Warning: major spoilers below! You know the drill. Don’t read this recap until you’ve seen the seventh episode of The Venture Bros. season 6. You’ve been warned!
Dr. Venture is dead! Or at least, that’s what “A Party For Tarzan” wants you to think. That’s understandable, considering that the episode opened with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch seemingly assassinating the Blue Morpho, or rather Dr. Venture in the Blue Morpho’s costume.
From there, the episode went a little Miller’s Crossing and Goodfellas as the Monarch, Dr. Venture, and Gary (Henchman 21) narrated the events that brought them to this point. There was even a fourth storyline following Dr. Mrs. The Monarch that shed a lot of light on the Monarch’s father, the real Blue Morpho. It turns out that the Blue Morpho was the black ops man for Dr. Venture’s father, Jonas Venture…and the Blue Morpho was assassinated by the Guild of Calamitous Intent back in the ‘70s.
That would actually explain a lot of the Monarch’s animosity towards Dr. Venture, but it’s been made pretty clear that the Monarch doesn’t really spend a lot of time thinking about his father. The Blue Morpho is only useful to him as a means to eventually arch Dr. Venture again. There was also the weird suggestion that the Blue Morpho either had shapeshifting abilities or a ridiculously good costume that allowed himself to pass for Tennis superstar Billie Jean King and seduce Dr. Z…but it’s not like Dr. Z is the most reliable narrator.
In fact, the argument could be made that none of the narrators in this episode can fully be trusted. However, Gary seemed earnest when revealing his origin story for the first time. In an earlier season, Gary had mentioned that he was kidnapped by the Monarch when he was a teenager, and we saw that here as a much younger Monarch had a plan to outlaw Venture’s name. It wouldn’t have worked, but it was definitely a unique arching!
The retro costumes for the Monarch and his henchmen were particularly inspired, and we learned how Gary “got his wings.” But it’s highly suspect that his first kill “died of happiness” as Gary described. The episode was also ambiguous about whether Gary went through with the cold blooded murder of the Wandering Spider, the latest villain targeted by the Monarch. The implication was there, but we never actually saw Gary pull the trigger.
You may be wondering why the episode is called “A Party for Tarzan,” and the reason is simple: Dr. Venture got to meet and befriend Christopher Lambert, the star of Highlander, the first Mortal Kombat movie, and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. Lambert isn’t the biggest celebrity, but he’s clearly one who meant a lot to Doc. This episode went out of its way to not show Lambert’s face, but it would have been hilarious if Lambert had guest-starred as himself.
To impress Lambert, Dr. Venture threw a lunar eclipse party…and no one came, not even the guest of honor. The episode’s tag scene had the amusing revelation that Venture’s excess security kept Lambert locked out of the building. This was all an elaborate explanation about how Dr. Venture ended up wearing the Blue Morpho’s costume while seemingly covered in blood at his penthouse. Basically, he stole the Blue Morpho suit from the tailor that handles costumes for heroes and villains, which was a very clever bit.
As a way to divert suspicion from himself, the Monarch sent Gary to do his dirty work while he arched a proctologist. Although, it wasn’t very clear if the man that the Monarch was torturing was even his intended target. Out of the three narrators, the Monarch was the only one who had a clear idea about what was happening, which led to a particularly biting sequence where he described Dr. Venture’s death at the hands of Dr. Mrs. The Monarch…and the way that Doc’s death was met with indifference by his family.
All of that was a lie. Dr. Venture survived the attempt on his life, thanks to the protection of the Blue Morpho’s suit. And out of embarrassment, Dr. Venture returned the suit and paid for the dry cleaning. This was probably the Monarch’s most successful plan that wasn’t an accident. Who knew that subverting his father’s legacy was all the Monarch needed to become a more competent villain?
However, there’s always a hitch. Because the Monarch arranged for Gary to be his alibi, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and the Guild are now aware that Dr. Venture couldn’t possibly be the Blue Morpho. That’s going to put the Guild’s focus back on the Monarch, which probably won’t end well for him or his marriage.
It’s hard to believe that there’s only one episode left of The Venture Bros. this year. It’s simply gone by too quickly, and eight episodes just isn’t enough. I’m not crazy about the idea of waiting three years for another eight-episode season. Hopefully next week’s season finale can match this week’s fantastic episode.
What did you think about the latest episode of The Venture Bros.? Let us know in the comment section below!
Image Credit: Adult Swim