The Venture Bros. Review: “The Terminus Mandate” (Season 7, Episode 8)

Dr. Mrs. The Monarch’s been many things since she’s joined the world of supervillainy but she’s always been defined by her relationships with others. As the straight woman of the Venture Bros. universe, she’s the one trying to keep organized villainy organized. Like most straight men characters, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch spends most of her time reacting to the chaos the world around her produces. However, as most people constantly living for other people, Dr.M.T.M. has yet to put her own needs first. Is her life of falling backward into keeping the largest organization of antagonists really what she wants?

Recap (With the Big Idea)

Sheila started off as a college student under the influence of Professor Fantomas, then a professional number two for Truckules. Her first and only attempt at solo villainy was a Lady Au Pair. (Interestingly, au pairs take responsibility for other people’s children.) When she washed out there, she was Phantom Limb’s Queen Etheria, then The Monarch’s Dr. Girlfriend, and then Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. As Councilwoman One, she spends more time mothering the unfocused, uninterested, and selfish male council members. Her competency has kept the Guild running but she gets no respect in return.

When the Council decides that they can not officially be active archenemies anymore, it’s only Dr.M.T.M. that takes their forced retirements seriously. Red Mantle and Dragoon push off the opening of their letter until after Downton Abbey is done. (Not shockingly, the two of them seemed to have outlasted their protagonists simply by running and hiding.) Wide Wale simply has Rocco harass the Guardian Angel Wale tangled with early in his career. Radical Left plays his alter ego Right Wing in a game of Clue. And Phantom Limb, ever the one to stroke his own ego with minimal risk, gets into a literal dick measuring competition with Col. Hunter Gathers. (Red Death takes his assignment seriously enough to ignore; instead, he shows the loutish Blind Rage how a professional villain behaves.)

Sheila’s relationship with The Monarch reminds me of a quote from Bojack Horseman: what The Monarch really needs is a fuck-mommy. He’s a petulant, whiny, self-obsessed guy who wants someone to cater on him hand and foot while also being a beautiful and sexually voracious smoke show. (The Monarch and Doc are not so dissimilar in this way. Note how Doc’s willing to risk his life just for the possibility of Novia taking care of his every need.)

After confronting Novia — Shiela’s still the “career gal” — Dr.M.T.M. pauses on whether to give up her arching rights. I doubt she’s really that interested in arching Dr. Venture with her husband since she’s never really had any true animus against him. Instead, she’s at the point where she finally is looking out for just her future.

(Then again, maybe she won’t be in it for just herself anymore. Her bosom overflowing her bra, her breaking down crying in front of Novia, her throwing up right afterward… Perhaps she’ll soon be Dr. Mrs. “Mommy” The Monarch.)

Notes:

  • “Novia” translates to “girlfriend” or “fiance.” Novia seems to have gone all in on working with her gimmick, completely willing to define herself by her relationships to the men she kills.
  • Based on his desire to get laid, we can assume Doc realized that his time in the Illuminati was fake. However, now that he’s had the taste of sex with non-bug monsters, he seems to be actively looking for some lady friends.
  • Action Johnny’s has had both the Indian Hadji as a sidekick and an American Indian boy as a sidekick.
  • Phantom Limb’s playing unfair. We all know Col. Gathers lost then regained his dick after his surgery. Limb merely lost his invisible arm.

Quotes:

Doc: “What’s the works? Like no orifices off limits here or are we on different pages here?”
Night Dick: “Different pages, here. I’m on the obituaries. You’re on like the Penthouse Forum.”

Doc: “Brock, this is a woman that seduces rich men for a living. Think of how amazing that woman is in bed.”
Hank: “Ew, gross.”
Doc: “Not gross! I’m a man! I need to be touched. I’d like to be touched by an amazing looking woman who wants only to please me. I don’t want to be laughed at, denied, or even feel like the pathetic man I clearly am.”
Hank: “Does make some solid points, Brock.”

Jonny: “Gosh Mister, your henchmen are terrible at their job. ”
Dr. Z: “I know, right? They are bunglers…and they will be executed! Hard line: one bungle, and you’re out. Zero bungle tolerance.”

Clerk: “And what is the purpose of your visit?”
Dr. Z: “Professional menace. Nothing complicated. I’ll probably just chase him around unless you have a bi-plane or a werewolf costume or something fun.”