It’s been a while since a season of a television show has cut to black and had me yelling “What?! NO! You can’t stop there!!!” but the season two finale of Doom Patrol on HBOMax left me both amazed that the show had successfully delivered another bonkers yet emotionally devastating season and shocked that it ended like that.
Spoilers ahead for “Wax Patrol” and the entirety of season two.
So, “Wax Patrol” saw the gang reluctantly come together to save Dorothy, who was fighting to keep her very real and very dangerous imaginary friend, The Candlemaker, from escaping from her mind and fully into the world, presumably to end it. On a fairground, some of the gang ended up fighting their OWN imaginary friends which, in characteristic Doom Patrol, was both absurd and got to these damaged characters on a deep level.
Rita ended up in a tap dance-off with her paper doll with her mother’s eyes and talked out her childhood trauma and imposter syndrome. Vic fought a “doctor cowboy” version of his father that only offered affirmation and got deep on some of his own insecurity. And Cliff … well, Cliff fought a foul-mouthed version of Jesus. That’s right, the son of God talked Cliff through his issues with his own absentee father and it ended in a nice hug … before Jesus busted Cliff into a hundred pieces all the friends turned into the Candlemaker and encased everyone in wax. Thing included poor Larry, who never had an imaginary friend as a kid.
Let’s just pause and applaud this show for giving us a deeply emotional scene … where a robot was literally fighting Jesus.
Where was Jane in all of this? Jane was facing a different kind of parental and youthful memory and trauma. She was stuck in the well, remembering a time starting in 1969 when Miranda was primary and ended up with a boyfriend that coerced her into an orgy, reviving her own sexual and parental trauma. Jane was “born” from that as a defense. Elsewhere in the Underground, Kay (the original personality) confronted “Miranda” who it turns out … wasn’t a healed alter but most likely also the Candlemaker.
Yeah, it was a lot, and that’s not to mention how Dorothy finally decided to step up at the end and own her womanhood, become a grown-up, and fight the Candlemaker. The episode ended with her gearing up for a final battle … and with everyone else either dying or dead!
It was a massive cliff-hanger that wasn’t quite intended from the get-go. According to showrunner Jeremy Carver, there was supposed to be a tenth episode that resolved more things, but, due to the pandemic shutting down production before they could finish shooting, they had to adjust episode nine to be a finale. And they were successful! But … oh my gods, I hope this ending means we’re getting season three because this story can absolutely not end here.
Not only do I need to know what happens to my favorite crew of screw-ups, I need more of them working through their trauma and growing. The thing I adore about Doom Patrol is that no one on the show is static. Miranda mentioned in the episode that she wanted to keep Kay and all her personalities moving forward, and even though she was maybe evil when she said that, she’s right.
This season has been all about parents and kids. It’s explored how parents leaving too soon or staying in a child’s life too long can screw them up. It’s dug into generational trauma and child abuse. How parents can screw up their kids, and how scary it is for parents to know that screwing up is inevitable. But the answer to trauma is not to stand still. These immortal characters are a metaphor for how trauma, fear, and pain can freeze us in time. And sure, we might not get hurt anymore if we hide away and never grow-up or grow old … but we’ll also never get better that way.
I love that this show continues to dig into the ways these characters have not only been hurt, but how they are starting to work through it. Doom Patrol makes the hardest parts of therapy–confronting your fears and disappointed and scared inner child–incredibly literal, and amazing makes them funny and absurd and entertaining at the same time! It’s rare television magic, and to do so with a fantastic cast and characters that are also inclusive is truly a miracle.
So, thank you to HBOMax, DC, and Jeremy Carver for a dazzling second season, but I’m gonna need season three as soon as possible. Because I want to see these dorks continue to heal.
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]