Doom Patrol Season 3 Review: DC's Best Series Gets Even Better and Weirder

In the past year, superhero television has given viewers a wealth of entertainment that deals with issues of grief and trauma and while also being a bit on the bonkers side as well. Marvel's WandaVision and Loki, for example, both delivered plenty of moments that left fans wondering what they'd just seen while also a bit teary-eyed from the emotions both expressed by the characters and invoked within themselves. But when it comes to digging into the complexity of grief, trauma, and identity there's really only one show that does it with insanity, fun, and humor and that's Doom Patrol. After the show's second season was cut short like so many others in 2020, DC's weirdest and most human heroes are back with Season 3 not only continues the work of healing with its characters but manages to refresh and reinvent things as well.

Straight out of the gate, Season 3 of Doom Patrol picks up where Season 2 left off, resolving that wild cliffhanger that left the heroes encased in wax thanks to the Candlemaker. While that's a move that is largely one of necessity given the truncated previous season, it's also one that sets the next chapter off on the right foot largely functioning as a strange combination of premiere and previous season finale. Dorothy's (Abi Monterey) story resolves in the Season 3 premiere, "Possibilities Patrol", and in doing so, frees Doom Patrol as a series to move forward from what felt very much like a series of side quests in Season 2.

With the leftovers of Season 2 handled, the "real" Season 3 then kicks off with the second episode, "Vacation Patrol" (a total of three episodes were provided for review) and if "Possibilities Patrol" perhaps felt a little slow and heavy, that's all quickly left behind. "Vacation Patrol" and episode 3, "Dead Patrol" very quickly bring our heroes back together and sends them headlong into new, insane adventures - hello, Brotherhood of Evil - while also giving the heroes new personal issues to take on. It's this balance of duty and personal struggle that is at the heart of Doom Patrol as a series overall and Season 3 doesn't just continue to beat a dead horse with this balance, as it were. It takes things to the next step. Season 3 does a fantastic job of demonstrating genuine healing and that the work of recovering from trauma and grief is not a straight line nor an easy process. This time around, the heroes have to learn for themselves that they might not be able to do this alone. You can acknowledge how you're broken, but you need support to put the pieces back together.

That theme lends itself to some amazing performances, particularly from Diane Guerrero. Her ability to portray any number of the 63 personalities inside Kay Challis is always an impressive feat, but her portrayal of Jane in Season 3 is more layered and nuanced than ever before. You can both see and feel the growth of the character as she works not only with her Doom Patrol family to deal with whatever wild threat comes their way but with the real Kay herself to genuinely heal from the deep trauma that started her own journey. As for the season's most-anticipated new addition, Michelle Gomez knocks it out of the park as Madame Rouge. She's the best addition to the series to date.

Doom Patrol is, without a doubt, one of the most fascinating, foul-mouthed, and fantastic on television (or, rather, streaming) and somehow, Season 3 manages to raise the bar just a little bit higher. Full of fresh weirdness, deeper and more honest grief and trauma work, plenty of comics-accurate treats for die-hard fans, and mystery to spare, Doom Patrol Season 3 is the loud, messy celebration of the surreal and it's more than worth the wait.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5