The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 8 – “Mid-Life Chrysalis” – Brock Finds His Groove and Dr. Girlfriend Rocks

the-venture-bros-mid-life-chrysalis

    “Mid-Life Chrysalis” manages to be a very heartfelt drama keeps the drama and heart up consistently, even with Dr. Venture being transformed into a giant caterpillar. Dr. Girlfriend and Brock Samson are easily the best parts of the episode and make it a favorite.

   The episode was directed and written by Jackson Publick, with Doc Hammer as co-writer.

    The story involves one the Monarch’s plans to turn Dr. Venture into a butterfly by having Dr. Girlfriend seduce him to inject him with a substance that will transform him. Elsewhere Brock must renew his licence to kill after he is pulled over with an expired licence.

The Pros: Dr. Venture’s Mid-Life Crisis – Dr. Venture is called grandpa by two military pilots which throws him into a mid-life crisis. His approach to this is hilarious as he throws on a wig and a suit out of the 70’s. We also learn he is only 43. In the end he falls for Dr. Girlfriend who is on a mission from the Monarch to seduce him and is transformed by her into a caterpillar. He never blames her even when she is the only suspect and we see he genuinely cares for her (he knows her has Charlene) which is sweet and she turns him back.

The Messed up Mind of the Monarch – The fact that the Monarch used his girlfriend to seduce another guy is kind of messed up on its own but when you add him masturbating to them making out you see just how twisted this guy is. He and Dr. Venture were made for one another as both don’t really consider the lives of those around them, just their vendettas and goals.

Brock Samson’s Training Montage – This is done in the style of an 80’s sports montage with Hank and Dean as Brock’s trainers, though in the end it doesn’t matter as the guy who administers the test was a kid who Brock had babysat when he was younger.

Brock Samson – In this episode we see that even though Brock is unhinged he’s by the book and won’t raise a hand unless he has a licence to kill. For this reason he spends the episode getting back into his groove so he can renew his licence.

Dr. Venture – Dr. Venture is both a creep and a sweet guy as we see him have a level of awareness around Dr. Girlfriend that he doesn’t have around anyone else…he really did care about her which is both sad and kind of sweet.

Dr. Girlfriend – Dr. Girlfriend shows she’s more than just a tool when she ends up falling in love with Dr. Venture and saving him from mutating into a monarch. She shows that she isn’t all about the vendetta and also cares about Dr. Venture (which makes sense as Dr. Venture is much kinder to her than the Monarch is).

   This was an amazing episode that hits all the right notes. I felt bad for Dr. Venture (which is hard to feel) and felt bad for Dr. Girlfriend as she is as much a pawn to the Monarch as all his other minions as all he lives for is revenge against Dr. Venture. In this we see that characters can become more and just how connected or not connected they are to their different identities.

Final Score: 10 / 10

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The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 7 – “Ice Station – Impossible!” – A Satire of “The Fantastic Four”

Ice Station - Impossible!

   “Ice Station – Impossible!” is an outright satire of “The Fantastic Four” as it takes a realistic approach to what would happen if actual humans received the conditions that the Fantastic Four receive. Dr. Venture is of course along for the ride and we are introduced to Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy. We also get another great Brock B story to round things out.

    The episode was directed and written by Jackson Publick.

    The episode involves Richard Impossible pulling together a think tank for his organization, while elsewhere Hank is infected by a substance that will turn him into a human bomb unless they can find Richard Impossible’s secret base.

The Pros: Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy – These two are brought into Richard Impossible’s think tank along with Dr. Venture to create products for Impossible Industries. We never see what they do exactly as it soon becomes about the Impossibles and not what the mission actually was.

The Impossibles – The Impossibles are tragic as Richard is a controlling tycoon who keeps them all locked away, Sally just wants to be free even as anytime she feels her skin turns invisible revealing the flesh underneath, her special needs brother Ned becomes the Thing and has a good heart and Cody just catches on fire when ever he is any place too hot. They are a tragic family and I’m glad she escapes with Dr. Venture.

Richard Impossible – Colbert is great at playing this stuck up git as we see him attempt to kill Dr. Venture by leaving him out in the arctic to die and later when he mocks them all for trying to save Hank when it substance wore off since it was never tested on humans. He did make a great antagonist for the episode.

Dean Venture – Dean is fascinated by what Hank is going through and doesn’t panic until Brock mentions that Dr. Venture probably wouldn’t be able to fix it. Seeing his detachment is fascinating though as it seems to be a coping mechanism for him.

Brock Samson – Brock finds the agent who was trying to rescue the serum before he dies and spends the episode getting Hank to safety and calming him down as well as explaining how he’d kill Hank so he wouldn’t feel pain if it ever came to it, voicing he had considered and thought about that possibly occurring.

Hank Venture – Hank is understandably reacting to everything and from this we see that he is at peace with dying.

Dr. Venture – Venture is a sleeze. He is all about hooking up with Sally until her condition is revealed and doesn’t even seem to appreciate her for her mind as he can’t stand how she looks when her skin turns invisible. The guy is shallow, one good thing is he did try to save his son Hank with the Think Tank.

   This was a solidly great episode though I wouldn’t call it a favorite. The humorous moments don’t quite reach the jokes of the first 3 episodes, though the satire of the “Fantastic Four” is great, especially as it relates to body horror and how it reveals that Dr. Venture is not a deep character. I definitely recommend this episode.

Final Score: 9 / 10

The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 6 – “Ghosts of the Sargasso” – Bowie References and Venture Pride

Ghosts of the Sargasso

     “The Ghosts of Sargasso” is an episode that could have been so much more. The best parts of it are the David Bowie song references at the beginning and everything involving the pirates. The ghost was a lot of missed potential, as was exploring the past Team Venture of old.

    The episode was directed Directed and written by Jackson Publick with Doc Hammer as co-writer of the episode.

    The story involves Dr. Venture’s quest for his father’s UFO that crashed in the Bermuda Triangle. Things soon go awry when the current Team Venture is captured by pirates and Dr. Venture awakens the ghost of Major Tom who had died at the bottom of the ocean.

The Pros: The Original Team Venture and Bowie – Dr. Venture’s father Jonas Venture Sr. is watching as Major Tom breaks into the atmosphere as Jeanie, Major Tom’s wife and Action Man watch. I want to see more of these guys. There use of David Bowie lyrics is brilliant.

The Pirates – The Pirates are Pirates who pretend to be a ghost ship and that’s how they rob other vessels in the Bermuda Triangle. The Captain is a lot of fun and they even manage to trick and capture Brock before he escapes and destroys their ship. The Pirates are humanized in a big way and the interactions they have with Dean are a lot of fun.

Dean – Dean is trained by Brock to take out the pirates helping lead to Brock saving himself. Dean is showing level of competency.

Brock – Brock is usually always the best part of the episode and he doesn’t fail here as he defeats a pirate with his but cheeks and single handily defeats nearly all the pirates and the ghost. He’s once again one of the best.

The Cons: The Ghost – Major Tom’s ghost is just wailing the entire time and at one point it looks like he’ll be better when Dr. Orpheus has him talk to his ex-wife until he sees that she is married to Action Man. Poor guy, but he just felt like a weak joke. I wanted to know more about the original Team.

This was another good but not great episode. I wanted to know more about the original Team Venture. I didn’t mention Dr. Venture either even though it was him looking for the craft that led to the episodes creation. He’s just kind of there and didn’t make too much of an impact on me.

Final Score: 8.2 / 10

The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 5 – “Eeney, Meeney, Miney…Magic!” – The Messed up Mind of Dr. Venture

Eeney Meeney Miney ... Magic

     “Eeney, Meeney, Miney…Magic!” was an okay episode. Thus far it is the weakest as the tone and jokes don’t always work and some scenes are almost a little too awkward. But it is still enjoyable and worth checking out, it’s just not as great as past episodes.

  The episode was directed by Jackson Publick and written by Doc Hammer.

   The story involves the arrival of Dr. Orpheus and his daughter Triana who are renting a room from Dr. Venture. Things soon go out of control though when one of Dr. Venture’s devices lures Brock within forcing Dr. Orpheus and Dr. Venture to work together.

The Pros: Dr. Orpheus – The guy is hilarious and seems to be a mixture of Dr. Strange and old 50’s pulp comic book villains in how he’s over dramatic and a master of magic. He sees himself as the standard bearer against all evil (and is a little anti-tech.) but at the end of the day is a good guy, a much better man than Dr. Venture.

Brock – Brock gets trapped in the machine Dr. Venture built where his dreams are made a reality as we see him hook up with Molotov Cocktail and fight a whole bunch of villains and ninjas, at one point just saying that isn’t it enough already?

Hank and Dean Venture – These two help save Brock but find themselves trapped in the machine as well and it isn’t until Triana calls out that Hank’s love for lets the machine release them.

Dr. Venture – Uses an orphans heart to create a machine where people can live out their fantasies and his plan is to make a lot of money off it. He’s such a messed up character and it is amazing just how messed up he is.

Okay: Triana – She’s a punk rocker and that’s all we have so far. I can’t wait to see how she’s developed further as we need more character development for her.

The Cons: Tone – The episode starts out dark and foreboding as Dr. Orpheus destroys H.E.L.P.eR. but once you get to know him it clashes with the tone established at the beginning as he’s mostly just over dramatic.

This was a fun episode and is well worth checking out, even though it is merely good rather than great like the episodes prior. Dr. Orpheus is a great character and it is always good to get into Brock’s mind or see just how messed up Dr. Venture is as a person.

Final Score: 8 / 10

The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 4 – “The Incredible Mr. Brisby” – A Satire of Disney and Activism

The Venture Bros S 1 E 4 The Incredible Mr Brisby

    “The Incredible Mr. Brisby” is a great episode that manages to have some great satire that manages to target both the corporate (Disney) and the local and the flaws in both approaches and how control in any form can lead to egos taking control and it becoming more about a leader’s agenda rather than the organization and the members within it.

   The episode was written and directed by Jackson Publick.

     The story involves Dr. Venture taking a business trip to Brisbyland to meet with Mr. Brisby to help restore financial well being to his company. Things go awry though when the Orange County Liberation Front captures the Venture brothers and Mr. Brisby knocks out Brock leaving him trapped with only his ex-lover Molotov Cocktease to save him.

The Pros: Brisbyland – It has a Safari, a giant dome in place of the Disney Castle and countless other references. It did look like a fun place, as well as creepy as the happy suits are really played up to their fullest degree.

Hank and Dean Venture – These two love Brisbyland and it is here we see more of Dean being the genius nerd while Hank is more of a jock who wants to emulate Brock Samson.

Molotov Cocktease – Molotov is a Russian agent on her own quest who saves Brock from Brisby but leaves him behind when they are going to save the Dr. and the boys. Her vagina is covered with a metal lock, which drives Brock mad and is how she got her name. She is also the only one who can match Brock we have met thus far. I like her character.

Mr. Brisby – Mr. Brisby had a stroke and his face is frozen in a smile. He is the mad genius who might have had help from Dr. Venture if he hadn’t compared him to his father…in this we see that he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is, though he is a genius for making the Brisby Empire.

Dr. Venture – Venture’s pride rules him as we see that money, torture, etc. cannot stop him from going against a decision if he feels it will bring honor to his father or help his father’s legacy in any way. He’s a small minded guy and a lot like Mr. Brisby.

Brock Samson – Brock gets captured in this by Mr. Brisby since he was given a drugged cigarette from Brisby’s guard and in this we see that there is only one who can match him and only one he loves…Molotov Cocktease. Their relationship is quite great and humanizes Brock further.

Activism and Corporate Slavery – The danger of fanaticism is shown in this as both the OCLF capture Dean and Hank and enslave their minds to be soldiers as we see Mr. Brisby doing the same insidious thing at his park. Within this we see the danger of what happens a person loses their identity in something.

  This was a solidly great episode that I highly recommend. It taking place in Brisbyland was fantastic and how it is very much Disneyland but with a Bee in place of a mouse. Mr. Brisby is very much a Walt Disney type too as he is a genius who wants Dr. Venture to clone himself and once knew Dr. Venture’s father. I definitely recommend this episode.

Final Score: 9.7 / 10

The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 3 – “Home Insecurity” – A Meeting of Villains and a Story of Goons

The Venture Bros S 1 E 3 Home Insecurity

   “Home Insecurity” is one of the best episodes of “The Venture Bros.” I have watched thus far. H.E.L.P. eR. gets humanized, the goons of both the Monarch and Underbheit get character development and Brock has a great side story.

   The episode was directed by Jackson Publick and written by Doc Hammer.

    The story involves Brock going on his annual hunting trip in the wilderness as the Monarch and Baron Underbheit’s assassination plots against Dr. Venture occur as they cross hairs and decide to meet up to resolve this conflict of interest in who gets the kill while the brothers find themselves trapped in the Venture Compound.

The Pros: H.E.L.P. eR – The robot who always helps around gets humanized this episode as he seeks the specs for G.U.A.R.D.O. and believes he is being replaced. It isn’t until Dr. Venture has a heart moment that he comes to save the day as we see how much everyone appreciates him.

The Brock Samson Quest – Brock’s quest is a lot of fun as he goes into the wilderness and runs into Sasquatch and Sasquatch’s bionic husband who used to be a soldier who served with Brock. Brock’s mission is to help them escape and he does so by shaving Sasquatch and making them look like wounded vets. It’s a fun B Plot and shows Brock’s good side.

the Monarch and Underbheit’s Goons – There is a standoff between goons at the Venture Compound as each is as strong as the other. While they wait for their bosses to make a decision they become friend as we learn Underbheit forces children into his army and kills them at 38 while the Monarch takes ex-druggies and turns them into soldiers, though also kidnaps. Sadly G.U.A.R.D.O. is unleashed at the end leading to all the goons being slaughtered. R.I.P.

Baron Underbheit – Is a very loud villain who kills 2 of his minions at the beginning and tries to kill the Monarch when they meet. He has a lot of respect for Monarch though as he sees the Monarch’s issue is more personal showing that even though he is a mad psychopath, he has honor in their somewhere. His flamboyance makes him a lot of fun too as he looks like Darth Malek.

the Monarch – The Monarch is the main guy in this as we see how obsessed he is with Dr. Venture, from a 37 point powerpoint of how he’s been planning to take Dr. Venture down and even how dismissive he’s become of Dr. Girlfriend who clearly is running most of the operation while Monarch’s inheritance keeps it all afloat.

Dr. Venture – Venture shows himself to have goodness in him as he reaches out to H.E.L.P.eR. This was a rare moment of goodness for the character and showed that he is capable of more than just caring for himself and can feel gratitude.

   This was a perfect episode as every character got at least some development and not only are the villains humanized but so are their minions…just like H.E.L.P. eR. is given a chance to be a hero. There is also tragedy too as the goons are shown to be just cogs in a machine and pretty great guys who never got the chance to know as their leaders only saw them as tools of revenge.

Final Score: 10 / 10

The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 2 – “Careers in Science” – Doctor Venture’s Daddy Issues

The Venture Bros Episode 2

    “Careers in Science” gives us Dr. Ventures backstory and his main motivation, which is largely based around his father issues as his father is larger than life and used him largely as a tool as seems the case. This episode was a lot of fun and had some great jokes, keeping up the quality I’ve come to expect.

     The episode was directed by Jackson Publick and written by Doc Hammer.

    The story involves Dr. Venture and his team being called to Gargantua 1 to fix it his father was the one who built the Space Station which is now one of the Wonders of the World.

The Pros: Gargantua 1 – This space station truly is a marvel and is fun to see the boys and the others explore. The location is part of what makes the episode.

Docking – Brock Samson uses all the sexual innuendo of docking the ship to do phone sex with Anna Baldavitch. The writers change the music and give the whole thing a red glow too so it’s a complete illusion to sex. It’s hilarious.

Hank and Dean – These two have a small part in this and work mostly as innocents misunderstanding everything as they spend a lot of the episode fighting and mistaking characters for dead and thinking the station has a ghost. At one point they watch Anna and Brock have sex and think they are fighting. They work well for comedy.

Dr. Venture – Dr. Venture is dealing with his daddy issues in this, though he doesn’t realize that he is the one causing most of the problems that need to be solved…as the station was having issues from a toy he left as a child that was stuck in the wires…and later his pee filled space suit sets up the ship for destruction.

Brock Samson – Brock hooks up with Anna and beats up Bud when Bud touches his shoulder. His priorities are hilarious as he seems to live simply for fighting and sex.

Okay: Anna Baldavitch and Bud Manstrong – Bud is the person who is overly formal and obsessive where Anna is the reverse. They didn’t feel fully fleshed out is the thing and seemed to mostly exist as jokes.

This was a great episode, though could have been better if Bud and Anna had been fleshed out as characters more rather than being simply the but of jokes. This episode was still a lot of fun and is another great and favorite episode of television. I’m coming to expect high quality from this show.

Final Score: 9 / 10