“You know, I’m not Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World. I don’t really care about this.” – Manolo
Hey, everyone. RobBarracuda here, and it’s time to talk about this week’s episode of The Venture Bros, “Rapacity In Blue”. Gary and the Monarch don new disguises to aid in their schemes, Dr. Venture tries to get new technology invented before a deadline, and Hank’s desperate to score… meanwhile there’s plenty of other scoring going on, but we’ll get to that.
The episode opens on Dr. Rusty Venture being awakened by an alarm/hologram of his deceased brother JJ reminding him that there’s 3 days left until a big science conference where he has to present a new technology. Rusty, not really having made any progress on any ideas, immediately goes down to the laboratory to put the burden on Peter White and Billy Quizboy.
Meanwhile in the secret lair underneath the Monarch’s house, Gary is trying to convince the Monarch that they should adopt the identities of Blue Morpho and Kano so they can take out the villains arching Dr. Venture and become his only arch nemesis. The Monarch, determined to be a villain forever, isn’t having any of this and turns down the plan. Manolo interrupts them to tell them that Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is coming downstairs, forcing them to rush back upstairs so she doesn’t see anything. The two of them say their goodbyes as Dr. Mrs. Heads off to a Guild meeting where she plans to present a case to increase the Monarch’s Guild rank.
Hank’s feel a little bit of a dry streak and is desperate to score, asking around for advice from Dean who’s unable to help. As this is going on, Billy and Peter are pitching invention ideas to Dr. Venture, but none of them are really practical or useful. Billy then mutters something about a “God Gas” that can give people weird religious visions, and Rusty convinces him that it can be tested and pitched as a mind control gas.
Back at the Monarch’s house, Gary, decked out in full Obi-Wan Kenobi garb, directs the Monarch to the basement lair where a video awaits him on the computer screen. The video shows Jonas Venture Sr. and the Blue Morpho being really friendly with each other, as Morpho jokes about the public seeing him as a “bad guy”. The Monarch continues watching long enough to see the two about to have sex with blond twins, much to his… displeasure?
Dude, it’s like free porn. Embrace it.
Billy and Peter start testing the gas on mice while Dean is attempting to hide in the lab from Hank’s annoying questions. The experiment eventually makes some progress as the test mice start forming a religious hierarchy. Hank, meanwhile, is receiving tips from Brock on how to be a good kisser when he suddenly gets a call from Sergeant Hatred, who’s being held hostage by a supervillain named Haranguetan.
Back at the Monarch’s house, the Monarch is debating how to proceed in life following the video he watched when he suddenly gets a call from Dr. Mrs. The Monarch about some forms he needed to fill out. Afterwards, the Monarch goes “fuck it” and decides to take on the identity of the Blue Morpho. He brings the good news to Gary, and the two suit up in the Morpho/Kano costumes and jump in the Morphomobile.
Outside the Ven-Tech building, Brock confronts Haranguetan and the two get into a testosterone-fueled trash-talk dick measuring competition before Warianna interferes and knocks out Orangutan. She berates Brock for stalling instead of fighting, and the two get into another argument. Later, Hank hits up Brock for more romantic advice, but Brock’s distracted by his obsession with Warianna.
Gary and the Monarch get stuck in traffic on their way to the Ven-Tech building and use this opportunity to discuss their game plan (and also the Monarch trims that weird supervillain goatee). Meanwhile, Billy and Peter present the mind control gas to Dr. Venture in the form of a cool gun that shoots the gas at people… and the mice suddenly burst into flames as they attempt to eradicate the lead religious mouse. Rusty decides that it’s time for human testing, and he gets a call from Brock about Haranguetan’s presence outside the building. Rusty decides to have Brock bring the villain to him as a test subject, and as Billy prepares to fire the gas at him, the gas canister breaks and wraps around Haranguetan, Billy, and Brock, causing them to hallucinate and go crazy. When Rusty tries to give Haranguetan an order, he instead sees him and Billy as demons and attempts to throw Billy down the hole in the lobby. Brock escapes from the building, with Rusty following soon after, as the Monarch and Gary wait for the opportunity to strike. They go inside and witness what’s happening inside the lobby, and Gary immediately rescues Billy from Haranguetan’s clutches and tosses him to the Monarch. Once finished there, they go to the outside of the black tower and meet up with Dr. Venture, having fully adopted the Blue Morpho disguise.
Brock makes his way deeper into the apartment tower until he eventually reaches Warianna’s apartment (I’m guessing all heroes and villains live here and not just Wide Wale). In a drug-infused stupor, he lays on his charms as much as possible… and Warianna drags him into the apartment for some hardcore love-making, the lucky bastard. Rusty gets back to the Ven-Tech building where he and Peter discuss what to do about the gas now, and Billy, still under the effects of the gas, promises to keep Rusty’s “identity” as the Blue Morpho a secret.
In the post-credits scene, the Monarch and Gary arrive back at the house via bus (the Morphomobile got towed), overjoyed at how much fun they had, but they get busted by Dr. Mrs. The Monarch as soon as they walk in. She suspects that the two of them left the house just to spite her, thankfully keeping their secret hidden. She goes upstairs angrily as the Monarch and Gary high-five each other.
So the immediate obvious takeaway from this episode is that the series is attempting a sort of “moral redemption” arc with the Monarch. His willingness to embrace the Blue Morpho identity may have first started out as a scheme to improve his Guild rank, but the ending suggests that he might fully buy into this superhero identity as the series goes on. A few details in this plot thread also add a little bit of fuel to one of the most persistent fan theories about the Venture Bros lore, namely that the Monarch and Dr. Venture are related in some way. This is mainly glimpsed in the video shown where Jonas Sr. and the Blue Morpho are evidently buddies with each other as well as with the gag where Billy Quizboy, under the effects of the God Gas, thinks Rusty is the Blue Morpho. It’s actually an easy mistake to make even if not under any kind of drug, since the Monarch with a trimmed goatee looks remarkably like Rusty. Aside from those significant plot details, we did get a humorous new villain this week with the Haranguetan and his overly confident machismo. If you’re wondering about the name, here’s a quick vocabulary lesson: “harangue” can be used as a noun or verb and usually refers to the act of lecturing others and giving speeches in an overly aggressive manner. So of course it makes sense give how hard he tries to look badass in front of Brock without actually throwing a punch once at all. One final note: the music in this episode is of course top-tier as always, still remaining one of the strongest aspects of the series from a production standpoint. I look forward to seeing where these new plot developments lead to in the next episode. This is RobBarracuda, and I’ll see you all next week.