What You Need to Know About Doom Patrol Before Season 4

HBO Max and DC Comics’ irreverent and truly bonkers (said affectionately) television series Doom Patrol returns this month. Part 1 premieres with two episodes on December 8, with a break following the January 5 episode. Then, season 4 part 2 will finish sometime in 2023 after the brief hiatus. That’s a total of 12 episodes to look forward to in the coming months.

Alright, now that we’ve covered the numbers, let’s get to the good stuff. Watch the Doom Patrol season 4 trailer here or on DC’s official YouTube channel. Then, join us below for a Doom Patrol seasons 1-3 refresher. Plus, we’ll break down what we think might happen in the coming episodes.

Meeting the Doom Patrol – Season 1


  • Niles Caulder/Chief – a medical doctor and caretaker/leader of the Doom Patrol.
  • Jane – the dominant, or Primary, identity created to protect Kay. Jane is caustic and crass, doesn’t trust easily, and doesn’t possess superpowers unlike most of the other identities.
  • Kay – a young girl who was abused as a child and created a series of super-powered identities to live in the Underground and protect her.
  • Rita Farr – a former Hollywood actress. After being exposed to toxic gas, Rita gained powers allowing her to alter her body shape. However, under extreme duress she often struggles to maintain a solid form.
  • Larry Trainor – a formerly closeted Air Force pilot with extreme radiation burns and scarring from a plane crash. Larry shares his body with a Negative Spirit.
  • Cliff Steele – the disembodied brain of a former Nascar driver. Cliff’s consciousness lives on inside a robot constructed by Niles Caulder.
  • Victor Stone/Cyborg – a cybernetically enhanced, ambitious young super hero.
  • Willoughby Kipling – an occult detective and chaos magician.
  • Danny the Street – a sentient, genderqueer street. Danny is able to alter their shape and scope to house the “Dannyzens,” or groups of outcasts and misfits who find hope and happiness within Danny.
  • Eric Morden/Mr. Nobody – an omnipresent super-villain and narrator who pursues the Doom Patrol. Mr. Nobody can travel through dimensions and alter reality, powers granted to him by Nazi scientists.
  • The Brain –  the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil. Also, he’s a brain in a jar.
  • Monsieur Mallah – a full-sized sentient gorilla and member of the Brotherhood
  • Bureau of Normalcy – a governmental organization intent on destroying anything they deem abnormal.

Major Events

The strange immortal group consisting of Niles, Cliff, Rita, Larry, and Jane live together in Doom Manor near the unassuming town of Cloverton, Ohio. Here they face off against Mr. Nobody, who takes Niles captive. Mr. Nobody releases Niles briefly, however, so they can work together and stop the Decreator from destroying the entire world. Also moving against the Doom Patrol are the Bureau of Normalcy and Brotherhood of Evil. Things are further complicated as always by the group’s personal problems and relationships, as well as by the arrival of idealistic newcomer Cyborg.

In a final confrontation against Mr. Nobody, the villain forces Niles to reveal a terrible secret. Niles is the one who caused all of the accidents — or really, experiments — that destroyed our heroes’ lives. Distraught, the dysfunctional team members part ways. However, they are summoned back to Doom Manor by Danny, who has been kidnapped by Mr. Nobody. They defeat Mr. Nobody by trapping him inside of a blank white painting. Then, they decide to stay together to save the world.

Revealing our Heroes’ Secrets – Season 2


Our main and recurring characters are joined by new allies and antagonists in season 2. Among them, we have:

  • Dorothy Spinner – Chief’s daughter. She has a furry, ape-like face and the power to bring imaginary friends to life.
  • The Candlemaker – Dorothy’s most dangerous friend. He likes to turn her enemies into wax.
  • Roni Evers – a scarred veteran and war criminal with whom Vic takes an interest.
  • Silas Stone – Victor’s father and a scientist at S.T.A.R. Labs.
  • Clara Steele – Cliff’s daughter, all grown up and starting a family of her own with her wife.

Major Events

Most of this season is spent learning about Dorothy and Niles’ history. Niles gives up his immortality to save the Doom Patrol from their shrunken state, which occurred when they left Mr. Nobody’s prison. Additional noteworthy parts of this season include the increasing tension between Jane and the other personas, who fear Jane is not protecting Kay properly. Rita gains and loses control over herself and her powers.

Larry also attempts to reach out to his son, who is now an old man and Bureau member. Vic attempts to reconcile his feelings about his cybernetic enhancements through a relationship with Roni. Clara agrees to allow her father Cliff into her family’s life. In the finale, Dorothy confronts the Candlemaker on her own, with urging from her mother Slava. Niles dies of old age.

Dealing with Time Travel – Season 3


The most notable season 3 additions are:

  • Garguax the Decimator – an alien and former Brotherhood ally who just wants to live his life on blissful vacation.
  • Laura De Mille/Madame Rouge – a mysterious, amnesiac, shapeshifting time traveler with ties to Rita as well as the Brotherhood.
  • Edwin Payne – a ghost and member of the Dead Boys Detective Agency.
  • Charles Rowland – also a ghost, and the other half of the Dead Boys Detective Agency.
  • Crystal Palace – a very much alive medium traveling with the Dead Boys.
  • Sisterhood of Dada – a group of extremist, Dadaist metahumans intent on reshaping the world.

Major Events

In the start of the season, Larry and the Negative Spirit part ways. Lacking all memory of her past, Laura De Mille arrives in Cloverton via time travel machine. When the Doom Patrol go on vacation, they are murdered by Garguax the Destroyer’s servant. Larry, having survived because he was in space, returns and revives them with the help of Dorothy and the Dead Boy Detectives. Traumatized and searching for meaning in her life, Rita steals the time travel machine. The Sisterhood of Dada antagonizes the Doom Patrol because of Laura.

Eventually we learn that Laura and Rita were friends in the past and were part of the Sisterhood together. However, Laura betrayed the Sisterhood. They want to punish her and the world for their crimes. Meanwhile, Cliff is beset by The Brain, who wants Cliff’s body. Kay/Jane can’t find their other personas in the Underground. Larry has a new negative larvae who wants to merge with him, and Vic replaces his cybernetics with synthetic skin.


There’s a huge battle. Everybody fights, and the Doom Patrol (mostly) wins. Laura decides to join them and forsake the Brotherhood. Then, Rita, Vic, Larry, Cliff, Jane, and Laura hop into the time machine to wipe their slates clean and save the world as proper super heroes. They’ve got all their names and necessary information written on paper around the machine. What could possibly go wrong?

What’s Next? – Season 4

The season 4 trailer doesn’t seem to tie into the season 3 finale at all. Our heroes seem like they know who they are, only they’re looking and acting a lot different. Cyborg has his parts back, Cliff is in his real body, and Jane has straight hair and silvery eyes — perhaps an indication that a new identity has become Primary. In some clips, however, they look like our typical weirdos. Knowing this show, there’s likely some sort of illusion magic or other strangeness involved.

All we can say for certain is that the were-butts are back. Yep. Those are exactly what they sound like. Oh, and it’s the end of the world. Again. Doom Patrol can only get away with so many apocalypse storylines because it’s as absurd as that recycled plot trope, and happily embraces that absurdity at every turn.

What are you hoping to see in Doom Patrol season 4? Share your thoughts in our Let Your Spoiler Sideshow: DC Facebook Group, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!