The Venture Brothers season finale dropped last night. It’s here, or at least it was at the time I posted this.
I gotta admit, I found it slightly, just slightly, unsatisfying. Maybe Venture Brothers just isn’t a big-episode show, it’s the little in-between bits and pieces that really work. When they go all epic I feel like the subtlety always drops out.
There was a slightly edgeless quality to the writing, starting with the opening scene with the head of the OSI, General Traister, a typical southern-fried military type who sounded like he was voiced by Hank Hill’s dad from King of the Hill. Funny, but in a very limited way. (Guh. I just looked it up in IMDB. He was voiced by that guy.) And yeah, I get it. Good-cop bad-cop is a cliche. Dean’s a wimp. I get it. But I only really laughed out loud three times — the first time was when the henchmen attaches jumper cable’s to HELPeR’s eyes and the Monarch snaps, “He’s not a Mitsubishi Ga-lant!”
Everything lurches forward more or less exactly the way it looks like it’s going to. Brock sets up the Monarch’s army to square off against the OSI at the Venture Compound. And … they do. I like Brock as on unstoppable stabbing machine, but he just isn’t as fun as a mastermind. (Laugh number two: Sergeant Hatred’s shrink-rayed baby-tongue.)
And parts of it only sorta-made-sense. I mean, why would 21 think that putting Doritos on his face would make it look like he’d been in battle? And why would the squishy Hank-and-Dean clones, who should emerge from their bacta-tanks all limp and brainless, suddenly have the brains to form an army and march behind Sergeant Hatred? (Was that a goof on Stripes?) The Venture Brothers is supposed to take down those kinds of logical shortcuts.
Of course there were plenty of bright spots. This is the greatest show on television. Like 24’s weirdly plangent delivery of his last words — “I don’t knoooooow!!!” — delivered like Ray Romano having a nervous breakdown. And this was laugh number three: the split-second gag when Monarch has his henchman lean down to press a button on his powered armor, which unfolds his razor-wings, which immediately cut off the henchman’s head.
And the big finish: Brock quits at the end. How long is that going to last? And 24: yes, he is dead. Yes, it’s shocking. But God, I hope they bring him back. That duo is one of the most reliable things about the show. Why would you do that? Why? I’m sure the Monarch has a clone of him socked away somewhere for safekeeping.