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October 10, 2015

The Venture Bros: The Doctor Is Sin

by Annie Wu, posted Jun 8th 2008 11:59PM
Killinger(S03E02) After the season premiere left us with a depressing lack of Venture, this episode more than made up for it, taking place entirely on the family's compound. Plus, bonus Henry Killinger (and his magic murder bag)! "The Doctor Is Sin" marked a turning point in Dr. Venture's character and vulnerabilities. I don't really mind when an entire episode sacrifices fast-moving plot and crazy ninja fights to allow a character to come to critical realizations about himself/herself, as long as said realizations affect his/her future actions. I cannot begin to explain the frustration I feel when seasons carry on as if these moments never happened. Here's to hoping that Dr. Venture's new awareness of his occasional villainous tendencies provide some interesting changes in upcoming episodes.

We know two things for sure: Rusty is desperate for cheap labor, and Jonas, Jr. has become an even more super-famous super-scientist. It also looks like Jonas, Jr. has taken in Swifty and Hector to join his Spider Skull Island crew. While he's been busily working away on various expensive projects alongside Sally Impossible and Hadji -- I mean, Rajni -- Rusty has been prepping for a visit from General Manhowers. The reappearance of hopped up "Jonny Quest" was hilarious, even though it was totally irrelevant. As for Dr. Venture's tour of the compound, complete with the family, Dr. O and Triana putting on costumes to impress, I loved that the writers took up the opportunity for more automatic door comedy. I haven't seen it used so well since Season Two's premiere, when The Monarch fell through one in his sideways cocoon. I would also like to thank Jackson Publick for reminding us that Fruitopias are still in existence.

After General Manhowers left unimpressed and kind of freaked out by the amateur villains trying to arch the family (fried Manosaurus is instant funny, by the way), Dr. Venture felt utterly defeated. Out of nowhere, Dr. Henry Killinger flew in, and offered to work his magic and save the Venture brand. There are so many reasons why Killinger is one of the greatest characters in the entire VB universe. For one thing, his little leitmotif is so kooky. I hope they include some form of it in the VB soundtrack. Also, he makes lines as simple as "No! You are ze magic man!" instantly hilarious and he served Brock apple slices while talking about tax write-offs. However, I don't like the magic rivalry between him and silly billy Dr. Orpheus, simply because Dr. O is my favorite and seeing that explosive nosebleed totally broke my heart. Looking for maximum efficiency, Killinger repossessed the arachnid lab, thereby kicking out Dr. O and Triana and leaving them to sleep over at the Alchemist's place.

Dr. Venture was once an adorable boy adventurer, but a lifetime of trauma and self-loathing turned him into a bitter, balding failure. Killinger forced Dr. Venture to face the fears that caused this by jumping into his past. And by "his past", I mean "his magic murder bag of extra-wacky visions." Seriously, I thought Jonas, Sr.'s swinging censor box was bad enough, but then the Killinger penis of doom made everything worse.

Some things to note about this scene: Jackson Publick briefly talked about that same penis anxiety in an interview with New York Magazine. I'll leave it up to you male viewers to decide whether or not that truly is a normal part of a boy's childhood. Also, someone in the comments from Mantis Eye pointed out Henchman 24 on the side of the OJ carton. Pic or it didn't happen? Well, here we go:

The Venture Bros.

Was that just a fun little shout-out to eagle-eyed viewers or something more? I'm not sure how well the age thing would work out, as #24 looks the same as he does in present time, but maybe he grew that unibrow at a very early age.

Anyway, after that bizarre experience, Killinger encouraged Dr. Venture to try on his snazzy new outfit and use his newfound confidence and henchmen ("Venchmen") to... arch his Jonas, Jr.! Shock, horror! Dr. Venture realized that Killinger had turned him into a full-fledged villain, but it was his own bad choices and anger that had laid the groundwork. Deep.

Meanwhile, Brock visited the Alchemist's place to check in on the Orpheus family. Dr. O and Brock's awkward hug made my night. I want an entire episode of just the two of them eating grilled cheese sandwiches together (not a euphemism). Dr. O convinced Brock to help him save Dr. Venture from Killinger and they, along with the Alchemist and a giant laser, stormed the compound. Dean was definitely listening to a Law of Attraction lesson in his learning bed. I didn't know there was a Killinger version of the Secret audiobook. The gang arrived just in time to see Dr. Venture sign away Killinger and a life of super-villainy. It would have been crazy if Dr. Venture took the deal, maybe a little too crazy. I'm looking forward to seeing how this decision affects him. The final scene showed Dr. Venture taking some baby steps to getting his act together, so maybe this really is going somewhere. Hopefully this won't cut down on the trademark sleaziness, though. And despite Killinger's generally sinister appearance, I don't think he actually intended to make Dr. Venture a bad guy, but expected this ending from the get-go. Yessir, that Killinger certainly knows how to do things right. "I love mein job!"

Shirt of the Week: Dr. Henry Killinger skull. I had a feeling it would be either this or a Venture Industries logo. I won't be picking up this shirt, even though I love the inside joke quality of this design. My decision was made partially because I have too many skull graphics in my wardrobe. I caught my reflection this afternoon and I realized that I may have been subconsciously channeling Triana Orpheus with my Adam & the Ants Jolly Roger shirt and new haircut (complete with black and purple). It's going to take me another five years before I stop dressing like cartoon characters, evidently. EDIT: Holy cow! I managed to be double-right. The official AdultSwim.com shop has a new VB shirt this week and it's -- that's right -- the Venture Industries logo!

How would you rate this episode?
5 - Perfect!88 (51.8%)
465 (38.2%)
315 (8.8%)
21 (0.6%)
1 - Lamer than Brisby's legs.1 (0.6%)

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I was just rewatching the first season and I think henchman #24 says at some point that he was kidnapped "by you guys" referring to the other henchmen. It doesn't really jive with the revelations from last week, but perhaps the OJ was a sly reference to his line from season one.

June 09 2008 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to superbagman's comment
Annie W.

Actually, that was #21. I think the line was something like, "You guys kidnapped me when I was 15!" I don't recall learning anything about #24's pre-Monarch life before last week's episode.

June 09 2008 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Perfect? Maybe not quite, but close enough.

I wouldn't say last episode had a depressing lack of venture; last episode was better than this one.

And this one was outstanding. Brock's back-rent to tax-write-off plot point cracked me up.

Funniest part, though, was the anatomically correct dangling action of the censored box. Reminded me a bit of the only part of Borat I found memorable. Heh, "bit."

June 09 2008 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Technically Fruitopia does not exist, at least not in the states. Since 2001 at least. The joke was that Rusty _Still_ had some after all this time.

June 09 2008 at 3:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I blew a chunk of my tax refund on shirt club, cause... I couldn't think of anything else to blow it on. I need a hobby that costs money or something. But yeah, seeing the episode Friday night, I was worried it'd be this. Not ugly or anything, just not all that interesting (especially compared to the guild one last week... damn you 3-5 week wait!).

June 09 2008 at 1:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These first 2 episodes have felt like they were trying to recover from all the stuff that happened in season 2. The archenemies got shuffled and they need to sort things out again before they can settle into the season.

They love the male nudity on Venture Bros. We've seen revealing drawings of the boys, Dr. Venture (often), Brock, Jonas Sr., JJ, and Colonel Gathers. When will the Order of the Triad strip down?

Who knew the magic murder bag was actually magic?

My review at http://prozachary.blogspot.com

June 09 2008 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Zachary's comment

Did the venchmen uniforms remind anyone else of the old Vancouver Canucks jerseys?

June 09 2008 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oops, I forgot the Monarch in Fallen Arches. And I guess Hunter was technically a woman when he got naked.

June 09 2008 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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