WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Doom Patrol Season 1, Episode 10 "Hair Patrol," streaming now on DC Universe.
Over the course of Doom Patrol's first season, one of the main mysteries surrounding Timothy Dalton's Niles Caulder is how has he aged so slowly over the last century. From when we saw him early on in the season fighting Nazis in the '40s, he's maintained roughly the same appearance, but with no overt explanation being given.
Fans were curious, wondering whether the scientific genius experimented on himself, or if he had some other secret to eternal youth. Episode 10, "Hair Patrol," finally reveals the truth behind the Chief's origins, and it legitimately redefines everything we knew about the character.
In the comics, Niles' backstory is tied to creating a formula for General Immortus, effectively making the villain immortal. When we first met Niles on Titans, he was still into making serums, so once we realized Niles wasn't aging like normal, it was logical to assume he had some sort of special formula he applied to himself.
But the Chief's slow aging process isn't tied to science after all. Doom Patrol goes in a drastically different direction, instead connecting Niles' long-lasting life to something of a mystical nature.
In 1914, Niles worked for the Bureau of Oddities as a cryptozoologist. On one mission, he gets lost in the Alaskan wilderness after what seems to be a mix of a werewolf and Wendigo attacks him and his partner, Alistair (Max Martini). The monster seemingly kills Alistair and brings a wounded Niles back to a cave where he meets a primitive woman, Slava (Pisay Pao). They can't communicate, but it's clear she's holding him as a prisoner of war and a trophy.
As time passes, Niles forms a bond with her and they begin to study each other. Things pay off when she shows him a supernatural site similar to Stonehenge, where she has a connection to her gods and is able to summon mythical creatures. Niles, amazed that he's learning about magic, falls in love with her, and they begin taking care of each other. Eventually, Niles nearly dies, and would have save for Slava invoking a special ritual to save him and make him a pseudo-immortal.
Upon his recovery, Niles finds himself an alpha hunter, foraging to take care of his 'wife,' but soon enough, Alistair returns to kill the woman. Niles ends up murdering his former comrade, but realizes he has to return to his former handlers, now rebranded as the Bureau of Normalcy, as they want to slaughter beings like Slava. Niles heads back to civilization and begins working for bureau again, all so he could keep Slava safe and monitor the hunt for other abnormal entities, which eventually leads to him starting different incarnations of the Doom Patrol.
Slava's gift is purely steeped in mystical energy, and clearly meant for the man she was destined to spend her life with. Some fans are even theorizing that so long as Slava is alive, Niles will be too, which means they may be sharing one life-force, tethered to each other. Odds seem to be good that we'll be privy to a reunion before this season ends, because Mr. Nobody and the bureau are clearly gunning for every possible secret the Chief holds -- including those dear to his heart.
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.