All season on DC Universe's Doom Patrol, the misfit group of would-be heroes has been working to try and save their beloved surrogate father figure Niles Caulder -- better known as The Chief -- from the mysterious villain Mr. Nobody. However, in this week's "Penultimate Patrol" the team finally managed to face off with Mr. Nobody on his own turf only to discover he isn't the real bad guy of their story, a reveal that sets up for a potentially high-stakes season finale.
Now, let's just clarify something right now: Mr. Nobody is still very much a villain. He's done a lot of pretty terrible things both to the show's heroes this season but also in his character past as has been revealed over the course of the show. Even his origin puts him firmly in the villain category, as it's revealed that he used to work for the Brotherhood of Evil before they fired him, but one thing to Mr. Nobody's credit is that he's always been forthright about his villainy. The same cannot be said for The Chief, who is revealed to be the bad guy of sorts when he's forced to admit that the tragedies that Rita, Cliff, Jane, Larry, and even Vic have endured that made them the "heroes" they are weren't accidents. He had a hand in them all.
That's right, The Chief is responsible for the pain and suffering of his heroes. "The tragedies that befell you, they weren't accidents," Niles tells the team. "I was responsible for everything."
While the show has hinted throughout that there was much more to Niles than how the team saw him, the reveal probably isn't a huge shock to fans of the Doom Patrol comics. In Doom Patrol (Vol. 2) #57 from 1992, it was revealed that a Catastrophe Theory-obsessed Dr. Caulder had set up the accidents that led Rita Farr and Larry Trainor to end up as part of Doom Patrol after his experiments on gravely injured race car driver Cliff Steele had been a success. He ultimately had a plan to take his machinations to a global level and, per his theory, make people better by transforming them into actual physical monsters. The world ended up being saved when Dr. Caulder was killed by The Candlemaker.
While it's unclear if the DC Universe series will take the same route with The Chief, given that the show does stay fairly close to some of its comic book-inspired moments it wouldn't be a huge surprise if, now that the team knows the truth, The Chief leans fully into his catastrophic plan. It would actually kind of explain why the season finale is entitled "Ezekiel Patrol". As fans will recall, Ezekiel is the doomsday prophet cockroach who has been screaming into the void about humanity's impending doom all season. If Nigel does go full villain, Ezekiel's proclamations may be accurate -- and only a fractured Doom Patrol can stop it all.
Doom Patrol is now streaming on DC Universe. The Season 1 finale, "Ezekiel Patrol" debuts Friday, May 24.