Doom Patrol – S2 Ep7 – Dumb Patrol Review

Director: Jessica Lowrey

Writers: Tamara Becher-Wilkinson and Eric Dietel

Starring: Dianne Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Abigail Shapiro, Stephanie Czajkowski, Karen Obilom, Mark Sheppard, Irene Ziegler, Tommy Snider, Bethany Anne Lind, Stephanie Czajkowski, Avis-Marie Barnes, Jhemma Ziegler, Hannah Aline, Shay Mack and Chelsea Rivero. With Riley Shanahan, Matthew Zuk and the voice of Lex Lang

In space, no-one can hear you scream, “WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU… !”

Last week we saw the Chief blow Cliff out of the airlock, after rescuing Dorothy from the moon. This time we see the – ahem – fallout from those events.

Here’s WBTV’s synopsis of “Dumb Patrol”:

Miranda helps protect the Doom Patrol from some truly terrible ideas, after a mysterious package arrives at Doom Manor. Rita’s visit with the Cloverton beekeeper leads her to confront her lingering mommy issues. While on his way back to the manor, Cliff ends up stuck on the side of the road – literally – while Niles heads north to find Dorothy’s mother.

Bunch Of Idyats

No, that isn’t a typo… I’m just being sneaky with my spoiler avoidance tactics.

This episode (surprise, surprise) is fantastic. Fans of Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol Comics, (particularly 2017’s issue #7) will know exactly what I’m talking about, even if they’ve only had scant time to pull out their back issues. I love the way that this is episode 7, and it harkens back to issue #7. Clever? Silly? Coincidence? I don’t care, as it’s a hell of a nice touch, whatever the actual answer is.

Oh, and speaking of Gerard Way… fans of his will also get a huge kick out of a billboard featured at the top of the show, as will lovers of Kite Man and The Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man. Hell Yeah!

Willoughby Kipling Talks Out Of His @$$

Mark Sheppard’s back… Yay! Honestly, I don’t know why I’m cheering, as even though I’m a huge fan of the actor, and the character, Kipling is a bit of a bad news bear.

On the plus side, amongst the doom (sorry), gloom, omens and portents, there are still plenty of laughs to be had this week too. Willoughby’s mask may be the butt of a few jokes, but the revelation of exactly what happened to Mr Nobody after season one ended is hilarious. I think that Alan Tudyk fans will get animated by the wonderful answer, as it’s delivered by none other than the returning beard hunter (another Yay!). I could Harley believe it!

My Bees!

While most of the episode focuses on Larry, Vic, Roni, Miranda. and a special delivery; The Chief, Cliff, and Rita also have some great moments.

Niles returns to the Yukon to try and find Dorothy’s mother, but ends up waxing lyrical with another friend entirely. Rita continues researching her character for the town players, and encounters a wise, if somewhat grumpy, beekeeper. I kid you not.

Conclusion

You know how I said last week that “Space Patrol” was my favorite episode from Doom Patrol, Season 2? Well, it was… but now this one is.

After you’ve seen “Dumb Patrol” you know that it would be a very bad idea to disagree with me, I may have to pound you into purple jelly if you try!

Stargirl – S1 Ep10 – Brainwave Jr Review

Directed by Ani Armaganian

Written by James Dale Robinson

The truth is out! As Barbara deals with this new revelation,Courtney and the new JSA experience another major tragedy!

Last week, we dove deep into the mind of Brainwave (aka Henry King Sr.). In this week’s powerful episode, Jake Austin Walker gets the spotlight as Henry Jr. is faced with a difficult choice. Jr.’s bully-turned-hero arc continues here and to great effect. Walker’s performance and the incredible writing truly make this arc one of the best. Amy Smart’s Barbara also gets some time to shine as she deals with Pat and Courtney’s lies and begins her own investigation into Jordan Mahkent. This epic and emotional episode marks a turning point in the series as we quickly approach a climactic battle between the JSA and the ISA! Let’s recap!

“Brainwave Jr.” opens with a flashback to two years ago whe Pat and Barbara first met in Blue Valley. The two quickly hit it off and share a banana split.

We cut to where the previous episode left off. Pat and Courtney stumble over their words as they tell Barbara everything. Barbara is furious and kicks Pat out.

Meanwhile, Henry Jr discovers that his father has lost ten years of his memories upon waking up from his coma (and as a result is much nicer). The last thing Sr. remembers is Jr’s sixth birthday. King Sr. realizes that his son has his powers and offers to train him. He also learns that his wife/Jr’s mother is dead which devastates him. The two begin to bond as they embrace for the first time in years.

Back at the Whitmore/Dugan home, Courtney contemplates opening the Christmas gift left for her by her father. Meanwhile, Mike talks with his father about Barbara. Pat tells him that he hopes they can repair the damage done, but isn’t sure. Mike decides to go with him to the garage.

At the hospital, Jr. uses his abilities to hear his father dream about Merry and realizes that Jordan had something to do with her death. He rushes home and finds a video tape with more information. In the video, King Sr. explains that he met Merry aka the Girl with 1,000 Gimmicks while he was robbing a bank. She not only caught him, but she also captured his heart. His relationship with her started to change him, making him doubt Jordan’s plans. An angry Jordan then orchestrated the demise of the JSA and killed Merry’s brother: Sylvester Pemberton aka Starman! Sr. also implies that Jordan had Merry killed as well.

Later that night, The Cosmic Staff wakes Courtney up and tries to get her to go out. She refuses as she is already in major trouble with her mom. The staff decides to go after Icicle alone after remembering the latter’s identity.

At the hospital, Jordan visits Henry Sr. and informs him that Project New America is ready to launch. As they prepare to leave, the Cosmic Staff attacks them, but is no match for both Brainwave and Icicle, who capture it.

The next morning, Courtney frantically searches for the staff. Barbara tells her to stop looking. Still angry, she tells Courtney to pack as they are leaving Blue Valley as soon as possible. After Barbara heads to work to get her things, Courtney rushes to Pat’s garage. She tells Pat that the staff is missing and about leaving. A saddened Pat tells her to listen to her mother. He wants them both to be safe and their hero days are over now. Pat rushes off to make sure Barbara is safe at work. Mike expresses his disappointment to Courtney after she still won’t tell him what’s going on.

On her way to school, Courtney runs into Henry Jr., who tells her everything he has discovered concerning his father and the ISA. She embraces him, thinking him to be her cousin. Jr. offers to help her take down the ISA and save his father, whom he believes is changing.

Meanwhile, Barbara emails Sam Kurtis (aka Courtney’s father) at work. She then looks up information on Starman. Pat arrives and checks on her. He tells her to go far away from this town as all he wants is for them to be safe. Jordan and parents show up and give her some baked goods as a thank you for dinner. Mahkent’s parents speak their native Norwegian and then leave. Barbara smartly recorded them!

Back at school, the new JSA (except Beth) is still not a fan of Jr. joining them. Rick and Henry argue with the latter sneakily using his abilities to toss lunch at him. Yolanda eventually agrees to let Henry help, but tells Courtney that they are no longer friends.

Later, the new JSA and Henry Jr. journey to the tunnels where they split up to search for the staff and Henry Sr. Courtney, Yolanda, and Jr. find Brainwave hooked up to a machine surrounded by Dragon King and his goons. Cindy, who is still locked up, alerts her father to their presence and a massive fight ensues. Meanwhile, Rick and Beth discover the cell holding Solomon Grundy. Rick immediately wants to kill the brute as revenge for killing his parents. Beth is able to prevent him from following through. Eventually the JSA is reunited while fending off Ito’s drones. Amidst the chaos, Courtney finds herself facing off against Ito himself, who proves to be a powerful adversary. She is however, able to blast him after Yolanda retrieves the staff.

Henry Jr. goes to get his father, but Sr. refuses to go with him. Jr. realizes that his father’s memories have been restored and is now back to his old self. The new JSA then attempts to escape, but is cornered by Brainwave. Henry Jr. stands up to him and protects the others. Jr tries one last time to get through to his father, but is unsuccessful. Sr. begs him to join him and further develop his powers or die. He also reveals that he killed Merry much to Jr’s horror. Jr. triumphantly refuses saying he will never be like him. He then turns to Courtney and the others and apologizes. He tells them to never lose hope. With that, Sr. causes the ceiling to collapse on Jr seemingly killing him.

This episode is easily one of the best of the series so far in my humble opinion. “Brainwave Jr.” is definitely a turning point for the season, which has been consistently stellar. It delivers on every level: compelling character development, incredible action, and a truly heartbreaking climax. This thrilling episode also reinstates Brainwave as one of the most menacing villains on the show and shakes up Courtney’s family dynamic. The cast and crew continue to outdo themselves with every episode.

I cannot wait for the next episode.

Stay tuned for more recaps and reviews for DC’s Stargirl here on Earth-9!

Harley Quinn – S2 Ep13 – The Runaway Bridesmaid Review

Directors: Tom De Rosier and Juan Jose Meza-Leon

Writer: Sarah Peters

Starring: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Matt Oberg, Ron Funches, Christopher Meloni, J. B. Smoove, Alan Tudyk, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Andrew Daly, Mary Holland, Sanaa Lathan, Jonah Platt, Jim Rash

Feels Like An Episode For Shakespeare

“The Runaway Bridesmaid”… wow. We had a lot of lead up to this episode; highs and lows throughout Harley Quinn season two, as everything culminates on the big day. With Harley in Arkham Asylum, trying to work things out, and Ivy prepares for her wedding to Kite Man, there’s so much to discuss. Let’s dig in.

A Rose By Any Other Name

Harley’s locked in Arkham, after the chaos that wrecked Gotham. She’s fully down on herself as Ivy’s wedding day grows closer. Even when King Shark, Frank, and Clayface come to pick her up, saying that Ivy wants her there, Harley says no. Ivy, on the other hand, is dealing with the aftermath of everything that had happened between her and Harley being broadcast by Dr. Psycho. Kite Man’s not handling things well, which is to be expected. Ivy does her best to repair things, by getting their dream venue… but Harley’s learned that Gordon’s planning to take down all the villains in attendance. What will happen when everything crashes down, and the decision about how to move forward comes down to Kite Man?

Would Smell As Sweet

The entire Harley Quinn team has given us cohesive and relatable stories this season, with each episode building on the characters and their lives. “The Runaway Bridesmaid” is an excellent jewel in the crown that is this show. The scene that touched me the most was where Kite Man makes the decision for Ivy that she can’t. It’s a situation that resonated with me, as I’ve also been fortunate enough to have had someone care enough to do the same for me. That’s one of the things that makes this show so good. Each week my colleagues and I discuss the episodes and the writing, along with the humor and emotion that, of course, come from a place of passion and heart.

This always makes for an enjoyable experience, even in the uncomfortable raw moments that wrench your heart. The writers have never shied away from the moments that force change, and show all the facets that totally humanize these weird and wonderful characters. This season gave us all of that… and then some. The voice cast has made these characters their own and, honestly, I’m unsure I could ever not hear Kaley Cuoco or Lake Bell as Harley and Ivy, moving forward. The rest of the crew, too.

Conclusion

“The Runaway Bridesmaid” delivered a satisfying conclusion to Harley Quinn Season 2. While, yes, the show’s come to an end, there’s still hope for a Season 3. If I’m totally honest, though, I’d be happy to leave the story where it is. Granted, yes I want more… much, much more, but they’ve closed up all the major plot points, and left everything in a really good place.

There have been moments of laughter and tears, joy, and heartbreak. This season left me crying with emotion as much as with laughter. Kudos. Brava! Thank you to each member of the team who helped bring this beautiful show to life, and here’s to a season 3! I give yet another 10/10, not only for the episode but to the series as a whole!

What are your thoughts for Season 2 fellow viewers? Let us know your most memorable scenes in the comments below, and I will – hopefully – see you next time!

Harley Quinn – S2 Ep12 – Lovers’ Quarrel Review

Directed By: Christina Sotta

Written By: Adam Stein

Starring: Kaley Cuoco, James Adomian, Jason Alexander, Diedrich Bader, Lake Bell, Ron Funches, Tony Hale, Matt Oberg, Michael Ironside, Phil LaMarr, Jim Rash, Vanessa Marshall, James Wolk, Alan Tudyk

Thai Or Italian?

As we edge ever closer to the finale for Harley Quinn Season 2, we encounter a “Lovers’ Quarrel”. Last week, in “A Fight Worth Fighting For”, we saw Harley working with the Joker to free the JLA from the Queen of Fables’ storybook, and Ivy being the newest member of Dr. Psychos’ mind control, and finding herself hell-bent on killing Harley.

Let’s jump right in as there is plenty going on in “Lovers’ Quarrel” to discuss.

Sy In The Machine

Ivy’s still under Dr. Psycho’s control as “Lovers’ Quarrel” opens. The diminutive villain may have bitten off more than he can chew, regarding his deal with Darkseid, but he’s being as evil as he can be in the attempts to take Harley down. Not only does he use Ivy’s pheromones on Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman leading to… interesting results, he also uses Ivy against Harley in a showdown to the death, If there’s one thing to be said of this episode, it’s do not underestimate what Dr. Psycho is willing to do to win, at any cost. It remains to be seen if there will be any team left to speak of in the season finale.

She Is Soaring, Majestically

“Lovers’ Quarrel” is one of those episodes that works brilliantly, both on its own, and as a perfect lead up to a finale. We’re used to seeing danger, and cliffhangers that are nail biters, to be sure, but this one does it in a different way. Every relationship we’ve loved in this show is on the table, and what will happen to all of them remains to be seen. The writers have given us stakes of a different kind, and the voice cast has risen to that challenge at every turn.

Harley Quinn is not known for being predictable, so I think it is safe to say that things could go any way this coming Friday, when we witness the finale of Season 2.

Conclusion

I’ve given almost, if not all, of the episodes in this series a 10 out of 10. The reason I do so is because of how engrossing this show is. I see the reactions of friends, colleagues, and family, as every week we wait and ponder on what each episode will bring. How completely and utterly enthralling it is, how each one instantly becomes a favorite.

There are so many reasons to like this show, and it brings a new vision, not only of Harley Quinn, but of every single character it touches on, regardless of how small a role they may have. This episode as well gets a 10 out of 10, and I can’t wait to see what the finale holds for us all.

What were your favorite parts of “Lovers’ Quarrel”? Did they surprise you? Let us know in the comments below, and I’ll see you next review!

Doom Patrol – S2 Ep6 – Space Patrol Review

Director: Kristin Windell

Writer: Neil Reynolds

Starring: Dianne Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Timothy Dalton, Abigail Shapiro, Stephanie Czajkowski, Karen Obilom, Phil Morris, Irene Ziegler, Samantha Marie Ware, Mariana Klaveno, Stephanie Czajkowski, Charity Cervantes, Sarah Borne, Skye Roberts, Derek Evans and Jason Burkey. With Riley Shanahan, Matthew Zuk and the voice of Lex Lang

We really feel the repercussions of the catastrophic results of Dorothy and Baby-Doll’s falling out at the end of last week’s terrific episode in this week’s Doom Patrol. Here’s WBTV’s synopsis of “Space Patrol”:
Larry is tasked with handling Niles’ old research team when the ageless astronauts return from space. As Niles and Cliff set out to find a missing Dorothy, a funeral in The Underground occupies Jane’s mind. Meanwhile, Vic discovers a curious connection between Roni and S.T.A.R. Labs, and Rita finds that her role in an upcoming community theater production hits too close to home.

All’s Well That Ends Well?

Wow! Where do I even begin? After Dorothy summoned her sabre-toothed, antler, wolf-bear imaginary friend, Manny, Baby-Doll – in fear of the creature – called up her Sun Daddy, who killed him. In grief and rage, Dorothy made a wish which released the Candlemaker into the underground, where he murdered both Baby-Doll and Sun Daddy, right in front of Jane, Hammer Head, and all of Kay Challis’ other exiled personalities.

This tragic turn of events causes most of Kay’s other selves to turn on Jane, and we learn more about her past, and the original primary persona, Miranda.

Totally disgusted with herself, and terrified of the repercussions of her actions, young Dorothy runs away, and while Cliff and Niles rocket off to find her, Larry deals with some more of the Chief’s old friends, Vic continues his attempts to help Roni Evers and Rita attempts to re-kindle her acting career.

Bang! Zoom! Straight To The Moon!

The writing in this episode is fantastic. The return of Niles’ former space project; the crew of the Icarus, the Pioneers of the Uncharted, leads to laughs and revelations. I must admit to not being very familiar with the names Zip, Specs, or Moscow, but when the lady of the crew revealed her real name to be Valentina Vostok, my Doom Patrol senses started tingling.

Her presence initially has a Negative effect on Larry, but they find that they truly are kindred Spirits before long.

Long time fans of the original source material may find the way that Valentina, and Larry’s histories have been altered from those of their comic-book counterparts, upsetting. I have to say that, for storytelling purposes, it really works. Anyway, no comics’ adaptation has ever been truly faithful – Dorothy isn’t Niles’ daughter for a start – but Doom Patrol gets more things right than wrong, and any changes made are frequently for the better.

Here We Go Again

Every line, every performance, every tear and every laugh really hit home this week. Niles’ love for his daughter, Cliff’s ineptitude, and eventual acceptance of Dorothy, and poor Rita’s experience at the amateur dramatics club, was brilliantly written and acted.

I’m loving, and terrified by, Vic and Roni’s relationship in equal measure and am glued to my seat watching things develop.

Jane’s ongoing personality crisis has me fearful for her, and the other members of the Underground, as I can’t see how Miranda will peacefully resolve their issues with Dorothy. There’s so much going on this season that I have no idea how it could possibly be wrapped up in the remaining 3 episodes!

Conclusion

Two thirds of the way through Doom Patrol season two, and this series has yet to disappoint. I don’t know of another show that has had this strong a run of great to excellent episodes. This one has been my favorite of the second season so far.

The writing’s top drawer, the acting’s fantastic, and the visuals all match up to the drama. I love this show, and don’t want it to end.