Doom Patrol Earns Its R-Rating With Astonishing New Superpower

Doom Patrol Flex Mentallo's Greatest Flex

The latest episode of Doom Patrol season 1 gave Flex Mentallo an entirely new and awesome superpower. This, in turn, brought about an entirely different kind of climax than the one audiences were expecting to see in the penultimate episode of the season.

"Penultimate Patrol" saw the superpowered patients of Dr. Niles Caulder hit the road in order to track down their abducted benefactor and rescue him from the sinister Mr. Nobody. The trail led them back to Danny The Street - a sentient, teleporting, genderqueer roadway, who had turned themselves into a safe space for outcasts and outsiders of all stripes. Danny confessed to knowing where Dr. Caulder was but not saying anything earlier because they were afraid of Mr. Nobody and feared he might come after Danny and their friends. Relenting, Danny explains that Dr. Caulder and Mr. Nobody are in White Space - a void between realities, which is likened to the blank areas separating the panels of a comic book.

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Luckily, reality-altering muscle-man Flex Mentallo knows how to open a portal into White Space using his powers of Muscle Mystery. Unluckily, Flex is a little out of practice after several decades locked up by the Bureau of Normalcy and his head isn't quite in the game following the horrifying death of his wife, Delores. As a result, Flex doesn't quite pull off the pose that is needed to open the gateway between this world and the next. Instead, the rest of the team (save Cliff "Robotman" Steele) are suddenly out of breath and having trouble standing. When Cliff asks what is going on, Crazy Jane's answer is short, if not sweet - "We're @#$%ing coming, man!"

Doom Patrol and Flex's Most Powerful Flex

A montage ensues and Eric Carman's "All By Myself" fills the air, as Flex's pose affects the residents of Danny The Street and everyone is filled with the same orgasmic joy. Even Danny is not immune to Flex's powers, as the electronic billboard at Peeping Tom's Perpetual Cabaret begins to repeat the word "Oh" over and over again. It is not until the fire hydrants burst and the wacky, waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men lining Danny The Street deflate that something resembling order retakes the neighborhood.

It is hard to say who is more embarrassed by this display once it is over. Flex Mentallo, ever the gentleman, is deeply apologetic and sheepishly explains which muscle group he twitched by accident. Cliff Steele, on the other hand, is put on the defense when Crazy Jane realizes that he suddenly started moaning, yet he always said he couldn't feel any sensation at all because of his robot body. While Cliff denies "faking it," saying her respects the rest of his teammates too much to do that sort of thing, he finally admits that he felt left out and just wanted to be part of the group - even while they were having their bodies taken over by a psionic force.

One has to feel for Cliff being denied one of the most basic of human joys while even a sentient street is allowed to get their rocks off. Still, this gag showcases just how far Doom Patrol will go in embracing its status as the DC Universe's strangest show. It is also a far more creative and intelligent use of its R-rating than the "mature" material that goes into many other shows aimed at older readers.

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