Resize text+=

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 149: ‘Doom Patrol – Flex Patrol’

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of pop culture, including Batman: The Animated Series and Doom Patrol. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 149 – “Flex Patrol”

The Doom Patrol finally meets Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery. It remains a little unclear, but he can basically manipulate reality with his pecs and biceps. The Doom Patrol team realize he’s a bit amnestic due to decades of incarceration, exploitation, and brainwashing by the government. We learn that he had to make a difficult decision about this abuse. Meanwhile, Rita reveals a secret that has weighed heavily on her. Back during her career, in order to stay in the film industry, she groomed, exploited, and introduced many young actresses to an abusive relationship with her producer.

As we discuss these characters and their feelings of deep regret, we talk about the importance of looking back at mistakes. Many of us may be avoidant or unwilling to explore some of our personal failures, but research shows that we gain personal growth and even become smarter if we occasionally turn our attention to our past errors. We also discuss “cancel culture,” which is a digital contract to drop support of someone (socially and economically) in order to remove them from the community and deprive them of their livelihood. Often, the result is satisfyingly powerful, and it’s served as a way for marginalized and aggrieved communities to publicly assert their value systems through pop culture.

Social cancellations may have benefits–it’s a swift way to lower someone’s social value and can have immediate results. But do the benefits of cancel culture actually outweigh the costs? By removing a toxic person from our spaces, are we avoiding the difficult work involved in the discovery of the source of the rot? What about the work they need to do in the unlearning of discriminatory or hateful beliefs behind the misconduct? As we hold on to the highest standards, are we perpetuating the performance of perfect behavior, not leaving enough room for self-introspection and growth that might follow a publicly named misstep? And where do we draw the line with a no-tolerance rule? With Doom Patrol giving us good–yet still chaotic–role models, we address these challenges and give some tips that might help listeners manage their own spaces toward safety and self-betterment.



Have psychology-related questions about Batman? Write to us via Twitter, @ArkhamSessions, or on Facebook. Or visit our official website.

And, don’t forget to subscribe to The Arkham Sessions on Apple Podcasts to get all of the latest episodes! And, be sure to join us on Patreon.




Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top