‘Doom Patrol’ 2.1: ‘Fun Size Patrol’

In which our fabulous freaks discover that no matter how small they shrink, their problems are bigger than ever.

Warning!

Spoilers follow for the second season premiere of “Doom Patrol.”

In “Fun Size Patrol,” written by Jeremy Carver and Shoshana Sachi and directed by Christopher Manley, our heroes are back in Doom Manor, going about their lives –

– while stuck at about an inch in height.

Larry (Matt Bomer), the only full-sized DP member, has created quite the village for them to inhabit on a tabletop. There’s even an extensive model race car track for Cliff (Brendan Fraser).

In London 1927, young Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), looking like the love child of Dorothy Gale and a Cro-Magnon, is an exhibit in a freak show.

At the ringmaster’s command, she uses her powers to summon a beast to entertain the crowd – think a giant bear with huge antlers.

Something goes wrong, and the behemoth attacks the crowd.

Dorothy is terrified.

A disembodied, dark voice commands: “Make stop.

“Help grow.

“Make wish.”

A lighted candle appears in her palm. Dorothy blows it out.

The screams stop.

She ventures out of her now-unlocked cage – and finds the ringmaster decapitated and much of the crowd dead.

And then Dorothy’s eyes lock on the only survivor: the Chief (Timothy Dalton).

Chief (Timothy Dalton) tries to rally his small troop. (Photo: HBO Max)
Chief (Timothy Dalton) tries to rally his small troop. (Photo: HBO Max)

In Teeny Doom Manor Village, the gang is exasperated by all the failed attempts to restore them to normal size. No one has confidence in the Chief.

Rita (April Bowlby) suggests, not unreasonably, that since their predicament is a result of arcane forces, they should consider non-scientific solutions – like magic.

The Chief refuses to consider contacting Willoughby Kipling (Mark Sheppard).

Cliff kills time by killing rats. He ventures down to the rat hole in the manor, leaves some cheese and waits for a rat to punch across the hall.

Jane’s (Diane Guerrero) alters want her to make a change, but she’s satisfied blissing out on the experimental formula she stole from Josh Clay.

Chief wants that formula back. It is meant to help Dorothy control her powers. Jane lies and says she used it all.

Chief vows to be there for Jane, but Jane, like everyone else, isn’t having it.

“You’re not my friend. You’re just a scientist who did fucked-up things to a broken girl.”

The Negative spirit makes Larry relive memories of how callous he was to his young son Gary in 1961.

Cyborg (Joivan Wade) and Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby). (Photo: HBO Max)
Cyborg (Joivan Wade) and Elasti-Woman (April Bowlby). (Photo: HBO Max)

Rita seeks Victor’s (Joivan Wade) aid in learning to use her powers. Would it be so wrong if she became a hero?

“You know you can never actually cut it, right?” Vic says to her.

That humiliation actually helps her stretch.

“Now just find a way to do it without being insulted,” Vic says.

Cliff reluctantly gives Dorothy a spin in his roadster.

Across the toy track they fly – until Cliff suffers flashbacks of his accident and scares Dorothy.

A bright image appears in the car – a mirror face with lights for eyes – Dorothy’s imaginary pal Darling.

Alone in the toy garage, the Chief cuts his hand and lets the blood trickle over a fiddle. He sings a few lines from the Herman’s Hermits hit, “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

That’s enough ritual to summon Kipling.

“Your yard-sale science projects know the truth,” he says.

Chief just wants to help them.

But magic that high comes with a price. Kipling demands the painting imprisoning Mr. Nobody and Beard Hunter as well as the necklace that sustains Chief.

Chief won’t give that up.

“Lego figures can’t be choosy, Caulder,” Kipling warns him.

Rita tells Vic she knows of his night terrors, and she wants to help. He’s offended and storms off.

Negative Man shares a painful memory with Larry (Matt Bomer) (Photo: HBO Max)
Larry (Matt Bomer) lives a painful memory. (Photo: HBO Max)

The negative spirit forces Larry into another moment with his son Gary, this time as an old man.

“Were you ever proud of us?” Gary asks.

“What the hell is going on?” Larry wonders.

Cliff and Jane wonder if Danny will ever grow again.

“Nobody deserves to be a brick,” Cliff says.

They both find Dorothy annoying and are wondering just who Chief had to fuck to make something so hideous when Chief informs them Dorothy is missing.

Cliff fears she’s gone to feed the rats, and he, Jane, Rita, and Vic set out to find her.

Vic suffers a flashback to his surgeries. Rita stays with him to calm him.

Vic and Jane find Dorothy inside the rat hole – where she’s admiring a momma rat – granted, a giant momma rat – and her pink pups, all suckling her.

Dorothy spots a runt and worries the wee one will get lost in the shuffle.

The momma rat spots the runt – and bites his head off.

Dorothy freaks out.

Jane practically goes catatonic.

“The weakest one is the liability so it has to go,” she says.

Cliff rushes a screaming Dorothy back to her father in their Teeny Doom Manor village.

Chief tries to calm Dorothy, but it’s no use.

Cliff spots smoke curling out of the model tunnel he drives through.

What’s in the tunnel?

“This isn’t something you can just punch,” Chief warns.

Right on cue, his car is tossed out the tunnel.

How many imaginary friends does Dorothy have? (Photo: HBO Max)
How many imaginary friends does Dorothy have? (Photo: HBO Max)

The beast who attacked that London crowd all those decades earlier emerges, along with Darling, looking like a housewife with a mirror for a face.

Then a giant tarantula scuttles behind them.

“How many imaginary friends do you have?” Cliff demands.

“Make wish. Make wish,” the dark voice orders Dorothy.

Chief threatens to lock up Dorothy again if she doesn’t make her friends go away.

That works. That gets through to the traumatized child.

In the next room, Larry hears a crash.

He rushes in – and finds all his friends normal-sized.

Chief agreed to Kipling’s terms to save his friends – to protect Dorothy.

“No take-backs on a fool’s bargain,” Kipling warns him.

Later, Rita continues to work on her powers – and manages to stretch. She rushes to share the news with Vic, but discovers his room is empty.

Despite another “Time for a Change” message, Jane continues to drug herself so she doesn’t have to feel – or be – her alters.

Larry goes online and discovers a funeral announcement for his son.

Chief tucks in Dorothy, but her pals just won’t let her rest.

“Father dying,” the dark voice warns. “Make wish.”

“Not today,” she says.

“When?” the creature demands.

“We’ll see,” she says, drifting off to sleep.

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