Midseason left fans on a cliffhanger with half of the Doom Patrol transported to Orqwith, a nightmarish pocket dimension of Immortus’ creation, and with only Cliff having any longevity left. Can they get it together long enough to foil Immortus’ plans? Let’s find out!
The Ant Farm
We open at the Ant Farm, where Rouge and Rita are dealing with the aftermath of Rita’s somewhat-accidental murder of Wally, the only person who might have been able to get them to Orqwith. Intruder alarms are blaring. Rouge is trying to grab all of Wally’s scribblings from the walls and get them out of there. Rita has chosen that moment to have a deep, existential crisis about Wally’s death, and is standing in the middle of his cell not doing much at all. After a little yelling and persuasion from Rouge, the two get on their way and sneak back out of the building — by Rouge transforming into a sentient suitcase and Rita squishing her way inside her, of course.
Back in Orqwith, the bizarre pocket dimension of bones and falling ash that Jane’s longevity was taken to, Vic, Deric, Jane, and Cliff are being escorted by Scissormen. They’re quickly shoved in a cell. Deric voices hope that now they’re all imprisoned together they can stop squabbling and come up with some superhero-esque plans to get out of there and defeat Immortus (his lack of familiarity with the Doom Patrol and how they operate is really showing with that one). Deric is the one who gets them out of there, by using the powers of Orqwith itself to draw things into existence. Pulling out a pen, he drops a huge rock on the door and busts them out.
Once freed, the group split up — Cliff and Jane go off in search of the longevity that was stolen from her (in the previous episode, as Baby Jane) and Vic and Deric head off to rescue Larry.
Upon questioning, Jane informs Cliff that the only thing she remembers of her longevity being taken is “purple.” She was, after all, a baby. When they reach a bone building with a lot of Scissormen, they decide to hold Cliff’s brain hostage to get themselves inside and closer to the glowing purple cage that they figure must be holding Jane’s longevity. Once they get there, they are greeted by…Wally Sage. Of course.
Wally offers Cliff a chance to see what Immortus has to offer. He explains how he was stuck in his cell forced to draw creatures as weapons, and how Niles turned up and had him create Peanut Butter the farty donkey to find a piece of Immortus, like a corpse-sniffer dog for chunks of time God. To Jane’s frustration, Cliff decides to touch the amulet (Niles’ old longevity amulet, it seems) that’s offered and takes Wally up on his offer — just to hear him out, see what Immortus is about.
Despite her protests and announcements that Cliff is an idiot. Jane also reaches for the amulet when he does. It transports them to a grocery store, or at a least a vision of one. Cliff is confused, until his daughter Clara appears, hunting for Rory, his grandson. Jane tries in vain to get Cliff to stop and remember this is a hallucination, but he doesn’t care. He goes after Clara and finds Rory, and he’s just removing his oven mitt to finally touch Rory when the vision ends.
Cliff heard Wally out. Unfortunately, Wally was quite persuasive. The chance to see Rory grow up isn’t something Cliff can pass up, despite Jane’s screams and strings of expletives. He hands himself over to Wally, and is placed on the rack to have his longevity removed and returned to Immortus — the final piece that he needs.
Vic and Deric follow a blue glow through Orqwith, recognizing the light that Keeg emits. When they get there, the area is surrounded by Scissormen. There are too many for Deric’s rock trick to help them, so instead, he draws Vic’s Cyborg arm cannon. He won’t touch it, instead letting Deric use it. He gets Deric to draw him a flaming sword instead.
Despite a few backfires with the arm cannon, Deric and Vic manage to fell all the Scissormen. Once they’re safe again, Deric questions why Vic would want to give this up — the arm cannon, the super hero-ing, being Cyborg. Vic snaps and tells Deric how different the experience was for him, how he couldn’t even look himself in the face, never mind his friends. When his rant is done, Deric finally understands. He — and the rest of Vic’s old friends — never realized everything Vic gave up to become Cyborg. He apologizes.
Unfortunately, when they get to Larry, he doesn’t seem overly enthused about making an escape. Last we saw him, Keeg had been terrified by whatever he saw in the future and Larry is determined to find him a new home for the time they have left before he destabilizes. Rama is nowhere to be seen, discorporated by Keeg’s power. Keeg was so scared that he’d rather stay in the hellhole of Orqwith than go back to Earth, and Larry heartbreakingly tells Vic that he cannot, and will not, let another child of his down. He’d rather die.
Vic gets it — Larry is trying to be a good dad. But something very, very not good is about to happen on Orqwith. Larry might be willing to risk his own life, Vic points out, but is he willing to risk Keeg’s?
Girls Just Wanna Get Drunk
Back at the mansion, Rouge and Rita have made their way back from the Ant Farm. Despite Rouge’s attempts to draw her into conversation (by trying to find out if Rita rearranged any organs while riding inside Suitcase-Rouge, for example) Rita is still stuck on Wally’s death. Rouge clumsily tries to persuade her that they don’t know for sure that Wally is dead, but his goop all over the back of Rita’s coat is a sticking point. Her second attempt is to distract Rita with the mountain of Wally’s drawings that they returned from the Ant Farm with — surely there must be something that can help them get to Immortus.
Rita cuts in to say that they may have more immediate fish to fillet: she’s discovered a Post-It from Cliff letting them know that the others have gone to Orqwith in search of Jane’s longevity. And to rescue Larry, of course … if there’s time. Their only chance is to search through the papers and hope Wally drew a map, or something. It’s at that point that Rita gives up and goes upstairs to expire slowly.
Rouge interrupts her a while later to say that she has found blueprints for a portal to Orqwith in Wally’s scribblings. She wants Rita to help and give her a second pair of eyes as she rips a hole in space time — unfortunately Rita is far too busy feeling unmoored and useless to build a portal. The two end up arguing, as per usual, and bringing up all the wrongs of the past until Rouge is forced to retreat from Rita’s room, lest Rita get a bit blobby and accidentally kill her today as well.
Alone, Rouge manages to get most of the portal built, though she’s struggling with the final few details. Eventually, Rita appears. She has reached the realization that everything she touches turns to shit. Rouge points out that her track record isn’t much better, she has failed at everything she’s tried — even being a good friend. But she would rather fail at trying to save the others than succeed at doing nothing. Rita reminds her of another failure: getting her out of the movie she was trapped in. But she does take the cogs Rouge is struggling with and put them the right way up. It seems, sometimes, Rita points out, that the universe is conspiring to keep them enemies. They agree not to let it.
Drunk, but at least friends again, Rouge and Rita complete the portal. The two trade secrets — Rita’s that she used to transform into a beaver and shove Rita’s toothbrush into her, uh, beaver beaver, and Rita’s that she’s actually kind of a serial killer and doesn’t really feel all that bad about it. Not quite equal, but at least they’re too drunk to care. Eventually, they make it through the portal to go rescue Cliff, Jane, Vic, and Deric.
A Case for Space Case
In the dark and boney pocket dimension, the last of Cliff’s longevity is sucked out (via giant tube and brain syringe) into the same glowing, purple cage that Jane’s is being kept in. Rouge and Rita arrive, rattling through the door along with the liquor cart that they dragged through the portal with them. They stumble over to rescue Cliff, but he tells them it’s too late.
Wally, Torminox, and other Immortus plebs are busy chanting and singing weird Immortus hymns, so while they are distracted, Jane manages to smack one of the Scissormen holding her and get ahold of a bone to use as a weapon. Torminox turns to her, raising a weapon of his own, until … zap! It’s shocked out of his hand by none other than Space Case — his own daughter, Casey Brinke, come to the rescue.
Casey arrives on the scene with Dorothy in tow, much to the Doom Patrol’s confusion. Casey confronts Wally and Torminox. Wally is confused because he never gave her life — she agrees. He drew her into existence, but it was Dorothy that gave her life. Wally recognizes Dorothy as Niles’ girl, and claims that this is it, everything has come full circle. Immortus is here!
Rumblings begin. When Jane, Dorothy, and Casey try to run, bubbles appear around them, Rouge and Rita, and Cliff — and around Vic, Deric, and Larry. Vic is drawing the bubbles, trying to protect the Doom Patrol and their allies from the coming of Immortus.
The purple glowing cage spits and cracks open. Out walks none other than … Isobel Feathers.
The Doom Patrol portray their confusion with some selected confused cussing, and then Isobel opens her mouth and begins to scream. And scream, and scream. Until Orqwith crumbles.
The first eight episodes of Doom Patrol season 4 are streaming now on Max. Be sure to stay up to date with all of our coverage!