Doom Patrol Season 4 Episode 5 recap – what is Project Immortus?

By Adam Lock
Published: December 29, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
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Another odd deviation from the show’s main arc, this time the gang party like they’re teenagers and Larry hunts for Keeg. It’s an inventive installment, making the most of budgetary issues, but one that feels like needless filler nonetheless.

We recap the HBO Max series Doom Patrol Season 4 Episode 5, “Youth Patrol,” which contains spoilers.

The Doom Patrol has taken on many dangerous foes in their time and have stopped many apocalypses from destroying civilization over the years, but their greatest threat still awaits them. In “Youth Patrol”, Willoughby (Mark Sheppard) pays the dysfunctional superheroes a visit to update them on Immortus, the inter-dimensional deity capable of swallowing the entirety of existence whole. When faced with such terrifying news, what do our heroes do? They go crash a party of course.

Doom Patrol Season 4 Episode 5 recap

The fifth chapter is split into two main narratives, the gang’s mission to stop Immortus and Larry’s own solo adventure to find Keeg. We start with Larry, meditating in his room. He has traumatic flashbacks to the battle with Dr. Janus and Mr. 104. As well as visions of a cabin in the woods. Larry leaves Vic to look after the recovering Rita, as he goes searching for Keeg alone. In the forest, Larry is attacked by these memories once more and collapses from the pain. Then the elusive Mr. 104 appears, looming over his body.

Meanwhile, Cliff and Rouge can be found in the garage, where they are working together to fix the car they found while hunting for zombie Darren Jones. Rouge thinks it will be a good distraction for Cliff, and she’s right, he’s loving the experience. Suddenly, Willoughby materializes in the backseat and orders the Doom Patrol to assemble. Rouge, Cliff, Vic, and Jane gather in the kitchen for Willoughby’s warning speech. The ancient god Immortus is coming for them.

Rouge recalls the name, explaining how the Bureau were involved in a project called Immortus, where their primary objective was the pursuit of immortality. Willoughby informs them that they are the project. Well, everyone except for Rouge and Vic that is. Apparently, Eric Morden (Mr. Nobody) was in possession of a necklace that contained the elixir of life, up until the day the Chief shot him. Then the pieces from the necklace were separated and placed inside the Doom Patrol members, without their prior knowledge. This explains why they haven’t aged for decades now. If the pieces remain in their bodies, then they can avoid another apocalypse – it’s as simple as that. But evil entities are after them and their longevity.

Rita seems to have already lost her immortality thanks to Dr. Janus, who drained it from her in a previous installment. She has started to age more rapidly since losing this precious power. Rita looks at her wrinkled face in the mirror and panics. She hunts for another potion to help return her back to her former glory, and finds a spell in a box labeled: experimental, untested, dangerous. Cliff bumps into her just as she is about to take this spell and Rita drops the vial. It smashes on the floor and the potion escapes, transforming into a colorful cloud of smoke. All the group members inhale this smoke and start to de-age.

When the smoke clears, the gang looks very similar to their usual selves, but their clothing has changed and Vic can be seen sporting some rather ugly-looking braces. Rita shouts that it has worked, feeling the glasses upon her face. Willoughby, now with wavy, long hair, explains that it wasn’t a very good spell, as everyone looks exactly the same, but feels differently on the inside. Seems like budgetary issues to me. Rouge is the only one unaffected, but she later admits that she immediately transformed back into her older self to avoid coming face-to-face with her teenage self.

The team contemplates their latest nightmare, whilst Larry is in one of his own. He awakens in a flashback vision, watching Mr. 104 being interrogated. The stranger is then experimented upon, killing all the employees in the room. Larry leaves this vision and finds himself in a cabin. Keeg can be seen inside Mr. 104, but he hasn’t been kidnapped. Actually, it is Keeg who won’t leave Mr. 104’s body. Further visions highlight Larry’s unparalleled powers. His mask is removed and the workers in the room die. Both Larry and Mr. 104 were involved in the same, horrifying experiments, with the same deadly results.

Ending Explained

Back at the manor, Willoughby proposes finding his old teacher, Miss April, to help bring back his powers and to undo this curse, which is distracting them from their vital, apocalypse-preventing mission. He adds that they will keep de-aging until they are reduced to nothing. Willoughby pinpoints Miss April’s location and a road trip commences. The teenage Doom Patrol members enjoy their new mindsets and drag Willoughby to a pool party. Cliff and Jane dance, while Vic swims length in the pool. They’re all having the time of their lives, until they transform again, this time into their child bodies. There’s a chance for Jane and Kay to reconnect, whilst Rita and Rouge have a heart-to-heart. Vic even visits his old friend, Deric, to make amends. But they are all just stalling for time before they must face their latest foe.

At the cabin, Larry and Mr. 104 talk candidly with one another. Mr. 104 explains that he worked for Dr. Janus to stop the suffering in the world, but seems to have caused more pain in the process. His powers are out of control and could one day cause Armageddon. His only hope is to help return the longevity to Immortus, who will then grant him one wish. Larry is convinced that Mr. 104’s dilemma can be solved by a different approach, one that doesn’t involve any violence. He endeavors to help Mr. 104. Then, Keeg leaves Mr. 104’s body and returns to Larry. Although after this bonding moment, they are both captured by an unknown entity – typical.

As the episode draws to a close, the child versions of Jane and Willoughby try to convince Cliff to leave the party, but he refuses. They are then visited by Bunbury, who returns Willoughby to his adult form. Jane then transforms for a third time, becoming a baby once again and Bunbury extracts something rather important from her.

What did you think of Doom Patrol Season 4 Episode 5? Comment below.

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