"Cyborg Patrol," episode 12 of Doom Patrol season 1, has produced a new spin on Cyborg's origins that is far darker and twisted than anything seen on DC Universe's Titans. Ironically, for all the effort DC Universe's first live-action original series put into trying to offer up a more twisted take on the classic Teen Titans characters, Doom Patrol accomplished the same ends with far less work when it came to Victor Stone.
From the second episode of Doom Patrol, it seemed that Cyborg's origins had already been changed significantly from the original comics, with Victor Stone causing the lab-accident that destroyed most of his body and killed his mother. This prompted Victor to use his newfound superpowers, under his father's direction, to help others as a penance for what he had done. As the first season of Doom Patrol progressed, however, Victor began to suspect that his father was manipulating his perceptions and may have altered Victor's memories to better control him. Victor also became fearful that Grid - the artificial-intelligence that monitored his systems - might slowly be making him more mechanical, using nanites to change his flesh into metal.
This paranoia prompted Victor to set Grid up on another computer outside his own systems and to cut off all contact with his father in a bid to better understand what was happening to his body. Unfortunately, before he was able to make much progress, Victor was captured by the Bureau of Normalcy - a sinister government group that seeks to eradicate the unusual - and locked up pending further study. "Cyborg Patrol" opened with Cyborg still locked up inside The Ant Farm (the Bureau of Normalcy's R&D facility) and a frightening revelation - Grid had somehow regenerated inside of Victor's body!
As "Cyborg Patrol" unfolds, the newly reborn Grid torments Cyborg with images from his past. First showing him his mother's death, then video of the surgery where Victor's father, Dr. Silas Stone, installed the mechanical components that transformed him into Cyborg. Curiously, the seemingly psychic man in the cell next to Victor can hear Grid talking to him through all of this, though the agents monitoring Cyborg are completely clueless as to what is going on. This suggests that the new Grid honestly is in Victor's head and exists as a separate psychic being, somehow.
The darkest turn yet comes when Grid shows Victor a "memory" he'd never seen before - a clip of video footage where Dr. Stone spoke to a colleague regarding his son's surgery. Dr. Stone admits to taking advantage of the accident to run an experiment and installing nanites that might transform Victor into an entirely mechanical being in his son's body. When the colleague suggests the possibility that this could result in there being nothing left of Victor, body or soul, Dr. Stone testily dismisses his colleague by saying, "Your point?"
It remains to be seen if this image is accurate or if Grid is manipulating Cyborg in the same way Victor feared he was being controlled by his father. In either case, this is a decidedly darker idea than any of the development that happened to the characters in Titans. With only three episodes remaining in its first season, it will be interesting to see how Doom Patrol resolves this amazing change to the status quo.