‘The Venture Brothers’ Season 6 Episode 1 Recap: “Hostile Makeover”

So you’re probably wondering why I’m posting a recap article two days after the episode actually aired. I promise I have a good excuse. I actually flew to Florida for 41 hours this weekend to attend a Venture Bros Season 6 Premiere Party at Cinemaworld in Melbourne. I packed my favorite Venture cosplay (a 1950s poodle skirt version of Dr. Mrs. the Monarch) and was on my way.

The Venture Bros is my favorite show of all time, and its really important to me, to say the least. Being surrounded by hardcore Venture fans at an all-Venture event to see the new episode was a dream come true. The first 50 people got Venture shirts, and all of us got the gorgeous poster of Brock Samson by Patrick Leger. Adult Swim sent some other goodies that were raffled off to audience members. We watched The Devil’s GripAll This and Gargantua-2, and finally the new episode Assisted Suicide.

Here are some photos from the event, some of which are courtesy of The Venture Home News on Facebook.

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Some of the amazing work of John McDonald at Cinemastery Studios

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My Moppets waiting for the show

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The cosplayers at the showing

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Hank and Dean on the big screen

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HELPeR and Billy both talked! It was the coolest thing!

Onto the episode!

We last saw the Ventures in the All This and Gargantua-2 special that aired in January 2015. Many important events occurred in the special, including the reveal of the Sovereign’s real identity (just some bloke who wanted to be anyone but himself, so, nobody), his accidental death, Dr. Killinger killing the Investors, who were revealed to be his brothers, Killinger’s reformation of the Council of 13 including Dr. Mrs. the Monarch and Phantom Limb, and most importantly, the death of Jonas Venture Jr. and his decision to leave the giant Venture Industries Corporation to Rusty, making the Venture family wildly wealthy.

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Creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer wasted no time in immersing us in the Ventures’ new lives. We open on a beautiful bird’s eye view shot of New York City. The Ventures look eagerly out the windows of a limo with the license plate “RSTYS BK” as it brings them to their new home: the Venture Industries skyscraper. The montage of them checking out the new digs includes the Ventures dancing around their giant new living room and Rusty firing the entire board of Venture Industries.

The next morning is the Ventures’ first full day in New York. HELPeR is very jealous of their new butler robot, J-BOT, who seems to be a lot more modern and capable than HELPeR. Their breakfast is interupted when Hank yells from the other room, “Hey, Pop? Pretty much the Avengers are on our porch!” Here we meet the Crusaders Action League for the first time, who will clearly be regular characters in season 6. The team is made up of heroes named Stars & Garters, Warriana, Fallen Archer, and as we learn later, Nightdick. They try to sell Rusty superhero insurance, but back off when they see that Hatred is OSI.

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Meanwhile, the new Council of 13 of the Guild of Calamitous Intent has their first meeting on the spacecraft given to them by Dr. Killinger. The remaining members are Dr. Mrs the Monarch, Phantom Limb, Dragoon/Red Mantle, Dr. Z, and Radical Left. They find out that Killinger has disappeared, leaving them without a Sovereign.

Back in New York, Dean tours Stuyvesant University with campus tour guide Brown Widow, who was Dean’s neighbor during his brief time as an intern in New York. (Maybe now that Doc has money, he can finally produce the musical he wrote, with Brown Widow in the title role. Who’s Rusty? I’m Rusty!)

Never one to wait around or plan ahead, the Monarch decides to check out the Ventures’ new home with 21 in tow. The Monarch disguises himself as a Statue of Liberty impersonator, and 21 stands near him as the Naked Cowboy. They manage to steal a Venture ID off of an employee, and they shoot longtime Venture Industries the Sea Captain employee with a dartgun when he tries to stop them. Most fans will remember that Captain has a serious addiction to dart poison.

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We cut to the villain nightclub, where the Council of 13 holds a meeting for members of the Guild to voice their complaints. They try to impersonate the Sovereign’s giant floating head to hide his death, but they are called out by Dr. Phineas Phage, who the Sovereign tried to kill alongside Dr. Mrs. in the special. Caught in her lie, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch reveals to the angry crowd that the Sovereign is dead, and that the Council of 13 is looking for new members to fill the remaining seven spots.

Back at the Venture home, in a surprising twist, Brock Samson arrives at the door announcing that he has been reassigned to his former family. The now-unemployed Sergeant Hatred reports back to OSI headquarters, where Hunter Gathers assigns him to a desk job.

Rusty and Brock (rather unnecessarily) take the jet to Little Italy, where Rusty needs to “settle an old score”. They meet with an Italian tailor named Enzo, and Rusty picks up a custom speedsuit he ordered 20 years ago and never picked up. Later that night, Brock gives Hank advice on picking up women: to be a Steve McQueen, not a Justin Bieber. Brock’s advice to boys were one of the best parts of his time as the Venture bodyguard, and its great to see that continue this season.

The Monarch and 21 arrive back at the Venture building, disguised as Venture security guards. As they enter the building, we see that Hatred has decided to continue his mission as Venture bodyguard. He surveys the new Venture compound from the rooftop of another building.

Dr. Mrs. the Monarch goes to New York City to meet with new character Wide Wale with the goal of recruiting him for the Council of 13. If the Council can gain support of one of the biggest villains in the New York chapter, they can regain credibility as an authority among the Guild. Wide Wale says that he will need additional incentive to convince him to join the Council. He places his hand on Dr. Mrs. the Monarch’s thigh, which seems to suggest that he is seeking motivation of a sexual nature.

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While using Brock’s binoculars to spy on his neighbors, Hank spots a young woman diving into a pool and floating to the top, never bringing her head up for air. He grabs Brock’s grapple gun, sprints back to the roof, shoots it towards the window where the girl is drowning, and slides down the rope using his shirt. This catches the attention of the Crusaders Action League, who, when seeing that the commotion is from a building who hasn’t paid them, initially decide to ignore it. They change their minds when they think they see Brock push Hank off of the roof.

Brock tries to help Hank, but he is held back when Fallen Archer and Warriana start to fight him. It has been far too long since we’ve seen an old-fashioned Brock fight, knife bared, eye twitching, foaming at the mouth as he leaps towards his opponent. It was just like the old days of Brock as bodyguard, and it was a great reminder of how much Brock has been missed.

Hanging from his shirt, Hank kicks on the window, trying to get the attention of the drowning girl. She lifts her head from the water to look at him, and we see that she has gills on her neck. Hank falls from the rope, but is saved by League member Nightdick. In the funniest moment of the episode, Nightdick gives a dramatic third-person narrative of his own story when asked who he is. Hank understandably giggles when hearing the superhero’s name.

Back on the roof, Brock is finally subdued by Warriana and her lasso of truth. He screams out, “I don’t even care about the breast thing, I wanna do you!” It will be interesting to see if Brock finally gets to have a healthy relationship in the show after all the times he suffered at Molotov’s hand. (It will also be interesting to see if she reappears in this season after season 5 episode O.S.I. Love You.)

As all this is happening, the Monarch and 21 are stuck in the elevator with a strung-out Sea Captain, who begs for more darts. They finally use the Captain’s retina scan to get out of the elevator and are kicked out of the building by Hatred, who was watching the entire time. They are saved by Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, who tells Hatred that the Monarch’s trespassing is an internal Guild matter because Wide Wale now has an exclusive arching claim on Dr. Venture. This, and not sex, seems to be the one condition Wide Wale insisted on before throwing his support behind the Guild.

The League leaves the Venture rooftop, refusing to clean up their mess. In the last – and one of the best – moments of the episode, HELPeR and J-Bot make eye contact, and HELPeR pushes his new rival off of the rooftop.

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The episode was very busy and there was quite a lot of new stuff packed into 22 minutes. It was slightly overwhelming the first time I viewed it, but in my subsequent rewatches I’ve caught all of the jokes and quotes I missed the first time, and I’ve liked it more and more. There are only going to be 8 episodes in Season 6, so its understandable that Doc and Jackson wanted set up the new season as soon as possible in order to get to the good stuff. I would much rather see an exciting action-packed episode with many new characters than a slow episode as the premiere we’ve waited for for three years.

And although the episode might have been slightly overpacked, there is no denying that Hostile Makeover is classic Team Venture. Rusty making stupid decisions, Hank embracing life changes with confidence, Brock beating the shit out of someone, Dean hugging a giraffe, the Monarch and 21 impulsively henching with bad results, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch being a total boss and taking charge. This episode proved that although it has been a few years since the last season, Doc and Jackson are as passionate and dedicated to their characters as ever.

I can already feel that season 6 is, as always, worth the wait. I can’t wait until Sunday at midnight to see more.

Also! If you are a fan of Team Venture and want some sweet Venture goodness in your t-shirt collection, make sure to check out the Shirt of the Week Club! Each week a new shirt is released relating to that week’s episode. I have so many Shirt Club shirts from over the years and they are some of my favorites. You can find them over at AstroBaseGo!

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