In “Nostalgia Patrol,” Rita learns that the Cloverton Arthouse is hosting a retrospective of her films. Jane struggles to find a new purpose. Vic reconnects with his old school buddies. Rita is sucked into the movie, and when her friends come to watch and support her, they get sucked in too. One of the actors informs Larry that someone named Dr. Janus is doing this to make Rita emote as much as possible. Having escaped the movies, Rouge finds Miles’ file on Dr. Janus and sees that there’s no way to defeat her. As Vic attempts to mend his bond with his old friends, his best friend Derek pushes back. He says Vic has been gone too long and missed too much. Meanwhile, Jane shares a unique experience she had with Cliff. Rouge beats herself up for her failures, but Keeg reads the Intel on Janus and intervenes. Dr. Janus traps Rita’s friends, deriving the desired emotions, and Keeg frees everyone except Rita.
There’s a parallel between Larry and Vic in “Nostalgia Patrol,” as they don’t have their powers anymore, thanks, respectively, to Keeg and Vic’s decision. They’re also both faced with the possibility that things can never be how they were. Madame Rouge tells Larry that Keeg might never want to reunite with him, and Vic’s friends hold him at arm’s length during their meeting. They also come off as very judgmental regarding his choice to leave his tech behind. I don’t think Vic is completely in the right here, either. He shows up after a decade has passed and assumes his high school friend group will be exactly the same. That’s not realistic, and it’s unfair to expect that of the guys, but I don’t think they needed to be quite so mean and standoffish. You’d think they would realize what he went through was crazy and life-altering and offer some sympathy. This is all realistic enough, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating. Everyone involved could be more understanding and generous. This brings us to Keeg. I have no idea what’s going on with Keeg, and I can’t wait to find out! For once, Larry is trying to be transparent, and it’s someone else shutting him out. I’m also curious as to why Keeg decided to save Larry and the others from Dr. Janus’ prison and what will happen to Rita, who never wakes up in the end.
The nostalgia in “Nostalgia Patrol” refers to Rita’s trip down memory lane, but also Vic’s rendezvous with his friends. Rita isn’t a true narcissist because she cares about other people and sees them as more than an extension of herself. For example, she really values Larry’s well-being rather than using him to meet her own ends. With that being said, she’s never been able to progress beyond her obsession with her film career. Rita’s self-loathing comes from a place of self-absorption, as most self-esteem and identity issues do. You worry so much about being a bad person that, eventually, you’re the only thing you think about at all. As the audience, we know Rita is a good person who genuinely wants to help others. And she’s right when she tells Jane, Cliff, and Larry that they deserve the family they’ve made together. I like all of the main characters, but I find myself the most invested in Rita’s journey at this juncture.
Laura’s plan for teambuilding makes me laugh because it’s just like “Therapy Patrol” and several other exercises the group has been through. They’re all pretty aware of what their internal problems are, and some of them have made more progress than others. Her instinct to build trust among the group is a good one, and her eventual idea of watching Rita’s films is smart. But the whole trust exercise in the manor is too simple and similar to things the guys have already tried. However, Michelle Gomez is stealing the show as Laura DeMille/Madame Rouge here. I liked her performance in season 3 a lot, but she’s killing it in “Nostalgia Patrol,” especially in the drinking scene. I love how conflicted and guilt-ridden she is, and her facial expressions alone make this episode insanely entertaining. I could be reading too much in here, but it also seems like Laura and Keeg could be developing some kind of bond as well. It almost looks like her hopelessness is what motivates him to intervene.
Then, we have Jane’s experience with the Fog, AKA Shelly Byron. If it wasn’t already confirmed (I need to re-watch the previous seasons), Jane is obviously into ladies. I liked her conversation with Cliff about this for the most part, but I don’t appreciate how she shuts him down. She’s disgusted with Cliff for talking about sex and describing an orgasm as the best feeling in the world, but she was talking about the same thing. Why is it disgusting? It’s completely normal and natural. See, it’s funny because Jane shames Cliff, a dude, for his sexuality. If the tables were turned, this would not be played for laughs. I don’t think it’s funny regardless of gender or sexual orientation; just an observation.
“Nostalgia Patrol” is a decent episode, but it’s my least favorite of the three in this season so far. I’m intrigued by the cliffhanger ending, and there’s a lot to enjoy here. However, I’m disappointed in Jane for dismissing Cliff’s point of view, and I found some parts of the episode slow.