This week's episode of Doom Patrol finally gives us some much-needed insight into Niles Caulder's background and his intentions moving forward. Mr. Nobody is continuing to pry into his memories, reaching all the way back to the early days where he met a female hominid and fell in love with her.
During their time together, Niles was attempting to get back to the Bureau of Oddities. His initial intentions for the woman were to bring her in to be studied and looked after by the group. Eventually, his plans change and instead his sole purpose becomes to protect her. This is pointed out by Mr. Nobody at the end of the episode when the two men actually have a conversation face to face. It's a rare chance to see Alan Tudyk as his normal self and in it, he is a sinister, calculating villain. B
ut what is perhaps, even more sinister, is the Chief's willingness to throw the Doom Patrol under the bus. He has no intention of letting Mr. Nobody break him, even if it comes at the sacrifice of the group desperately seeking him from the manor. This twist provides better context to the mysteries of the Chief. He is not exactly a noble hero, but then, no one on this show is.
Still, I like the fact the Chief is very much a complex character. We don't really know what he will or won't do to get what he desires or to protect this woman he claims to love. He's not exactly the most trustworthy person.
Meanwhile, at the manor, as I suspected last week, we get to see what Rita and Vic were up to while Jane and Cliff were exploring the Underground with the help of the negative spirit. They have their hands full with a new villain on the scene known as the Beard Hunter and his abilities are absolutely disgusting. He can access memories and take control of minds of others by consuming their hair.
He is sent to the manor by the Bureau of Normalcy to try and track down Niles. There is a horrible scene of him slurping up a massive hair ball from the drain - Niles's beard hair. I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit. Needless to say, Rita and Vic have to fight the Beard Hunter off as he tries to take from Vic's beard and get the upper-hand on the two of them, thus the resulting mess in the lab by the time the rest of the gang returns.
The final scene of the episode shows the Beard Hunter in the basement with a strange Jigsaw-like puppet of Niles, before the massive creature we saw at the episode's beginning reappears. It would appear this might be the end of the Beard Hunter!
It is also worth noting this episode teases the introduction of the hero, Flex Mentallo, who has disappeared out of a comic book ad Rita notices.
New episodes of Doom Patrol stream Fridays on the DC Universe app.