Warning: major spoilers below! You know the drill. Don’t read this recap until you’ve seen the second episode of The Venture Bros. season 6. You’ve been warned!
The second episode The Venture Bros.‘ sixth season gave us something much different than what we’re used to: it didn’t act as if the first episode didn’t happen. Unlike previous seasons, there was actually some fallout from the attack of the Crusaders Action League, the Pirate Captain’s tranquilizer addiction, and the Monarch’s loss of his right to be Dr. Venture’s archenemy. It wasn’t quite as packed as the season premiere, but it still got a lot done in 22-ish minutes, including a more formal introduction of the Ventures’ new archenemy.
One of the best gags occurred early in the episode, when the show delivered a mock opening credits sequence for Billy Quizboy and The Pink Pilgrim (a.k.a. Pete White) that made their lives look a lot more exciting than the reality of their situation. Billy and Pete even had their own robot helper and their own personal arch-nemesis, Augustus St. Cloud. In his way, St. Cloud is just as pathetic as Billy and Pete—but he’s slightly more successful at arching the duo than they are at pretending to be heroes.
If you think about it, this is how the Guild of Calamitous Intent was supposed to work—heroes and villains fighting each other with several sets of rules and restrictions in place. St. Cloud actually agreed to delay his arching so that Pete could make his dental appointment, and to a certain extent, they were all going through the motions of heroism and villainy because that’s all they had. (It’s hard to tell how much self-awareness they have, if any.)
The entire storyline with Billy and Pete was pretty dull, but that may be exactly what it was supposed to be. Consider this: the most evil thing that St. Cloud did was make his rivals wait while he showered, and forced them to watch as he washed himself with the Henrietta Pussycat puppet from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. That’s not an image that anyone wants to have in their brain, but it’s not the most evil thing in the world. St. Cloud even managed to blackmail Billy and Pete into selling their worthless tech company for a stolen red ball prop from an old Duran Duran video. Of course, Billy took the horrible deal because if the power that he attributed to the red ball was real, then it would have derailed his life.
Dr. Venture was less of a loser than Billy this week, but he was still a colossal failure who already managed to tank his new company’s stock thanks to his wild incompetence. At this rate, Dr. Venture won’t be a billionaire for long; His best employee is the Pirate Captain, who was still indulging his tranquilizer addiction from last week. In theory, this could have been a throwaway plotline, but the Pirate Captain’s drug hallucinations were pretty hilarious, as were his misadventures inside the zoo’s polar bear exhibit (a brilliant piece of foreshadowing for the end of the episode).
Hank and Dean didn’t have much to do this week other than help the Pirate Captain detox with a copy of She’s All That on DVD, a kitten, and a few buckets for the Pirate Captain’s bodily fluids and waste. And (thankfully), Hank dropped the Justin Bieber look he was wearing last week. This subplot took an unexpected turn when the Pirate Captain more or less recovered—and when Dean came up with a way to save their floundering company. It was simple: the Pirate Captain would help the Ventures sell the image of the company with a back to business as usual approach, while Dr. Venture would get to indulge his superscience dreams without destroying the company, in theory. This is still The Venture Bros., and failure is never far from any character.
The funniest storyline of the episode belonged to the Monarch and Gary (former Henchman 21), who had an instant classic scene together where he went into graphic detail about how he planned to distract his wife, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. Because the Monarch lost his arching rights for Dr. Venture to Wide Whale, he and Gary went through the list of villains ranked above him to get them back. But the only one they visited was Redussa, a woman who was even lower on the villain scale than the two of them! It was also very amusing to see Redussa’s power in action: instead of turning people to stone, she shrank their heads. That was fun.
For the final part of the episode, we learned that the superheroes from last week’s episode—the Crusaders Action League—are working with Wide Wale as part of their extortion racket. Amusingly, Brock was significantly outgunned by Wide Wale’s organization, with only Sgt. Hatred working as backup. Although Sgt. Hatred was technically a tour guide, he basically acted as Brock’s supportive henchman. Sgt. Hatred actually had some redemptive moments when he revealed how much he knew about Wide Wale, and when he helped Brock pull off a prank that included putting the polar bear from the zoo inside of Wide Wale’s home. That was a terrific way to end the episode—even if it immediately undercut Wide Wale’s sense of menace from the season premiere.
As a post-credit scene, Billy and Pete discovered that Dr. Venture bought their company back from St. Cloud and hired them to move to New York and work for him. Dr. Venture has some shaky science credentials, but at least his experiments actually work (sometimes). Billy and Pete are horrible scientists, but good friends; which is probably the real reason that Doc wants them around. Doctor Venture may not have any real friends, but Billy and Pete are close enough to “friends” that he’ll take it.
What did you think about the latest episode of The Venture Bros.? Let us know in the comment section below!
Image Credit: Adult Swim