In the Previous Episode of Doom Patrol Cliff had a mind-to-mind meeting with Jane while Larry oversaw it. During this incident you might have wondered just what Cyborg and Rita were up to while their teammates were unconscious. In Hair Patrol we learn just what hair raising – and hair consuming – adventure they were on, starring the one, the only, Beard Hunter! Plus Niles of the past falls in love with lovely hair covered primitive creature. Yep, it’s Doom Patrol all right..
A large part of Episode 10 is Niles recalling an adventure way back in 1913 that would change him forever. Having worked for the Bureau of Oddities Niles and his Bureau partner Allistier are on the hunt for any and all oddities, in this case a weird looking bipedal animal. In an escape from attacking wolfs the two become separated, Niles blacks out due to a broken leg only to wake up in a cave belonging to what he calls a “primitive creature”. Months pass with the two forming a bond until an old friend comes looking. These memories come via Niles himself daydreaming while captured by Mr. Nobody who is looking for this primitive girl in his dreams. The backstory is nice here because we finally see into his past more then we ever have, showing us more of the man who has become a mystery to the team and audience. In this we learn that he was once part of The Bureau of Normalcy that in the beginning was the opposite of normal in the form of The Bureau of Oddities. This women he befriends has eternal life, giving us hints at maybe why he looks just like he did in 1913.
The other parts revolve around what Rita and Cyborg where up to during Jane Patrol, with the narrative flipping back and forth between the eras. But before we get to them we begin with the introduction of one of the weirdest, most obscure villains to ever grace a panel, Beard Hunter. Ernest Franklin – Beard Hunter – isn’t exactly like his Comic Book counterpart, the few similarities being that he still lives with his mom, obsesses with workout DVDs and magazines, and a hormone deficiency,. The biggest difference to note is that he has powers in this version, what he dubs “Beard Magic”. If he eats ones beard he gains all their knowledge and can locate their beard anywhere in the universe. Let that process for a second. He. Eats. Beard. Hair. We’ve seen so many weird happenings in Doom Patrol, but this takes the cake, it’s such a nasty scene that it had me gagging. But for some reason it works so well and for all of the changes they made to the character I feel like they did very well with transitioning him to the small screen. With only one negative standing out, they never hint if he hates beards like his comic version. I’ve been a huge fan of the character since I read the issue years ago, so much so that I have him tattooed on my superhero arm, so trust me when I say it was worth the wait for his debut.
Trying to advance the plot of finding Niles Cyborg turns to the comic book Danny gave him, while looking through it Rita notices the Mentallo’s muscle ad is missing the Muscle Man. There you have it fans, our first hint at Flex Mentallo, finally. Tying up a unconscious Beard Hunter the duo interrogate the villain who was sent by the Bureau of Normalcy to find Niles. Mocking them he mentions his connection due to ingesting Niles’ essence. While the two leave the room Beard Hunter snacks on a stray hair of Cyborg’s thus learning all about it which he uses to provoke the hero into a fight that plays out in a hilarious manner. Getting fed up Cyborg tries to use his arm canon but malfunctions causing the destruction we saw last weeks episode with this interaction ending as he explains to Rita that he is scared he may be losing control, fearing he’ll become the person in Jane’s Painting.
Hair Patrol is a good episode on it’s own, but as a follow up to Danny Patrol and Jane Patrol feels like it doesn’t live up to how great those episodes are. With the previous two episodes playing heavy with deep themes that feel right at home on Doom Patrol, this episode feels like it could’ve been anywhere in the season, while it does advance the main plot a good amount it’s nothing to new that couldn’t have been told earlier. It retains the humor we have come to expect with some emotional drama on Niles’ side, but it feels like this could’ve easily been explored a few episodes back. It does raise a few questions, why does Mr. Nobody want the girl? Is he speaking directly about the girl we saw in the dream, or did Niles and the cave lady have a child? We only have five episodes left, so hopefully all will come to fruition within then.
Memorable Quote: “Nut Muffin.” – Rita. This is one of the best insulting names I have heard.
Extra,Extra!: Here’s that beardtastic tattoo I mentioned!