The Entire Doom Patrol Unites Against the Candlemaker in a High Stakes Finale Lacking Resolution
Doom Patrol Season 2 has been all about breaking the eponymous group down to their most flawed and human, and building them back up again. Each character has worked through their flaws and gone on their own journey of self-discovery. Now with the help of the Candlemaker, it is time to bring them all back together again. Now “Wax Patrol” is the finale and the supposed culmination of the entire season.
Characters have gone on a roller coaster ride from the highs to the lows and back again. Dorothy has gone on her own entirely different journey wrestling with her inner demons, quite literally. The last episode ended with quite the cliffhanger and in fact, flows quite seamlessly into this one. The Candlemaker can no longer be kept at bay and threatens the whole world. This is all that the Doom Patrol writers need to unite the team once again. This is undeniably a high stakes episode where everything comes together. However, the question remains whether it can deliver on its promise as a finale. The writers never intended “Wax Patrol” to be the finale but they had to cut the season short due to the pandemic. So will this finale ultimately be a letdown?
The Candlemaker Finally Unleashed
With Dorothy having come of age, the Candlemaker is finally free. No longer kept at bay, this powerful villain poses a threat to the entire world. The Doom Patrol are thus called to action to save the world. It is great to see the Doom Patrol all together for once and this really feels like the culmination of Season 2. Cliff’s arc throughout this season is by far the biggest. Now a better person, Cliff has made amends with his daughter. He has changed so much that he sacrifices attending his daughter’s wedding in order to help the Doom Patrol save the world. That is truly a selfless action. Rita has fully embraced her role as a superhero and found her independence having overcome her issues with her mother. Dorothy, perhaps the most important character in all this, has to accept her destiny, as foretold by her ancestors, and go up against the Candlemaker. Other character arcs also reach their culmination although they are probably less obvious.
Seeing the characters together finally at their peak should delight fans but for a finale, there are some issues with this storyline. The characters meet their imaginary friends and it cannot help but seem slightly gimmicky. This part of the storyline does in some cases offer the characters a chance to reflect and show how far they have come through the season. Nevertheless, these imaginary friends and their oddities serve mainly as just a fun inclusion. Doom Patrol once again leans into its weirdness with a cowboy, Jesus, and a cut out woman but at times it feels pointless and not warranted. The storyline also ends on a huge cliffhanger with the fate of the crew left uncertain. Like with Titans Season 1, this finale does not feel like a finale at all as it provides no resolution. Instead, it merely leaves you waiting for the next season to provide all the answers and necessary resolution to this storyline,
The Mystery of Jane
Like Dorothy, Jane has been dealing with quite literal inner demons. Even more than last season, Doom Patrol Season 2 has shone a light on why Kay created multiple personalities. Flashback scenes showed just how abusive her father was. This led Kay to take on another personality to deal with emotional and physical harm. Miranda was the first ‘primary’ and helped Kay get on for quite some time. Through further flashback scenes, this episode provides a stylised insight into how Miranda got on in those years. It is fantastic seeing yet another time period. Doom Patrol has had the incredible opportunity of covering periods from the Victorian age to the present day. Now seeing the mid-1900s is a delight that also serves a purpose.
We see how Miranda struggled. She just wanted a happy life but in the end, her attachments hurt her and more importantly Kay. This puts Miranda in a sympathetic light as she ultimately failed to balance her responsibilities to the Underground with her desires. Finally, we also get to see the birth of Crazy Jane, a strong-willed personality who takes over from Miranda. These insights are welcome and indeed well executed. However, they feel out of place in a finale where everything is supposed to be wrapping up. Even more out of place is the shock revelation about the current Miranda. This and the flashbacks would be welcome in any other episode but not in the finale.
Everything in Doom Patrol Season 2 has been building up to this episode, the finale. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Doom Patrol’s sophomore season had its season order cut short, and “Wax Patrol”, episode 9, was set as the finale. This season’s main villain is the Candlemaker and the show has been gradually building up the villain for a climax in the finale. “Wax Patrol” certainly delivers on that front being a climax which finally unites the Doom Patrol against the Candlemaker. This is a decisive episode for the Doom Patrol seeing the culmination of many character arcs; however, what “Wax Patrol” desperately needs to be a finale is some resolution. The episode pretty everything hanging functioning more as a bookend to next season than a finale. Taken on its own, this episode is a great one and even could serve as an effective mid-season finale with all its cliffhangers. Having said that, a finale, it is not.