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Photo: Michael Rosch

Television

NYCC 2022: Did two ‘Doom Patrol’ stars just confirm a secret, upcoming musical episode?

April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, and Michelle Gomez tease what’s to come on Doom Patrol season four.

While interviewing the cast of DC’s Doom Patrol at New York Comic Con on Sunday, two of its star confirmed that season four will feature a musical episode.

April Bowlby (“Elasti-Woman” aka Rita Farr) was the first to spill the beans. “I think every season is kind of like this gulp moment,” said Bowlby. “And every season I’m so surprised. It’s such an intelligent, loving, psychedelic show that I also have trouble following it in scripts, but then when I see it, I’m blown away by how they’ve created such a fantastic, beautiful story. There’s a musical episode this year that I was like, there’s no way we’re going to be able to do this.”

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”It’s probably the best episode of the season,” Madeline Gomez (Madame Rouge) said in a separate interview when asked about the musical episode. “It’s going to Broadway. We’re going to go to Broadway, everybody! Doom Patrol needs to come to Broadway!” she joked.

“The musical episode was really intense days,” Bowlby said. “They gave us singing lessons, which was incredible. And there’s, like, dancing scenes so you shoot your scenes through the day and then you’re off to rehearsal, and you get to dance with the members of Doom Patrol. And you didn’t know you were a dancer and then all of a sudden you’re like, dancing and singing.”

This may have been a secret they weren’t supposed to share because when the subject of whether the audience would see the cast showing off their dance moves came up later at the Doom Patrol panel that was open to the public, Bowlby, Gomez, and fellow cast member Joivan Wade (Victor Stone aka “Cyborb”) all agreed that Abi Monterey (Dorothy Spinner) was a “phenomenal” dancer and began talking about a solo dance she’d be performing on the show before suddenly clamming up as if realizing they were stepping into spoiler territory.

There’s also a memorable moment in the new season four trailer that premiered at the NYCC panel involving a return of season three’s Were-Butt creatures performing “Shipoopi!” from The Music Man. Surely a harbinger of a musical episode if I’ve ever seen one.

But the cast revealed more about what to expect from season four. “In the first episode of season four,” Bowlby said, “Rita is, like, the leader. And so it opens on Rita in, like, her superhero outfit, which is like a cape and a beret and a vest and a tie because she’s so dramatic and fantastic.” April Bowlby credits costume designer Carrie Grace for imagining just the right ensemble to channel how Rita’s warped theatrical mind would interpret the appropriate uniform for the leader of a superhero team.

Bowlby continues, “[Rita] goes into team leader, and she really believes in herself, and the team is following her. And because she’s insecure and vulnerable. I think she pushes a little too hard, and then the team turns on her. So Doom Patrol sort of kicks her out of that role because she’s a little too pushy, and she takes her role too seriously. And then that breaks her heart. So then she becomes just a mess of a human…or a metahuman.”

Cyborg has a journey of self-discovery this season. “At the end of season three, we left Vic in a place where, you know, he confronted his father and decided that he’s going to take matters into his own hands,” Joivan Wade said. “And he wants to experience what it’s like to be Vic Stone, what it’s like to be a human, what it feels like to be a black man. So this season, we pick up with Vic, you know, losing his cybernetics and going on a journey to try to understand exactly who he is and what it means to be Vic Stone first and foremost, to make his own choices.”

He contiued, “And we really see him battling with what it means to be a hero because he’s lost the glory of what makes him a hero. But he comes to understand that being a hero is not just about the cybernetics, the power that he has; it’s about the mentality of wanting to protect and serve.”

“I saw little clips of [the musical episode],” said Bowlby. “I cried. I was like, OH, I had no idea this is what we were doing. So yeah, you got to stay on your toes when it comes to Doom Patrol.”

Doom Patrol season four premieres December 8th on HBO Max.

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