Well, I really enjoyed this episode. Once it became clear over the course of the previous three episodes that Titans was an actually entertaining and interesting show, I started getting really excited about the next DC Universe live-action series, Doom Patrol. While it’s fascinating to see how this version of Titans differs from the kids’ cartoons that have come before (while still maintaining elements of what makes the various characters tick), the Doom Patrol are way less famous…and also much weirder. Now that I’m confident that the DC Universe creatives know what they’re doing, my anticipation has only mounted to see how they’ll tackle these weirdos next. This episode, essentially a back-door pilot for Doom Patrol, gave us our first look at the World’s Strangest Superheroes, and they did not disappoint.
We open with a flashback to something that happened in the Congo two years ago. There’s a medical tent that looks like a Doctors Without Borders-type operation. A catatonic-looking Gar Logan is brought in, though he doesn’t have green hair or skin yet. Instead, he has some kind of strange animal bite on his arm that’s green and scaly. It’s enough to scare away everyone in the tent…well, almost everyone. After a minute a man in a face-covering hazmat suit comes over to Gar’s bed wielding an impressive silver suitcase. Declaring that he’s going to help, hazmat man injects Gar with a needle, which clears up the bite but also turns all his skin green, setting him on the path to becoming Beast Boy.
Then it’s back to the present, where Rachel is running through the woods after escaping her captivity in the convent. She doesn’t make it far before running into Gar, who is both the green tiger seen at the end of the first episode and the green-haired boy Rachel met in the arcade last episode. He tells her to accompany him, and Rachel agrees, not exactly having a surfeit of options at the moment. On their way to Gar’s home, they run into a pair of deer hunters and spook them away — though not in time to save the deer, unfortunately.
When they finally make it to Gar’s house, Rachel is welcomed into a teenage boy’s paradise, filled with video games and soda as far as the eye can see. The only problem is, it’s not just Gar’s house. Within minutes of their arrival, Gar shoves Rachel into a closet to hide her from Robotman (Brendan Fraser), who does not take kindly to visitors. This walking, talking robot was once a famous race-car driver named Cliff Steele, until a crash destroyed most of his body. Like Gar, he was saved by a mysterious doctor, who implanted his brain into this hulking robot body.
That mysterious doctor is named Niles Caulder, and he is the Chief. Everyone who lives in this house is his patient — not just Cliff and Gar, but also Larry Trainor, and poor, poor Rita Farr.
NEXT: The world’s strangest superheroes