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THE VENTURE BROS. Recap: “Tanks for Nuthin”

Warning: major spoilers below! You know the drill. Don’t read this recap until you’ve seen the fifth episode of The Venture Bros. season 6. You’ve been warned!

Midway through its extremely shortened sixth season, The Venture Bros. has found multiple ongoing stories with a lot of bite. Perhaps none more so than the new triangle between the Monarch, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, and Dr. Venture. And as much as Dr. Venture would love to put the moves on Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, this isn’t a love triangle and it could end badly for all of them.

In her role as one of the top members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch was very alarmed by the new Blue Morpho, a “hero” who seemingly killed Harangutan. She doesn’t know that it’s her husband in a new identity, and she’s now laser focused on Dr. Venture thanks to the belief that he is the Blue Morpho. Think about that for a second, the Monarch is now getting arched by his wife…and she doesn’t even know it yet! Judging from the Guild’s reaction to Harangutan’s death, heroes killing villains is apparently frowned upon by the Guild itself.

Considering that the Monarch’s goal is to eliminate villains ahead of him in line to arch Dr. Venture, this has been his most successful plan ever…and he’s barely done anything at all! Simply by surviving an encounter with his wife at the police impound and taking a dump in Venture’s new pool, Monarch has thrown suspicion off of himself and on to Venture, whom he physically resembles. It seems more and more like the show is leaning towards the revelation that Monarch and Dr. Venture are half-brothers, which adds another level to their ongoing one-sided feud.

There’s also something hilariously dark about the way that Dr. Venture’s would-be archenemies are getting themselves killed in that giant hole in his compound. Two more villains were added to that death toll this week: Harangutan’s widow, Battleaxe (Barbara Rosenblat), and the sublimely funny Think Tank, as voiced by Boardwalk Empire veteran Jeffrey Wright. Think Tank (whose design clearly invokes Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.) was, in his own way, almost as pitiful as Dr. Venture himself. Think Tank was clearly too brilliant to be a college professor, but not evil enough to be a true villain. He simply wanted a heroic rival whose intellect matched his own.

Hilariously, Think Tank’s dream of matching wits with Venture was foiled both by Venture’s indifference and by Venture’s inability to play chess. Instead, Dr. Venture spent most of the episode getting phone pranked by the Guild’s Watch and Ward while Brock Samson had “an unauthorized team up” with Warriana (Kate McKinnon).

The seemingly one-off nature of Warriana and Brock’s hook-up led to some very funny scenes this week, as Brock did the walk of shame out of her apartment and she couldn’t be bothered. In her civilian identity, Warriana is apparently a reporter named Alexis Warrington, and she was seen interviewing the Pirate Captain about last week’s PR debacle with “God Gas.” Billy Quizboy was also a major part of that embarrassment, as he had his own “David Hasselhoff eating a cheeseburger moment” recorded and preserved online by his dick of a friend, Pete White.

Another intriguing moment in this episode revealed why Dr. Venture has been harassed by so many supervillains since he came to New York. He’s now a “Level 10 protagonist” according to the Guild, and Wide Wale has been subletting his arching rights to lower ranked villains like Harangutan and Think Tank. Wide Wale even has surveillance devices in the new Venture building, but he’s apparently missed the fact that Hank has taken a job working for him in a ridiculously bad disguise. That fake moustache shouldn’t fool anyone, and yet Hank was practically invisible to Wide Wale.

It’s telling that Warriana was so put off by the idea of someone messing with “her man” after saving Brock’s life during the battle with Think Tank. Despite her initial indifference, Warriana is already deeply into Brock, and she used her magic lasso to make him admit that he liked the “butt stuff” that she subjected him to the night before. It’s easy to forget that Warriana and her Crusaders Action League are secretly working for Wide Wale too. That means that Brock and Warriana still have big problems ahead.

But no one is more danger than the Monarch. In the short term, Dr. Venture may face the full wrath of Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, who calls him “her enemy” in the episode’s closing moments. When the truth comes out (as it inevitably will), this could actually end the Monarch’s marriage. And yet the Monarch is still so set on arching Venture that he’ll probably risk it all to continue the Blue Morpho’s “heroic” rampage.

This episode didn’t have much for Hank and Dean to do, but it was brilliantly written and funny throughout. The ongoing threads of the sixth season have started to come together, and it should be a beautiful disaster as the season heads towards its finale in three episodes.

What did you think about the latest episode of The Venture Bros.? Let us know in the comment section below!

Image Credit: Adult Swim

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