WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Doom Patrol Season 1, Episode 13 "Flex Patrol," streaming now on DC Universe.
Doom Patrol's "Flex Patrol" finally brings the Hero of the Beach, Flex Mentallo, to the fray after some heavy teasing. The last episode hinted he was "Prisoner 722" at the shady Ant Farm run by the Bureau of Normalcy, and after the Doom Patrol broke a tormented Cyborg out of his cell, we learn that this is, indeed, the case.
However, as Flex (Devan Chandler Long) joins up with the team, we find out he already has a preexisting link to one of the members, a tie that changes the group's entire dynamic.
As Crazy Jane teleports the Doom Patrol back to the manor when the creatures and guards go to war at the Ant Farm, it seems Flex is just another escapee who was in the wrong place at the right time. They quickly realize, though, he's the muscle man Danny the Street hinted they should find. But there's a hitch: Flex isn't anywhere close to being the savior they need to locate Niles Caulder. He's actually an amnesiac obsessed with soap operas, although one of the Doom Patrol's numbers apparently has a connection to him: Negative Man's energy being.
During the time Larry Trainor was being experimented on at the Bureau, the electrical entity formed a bond with Flex when it too was kidnapped and taken to the Ant Farm. Somehow, Flex was able to understand the being, revealing his ability to alter reality (done by flexing his muscles, naturally) could return the entity to its home dimension. Flex promised to free it from having to use Larry's body as a host, but the Ant Farm broke Flex mind before he could do this by holding his wife, Dolores, hostage. He'd go on to lose his memory, while the entity would remain with Larry.
Back at the Doom Patrol's headquarters, Flex finally regains his memory when the team brings a now-older Dolores to meet him. Sadly, just as this happens she crumbles to dust, a failsafe the Bureau installed as punishment for her rebooting Flex.
While the ethereal friendship to Larry's companion is new, this tragic scene is actually taken from Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell's Doom Patrol #43. In that issue, after Dolores gave Flex his costume back, she revealed the Men From N.O.W.H.E.R.E. (the group that was adapted into the Bureau of Normalcy in the show) was coming for Flex after turning him into a powerless, mindless drifter and leaving him on the street. Danny the Street would find and try to rehabilitate Flex, leading to his disastrous reunion with Dolores.
Now, Flex has two reasons to go after the Bureau -- they took his wife from him, and they've been oppressing and torturing others with abilities like his. More so, he has a debt to pay off to Negative Man's entity, and as we witness an enraged Flex unleashing his powers and destroying most of the manor, it's obvious he'll rip the world apart until he gets his hands on the Bureau's higher-ups.
However, Mister Nobody has already spotted the team levelling up with the Man of Muscle Mystery in the ranks, so before the buff hero seeks vengeance, the first hurdle will be this reality-altering individual -- an even worse tyrant, and bigger danger, than anything Flex encountered on the Ant Farm.
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.