Doom Patrol: Diane Guerrero on the Evolution of Jane and Cliff's Friendship (Exclusive)

At the heart of HBO Max's Doom Patrol are relationships. Each of the DC inspired series misfit heroes' individual origin stories involves complex and often heartbreaking personal relationships with family and loved ones, but also central to each hero's story are their relationships with one another. For Jane and Cliff/Robotman in particular, their friendship is one that viewers have seen grow and change over the seasons with Cliff being the one person who may know Jane better than anyone. It's that depth of their friendship that truly came to head in the series' recent midseason finale and now, Diane Guerrero tells about how that friendship has evolved to family for the characters.

Warning: spoilers for the Season 4 episode of Doom Patrol, "Hope Patrol", beyond this point.

"Hope Patrol" comes in the aftermath of "Youth Patrol", with the de-aging spell reversed, though for Jane (Guerrero), her longevity was extracted by Bunbury, so she is now aging — meaning that she now has a limited lifespan. Initially, Cliff encourages Jane to live what life she has left instead of pursuing Immortus, so she visits Shelley and tries to confess her feelings but finds herself conflicted between her own desire to live for herself and the duty to protect Kay. Back at Doom Manor, Jane is struggling with feelings of value and worth when Cliff gives her a bit of important truth: she doesn't get to choose if someone loves her and who and he even takes off his oven mitt, using his new sense of touch to hold her hand. It's a beautiful moment — and course, they end up going off to fight against Immortus together — but it's also a telling moment in the evolution of their friendship.

"You see their friendship evolve since first season. I knew it was going to be special because Cliff is the kind of person, I mean, he's Cliff Steele. He's literally made out of steel. Jane literally can say anything to him, and he is there for it. He's down to party, do that dance with Jane without being offended, almost understanding her pain on a different level where everyone else might be offended or feel like they can't get close to Jane," Guerrero said. "I think Cliff sees past that tough exterior and he's really been the only one who's been able to get very, very close to Jane. I mean, he was in The Underground in the first season and now you see their relationship that is playful. It's like a brother and sister. She feels comfortable enough to tell him about some of these feelings that she's been having. And he's there to listen and make fun of her at the same time.  But when you see what their relationship really means in that moment where she's just like, 'I'm going to die, all is lost and no, I don't know what my purpose is, I don't have a family. I don't know any of that.' And he's there to remind her that he's her family and that it doesn't matter how many times I tell him to fuck off, he's still going to be there. That's an important lesson. We all think that we're alone in this world and that nobody cares or that we can't reach out, but it's simply not true."

The first half of Season 4 of Doom Patrol is now streaming on HBO Max. The second half of the season is expected sometime this year.