The Venture Bros. Review: “The High Cost of Loathing” (Season 7, Episode 4)

Why are we doing this? You know, “this.” This entire “guy dressed up with a punctuation mark helmet breaks into your lab to steal your top secret whatever, holds you hostage with a ray gun, and then you have to spend time out of your busy schedule to track him down to a cave in the rainforest to get your stuff back” routine. Neither of you are really allowed to kill the other, so this can’t be permanently ended. It just keeps on happening, wasting your time and your life. Isn’t that the way?

But what if you could break the cycle?

Recap (With the Big Idea):

Why does Dean Venture put up with this? Dean’s unhappiness with his super-scientist lifestyle has been going on almost as long as Hank’s has. However, Dean and Hank’s rebellions are as different as they are. Hank dresses up, takes on outrageous (some would say “silly”) personas, and lives his life balls-out. Hank overdoes everything from trying to get his first sip of coffee to trying to woo the daughter of his dad’s arch-nemesis. Dean’s shown himself to be a little subtler than that. He mopes. He talks back under his breath. The only science class Dean’s willing to consider is the “least” science-y of them all. However, we do see quite a bit of Doc in him already. Dean’s self-centered, has a victim complex, and immediately turns any sign of female affection into sexuality. There’s a pretty good chance Dean in twenty years will have his wi-fi password “Triana_Orpheus_Rocks.” Dean’s at a crossroads right now. He’s closer to being his father if his negative attitudes aren’t put in check. Hank deals with feelings of abandonment from Dr. Venture; Dean would rather be left alone so he won’t suffer the same fate as his him.

Why does The Monarch put up with this? We now know The Monarch’s antagonistic relationship toward Rusty has something to do with the lives of Jonas Venture Sr., the Blue Morpho, and the abandonment of his possible half-brother. But what causes this aggression before we knew this? The Monarch very easily could have given up this whole arching thing years ago. Instead, he’s blown his family’s fortune on “getting” Doc, either through actually arching with flying cocoons, henchmen, and jars of Handy Dandy or by trying to remove any Guild-assigned villains that got in his way. Now The Monarch has to suffer the indignities of both failing to get a bank loan and being foiled by one of New York’s least-respected superheroes. His non-Dr. Venture arches are more humiliating. Dr. Dugong? Dr. Heine? Professor Victor Von Helping? Despite his cool powers, the last guy doesn’t even want to fight! How lame a hero can you get?

However, Prof. Von Helping (born Victor Von Hellfire) understands something both Dean and The Monarch haven’t. You can always just walk away. Von Helping walked away from his father’s supervillainy and into a life of teaching. Dean can choose to leave super-science behind despite his father’s protests. That doesn’t mean Dean can’t completely expunge himself from that world, though; the one million dollars he pays The Monarch off with comes from that super-science world. Instead of using that money to be a house-husband for one of the Guild’s new leaders, The Monarch’s going to keep up his war with Dr. Venture. Because he has to. He needs a reason to wear that Death’s Head Panoply suit.


  • I’ll admit. They got me with the Monarch’s fantasy sequence. Having him raise up in level in the two months after “capturing” the Blue Morpho was entirely possible.
  • Despite Jonas Venture, I’m having a hard time thinking of a super-scientist that actually wants an archenemy. Doc doesn’t. These Level 4 and 5 super-scientists don’t seem to thrilled about it. Jonas Jr. saw the Guild/OSI structure as needless. Are there no true Men of Action anymore?
  • Like a lot of people, I already have reservations regarding a possible Dean/Sireena/Hank love triangle. Part of me just wants to see the boys (specifically Hank) happy. Part of me feels the trope of the girl getting between two guys belongs in the last century. Hopefully, Sireena’s just a nice person who friend-pecked Dean on the cheek as a show of platonic affection.
  • Once again, Doc’s just reselling his brother’s old inventions to the VenTech board. A floating belt does seem cool, but if they were a public good you’d just have idiots launching themselves through glass windows to make dramatic exits.
  • Each time we see more of Brown Widow, the more disgusting his powers seem to be.


  • “Ah, Sorry. Traffic in the city really grinds my nuts. Took one look at this nice open lawn and had to open Adrianne up.”
    “That’s okay, Brock. I know what it’s like to feel bottled up inside.”
    “I know you do, Dean. And that’s why I want you to have her.”
    “Whoa. Really?”
    “NO! Are you nuts? I thought you were supposed to be the smart one!”
  • The text on Von Hellfire’s photograph: “Son, you are my greatest disappointment. – Father”
  • “That’s sweet, boo-boo, but I told ya, I got class.”
    “But that was this morning?”
    “Yeah, I got more than one! It’s college!”
    “Well, that seems excessive.”
  • “Ah, well, it looks like it’s just the three of us then.”
    “Not anymore! The Monarch is auditing this class!….Oh, hey Deanie Venture.”