“Casey Patrol” feels like a filler episode without the actual Doom Patrol members appearing. Again, we are introduced to many whimsical characters with their own convoluted backstories and surreal abilities. It’s hard to care about these side characters, even though the writers give Casey sentimental moments of reflection and an uplifting ending.
We recap the HBO Max series Doom Patrol season 4, episode 4, “Casey Patrol,” which contains spoilers. Who is Casey Brinke?
HBO Max’s adaptation of the DC Comics series Doom Patrol is chock-full of bizarre and brilliant characters. In episode four, “Casey Patrol,” the Doom Patrol members take a backseat, and the show dedicates an entire episode to some of its secondary characters instead. This installment reintroduces fans to Dorothy (Abi Monterey), Danny the Street, and the Candlemaker (Lex Lang), while debuting a few new characters including Casey Brinke, a creation of Gerard Way’s (The Umbrella Academy).
Doom Patrol season 4, episode 4 recap – who is Casey Brinke?
The episode starts with a story told via comic book stills. This introduces Casey Brinke aka Space Case, a superhero who fights the evil Torminox. He’s after a special necklace that happens to be owned by Dorothy Spinner in real life. We cut from this comic book prologue to the real world (well, kind of) and Dorothy tells a story about this precious necklace. This necklace belonged to her father Niles, and it was used to give him immortality. Dorothy now owns the talisman herself.
I said Dorothy was in the real world, but that is only a half-truth. She is in fact inhabiting a sentient street called Danny, a home for misfits and outcasts. In this whimsical place, Dorothy is still grieving the loss of her father and prefers to sulk alone. Maura Lee tries to comfort her friend, but Dorothy just wants to be left on her own. She ignores the world around her, choosing to hide in her comic books, where she idolizes superhero Casey. Maura agrees that the outside world is a horrible place, but she cannot live inside this fantasy world forever.
While the friends argue, an evil infiltrates the artificial reality. Robotic flies cause the inhabitants to collapse and then the power is cut. Dorothy and Maura exit the airstream to find an eerily quiet village. The robots take control of Dorothy’s friends and she panics, summoning Casey Brinke. She brings the comic book character to life, but that also brings the bad guy Torminox into their reality too. Casey warns them of this villain, who she has defeated now on 143 occasions.
Torminox wants the necklace and he sends in his troops to fight Casey for this elixir. Casey is happy to kill all the enemies in her path, but these were once Dorothy’s friends. She asks Casey not to kill them, adding that death is permanent in this reality. Maura tells Casey the truth that she is just a comic book character. Dorothy then updates her on the history of the character. Casey’s father was transformed into the evil Torminox during a lab accident and she has fought him ever since.
Casey fends off the possessed enemies, allowing Maura and Dorothy to escape. But they are stalled by Torminox anyway. He shrinks the ambulance containing Danny the Street and his world into a small box, although Casey escapes from this realm at the very last minute. Torminox asks for the necklace in exchange for Dorothy’s friends. Casey goes to attack her father, but has a change of heart, she can’t bring herself to defeat him. Dorothy decides to summon her powerful friend the Candlemaker instead.
This creation is beautifully realized, with some impressive special effects shots. The Candlemaker attacks Torminox’s goons and then takes on the villainous leader. Torminox shrinks the Candlemaker into another box with ease. This works as a distraction though, aiding Dorothy, Maura, and Casey in their escape. They hide out in a building. Dorothy is furious that Casey hesitated. The superhero admits that she felt something different this time around and the experience triggered a sweet memory from her youth of her dad pushing her on a swing. Casey realizes that if she kills Torminox this time, then she might kill him for good and the purple villain is her only connection to her father.
Torminox arrives again and reiterates the trade-off negotiation – the necklace for her friends. Casey tries to win over her father and shows him a mural of Casey’s happy memory. Torminox doesn’t seem affected by the sweet gesture though and strangles Casey. Dorothy tries to reason with the villain as well, stating that the necklace is all she has left of her father. She confesses that she has locked her friends away and hidden from them, all because they remind her of Niles too much. Dorothy feels confused and scared by all these new feelings. She loves her father but hates what he did to her. Dorothy hands over the necklace and Torminox teleports away.
All is back to normal in the fantasy world. Danny apologizes to Maura for not protecting them. Maura accepts that Danny can’t always protect them, they may need to return to the real world now. Maura wants to change the real world and concludes that they all need to move on, to create their own safe spaces. Dorothy and Casey talk in private while the rest of the gang have a sing-along. Casey hopes that Torminox can change his ways and Dorothy suggests that they leave this fantasy world for good. They summon a car and tow the airstream out of Danny’s reality, heading for Cloverton.
The episode ends with Dr. Janus and Torminox handing over their necklaces. Dr. Janus’s contained Rita’s emotions and Torminox’s has the power of immortality. These are handed over to the comic book creator, who talks of Immortus rising again.
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