“I can’t believe I just did that. I didn’t know she was gonna do ‘Farmer’s Daughter’. Should have shot her AFTER the hay ride.” – The Monarch
Hey, everyone. RobBarracuda here, and it’s time to talk about this week’s episode of The Venture Bros, “It Happening One Night”. A rather colorful and abstract group of supervillains give Dr. Venture a rather bizarre arching experience as the Monarch attempts to eradicate them, and Hank makes some real progress with Sirena. What a player.
The episode opens by introducing us to a new team of supervillains called the Doom Factory, featuring a wide array of distinct villains with unique powers all operating under the leadership of Wes Warhammer, a Lex Luthor-analogue who awkwardly and nonchalantly suggests capturing Dr. Rusty Venture.
The Ventures are called to the living room by Brock who’s received a mysterious package (obviously from the Doom Factory) that has him on edge. He demands that everyone stays in the Ven-Tech building that he’ll put on lockdown for the night, much to the displeasure of everyone, especially Hank who has a date with Sirena later.
Over at the Monarch’s house, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is in a heated debate with the Council over her obsession with the idea that Rusty is the Blue Morpho. The others suggest she take a day off, and this clearly doesn’t sit well with her. The Monarch walks in to see her stressed out and uses the opportunity for a morning make out… mainly because he needs a distraction so Gary can sneak out of the Morpho Lair without her knowing.
Later that night, Hank is out on his date with Sirena in Central Park (dressed in Michael Jackson’s Bad outfit) when they come across a series of odd occurrences conveniently orchestrated by Hank himself: fighting off a “mugger” (Peter White) and jamming on bass with a random beatnik bongo player (Dean). Sirena goes back to the car and starts digging into her skin with the knife, removing a tracking chip that Wide Wale had planted inside her, which is apparently a thing he does frequently.
Brock tries to get the Ven-Tech building secure before the Doom Factory attacks, trying to get Rusty in the panic room and interrupting an intense Team Fortress 2 match (surprised he wasn’t playing Portal) with Sergeant Hatred. Brock asks Hatred where the boys are, and he spills the beans on their whereabouts. Brock heads out to the park and finds the tracking device when he suddenly encounters one of Wide Wale’s bodyguards. The two duke it out for a bit before eventually settling down and deciding to team up to find Hank and Serena.
Back at the Monarch’s house, Dr. Mrs. is prepared to engage in some kinky bedroom role-playing with the Monarch, but when she’s not looking he hits her with a tranquilizer dart and sneaks down to the Morpho Lair. Gary hits him up with some intel on the avant-garde Doom Factory and the location of their base, and the two head off in the Morpho scooters.
Hank and Sirena head off to their next date location, only being interrupted by Peter and Dean as paparazzi photographers. As it turns out, there’s a ninja-themed restaurant in the area.
Rusty heads up to his apartment only to find an unpleasant surprise: the Doom Factory has taken over and turned his apartment into… well, pretty much any given building in your city’s art district (assuming you have an art district in your town). Freaked out by what he sees, Rusty tries to escape upstairs only to run into Wes Warhammer… staging a video shoot of some kind? He asks Rusty to be the model for it, and he reluctantly agrees to it.
Back at the ninja restaurant, Hank and Sirena are enjoying each other’s company when their waiter suddenly sneaks up on them, and it’s none other than the Brown Widow (whose real name is apparently Jared). The encounter gets a little awkward as it turns out Jared and Serena were once in a relationship, and both still seem to be a bit sour about the whole thing.
As the video shoot continues, Rusty seems to be getting into it, but he suddenly notices that Warhammer is gone. He goes back down to the apartment to notice a massive party going on, with lots of cool hip socialites and the various Doom Factory villains getting down. He tracks down Warhammer who abruptly leaves, and a snake-themed villain named Serpentine informs him that he was conned like a fool as the Doom Factory proceeds to steal his technology.
Brock and the bodyguard are parked just outside of the ninja restaurant waiting for an opportunity to strike. Meanwhile inside, Serena notices that Hank seems bugged by something. He admits that he thinks she’s just using him to piss off his dad, but she denies this as she actually thinks Hank is really sweet compared to the other guys she’s been with, and the two of them decide to sneak off.
Back at the Doom Factory’s lair, the Monarch and Gary finish strapping a bunch of grenades to the support beams of the lair. They hurry up and try to escape as the Monarch sets off the detonator, but his cape ends up getting stuck in the window. When the grenades finish counting down, it turns out they were nothing but duds. Suddenly, the lair starts spinning and flying across town to the Ven-Tech building. The Doom Factory and Warhammer make their half-hearted goodbye as they load up everything into their lair. The Monarch eventually gets himself unstuck and falls to the ground in front of Rusty. As he attempts to get himself together, the detonator falls out of his pocket and lands on the button, which manages to successfully blow up the Doom Factory.
Brock and the bodyguard sneak into the restaurant and start demanding to know where Hank and Sirena are, and they’re eventually greeted by the Brown Widow in full costume. He takes them to their booth only to find that the two are gone. As it turns out, they’re off having a nice swim out in the ocean. When Brock and the bodyguard finally catch up to their location, the two attempt to hide underwater, sharing a passionate kiss before getting pulled up to the surface.
In the post-credits scene, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch wakes up from her incapacitation and finds the Monarch also recovering from “incapacitation”. As she pieces together what happens, she gets a call from Phantom Limb letting her know that the Blue Morpho has struck again.
Man, the Doom Factory are a weird bunch of villains. You can practically smell the craft local micro-brew with each second they’re on screen. They provide yet another distinct kind of arching situation for Dr. Venture, similar to how Think Tank from last week cared more about intellectual arching than anything else. I do kind of have to take fault with the fact that the Doom Factory feels weirdly underutilized. They’re a pretty expansive team of supervillains, but most of them don’t really have much of a role to play outside of quick visual jokes and homages to classic DC villains. However, in this respect it’s probably a good thing that they got killed off by the end, since I really couldn’t imagine anything more being done with them outside of this one episode. Meanwhile, Hank makes a significant amount of progress in his relationship with Sirena, and these scenes are actually pretty enjoyable in a weirdly cheesy sort of way. Lastly, the Blue Morpho plot is building more and more, to the point where it definitely feels like it might lead up to a big climax of some sort either next week or in 2 weeks when the season finale rolls around. It’s increasingly hilarious how every time the Monarch tries to take out a villain, he only succeeds by pure accident or gloriously ironic twist of fate. I can only imagine what lies next in his path as he kills his way back up to the top. This is RobBarracuda, and I’ll see you all next week.