Flex The Hero of The Beach, The Man of Muscle Mystery, or in last weeks episode prisoner 722 has flexed his way into the Doom Patrol, and viewers hearts. Or I hope he won your heart because he is a near damn perfect panel brought to life, which Doom Patrol has done greatly with adapting the weird. With two more episodes preceding this Flex Patrol hits hard on character driven moments as Rita morphs into the hero she wants to be, and or other heroes shine in their own moments.
Naming the episode after a character has shown us that said episode will highly focus on them with Flex Patrol being no different but also showing a great deal of the others. Starting with the capture of Flex in the yesteryear’s we learn a valuable lesson, don’t trust cats. Throughout this flashback we learn of how beloved Flex is while seeing a glimpse of his muscle mystery powers. Followed by his inevitable capture by the Bureau of Normalcy. Catching back up with the “now” timeline Jane and Cliff try their damnedest to bring the now amnesiac hair covered Flex back to his prime, as usual this is done with hilarious results. One thus attempt ending with Cliff smashing the TV on which Flex is watching his soap operas causing the Man of Muscle Mystery to break down and cry.
With the team separated we get plots for each their own ending in satisfying moments. On Larry’s end he and the Negative Spirit seem to finally agree after Larry see’s the Spirits fight for him in the flashbacks of The Ant Farm. While the Spirit is set free with a dying Larry who just wants the best for him, or whatever you would consider the spirit. With Jane and Cliff we are shown what seems like the conclusion of their arc about the Underground, with what seems the two of them coming to in understanding. This moment wasn’t as spectacular as the others are but still felt great in it’s own sense. With the help of the flashbacks Larry realizes they need Flex’s wife Dolores. Their reunion mirrored the comics quite well and was very emotionally well done. But all of these couldn’t beat Rita’s hospital scene.
Rita who started off the series as what now seems like a completely different character has come such a long way and feels like a better person and character to boot. In a lengthy shot that starts wide then slowly zooms in on Rita we are treated to what may be her best moment and one of the shows most emotional. In this she recounts the story of her past deeds leading up to when she got her powers. Throughout the episode she shines greatly, ending with her feeling like a team leader and mother to the outcasts known as Doom Patrol. Finally rallying them up to take the fight to Mr. Nobody.
The creators behind the scenes did great with the Flex story hitting every beat on the head with the only difference being the location where the team meets him. In the comics it was on Danny The Street but on the show The Ant Farm, which works out just fine by also showing us Larry and the Negative Spirits time in the compound by flashbacks showing us he was prisoner 721. By taking Muscle Mystery which is an obscure power the creators were able to translate it to TV magnificently and should receive some great accolade for this feat. The directing by T.J Scott was fantastic and made this episode feel heavier then other episodes. With some beautiful cinematography, amazing acting on everyone’s part with great character moments this may be the best shot and emotion hitting episode yet. We end with the team facing some of their fears preparing themselves to finally confront Mr. Nobody.
Our so we thought the episode ended, until we see Mr. Nobody with what may be my favorite quote, “After 13 pointless meandering episodes of character driven schluck, we can finally get to the show that everyone wanted to see in the first place! A SUPERHERO SHOW! Right vs Wrong, Good vs Evil, Hero vs Villain. That’s me. You bozos want The Chief, come get him”. With our team formed it’s time to finally take on Mr. Nobody.
Extra: Thanks Thanos. If you saw this episode you’ll know what I mean.
Extra 2: I’m loving all of the Animal-Vegetable-Mineral-Man side plot happening in the background. Especially when he got shot in the minerals, which for some reason was simply hilarious. Plus the news station was called World Of Wut! this fits the show perfectly.