The Venture Bros Review: “The Venture Bros & The Curse of the Haunted Problem” (Season 7, Episode 1)

Welcome to the first of hopefully many reviews of the new season of
The Venture Bros on the Avocado. With a show this in-depth and detail-oriented, I figured we were due to have a special space to talk about this new season.

For a quick summation, my name is evan_in_the_year_3000 and I’m a
Venture Bros OG. I stumbled onto the show way back in 2004 when I needed white noise for company in college. Around the third episode (“Home Insecurity,” aired third but produced seventh), I was hooked. I bought the original VB shirt from [adult swim]’s online store for the four weeks or so it was available. (I believe in the first season commentary Doc mentions how little merchandising there originally was for the show.)

I know this is a day late. I didn’t get a chance to rewatch the episode until today. If these threads go well, I hope to continue for the rest of the season. If they go *really* well, I’ll see if I can do some VB Classic reviews now that I’m under-employed.

Recap (With Spoilers)

It’s not particularly original or unique anymore to use ghosts as a metaphor for the sins of the past. Ghosts can be used to symbolize both the regrets of the living and the sins of our ancestors.

It’s easy to see how Rusty Venture would be a perfect target for both kinds of ghosts. He’s always lived in his father’s (and later brother’s) shadow but has also has to carry around their respective legacies. (He is living in his brother’s new high rise built over his great-grandfather’s building and is surrounded by artifacts from his father’s adventures.) In order to keep what little sanity he has left, Rusty copes by outright dismissing the very idea of “actual” ghosts.

Of course, no man can avoid his ghosts forever. Jonas Jr. leaned into his by building museums to his dad while also trying to out-do him in every way. This urge to surpass the father he never knew brought Jonas Jr. to the desert investigate the wreck of Gargantua-1. That urge highlight Jonas Sr.’s greatness (while also highlighting Jonas Jr.’s greatness in overtaking his father) made Jonas Jr. bring the Problem light to VenTech tower.

This is how Jonas Sr. is finally able to get back into his sons’ lives. By connecting into the VenTech systems, the remains of Jonas Sr. are capable of forcing themselves back into the material world. (Jonas Sr.’s face can briefly be seen on the computer monitors as they go haywire. He also pulls up old episodes of The Rusty Venture Show as a way to talk to Rusty.)

Meanwhile, Col. Gentleman can’t put down his dying dog despite the horrible life the dog leads. Foreshadowing much?

In the end, Rusty quickly silences Dean from even mentioning that the Problem (or P.R.O.Blem) light was briefly on in “Careers in Science.” If you don’t talk about it the past, you don’t have to deal with it.

Oh, and also Wide Wale has apparently captured the Monarch. And Hank’s been dating Sireena for some time. I assume we’ll touch on that more next week.

Continuity

  • This is the first we’ve seen the Order of the Triad since a brief scene in All This and Gargantua-2. Their last major appearance was in season five’s A Very Venture Halloween.
  • We also see quite a bit of Hank’s alter-ego Enrico Matassa for the first time since “Mama’s Boys” in season five. Coincidentally to this episode’s themes, that’s also the episode where Dermott finds his true parentage. Dr. Orpheus appears solo in that episode as well.
  • The mask some of the ghosts are looking for was stolen by Wide Wale in “Maybe No Go.” It’s still visible in the background of his penthouse.
  • Billy still thinks Rusty is the Blue Morpho. Rusty still thinks Dean has residual nanobots in him from last season. Sgt. Hatred greets potential enemies or friends with big baskets of “howdy-do.”
  • Col. Bud Manstrong received presidential honors after accidentally crashing Gargantua-1 onto a terrorist base in “Guess Who’s Coming to State Dinner?” Presumably, that’s where Jonas Jr. finds the wreckage.

Quotes
Hank (re: the haunting): “Have you guys ruled out old lighthouse keeper in a rubber mask yet?”

Rusty: “Oh my god, is that Scamp 1?”
Dean: “Aww…”
Sgt. Hatred: “Launched about the VenStar One lunar probe in 1966, Scamp 1 was the first dog to die on the moon!”
>Dean is displeased<