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The Ending Of Doom Patrol Season 2 Explained

Contains spoilers for Doom Patrol through the season 2 finale

Things got heated on the season 2 finale of Doom Patrol, with the fate of the team left in the hands of two little girls. 

Developed for television by former Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver, the first season of the DC Comics adaptation wove the tragic pasts and presents of super-powered outcasts — Jane (Diane Guerrero), Rita Farr (April Bowlby), Vic Stone (Joivan Wade), Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer and Matthew Zuk), Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan), and Niles Colder, also known as the Chief (Timothy Dalton) — into the origins story of a ragtag yet strangely endearing family of superheroes. But following the season 1 reveal that the Chief was behind almost everyone's abilities and the devastating conditions that birthed them, season 2 of the series sees the Doom Patrol's foul-mouthed robot, gelatinous and insecure former Hollywood starlet, half-man half-deadly-machine, former pilot and current shell for sentient negative energy, and girl with 64 gifted personalities all emotionally spin out. 

Bitter and resentful of their former leader, the Doom Patrol sets off to try to reclaim their identities and tackle their personal pain by confronting their pasts and first families head-on. Most run into a host of issues, from rejection to near-death experiences, and often come back to the mansion with more problems than they left with. In the interim, the Chief introduces a new member to the team — his daughter and half-meta human, Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro). Soon after her arrival, it's revealed that Dorothy has an extraordinary and dangerous power: She can physically conjure the stuff of her dreams and her nightmares. To make things worse, she's not very good at controlling it. 

The fall out of Niles' bad parenting comes to a head on the second season's ninth and final episode, "Wax Patrol," as the Candlemaker — a dangerous entity tucked away inside Dorothy's brain — emerges to end the world. Join us as we unpack the ending of Doom Patrol season 2. 

The Doom Patrol faces their own childhood traumas

Despite being about a superhero team, Doom Patrol season 2 saw many of the crew's members going on solo missions. On episode 9, everyone re-teams to help the Chief stop whatever is trying to bust out of Dorothy. The father-daughter duo were attempting to get a hold on the ancient, mysterious, and menacing entity all season — but it isn't until the team arrives at a carnival where Dorothy and the Chief were last that the extent of what they were up against becomes completely clear. Let loose from Dorothy's mind now that she's "no longer a child," the Candlemaker (voiced by Lex Lang) has covered the entire festival grounds in its wax. For those who have managed to escape the fast-drying casket, the Candlemaker has conjured up their childhood imaginary friends, which it then uses as a lure before turning the mental illusions on their makers. 

The Doom Patrol is no exception to this fate. Deciding to split up, each member of the group attempts to locate Niles and Dorothy and get them out of there. Unfortunately, the Candlemaker gets to them first. Because Larry doesn't have an imaginary friend, he's the first to get the wax treatment. Cliff bumps into an equally profanity-laden Jesus; Vic, an affirming cowboy version of his father; and Rita, a terrifying paper Fashion Doll with her mother's eyes. While each puts up a decent fight against their childhood trauma, they unfortunately get burned by the Candlemaker's flame. 

The truth behind the primary personality before Jane

With most of the team now out of commission, Jane is the only team member still standing. Despite the fight raging on outside her mind, however, Jane's real battle is within a dark well in her head that seemingly revived a suicidal personality named Miranda. Having floated up from a well earlier in the season, the commanding character has seemingly re-emerged to take her rightful place as the primary for the young girl Kay, whom Jane and the other personalities were made to protect. Jane has been skeptical of her appearance, noting her manipulative and secretive nature. But on the Doom Patrol season 2 finale, we discover how Miranda died — and, more shockingly, that she's still actually dead, despite what's in front of Jane. 

After Miranda pushed Jane down the mental well of Kay's trauma, Jane can see how the former primary personality ended up meeting her fate. The first personality to step in to protect Kay was Miranda, and she fell in with an abusive man and forgot what her job was. That exposed Kay to sexual assault and resulted in the other personalities removing Miranda from her post in the system. In steps Jane to save the day, while Miranda, back in the girl's mind, throws herself into a well. Jane and the other personalities had assumed that Miranda had somehow survived the fall after years when she re-appeared, but as Kay personally discovers, the entity who returned isn't Miranda. 

As the young girl navigates the "Underground" subway tunnels of her mind, she visits Jane's "stop," but finds it now boarded up. As she turns around to continue her search, she comes face-to-face with Miranda. And when Kay states, "You're not Miranda, are you?", whoever — or whatever — looks like Miranda shakes their head "no."  

Dorothy faces the fire of the Candlemaker on her own

Back outside of Jane's mind, Dorothy is in a fight of her own. Though she previously attempted to hide from her mind, the time has come to face the Candlemaker and her coming of age. Niles fears that his daughter taking on the monster will be her end. However, an apparition of the young girl's meta-human mother appears, encouraging her daughter to stand her ground and fight. 

Dorothy has spent much of her life in a protective bubble, hidden within her own childhood. Niles' anxieties over her powers and potential first locked her away on the magical sentient street known as Danny, and then once that fell apart, he locked Dorothy in his mansion. But the Chief has never really been able to control Dorothy, and most importantly, she's never been able to control herself. 

Now it's increasingly clear that only she can stop the Candlemaker, which means that she'll have to suit up and use her imagination to fight off something much older and seemingly more powerful than her. As Niles pleads for Dorothy not to walk into the fire and face the deadly entity, her mother offers her a weapon. Instead of taking it, she fashions her own. Soon after, she marches into the flames of a bonfire before the giant hand of the Candlemaker snatches her, and they disappear. 

The Doom Patrol's abrupt season 2 finale wasn't the original plan

Quite the dramatic cliffhanger, this wasn't actually Doom Patrol's original planned ending. When it was renewed for a second season, the DC Comics show earned a 10-episode order that streamed weekly on DC Universe and HBO Max. Only nine episodes ended up dropping though, with the abrupt ending of "Wax Patrol" closing out an emotional and action-packed season. 

As it was later revealed, Hollywood's shuttering due to the coronavirus pandemic was at fault for Doom Patrol's second run being a single story short. While the writers had planned for a more conclusive finale, the looming possibility of production shut down forced showrunner Carver and the rest of the team to concoct an alternative ending. 

"We knew we were facing a potential shutdown [while working on episode 9], so we were able to do a bit of a pivot and make sure that episode 9 would be just as satisfying of a conclusion to the season as if we had moved on to episode 10," Carver told TV Line. "There were probably a few more loose ends than there would have been if we'd gone all the way through episode 10, but we were very happy with how we were able to structure it to give us a satisfying end to the season."

Unfortunately, Doom Patrol doesn't yet have a season 3 renewal, which means that despite Carver's best efforts, that painful cliffhanger might be the show's ending. The showrunner acknowledged that "there's enough there that people can go away with some satisfaction," but he and the rest of the Doom Patrol team still have more stories to tell. 

"I could play coy and say that what you see is what you get, but I'll be honest with you and the fans," Carver said. "There's a little more there to deal with, and we'd really love the opportunity to do it."