The Venture Bros: The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II) (season finale)
by Annie Wu, posted Aug 25th 2008 8:42AM
(S03E13) It feels like the third season started only yesterday, but it's over, kids. Even though it didn't end with a massive cliff-hanger like in previous seasons, it certainly went out with a bang. Because the lovely, creative people that make this wonderful show can feel our pain in waiting, Season Four is already in production and actors will be recording next month. Calm yourselves. If you're still looking for goodness to get your fix, check out our VB-related posts.
General Treister looks like an old Nick Fury with a Tony Stark pacemaker, but he has the voice of Toby Huss. That immediately makes him awesome. It was also good to see Misters Doe and Cardholder, even if they weren't quite as snarky this time around. I must propose Anderson Cooper and John Slattery to play the silver OSI foxes in the live-action version.
As for the Venture family, I'm kind of digging Brock's bald look. He and Dr. Venture match now! Hopefully once he realizes how good they look together, he'll reconsider quitting. The Cleaner, the scary Mr. Clean fellow, was quite cool, but Molotov Cocktease's off-duty wear quickly stole the spotlight. It was like a weird hybrid of Ziggy Stardust hair and Kyle Minogue video extra clothing. Other interesting costume choices included #21's decision to wear a mask in The Monarch's message to Dr. Venture, as if his size wouldn't give his identity away.
My heart immediately shattered when #24 exploded. Despite all that cocky business in "The Lepidopterists", I still felt like this came out of nowhere. I loved that he died because of an instinctive safety measure adopted through years of car travel, though. How is Gary/ #21 going to cope, especially once he realizes his final moments with his best friend were spent with Doritos on his face? Will he ever come out of his Henchman headquarters or Mom's house ever again? Will #24's life cut short influence #21 to live life in the moment, causing him to make an all-out move for Dr. Mrs. The Monarch? We'll see. After my first viewing, I had my fingers crossed that #24 isn't really dead and then long, thin head that fell into #21's arms was actually that of HELPeR, just hidden behind a veil of flames. And then I went back to check and it's definitely, definitely #24. Grisly, man. Hopefully the Ventures will be able to rebuild HELPeR. Robot resurrection is within the confines of super science, right? After typing this, I spent a good ten minutes or so thinking about how cool it would be for the Ventures to bring #24 back Venture-stein style. #21 and a zombie friend! That's a spin-off begging to be made.
I thought for sure that The Monarch was going to die, especially after that ominous close-up of the single-button controller left on Dr. Girlfriend's throne. That was totally a the sign of an incoming disaster/death for The Monarch. But no, he just ended up with a lot of vomit on his face and beard.
I just had my jaw on the floor for the entire final five minutes of the episode. First of all, bravo to Sgt. Hatred for not making that moment with Hank totally uncomfortable. I was waiting for a bad joke to interrupt his pep talk ("I ate a whole labrador retriever once!"), but he pulled through with no trouble. Secondly, he did brilliantly with that clone army, which came out of nowhere. What a beautiful way to bring us back to something introduced in the second season, even down to the Christmas presents reference. Revisit "¡Viva los Muertos!" if you're feeling lost. Another notable reference to a joke from a previous season was Hank's excitement over finally meeting "Dawn", their long-lost sister ("Love Bheits").
As for the big, twist ending... As it turns out, those of you that questioned why the OSI would want to eliminate Brock were right to question, because it turned out to be a huge gamble by Molotov and her Black Hearts. I really didn't see that coming, even though I was expecting the Black Hearts logo at some point, just to see the context of its usage.
I have absolutely no idea what Season Four has in store for us; I can't even predict. At the end of the last finale, I was almost positive that most of this season would involve the conflict between the Venture/Monarch team and Phantom Limb. Surprisingly, Phantom Limb only had a brief, present day appearance at the end of the season premiere. Season premiere! Should we even bother expecting a Black Hearts-heavy Season Four (note that Hunter Gathers was rockin' that Black Hearts uniform harder than any of those ladies)? Some other things that I expected additional explanation were Dermott (and mother), Sgt. Hatred formerly being part of the OSI, the Orb, the Moppets' murderous plans, and Hank's "immortality." Alas, much like Hank's family French toast, there was none to be had.
All in all, I thought it was a solid episode. Not the best of the season but definitely an intriguing finale. I have my fingers crossed that next season will do some more character exploration in the immediate Venture family. What happened to Dr. Venture's villain worries from "The Doctor Is Sin"? And Dean's crazy, bottled up boy adventurer trauma? But regardless of whether or not they address these issues, there's no denying that VB has become something bigger and greater than anything a first season viewer could have expected. It's no longer a straight-up goofy cartoon, but a full-fledged universe with its own people to love, people to hate, mysteries, stories and adventures. There are no words to fully articulate the appreciation I feel for this show and the excruciating attention to detail and quality. What other original Adult Swim show can come even close to what this program has delivered? Bless Team Venture.
Shirt of the Week: Henchman 24 Memorial. We'll miss you and your awkward pants, 24! Note that the models are not generic folk this time, but Jackson and Doc themselves. Well, cartoon versions of them, anyway. I like that Jackson is modeling the macho man version and Doc is in the smaller lady size. It's funny, because it's true. Anyway, this is definitely spoilertastic so I can see a late fan being horrified at someone wearing this tee. Which is why I'm thinking about getting it. Last chance to get a Shirt Club shirt, kids! Get on it.
|5 - Spectacular!||126 (59.7%)|
|1 - Terrible.||5 (2.4%)|