Jane Patrol kicks off right where the previous episode ended with Jane receding into the Underground deep in her mind. If your not caught up on the last few episodes I suggest you don’t read on because it wouldn’t make any sense, and spoilers.
Episode 9 gets straight to the point with a young Jane – going by her original name, Kay Challis- putting a jigsaw puzzle together only to be interrupted by her father. Opening her door the father says, “Sweet, sweet, baby Kay”, that phrase may not seem important enough to write down, but it haunts Jane throughout the entirety of the episode. With some other dicey words during this moment and throughout the episode they hint at a father that has molested his child, setting her down the road to become Crazy Jane. With how dicey this subject matter is they incorporated it well into her story by not going to far in explicit details and showing a motif of a broken jigsaw puzzle throughout the episode, which had been featured in an episode prior.
As the name implies most of the episode revolves around Jane and fighting her inner-demon presented as her father. With her Hammerhead personality dragging Karen to a room – that seems like a huge garage – we meet a few different “personalities”. The creators made a smart move here and had a name in bold lettering next to each character showing who was who. They also did something I wasn’t expecting. Each character was played by a different actress, save for a select few. At first it seemed like they didn’t want to go through the trouble of having Diane Guerrero (Jane) play all of them and edit it all together in post; but after a few scenes of each character we are introduced to it starts to make more sense why they went this route.
With different actresses they had the possibility to show that they aren’t just different personalities but whole people with their own thoughts, feelings, looks, and problems. By the end of the episode I came to love this idea and was glad they did that giving me a new outlook on each personality that comes to fruition. Plus it seems like I’m not the only one that felt that way, which transitions into our next story beat, Cliff Steele.
With the guilt eating at him Cliff feels it is his fault for Jane’s ride to the Underground. Starting with his need – well the Rat’s need – for therapy, and pushing her away with some harsh words. With all this guilt he just wants to help Jane whom he considers a friend, but with her unconscious there is no way to help. With the help of the Negative Spirit Cliff is able to deep dive into the Underground while in human form. With Penny Farthing acting as Cliffs own tour guide the duo make their way through the fragmented memories of Jane and her personalities with the goal to stop her from going to a place called The Well.
Having Jane and her Underground personalities take center stage for an episode gave us a fair deal of character development for her. With her fear of her father plaguing her down she was able to finally confront him in her head in which she beats him, allowing herself to feel free while lifting a burden. Not only did we have development on her end we also had a great character moment for Cliff, who as previously said was in his human flesh played by Brendan Fraser, it’s always nice to see Brendan! In a pivotal scene we see Cliff relive all his memories up to this moment and peel his human flesh to show that he is not the man he used to be, he is a changed man in his actions and flesh.
On the design side we had each personality in their own outfit that helped distinguish them from each other and help show all of their identities. Having met a few new personalities two stood out for their designs, and one new character stood out for the same reason. First up we where introduced to the three headed sisters who looked awesome and would finish each other’s sentences. The whole design of a three headed fortunate teller was awesome. The next design was Jane’s Black Annis design, who looked like she was ripped straight from the comics, hopefully we see her when Jane gets in a fight in later episodes. Finally we have her father that confronts her in the shape of thousands of jigsaw puzzles. Aside from being symbolic it looked great and made him even more terrifying of a threat.
“Like It’s easy being up there, like it’s a cakewalk. Shit’s hard as fuck.” – Jane
Having given up on the outside world Jane goes to her Underground to fight her inner demons, with the desire to struggle alone. Making their way through memories Cliff and Penny finally find and confront Jane who is watching a memory of herself and Niles. After the confrontation between the three with Cliff just wanting to help Jane tells him he doesn’t belong here, demanding him to leave and that she doesn’t want help, as she sees no reason to go back. But even after all of that he ignores her demand and makes his way to The Well to help her. Everyone has to fight their demons, usually alone, but with friends that care and love you it can make a world of difference; even if you tell them repeatedly no and they still help you.
While Penny and Cliff made their way to The Well they passed by the memory of Cliff meeting Jane while she paints, seeing this he asks why it’s buried so deep when its a “good” memory. To his surprise Penny explains that it’s because it was the beginning of everything going sideways. This scene plays out quick and simple but exemplifies how people view memories from their point of view different from others and how one may view it as “good” and the other person “bad”.
Doom Patrol has had a few episodes that focus on the drama and character development with each knocking it out of the park. This episode was no different, with only a few minor setbacks, one being the change to 45 minutes instead of the usual 55. Ten minutes may not seem long, but they could’ve fit in some more scenes showing other personalities and how they react to Jane or delve deeper into Jane’s subconscious, or Cliff’s reaction with turning back into a human for a little while. I look forward to what the future holds for Cliff and Jane’s relationship!
Memorable Quote: “Part of me wishes that we could just shrink ourselves, Magic School Bus style, and get inside her head.” – Cyborg. There were a few humorous parts but the episode played it fairly serious at most moments, usually relying on Cliff for the butt of jokes. But Cyborg takes the cake for funnest moment and best idea.