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Why Niles Caulder Is The Real Villain In Doom Patrol Season 2

Doom Patrol may just be one of the best DC shows being put out by Warner Bros. at this point thanks to its incredibly complex characters, fascinating superpowers and mind-bogglingly bizarre stories. Season 2 takes the opportunity to delve further into Dr. Niles Caulder and his past, specifically examining the kind of father he is. Sure, he's the de facto father figure for the team themselves, but his relationship with his daughter Dorothy Spinner is genuinely quite captivating. But even though he has good intentions, Niles is absolutely the real villain of Doom Patrol season 2.

Caulder always operated in a morally gray area anyway since he actually assembled the team looking for a way to create immortality. But it's his neglect of Dorothy over the years that actually creates the main threat in the second season. Dorothy's abilities bring her truly horrific imaginary friends into the real world — which makes them a terrifying tangible threat to anyone around her.

Dorothy and the Candlemaker

The most dangerous friend Dorothy has, the Candlemaker, is destined to destroy the planet if she unleashes him on purpose or by accident. The only problem is, she's prone to letting her friends loose on the world whenever she gets overly emotional, something that isn't helped by Niles' poor parenting. Let's not forget, the supposedly good doctor abandoned Dorothy with Danny the Street, warning her never to make wishes. But he's doing so to keep the Candlemaker at bay, since a wish is how the ethereal beast is allowed to run rampant in the real world.

Since Niles never teaches Dorothy about getting older and becoming a woman because he's scared of the Candlemaker getting loose, she's constantly left at the mercy of her own emotions. He also hides the fact that he's dying from his daughter, knowing that Dorothy being upset could trigger the Candlemaker's arrival. Sure, she's got the basics of right and wrong. But like any child, Dorothy makes mistakes and occasionally misreads certain situations. Just look at how she unleashed the Candlemaker on the underground, the lair of all the personalities residing in Crazy Jane. The monster slaughtered Baby Doll and Flaming Katy. So yes, Niles is trying to shield his daughter from the ugliness of the real world, but in doing so he's actually doing more harm than good.

Obviously, Doom Patrol season 2 ends on a cliffhanger with the team themselves suspended in the Candlemaker's wax as Dorothy finally accepts that she's growing up. This sets up a battle between Dorothy and the monster, but it's not clear how she'll defeat the cosmic horror when season 3 eventually arrives. But make no mistake — this is all Niles Caulder's fault.