[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Doom Patrol Season 3 Episode 4 “Undead Patrol.”]
By the end of the fourth episode of Doom Patrol Season 3, Michelle Gomez’s character, Madame Rouge, has become entangled in one of the group’s crazy adventures (they turn into zombies!) and found out some information about herself she might not like.
Picking up where the previous episode left off, “Undead Patrol” sees Madame Rouge hoping that Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton) can help her with something very important: who she is. She can’t remember, but she does know she wants to punch him in the face. Unfortunately, she learns, he’s dead. Fortunately, Willoughby (Mark Sheppard) wanted to chat with him, too, and sort of brought him (well, his head) back. Plus, there’s a video that gives her her name — Laura De Mille — and shows her she can shapeshift into a bird.
In the end, Niles sacrifices his brains to save the Doom Patrol from their zombified states — and before he does, leaves Laura with doubts about herself. He knows her “all too well, I’m afraid,” he tells her. “I must be out of my mind to trust you.” He tells her the location of a letter with information about her once she promises to stay away from the Doom Patrol.
Niles’ letter, A Memorandum for the Bureau, from February 9, 1949, reads in part: “Laura De Mille is a disloyal and self-serving cancer to be excised…it is my strong recommendation that she be terminated immediately.”
TV Insider spoke with Gomez to find out what’s next for Laura.
At the end of this episode, Laura reads that letter Niles wrote about how she should “be terminated immediately.” How is she feeling about herself at this point?
Michelle Gomez: She’s devastated. It’s disconcerting to find out things about yourself that you had no idea that existed within you or that you were capable of. She’s pretty destabilized at that point.
What can you preview about this struggle within herself for Laura this season, especially being around others who are also struggling with their own identity problems?
Like the others, she feels that she’s possibly landed in the right place because she’s not alone in that struggle. But I think at this point, she’s still very much an outsider and still very much trying to maintain that mask of confidence that’s quickly dissolving with more information that comes about who she is and why she’s there. I think there’s a sense of sort of impending doom really.
You’ll get to see the dissembling of somebody who comes in guns blazing and then has that awful realization of who she is and having to really come to terms with the fact that she doesn’t know who that person is. It’s like we’re talking about a completely different character, so it’s going to be interesting to see how she picks up that battle of her old self and what she decides to do with that.
What does she think of the Doom Patrol, especially considering how she meets them and then soon after that they become zombies?
How would anybody react to a room full of zombies? [Laughs] She’s quite taken with them even though they seem to be zombies at the time. Even though they’re a bunch of zombies, they’re kind of adorable. I remember shooting the scenes where the Doom Patrol were just wandering around being their zombie selves. I find it difficult to draw the line with it. Was it my character who was finding them adorable and funny or was it me Michelle reacting? Because I just find Rita Farr [April Bowlby] exclaiming the word brains one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I actually dropped to my knees during that take. Even now, just recalling it, just her sort of very jaunty for brains. I think that kind of really sums up the show’s dark comedy in that moment. It’s kind of delightful but wrong.
Speaking of the comedy, Laura can shift into a bird and an ottoman ….
[Laughs] I know, Jeremy Carver and the writers’ room and their imagination. As an actor in this show, when we get the scripts, I am never prepared for what is about to come from each episode to each — the absurdity of it and also the joy of it and also the unexpectedness of it. I mean, if you’d asked me as a shapeshifter, what do you want to turn into? My answer would not have been an ottoman, but somehow I kind of I love it. It’s just sort of bizarre and wonderful and “Yeah, sure. I’ll have people just sit on my face all day. Why not?”
Speaking of the unexpected, the episode ends with Laura watching that video again and seeing Rita in the glass cabinet. What can you tease?
More will be revealed. Perhaps Rita and Madame Rouge are more intrinsically involved than initially thought.
Doom Patrol, Thursdays, HBO Max