The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 11 – “Past Tense” – Where Everything Began

Past Tense Venture Bros.

     “Past Tense” is a great episode. This is the episode where we see more innocent versions of our characters before they became the broken people they are today. It’s really well done how they do it too, as well as including the Old Team Venture into the story as well.

   The episode was directed and written by Jackson Publick.

    The episode involves Pete White, Dr. Venture, Baron Underbheit and Brock going to the funeral of their friend Sorayama, but all is not as it appears to be when they find themselves kidnapped and it is up to Hank and Dean to call the old Team Venture into action to save them from a mysterious foe.

The Pros: The College Years – The college years and how the show presents them are pretty amazing. From the roommates and them all hanging out and playing D and D, from Pete White as a DJ and Underbheit bringing a slave with him when he is studying abroad. The characters and their personalities are captured beautifully.

Pete White – Pete White is the devil may care DJ and when they find out Sorayama captured them he is one of the first to try and reason with him. He’s always been a side character so I hope we get more development of him in the future. In the flashbacks he appeared to be Thaddeus Venture’s closest friend.

Underbheit – Underbheit brings a slave with him to college from his home country and makes friends with Pete White, Sorayama and Venture. I didn’t expect him to show up at the funeral but it was good to see him and see the better side of him.

Sorayama – Sorayama was obsessed with Leslie and we see that in any way the four were connected to her lead to his revenge plan. I wanted him to be more than just obsessed but his creation of A.I. was pretty cool.

Dr. Venture / Thaddeus Venture – Dr. Venture shows his good side again as we learn he didn’t sleep with Leslie (Brock did) and that he didn’t lose his virginity until after college. We also get echoes of what broke him as at the end of the episode in the flashback we find out his father was killed. I felt a lot for his character and he struck me as someone I would have played D and D with in college.

Brock Samson – Brock is the jock who is unstable as he gets kicked off the football team after he accidentally kills a player. This leads to him beating up his roommates. He later apologizes and ends up joining the military to try and atone for what he did. He’s just as much a womanizer as before and from all we see, just as dangerous. At one point he takes out the old team too when he mistakes them for the androids.

The Old Team – The Old Team is fantastic. Colonel Gentlemen is the best, Otto is super religious and trying to convert everyone he meets while Action Man is a has-been who has flatulent issues. Seeing them assemble is pretty fantastic though, even if they lose to Brock easily.

   This was a great mixture of old and new as we get to see the old guard reassemble as well as see that many of our characters were normal people once before all the crap that went down in their lives brought them down to the shells of their former selves they are today (in regards to both the old guard with old age and the current team with their emotional wounds). I highly recommend this episode, it is easily one of the best of the series.

Final Score: 10 / 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