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Pilot Recap

Paraguay, 1948

Eric Morden, a nameless henchman, is taken to a Nazi, Von Fuchs. Von Fuchs is posing as the villager cobbler, and takes Morden to an underground chamber to "enhance" him. Once Morden pays Von Fuchs, Von Fuchs places Morden in a chamber and has him recite that "The mind is the limit". White lights flash in the chamber and Morden's existence fractures.

Florida, 1988

At a manor, Kate Steele's daughter Clara cries and Kate calls to the maid, Giselle. In a cabana, Kate's husband Cliff is having sex with Giselle. Kate goes to the cabana and Giselle steps out as Cliff arrives with Claire and assures Kate that Clara is fine. Giselle takes Clara from Cliff's arms.

Later, Cliff gets into his race car at the track as Giselle and Clara look on. Kate is at the car and tells Cliff to crash and die, and they kiss. Cliff and the other racers speed around the track, and as Cliff passes the pit he sees Kate fondling one of his pit crew. Kate boasts about it over the radio, and Cliff screams in anger and loses control of his car... and crashes.

Cliff's life flashes before his eyes, and he wakes up to see Dr. Niles Caulder looking down on him, working with welding tools. The driver flickers in and out of consciousness, seeing Caulder watching a TV show about welding, a man wrapped in bandages, and an energy being. Later, Cliff wakes up and Niles addresses him by name and introduces himself. He has Cliff nod his head to indicate that he hears him. Later, Cliff sees Niles and Rita Farr watching one of Rita's old movies, Rita reciting the lines along with her movie self.

Later, Niles wakes Cliff up and asks him to remember what it felt like to move his head. Cliff does so and Niles tells him to move his head. When the driver does it, Niles smiles in satisfaction and explains that Cliff was in a terrible accident and most of his body was destroyed. Niles promises that they're close to restoring him and tells him to rest.

Niles continues working Cliff, helping him get his speech back. Cliff sees a calendar and realizes that it's 1995, and realizes that seven years have passed for him. He asks where Kate is, and Niles tells him that the world thinks that he died in 1988. Cliff wonders what Niles did to him, and Niles shuts him down. Later, Cliff wakes up and Rita says that Niles is a good man even if he's a little vague, and always says the truth. She explains that the only part of Cliff that Niles was able to save was his brain, and shows him a mirror... and Cliff's reflection of himself in his robot body. Cliff exclaims in shock and Rita turns him off.

Niels comes into the chair in his wheelchair and tells Rita that he said Cliff wasn't ready. Rita says that everyone deserves the truth. Later, Niles turns Cliff back on and assures him that he's still very much himself. He explains that they're in his home and it's a safe place for Cliff and others like him to heal. Cliff asks where Kate is, and Cliff remembers arguing with Kate and the car crash. He asks if Kate has moved on after seven years, and says that everything he remembers is bad. Niles assures him that it's disassociative memory and Cliff will soon have all of his memories, good and bad.

The bandaged man, Larry Trainor, comes in. Niles introduces him to Cliff and says that Larry can help Cliff with his recovery. Larry takes Cliff around Niles' home, "Doom Manor", on a cart. Cliff asks what Larry's story is, and Larry explains that he was a test pilot for the Air Force.

California, 1961

Larry kisses his wife Sheryl and his sons goodbye and goes to fly the X-15. The X-15 flies up past the atmosphere and a radioactive field hits it. The field enters Larry's body and he passes out, and the X-15 falls back toward the earth. The jet crashes, and Sheryl and her children see the crash in the distance. When the technicians arrive, they find a burned and scarred Larry walking toward them, still on fire.


Cliff practices walking up stairs and fails, and Rita tells him that there's always tomorrow. Larry explains that Rita was an actress, and Cliff says that he can't do anything human. He imagines seeing Clara there, and later Niles says that she might be the inspiration for Cliff to recover his memories. Niles explains that some have stayed and some have leaved, and those who leave find the world difficult to accept them. He assures Cliff that there's no mechanical reason he can't walk.

The next day, Cliff watches car races on TV. Rita comes in and Cliff says that he's remembering. She sits with him and asks if he used to drive around and around. Cliff asks if she was in the movies, and Rita remembers her past.

Africa, 1955

Rita performs a scene for the movie Forbidden Congo and sees a focus puller missing his arm. Afterward, Rita complains to the director, Charles, saying that the focus puller is an eyesore and goes to her tent. Later, Rita does a scene with a fake crocodile on the river. A board breaks and she falls into the river, and she's swallows strange chemicals in the water. They bring her to shore and everyone stares at her face in shock. One woman finally shows Rita a mirror, revealing that her face is twisted and baggy. Shocked, Rita walks off and the rest of her body changes as well.


Rita sits with Cliff and eats the first of three rotisserie chickens.

Later, Cliff tries to go up the stairs and hears Clara's voice in his memories. Larry tells him to walk up the goddamned steps, and Cliff does so imagining Clara helping him. He reaches the top and cheers.

Soon, Cliff is walking around Doom Manor, and then tells Niles that his family deserves to know what happened to him. He thanks Niles for everything that he's done, and Niles says that all he wanted to do was give Cliff a second chance. He then plays a recording of the phone message that he faked of Cliff, and says that it will help Cliff understand how his brain has been altering his memories to help him cope. Once Niles leaves, Cliff plays the recording. On the tape, Cliff says that he doesn't know what happened and he's going to be better.

Cliff easily survives the crash and wins the race. Kate comes over and stares at Cliff, and Cliff beats the man who was sleeping with her. He then goes on to celebrate and have sex, and calls Kate and leaves a message on her answering machine tells her that he doesn't know what happened and he's going to be better. Kate picks up the phone and tells him to go on, and later he picks up Kate and Clara and drives away. As they drive down the highway, they slam into a truck.

Niles tells Cliff that he was the only survivor of the crash, and Cliff goes berserk, screaming in rage. Once he recovers, Cliff tells Nile that he can't feel pain and says that it was shitty of Niles to bring him back.

1996 – 2019

Cliff moves into a room at Doom Manor and sets up a race slot track. Larry and Rita join him, and one day they hear a young girl calling that she's back. The girl is Jane, also known as "Crazy Jane", and she has 64 different personas: each with its own special power. Sylvia is manifesting and Niles asks to speak to Jane. Hammerhead takes over and calls Niles a bitch, and Cliff and the others arrive. When she sees Cliff, Hammerhead stares at him. Larry and Rita quickly leave, and Cliff refuses to let Hammerhead into his room. He says that he has cars, and Hammerhead continues insulting him. Hammerhead grabs his crotch and hits metal, and then runs off to her room.

The next day, Jane is in the yard painting. Cliff comes over and they introduces each other. Jane says that Hammerhead told her about Cliff, and she's been there since the 70s. Cliff says that he's on edge because it would be Clara's 35th birthday if she was still alive. It starts raining and Jane continues painting, and Cliff stands and watches. The Hangman's Daughter takes over and asks if Cliff remembers what it felt to be normal like normal people. She says that her painting is ruined and everything has gone wrong, and Cliff asks her to come in out of the rain.

Life continues in Doom Manor, and Niles tells the group that he's leaving to investigate mysterious things. He tells Jane to behave and leaves. Eventually the four inmates realize that they can do anything since Niles isn't there, and Jane suggests that they take Larry's bus into the nearby town of Cloverton. Cliff and Rita come out, and Cliff agrees. Larry refuses, and Jane plays to Rita's ego, saying the world hasn't seen her in 60 years. After a moment, Rita tells Larry to come with them.

The quartet drive into town with Cliff at the wheel. Rita goes off on her own after asking them for money. She goes to the Classic Cafe and sits at the counter.

Cliff and Jane walk through Cloverton to a toy store as the townspeople stare at Cliff's body. Jane reminds him that he said it's Clara's birthday.

Larry sits in the bus alone.

The waitress, Debra, says that Rita reminds her of the 50s actress and talks about how relatable the actress was. Rita says that she "knows" Rita, and Debra talks about how she how used to watch movies with her father and Rita got them through some tough times.

Larry finally gets off the bus.

After they buy a stuffed giraffe, Cliff and Jane sit in the park and Cliff talks about how he forgot his daughter's birthday one year. Jane lights a cigarette and blows the smoke in Cliff's face, and asks if he feels anything.

Larry goes into a bar, sits down, and orders a drink. The bartender nervously asks him what he wants, and Larry orders a beer.

Debra talks about Forbidden Congo and says that Rita got replaced mid-picture, supposedly because she was a drunk. Rumor had it that Rita was doing porn afterward, and Rita starts to lose control.

Cliff figures that Jane cares a lot about what Niles thinks of her. Jane tells him to call Clara back if he wants to get his life back, and says that his shitty driving and Kate's decapitation in a car crash all over the Internet. Clara survived, and smashes Jane's phone when she tries to look it up.

Larry realizes that everyone is staring at him, and remembers how he was love with his technician Edward despite the fact that Larry was married.

Edward runs to Larry as he collapses from his injuries.

Larry's chest glows and he mutters in negation.

Rita continues losing control.

Two policemen come over and ask Jane is there's any problem. She changes to Hammerhead and insults one of the officers.

Larry runs out.

Cliff tries to calm things down, but his appearances doesn't help

Rita limps out of the cafe, her body changing. She finally collapses into a protoplasmic blob and expands, bursting out through the windows. Cars crash, and Jane and Cliff run over. Larry sees the chaos, mutters "no", and runs off.

Jae tries to get through to Rita as she oozes down the street.

Larry's energy form emerges from his chest and his physical body collapses.

Electrical powers collapses, and the negative energy form fries everything it passes through. A school bus crashes directly n Rita's pass. Jane turns into a giant flame-headed energy form, and Cliff steps in front of the blob and pulls up the concrete, creating a barricade. It oozes around the sides and Rita says that she just wants to go home.

That night at the manor, the quartet watches TV and is unaware of the danger that their visit brought to Cloverton.

Niles drives into town and sees a reporter doing a piece on the destruction. He sees a donkey down the street but when he glances back, it's gone. When Niles arrives at the manor, he tells the quarter that they have no idea what they've done. Niles goes to his lab and takes out photos of the donkey, realizing that he can't hide from his enemies.

Later, Niles tells the group that the consequences are coming to the house and the town. He says that they need to run away as soon as possible as fast as possible, and Cliff realizes that the town is screwed. Niles complains that Jane set up the whole thing for her own amusement, and Cliff accuses him of lying to him about Clara being alive. Now he's a monster. The "Chief" says that Cliff isn't a monster, and knows that he's asking them to leave the safest place they've known to go out into a world to shun them. However, if they stay then they'll all die and Niles' life accomplishments will disappear. Cliff suggests that they stay and fight. When Niles says that they'd be doomed if they do, Cliff asks what they are now.

Larry announces that he's going with the Chief, and Rita agrees with him. After a moment, Jane says that she's going with them as well. They drive away in the school bus, but Jane says that they should turn around and help Cliff. Rita agrees and after a moment, Larry moans in despair. Jane takes that as a yes, drives to Cloverton, and gets out as Cliff walks into town. Niles tells Rita that it's warning, and she admits that it probably is and tells him that they'll be back.

The quartet walks into Cloverton and Rita starts to transform. Larry puts a reassuring hand on her shoulder, and then helps her along.

The bus shakes and Niles mutters "Paraguay". Morden, in his new form of Mr. Nobody, appears behind him and says that it's always Paraguay.

The donkey walks out in front of the "Doom Patrol", stares at them, and farts. The gas rises into the air and forms the words "The mind is the limit".

Mr. Nobody tells Niles that he's been observing the Doom Patrol for a while, and they're going to try something different. He claps his hand and a vortex appears in the center of the town, sucking everything around it in as Mr. Nobody says that the Doom Patrol is doomed.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 16, 2019

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