparent that they have a lot of pent-up aggression toward the superhero. He wasn’t there for them when they needed him. They feel rejected and hurt. Later they play laser tag. He has a real, honest conversation with Deric, in which they both feel heard. At the end of the day, Deric hands over the robot toy to Vic, and the superhero feels accepted in the gang once more.
At the cinema, Rita is magically transported into her own movies. She enjoys this experience at first, living out a romantic fantasy, but soon realizes the horrors of the situation. Especially when she is submerged in a genuine horror film that she acted in. While Rita tries to escape this new reality, the gang is forced into another meeting. Rouge wants to do some team-building exercises and proposes starting with Rita and her Retrospective. The gang soon realizes that Rita is trapped inside her own films, and that green smog appears again, to capture them as well. Only Rouge escapes, shapeshifting into a bird to avoid the fog.
Ending Explained – who is Dr. Janus?
Inside the movies, Larry meets a character who calls himself Mr. 104 (Sendhil Ramamurthy). He explains that this place is an artificial reality created by Dr. Janus. She controls everything and wants to feed on Rita’s emotions. Rouge finds out about this unusual villain back at the manor, where she pulls their file. Dr. Janus is an emotional vampire. The file explains her powers but not how to combat them.
Cliff and Jane find themselves in the horror movie as well, and hide in a closet, after running away from a creepy kid. This gives the friends a chance to have a real heart-to-heart. Jane explains the orgasm incident from earlier, which she thinks is the work of Shelley, the leader of the sisterhood of Dada. Before she can elaborate further, Mr. 104 and Larry come to the rescue. Together they enter a sci-fi movie, and Dr. Janus makes her presence known. The gang is placed in a jail cell that is then engulfed in flames, and Rita is forced to save them. As she crosses the rickety bridge to rescue her friends, she talks about her love for the gang, who made her feel accepted. This monologue elicits raw emotions and Dr. Janus feeds upon these feelings, stealing the necklace from around Rita’s neck that contains the emotional juices she desires. Before she leaves, she repeats the words: Immortus will rise. Keeg then saves the day, dissolving the artificial reality before their very eyes.
Rouge gets drunk back at the manor, feeling a stabbing regret for all her previous wrongdoings. She vows to reinstate Rita as the leader on her return. The gang reassembles and Cliff carries Rita through the hallways. She is still unconscious in his robotic arms. Will she survive Dr. Janus’ attack and become the Doom Patrol’s leader once again?
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