WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Doom Patrol Season 1, Episode 13 "Penultimate Patrol," streaming now on DC Universe.
Victor Stone's journey as a man fighting the machine inside to maintain his humanity has long been one of the DC's hero's main stories. However, when it comes to really putting Cyborg through the emotional wringer, few comics, shows or movies have nailed it like DC Universe's Doom Patrol.
Over the last couple of episodes, we saw Vic almost kill his father in anger. But just as they reconcile following the revelation it was all a trick by Alan Tudyk's Mister Nobody, Cyborg suffers another painful event. In a bittersweet moment, he finds out he wasn't responsible for his mother's (Elinore) death after all. Unfortunately, by learning this, all trust is broken with his father as Silas (Phil Morris) sheds light on a very ill-advised cover-up.
Vic has been constantly haunted by the fact that he caused his mother's death in a lab accident which left him nearly dead. His memories revolve around seeing her mangled body, which would inspire him to grow up and be a hero, something she always wanted. But despite his inspiration and ambition, it's been a nightmare living with the PTSD resulting from that night. He feels responsible for her death, as his rash actions caused the accident -- or so he believed.
As he apologizes for nearly beating Silas to death at the Bureau of Normalcy's Ant Farm, his dad admits he too has been shouldering guilt thanks to a dark secret. He confesses that Vic's mother actually survived the blast, but with both of their bodies so badly injured, he had to make a choice. This decision was surprisingly led not by Silas, but by Niles Caulder, who made it clear Elinore had to be sacrificed in order to save Vic. Vic's mother, being older, couldn't survive the nanotech integration needed to save her life, unlike Vic's younger, stronger body.
Cyborg is incensed his father didn't try to save his mother, even as Silas explains they took her off life support to ease her into a painless death. To spare Vic the agony as a youth, Silas concocted the lie of her dying in the explosion, unaware of the damage this fabrication did to his son's mental health.
You can't help but sympathize with Silas. While he should have told Vic the truth, his attempt to help his sone came from a place of love. He wanted to protect his son, not realizing the dangers of Vic's guilty conscience. As their heartbreaking exchange concludes, Vic cuts ties with Silas, seemingly for good, and rejoins the mission to rescue Niles, but clearly, after this attempt by Silas to offer Cyborg redemption, Vic simply won't ever be the same again.
Streaming now on DC Universe, Doom Patrol stars Brendan Fraser as Cliff Steele, Matt Bomer as Larry Trainor, Diana Guerrero as Crazy Jane, Alan Tudyk as Mr. Nobody, April Bowlby as Rita Farr, Joivan Wade as Vic Stone, and Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder.