The Venture Bros. Review: “The Rorqual Affair” (Season 7, Episode 2)

I wrote this after watching the episode on [adult swim]’s website so it’s going up on time.

Recap (With The Big Idea)

The Monarch is one giant self-centred asshole. I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise. He is a supervillain after all. However, even in a world where supervillainy is a “normal” part of everyday life, the Monarch’s me-first attitude really stands out. He doesn’t listen to anyone close to him, not even Dr Mrs The Monarch or 21. He just does what he does in his singular attempt to ruin Dr Venture’s life.

Hell, even Level 10 supervillains are able to connect with others. For being a terrifying skinless skeleton man, Red Death is exceptionally considerate and helpful to those he likes. Red Death can empathize with others so well that he even puts his reputation at risk for not turning in the Monarch and 21 for being The Blue Morpho and Kano.

And in the middle is Wide Wale. For coming across as an unstoppable Level 10 villain, he cares quite a bit about his family. Sireena’s safety is obviously a priority, although he may use that as an excuse to lock down his now-adult daughter.

More important is Wide Wale’s connection to his brother, Dougie. From the brief look we had at the two of them as humans, it was pretty obvious that Chester looked up to Doug. Chester had his faith in Doug’s projects even though he wasn’t well-versed in them. He even stole a Damian Hirst’s sculpture “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” for him since something worth a lot of money must be valuable everywhere else. It’s this respect a younger brother has to an older brother that drives all of Wide Wale’s plans since the beginning of last season. He will make The Monarch’s life hell for taking something from him the same way The Monarch makes Rusty Venture’s life hell for simply existing.

(Speaking of Rusty, what was with that dream The Monarch had of him? Based on The Monarch’s line in the flashback that “you abandoned me!”, the closeness of their respective parents, and their similar build, I might finally be coming around to the theory that they’re brothers. Maybe The Monarch wants Rusty to dive into the waters of villainy with him?)

If I had a negative, I’d argue that The Monarch gets off almost immediately via Deus Ex Machina. There are extra Blue Morphos running around and he never really pays for killing Dr. Dugong. (Oh, Dr. Dugong is back via some silly retconning. I would have thought the OSI would have loved to pit brother-super-scientist against brother-supervillain.)

Notes

  • At the end of the episode, VenTech tower starts to…warp? Fade out? Also, someone else has stolen the Morphomobile and dressed as the Blue Morpho before entering the tower. Cliffhangers seem to be a thing this season.
  • Wide Wale and Rocco show off that genre savviness by immediately recognizing The Monarch even with the Blue Morpho mask. The Monarch easily sees through Hank’s Enrico Matassa disguise.
  • Gary’s still having trouble coming to terms with his life as a killer. It’s confirmed that Wandering Spider is dead.
  • Background character “Drill Guy” has a new name and a new sweet moustache. He’s Tunnel Vision!
  • A lot of great lesser villains show up as well: The Intangible Fancy, Flying Squid, Purple Rose, Dot Comm, and the great Brick Frog!

Quotes:

  • “My only skills are brick throwing and frog being!”
  • “Well, I very much like to kill.”
    “We get to break into an OSI Dummy Co-Op.”
    “And kill?”
  • “How long do we have until they regain consciousness?”
    “Um….” (Yes, this is pretty much the same joke as the previous one. I still like it. Red Death was on a roll.)
  • “This is Dave Kill-Sock.”
  • “You dressed up one of the ventures as a gigolo to kill me?”
    “I dress myself like a Juggalo, sir!”