The decisions our parents make can impact our futures long after we have our independence. Characters like Batman, Superman, Iron Man, and Spider-Man are all very much about the way our parents can affect us even decades after their death. As weird as Doom Patrol can get, why shouldn’t it find a way to cover similar territory? Spoilers follow for Doom Patrol Season 4, Episode 4, “Casey Patrol.”
When Dorothy left Doom Patrol in the early part of Season 3, it seemed like she wouldn’t be coming back. Having escaped her eternal youth and allowed to begin aging, Dorothy left with Danny the Street, who is now Danny the Ambulance, never to be seen again–until now. If this all sounds too good to be true, though, it’s because it is.
When we meet Dorothy again, she’s telling the other Dannyzens–including defacto group leader Maura Lee Korrupt–an inspiring story about how she reclaimed a necklace that helped her reconnect with her late father, Niles Caulder.
Things can never be good for long, though, when you live in a world that actively resists your existence. Maura Lee finds one of the walls near their community scrawled over, and soon after a swarm of red-eyed robotic insects invades Danny’s space and begins stinging the Dannyzens. Recognizing the transformed people as having come out of the comic she’s been clutching to her chest all episode, Dorothy somehow summons the main character, Casey Brinke, out of the comic and into real life.
What unites both Dorothy and Casey is that they are daughters of men they can no longer reach. Dorothy’s father is dead after living much too long of a life, and Casey’s father was transformed into a villainous being named Torminox. There’s another element, too, though, that helps bring all the different stories together. While Torminox is attacking Danny, Maura Lee finds someone with spray paint in front of one of their wall of art and goes to confront them. The young man tells her that not everyone in the community dislikes them and that he was trying to fix it back to how it was before the graffiti.
The Real World
That and the attack itself are a shock to Maura Lee’s system, and she joins Dorothy and Casey in a realization. The same way that Casey lived in a fictional world, so did Dorothy and Maura Lee. Dorothy’s was the fiction that she had, or would someday be able to, say the things she needed to say to Niles about her years of neglect and stasis. Maura Lee’s was the idea that she and the other Dannyzens could stay safe within Danny’s confines forever.
In the final moments of the episode, this all ties together as we find that the artist who created Casey is working in service of Dr. Janus, hoping to bring Immortus to life. There’s no formal Doom Patrol appearance in this episode, as the core team is trapped inside the reality Janus created for Rita, but the Patrol is an amorphous thing, and both Dorothy and Maura Lee are members just by virtue of them being misfits who protect other misfits from the weirdness at the fringes of reality.
Space Case is on the Case
Casey Brinke is played by Madeline Zima, best known for Netflix’s You and Showtime’s Californication. She does a solid job with the character, though so far it seems like she just misses the mark of the tone the show is going for. Casey doesn’t feel like as natural a fit for the world of Doom Patrol as Maura Lee, Dorothy, or even characters like the Beard Hunter. Her costume looks just a little cheaper, and her hair just a bit off. It seems like we’ll be seeing more of both her and Dorothy, though, and she could be a good foil for Dorothy’s struggles with asking for and accepting help. In this episode, Dorothy admits she locked away her imaginary friends because they remind her of Niles, and reluctantly unleashes the Candlemaker on Torminox–who easily defeats the once-terrifying creature.
We’re four episodes into the season, so it might be time to reveal the season’s primary villain, Immortus, so that the team can start getting their stuff together. The Sisterhood of Dada was antagonistic, but not really villainous. They wanted to make the world look at their art, and were happy to disappear once they did. Immortus, meanwhile, seems like a proper villain for the team to fight, like Mr. Nobody or the Bureau of Normalcy. I’m looking forward to meeting him after seeing the unique ways he’s attacking the team.