What can be said about “The Venture Bros.” season three? Well, there were explosions, clones being slaughtered, toilet accidents, and the revelation of a powerful device no one understood how to use were the norm from an abnormal show. Brock Samson possibly died. Hank and Dean have no backups if they die like they always do. The world seems like it turned upside-down. Will things be rectified or made even weirder by the season’s end? Yeah, you’re right – weirder.
“You don’t know [crotch grab]!”
The end of season three was a huge moment in Brock Samson’s life. Not only did he quit the O.S.I. (Office of Secret Intelligence) – thus ending his time as bodyguard for the Venture family – Samson also got blown up alongside Henchman 24 and H.E.L.P.eR. A short time later, Samson awoke in the floating O.S.I. fortress with H.E.L.P.eR.’s head implanted in his chest. So who better to assist Samson extract a robot’s head from his chest than the man who removed Samson’s mentor’s – Colonel Hunter Gathers – penis?
With the help of Steve Summers and his lover Sasquatch (a first season callback), an overweight and bearded Samson made his move to take out the people responsible for his killing of the O.S.I.’s top agents; a group headed by Samson’s longtime infatuation Molotov Cocktease and the transgendered Gathers. Come to find out, Gathers didn’t get his male genitalia lopped off; or was even working with Cocktease’s Black Hearts.
In a shocking revelation, S.P.H.I.N.X. (the group once used as team Cobra to the O.S.I.’s G.I. Joe) had become vigilantes to stop unlicensed super villains and mad scientists operating without The Guild of Calamitous’ approval. With Brock Samson in shape, he could help S.P.H.I.N.X. continue its mission while protecting the Venture family from S.P.H.I.N.X.’s base (located on an unused portion of the Venture Compound that was eventually discovered by the Venture family, Sergeant Hatred, Henchman 21, and several others).
Though everything seemed right in the world of Samson, his unrequited love with Molotov Cocktease was confronted again, and ended with the realization that he’ll never attain the only woman he truly loved.
Evolution of 21
Similar to Brock Samson, Monarch Henchman 21 suffered a great loss thanks to the explosion that left Brock with H.E.L.P.eR.’s head in his chest. Eventually, a recovering 21 clutched the decapitated head of his best friend, Henchman 24 – who was blown to bits by the exploding Monarch Mobile. Instead of falling into a pool of regret, grief, and self-pity, 21 went on a mission to find the person responsible for 24’s death. (Hint: It was teased during the last season and hinted at during the second season recap by yours truly)
Without 24 holding him back by being the epitome of an underachiever, 21 honed his skills, improved his body, and became a force in the Fluttering Horde to the point fellow henchmen considered him the best man behind The Monarch. 21’s improvement somehow gained recognition by more people than just The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (DMT Monarch). To prove this, former Monarch henchman Scott Hall (Henchman #1) posed as Greek god Zeus to capture 21 and forced him to battle other enslaved men and children to prove his superiority before going after 21 in a one-on-one battle (which didn’t end so well for Hall).
But 21 wasn’t completely well. Keeping 24’s skull nearby at all times, Henchman 21 eventually started talking to the spirit of 24. 24’s ghost revealed great mysteries to his old friend, including the fact babies don’t have souls until, “…they’re, like, a year old … or six months. I don’t remember,” and the meaning of life.
Of course, 21 questioned whether or not the visage of 24 was real, leading to a series of ill-timed communications between 21 and the various members of The Monarch’s crew. By the season’s end, 21 had saved The Monarch from getting killed by Monstroso’s bodyguards (Monstroso is a physically giant lawyer for The Guild), fought and teamed up with Brock Samson prior to helping S.P.H.I.N.X. guard Hank and Dean’s prom on the Compound. The latter was a special night for 21.
With the help of Dr. Orpheus and the Order of the Triad, 21 let go of his emotional attachment to 24 after professing his love for DMT Monarch. Finding out that the Monarch family was swingers became the final straw for 21, forcing him to quit the henchman game and storm off while leaving everyone to wonder what was next for 21. Though it’s almost insane to believe he could transform from a chubby loser to a legitimate tough guy, Henchman 21’s evolution was outstandingly crafted and well executed to the point he became one of the series’ unexpected and likeable heroes.
The Revenge Society
Though the signs were already there, Phantom Limb had legitimately gone absolutely insane by the fourth season. The once professor turned super villain was jailed by The Guild. With the help of several inanimate objects (a coffee mug; a toaster; one of Dr. Mrs. The Monarch’s shoes she left behind after their break up) Limb escaped The Guilds’ prison not once, but twice.
During the first breakout, Phantom Limb captured Councilman 3 and 8 of The Guild’s Council of 13 (the same people who helped approve The Monarch’s marriage with Dr. Girlfriend) and made them one by surgically attaching Councilman 8’s head to Councilman 3’s body.
Why? To find ORB and use the device to attain his position atop The Guild as he believed he deserved. Sadly for Limb, his plan failed and he had to restrategize. With his psychically powered limbs controlling the toaster, shoe, and coffee mug, Limb took his chance to escape The Guild’s clutches and attempt to join forces with another man bordering on the clinical insanity – Dr. Impossible (check out the season one recap for more information on the stretchy doctor).
Dr. Impossible was still suffering from the fallout of his wife leaving him for Dr. Jonas Venture, Jr., literally collecting his own urine in jars inside Impossible Industries. With the banished Baron Werner Ünderbheit grouping up not long after Limb convinced Dr. Impossible to join the darkside and help him, The Revenge Society decided to hit The Guild where it’d hurt the most – by creating an arching agency that was more accessible than The Guild’s. By the season’s end, The Revenge Society was still in its infant stages. But with a mix of insanity and money, there’s a chance they could become a true force in the protagonist-antagonist community.
Trials of Hatred
During season three, Sergeant Hatred got a job arching the Venture family. The seemingly hostile situation actually turned out to be nothing more than a way for Sgt. Hatred to pay The Monarch back for stealing from him by treating The Monarch’s greatest antagonist with kid gloves. But all wasn’t well and good for the big man of hatred. The convicted pedophile with little boys dancing in his head confronted the possibility of losing his wife, Princess Tiny Feet.
By the beginning of season four, Sgt. Hatred found himself on the other end of the spectrum. Instead of arching the Venture family, Sgt. Hatred replaced Brock Samson as the family’s bodyguard. The always gung-ho Hatred didn’t have an easy ride through season four. One of his biggest hurdles as the family’s bodyguard was Hatred’s inability to get Hank on his side; let alone like him. Even letting Hank shoot him didn’t necessarily cause the forging of a better relationship between the toe-headed Venture brother and the sergeant.
Sadly for Sgt. Hatred, he didn’t realize how many temptations were out there for a recovering pedophile – especially without the sweet love of Princess Tiny Feet. By the season’s conclusion, things worked out for a re-tattooed Hatred (changing the hatred tattoo going down his body to “VENTURE” with a “D” near a sensitive region). How? Thanks to the reuniting of love between himself and Princess Tiny Feet. But the way it occurred was somewhat disturbing.
With the boys dying during almost every adventure and being replaced by clones, Hank and Dean Venture had the opportunity to actually grow in season four. Though the brothers were still close when the season began, it was noticeable that their lives were taking two totally different paths; both on purpose and beyond their control.
The second half of season four saw Hank and Dean confront their respective futures. Obvious was their father and his certain expectations for his sons – Dean being a super scientist and Hank spending the rest of his life finding work through whoever would have him. Proving his further ignorance of how to raise his sons unlike his own father, Dr. Venture took Dean to State University in hopes of getting his legacy child in without even filling out an application. As you could guess, the idea didn’t work out in Dean’s, and to a lesser extent Dr. Venture’s, favor. Hank, being the rebel that his father always wanted to be, took it upon himself to attempt to join S.P.H.I.N.X. With Brock on a mission, Hank became a nuisance for Col. Gathers, Shore Leave, and crew that had to be taken care of through falsified acts of “training”.
Little did Col. Gathers know that Hank actually did have the skills to be a member of the secret organization. Hank’s abilities to free himself from being tied to a chair, avoid being thrown off the hood of a moving car, diffuse a bomb while hanging from the bottom of a SUV, and stop a mind wipe were all showcased. By the time Samson returned, he was forced to turn Hank down in hopes of saving the poor kid’s life since he had no more safety nets.
By the summer, Hank and Dean had separate missions. Hank would get a job while Dean took an internship at Impossible Industries in New York. Like many young adults who realize that the dreams of their parents for them are not the aspirations they have for themselves, Dean saw his life as a super scientist being just like his father’s depressing existence. Hank, on the other hand, ignored his want to be a mini-Brock Samson in an effort to become a self-employed, self-made man. One of Hank’s many jobs, including working as a cashier, chef, and a notary, was joining the private detective game (personally, my favorite episode of the entire season).
A simple search to find a ride for Dermott Fictel ended with Hank actually having sex with Dermott’s attractive sister. Unfortunately for Hank, his greatest moment had to be wiped from his mind for a very good, yet disgusting reason.
The mental and physical growth of Hank and Dean Venture concluded in the thrilling season finale – “Operation P.R.O.M.” (Phenomenal episode, mind you) Without a date, Hank invited Dermott to rock out with him – giving birth to the two-man, one-robot band “Shallow Gravy”. Dean spent the night with Triana Orpheus – who did a favor by going out with Dean even though she was dating a crippled version of Edward Cullen from the “Twilight” series named “Raven”. Hearing Triana describe a “Rusty Venture” in a sexual bet between Shore Leave and The Alchemist sent Dean into an immature tantrum and had Triana returning home.
Thanks to his brother and Dermott, Dean made one last attempt at winning Triana’s heart by lighting logs on fire that spelled out her name while dressed as a ghost (but ended up looking like a member of the Ku Klux Klan). As anyone would expect, Dean’s plan didn’t go well. The only letter that actually stayed burning was the “T”. With Triana’s stepdad – her father’s former student and eventually savior, The Outrider – putting out the believed racist flames and explaining how Dean should be happy for Triana finding happiness with someone else, Dean finally manned up and exclaimed to The Outrider, “You know what … f*** you!”
But the boys weren’t the only ones who grew and changed in season four. Dr. Venture accepted the problems his father’s lifestyle caused in his somewhat productive life. Col. Gathers watched as his hero General Treister shot himself into space to get his “pee-pee cancer” cured by “little green men”. Billy “Quizboy” Whalen finally had sex during his effort to become a real doctor. Dr. Byron Orpheus acknowledged his inferiority to the man who took his wife. And Jefferson Twilight found out that his mom getting raped by Blackulas horribly scarred him for life before realizing he had magic powers just like the other Triad members. Yes, season four was all over the place, but there are very few shows that could pull if off as well as “The Venture Bros.”
With only one season left to go, what monumental moments will unfold next?