‘The Venture Bros’ Season 6 Episode 4 Recap: “Rapacity In Blue”

To be honest, I was kind of dreading this episode. That’s because last night’s Rapacity In Blue is the halfway point of season 6. Only four more Sundays before we all cry and wait impatiently for the DVD release to devour the commentary (you guys do this too, right?) Its pretty wild to consider all that has occurred in the Ventureverse in just four episodes – and especially with what happened with the Monarch in last night’s episode.

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We open on a gorgeous bird’s eye view shot of the rooftop of the Venture building. It is 7am, as Dr. Venture is informed when his late brother’s alarm goes off in his room and the blinds are raised. The alarm projects a hologram of Jonas Jr. himself, reminding Rusty that he only has three more days until his presentation at the Science Now conference before ranting off a long list of reminders about how wonderful life is. Irritated and now wide-awake, Doc grumbles that he really needs to figure out how to turn that alarm off.

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Down in the Venture lab, Pete and Billy are awake and suited up for super science. Tongue sticking out in concentration, Pete using tongs to grab something wrapped in foil out of a metal machine. “Breakfast burrito?”, he asks Doc.

Billy rides towards Dr. Venture in a segway, which Doc thinks is a new invention. He says he’s going to militarize it, paint it in Venture blue, and call it the Zip-Arounder. Billy tells Doc that the segway was invented a long time ago. He is frustrated with Doc’s ignorance and says that Dr. Venture really needs to update himself on what has occurred in super science since he was last relevance.

Doc tells his team of two that they need to help him invent something amazing for the Science Now conference. “Weren’t you banned from that conference ’cause ya showed a vacuum cleaner that leaked radiation?”, Pete asks. Apparently the conference is giving Rusty a second chance because they “know a good thing” and he as a good thing.

In the Monarch mansion (still under construction), Dr. Mrs. the Monarch is in the shower, thinking she is talking to her husband, but the bedroom is empty. “Sweetie?”, she asks, as she realizes he isn’t there.

The Monarch is down in his new secret cave in the basement with 21. 21 is trying to convince his boss to take up the mantle of the Blue Morpho in order to take out the villains on the Dr. Venture arching list, leaving them to be Venture’s only remaining nemesis. The Monarch refuses because he is a supervillain at heart, not a good guy. “I laugh at regular jokes like this!” he exclaims, throwing his head back to release a classic villain cackle. The camera pans out as he laughs, and his theme plays in the background. The camera zooms back in and the discussion continues as usual. The Monarch again refuses to take his father’s place, instead planning to make the lab into his new Monarch headquarters, which he calls “the Egg Sack”.

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Manolo calls down to let them know that his wife is coming downstairs. They sprint up to the living room, and when Dr. Mrs. looks over at them, they awkwardly start to tango to hide that they just came out of a secret door in the wall. 21 covers by saying that “A good henchman-villain relationship is a dance of death!” She seems to buy their excuse, and tells them that she is defending him to the Guild later that night. The Monarch is initially upset that she is missing their usual date night, but when she offers to cancel he quickly insists that she go, so he and 21 don’t need to sneak around. She leaves in the Guild limo with Phantom Limb.

Dean is getting dressed in his room while talking to his brother. Hank asks Dean for advice on how to satisfy women because he is nervous for his upcoming date with Sirena. Dean asks why Hank would think he knows anything about satisfying women, and tells him to ask their dad. Hank has already asked his dad but Doc was predictably unhelpful and just gave him a pamphlet on the dangers of chlamydia from his wallet.

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Down in the lab, Pete and Billy are giving presentations to Dr. Venture on possible products for the Science Now conference. Pete suggests a silent washing machine and a pair of magnetic boots that generate power – although only enough power to run a small pencil sharpener. Doc rejects both of these proposals. Billy presents a serum that can regenerate a liver – however, it can’t stop, and continues to regenerate multiple livers.

Billy mentions something else he’s been working on called God Gas, which immediately catches Dr. Venture’s interest. Doc is very excited about the implications of the gas, and tells Billy to be a man and say them out loud. Billy resists because he thinks that Doc’s idea is a stretch. Pete asks them what they are talking about. “Mind control gas!” Rusty and Billy say in unison. “You guys are so cool sometimes,” Pete says admiringly. Dr. Venture tells them to make the gas.

The Monarch enters his living room in overalls and a bucket of paint. He is confused at the sight of 21 in his Jedi garb. 21 tells him there is something down in the lab that he must see alone, and Monarch reluctantly descends the stairs to see. “He has much anger in him, like his father,” 21 says wisely, quoting Yoda. “Was I any different when you taught me?” responds the incorporeal voice of Henchman 24 (Obi Wan). This was surprising as we have not heard 24 since Gary told his ghost to leave in the season 4 finale. It feels less like the dramatic return of 24 and more that Doc and Jackson just wanted to reference the iconic Star Wars scene. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t hear from 24 again after this episode.

The Monarch approaches the giant monitor in the lab, on which a black-and-white video is paused, and starts the video. The video shows his father and Jonas Venture Sr. talking into their brand new recording technology that “fits in your car’s trunk”. The two men joke back-and-forth about the papers calling the Blue Morpho “unhinged” and “bad guy” as Jonas goes to answer the doorbell. “Let them think what they want!,” jokes the Blue Morpho, as he puts on his mask. “Whatever! Then I’m a bad guy! There! I said it!” He looks directly into the camera. “The Blue Morpho is a bad guy!”

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The Monarch is amazed, and calls up to 21 asking what is on the rest of the tape. 21 tells him he doesn’t want to know (and 24’s voice insists that he does). The Monarch starts the video again. Two women enter the room and Jonas and the Blue Morpho joke about the women being evil-doers with a growth ray before pulling down their pants in unison. The recording equipment was clearly set up to record the orgy. “They are not my mommy!” cries the Monarch. “I am like 80 percent positive that is Jill St. John and Stella Stevens!” responds 21.

In the lab, Billy sprays the mice test subjects with the God Gas. Dean analyzes the mice’s feelings and Pete asks him why he’s in the lab. “I don’t have class till 1:30. And Hank is following me around looking for advice on how to score with women.” “Do you.. Know anything about that?” teases Billy. “If I did, would I be down here?” Dean sasses back. Dean’s comment also tells us that he has officially started to attend university.

In the kitchen, Hank has finally found someone who can give him advice on women (you have to wonder why he checked with his dad and brother – both of whom have little to no romantic experience – before going to an expert). Brock answers Hank’s questions about kissing, and tells him to keep his eyes open and lean towards her slowly, “like a cobra”. Hank being Hank asks what he should do if he needs to pee, and Brock sighs and tells him to just assume that he will have an empty bladder. Brock gets a call on his watch from Hatred, who is being held hostage by a new villain.

In the lab, the mice that have been sprayed by God Gas are going through different religious events in history, starting with the Egyptians, then crucifixions, then the Protestant Reformation.

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The Monarch sits on his front steps asking Manolo for advice on his predicament. Manolo responds, “You know, I’m not Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World. I don’t really care about this. Do what you want.” The Monarch interprets this as more wise advice. He answers a call from his wife, who rattles off a list of Guild forms that the Monarch needs to fill out and email to her. She is putting on a Guild spacesuit as she is on the phone, and realizes it is not her suit as it has two head holes. The forms (and not wanting to fill out the forms) are the tipping point for the Monarch. After he gets off the phone, he stands up dramatically and declares, “I’m the Blue Morpho!”

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On the sidewalk outside the Venture Industries building, Hatred is on his knees as the new villain Harangutan holds a gun to his head. Brock offers to fight the new villain instead of Hatred, and the new guy agrees, but only after headbutting Hatred so many times he knocks him out. Brock and Harangutan start to threaten each other dramatically, inching closer and closer but not actually getting physical. Warriana happens to be flying through on her invisible chariot and spots them down below. She lands her invisible horses and walks up behind the villain, punching him in the back of the head. He is out cold immediately.

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Brock is pissed that he was robbed of a good fight. “You can’t just fly in and do that! There’s like a code.” Warriana angrily responds, “I heed not your bro code! Justice has NO gender!” Her and Brock start verbally sparring, their faces getting closer and closer together.

Monarch enters the lab and tells 21 that they’re going with his idea. “Kano, its time to suit up!” Enter another incredible opening theme, similar to the Billy Quizboy and the Pink Pilgrim one we saw a few weeks ago. A dramatic voiceover reminiscent of the old Super-Friends cartoon tells their story with rainbow backgrounds and transformation scenes: “The Monarch, a down-and-out supervillain, claims his birthright as the Blue Morpho, who may or may not be a good guy! Along with his faithful bodyguard and chauffaur Kano, who isn’t actually an Asian! Their mission: to beat up on villains that beat up on Dr. Venture till they alone beat up on Dr. Venture!”

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There is a short break in the theme song as 21 and the Monarch realize their costumes do not fit, but then we return to the theme song, where the announcer narrates 21 using home ec skills to tailor the costumes. They hop in the Morpho Mobile and drive into the city, unfortunately getting stuck in rush hour in the Lincoln Tunnel.

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Brock lays in his bed with his arms behind his head and stares at the ceiling, clearly upset about something. Hank enters the room and asks Brock how to get a sports bra off of a girl. Brock angrily says, “You wanna know what you do? You do nothing!” He starts to rant about how he didn’t make a move on Warriana earlier that day and how he knows nothing about getting a woman to understand him. Brock gets louder as his frustration grows, and he starts to yell, “All you wanna do is BEND HER OVER and ARGH!” Hank misinterprets Brock’s rant as Brock saying that only lady bodybuilders wear sports bras.

While stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel, 21 convinces the Monarch to trim his beard in order to look less like “the Monarch at a Mad Men party.”

Pete and Billy show the completed God Gas gun to Dr. Venture, who wants to try it immediately. Billy insists it needs more testing, which is proven by the mice tank catching on fire seconds later. Doc decides to advance to human testing anyways. Brock asks Doc what they should do with Harangutan, the villain from earlier, and Doc tells him to hold him in the lobby until they get there, as he has just found his first human test subject.

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Dr. Venture tells Billy to shoot the villain with the God Gas, but when he pulls the trigger the compartment holding the gas explodes, covering not only Harangutan but also Brock and Billy with the pink gas. The whites of their eyes turn pink. Dr. Venture tests the mind control gas on Harangutan by telling him that he is now Doc’s slave and that he will do Doc’s bidding.

This backfires as the villain is hallucinating from the gas and sees Rusty and Dr. Venture as devils in hell. He picks up Billy above his head and threatens to throw him into the giant hole in the lobby (created by Wide Wale’s henching a few episodes ago). Billy is also hallucinating, and he sees Doc as his childhood hero Rusty Venture, Boy Adventurer. Under the influence of the gas, Brock runs out of the building. Rusty runs after him, yelling at him to come back.

The Monarch and 21 run arrive in the Venture lobby as the Blue Morpho and Kano. Billy recognizes them from the Rusty Venture show. “Kano” rescues Billy from Harangutan and tosses him into the safety of the Blue Morpho’s arms. “You’re all safe now, little citizen!” the Monarch says. While looking into the Morpho’s eyes, Billy suddenly seems to recognize the man under the mask.

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Harangutan lunges towards 21, and 21 punches him hard in the chest, causing him to fall backwards into the giant hole in the floor. “Dude! I’m like 90 percent sure I just punched a guy to death!” 21 yells as the two flee the scene.

Dr. Venture is forcefully escorted out of a high-scale apartment building by a doorman as he yells that his bodyguard is inside. Doc angrily warns the doorman that his speedsuit is made of rayon and it wrinkles. “Next time you trespass on private property, wear something else!” the doorman says before he throws Dr. Venture on the ground.

“Need a hand getting up, citizen?” asks a familiar voice. Doc takes the stranger’s hand, but seems shocked to see the blue mask of his late father’s friend. “You’re..” he starts to say, but the Monarch finishes his sentence, excitedly yelling “The Blue Morpho!!! 21 facepalms in the background, looking embarrassed at his boss’ enthusiasm.

Upstairs in the apartment building, Brock is walking down a hallway, his eyes bright pink from the gas. A doorman follows him asking for ID, and Brock grabs him by the neck and uses him as a human doorknocker on the door of apartment 12-B. Warriana answers the door in lingerie and a towel around her hair, and she frowns when she sees that Brock is her caller.

Brock starts to rant about Warriana’s power and beauty and asks her to take him. “Let me worship at your alter! Let me know the pleasure of a real woman!”, he begs as he sinks to his knees before her. Warriana pauses and looks up and down the hallway to make sure no one is watching. She picks Brock up off of his knees and brings his face close to hers (no small feat, considering how huge Brock is). “I’m gonna tire you out”, she warns, carrying Brock inside.

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“What was all that about?” Dr. Venture asks Pete and Billy back in the Venture lobby. Billy stares at Doc intensely and when Doc questions him, Billy winks and says, “Your secret is safe with me… Blue Morpho.” The title card plays. It will be interesting to see if Billy remembers everything after the effects of the gas wear off.

After the credits, the Monarch and 21 are getting off of a New Jersey bus in front of their mansion. “That was the most fun I have EVER had!” the Monarch exclaims. Unfortunately, the Morpho mobile was towed because the Monarch did not put enough money in the meter, but not even that can harsh their excitement over the day’s events.

Monarch and 21 enter the front door and see Dr. Mrs. the Monarch sitting on the stairs. They try to cover with dancing again, but it doesn’t work the second time. She says she knows what they are doing. “You went out on date night with 21 to spite me!” The Monarch is so happy that she doesn’t know the actual truth that he tells her she is right. Dr. Mrs. walks up the stairs angrily, and 21 and Monarch high five behind her back.

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I am now forced to admit that many of you were right to predict that Monarch would take up the Blue Morpho mantle (although I don’t think anyone predicted 21 as Kano) It explains the first season 6 promo we got wayyy back in August 2014 that most of us seemed to have forgotten about. I suggest rewatching it if you haven’t recently, as reveals some of where season 6 is headed.

Back when that trailer was released, fans saw the short goatee and guessed that the man under the mask was Rusty. From Billy’s reaction in this episode its clear that was exactly what Doc and Jackson hoped we would think. This similarity, with the addition of the orgy scene in this episode, has brought back the seasons-old fan theory that Dr. Venture and the Monarch are actually brothers.

The Monarch becoming the Blue Morpho also raises the question: Where will Dr. Mrs the Monarch’s loyalties lie? We did not receive an explanation for her new outfit in this episode, but it looks as if Dr. Mrs. has been made the new Sovereign. Although he may not have been caught in this episode, the Monarch’s will not be able to hide his secret identity from his wife for long. How will she choose between her husband and her new position of power? Someone on the Venture subreddit noticed that there is an 3rd costume case next to The Blue Morpho and Kano’s. Is that foreshadowing for what is to come?

My personal favorite part of this episode was the advancement of the Brock/Warriana subplot. I’ve always hoped that Brock would one day have a healthy relationship with someone who wasn’t constantly betraying him and breaking his heart, and Warriana seems like a perfect match. Okay, so maybe going to someone’s hotel room under the influence of mind-control rays isn’t the most ‘healthy’ start to a relationship, but I’m really excited to see where things go with them.

Speaking of which, I was also happy that Hank saw typically confident Brock agonizing over doing something stupid in front of a girl. Brock’s father figure moments are always touching, but teaching Hank that vulnerability is okay (even if it wasn’t completely intentional) is important as Hank goes on his first real date. I’m glad the boys have Brock to ask for advice, because as we saw in this episode, they’re very aware that their father isn’t the all-knowing man he thinks he is.

As with every episode in season 6, I adored every single minute of Rapacity In Blue and I look forward to seeing what else Doc and Jackson have in store for us. In previous seasons, we’ve seen mostly one-off/”monster of the week” episodes where the adventure is started and completed within the episode, and in season 6 we’ve had episodes that continue the same few adventures/story arcs over the whole season. With some shows this can feel too strange or sudden, but with the Venture Brothers is just seems like the natural next step for a show that’s aired for 13 years. I for one am really enjoying the change.

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As always, here is your weekly plug for the Venture Bros Shirt Club! I think this week’s Blue Morpho shirt is my favorite so far!

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Also, if you need even more Venture in your life, two of the gorgeous Patrick Leger posters for season 6 are finally available for sale for the very reasonable price of $7.50 for both posters! I have the Brock one and I absolutely love it. Check it out here!

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5 thoughts on “‘The Venture Bros’ Season 6 Episode 4 Recap: “Rapacity In Blue”

  1. “A dramatic voiceover tells their story with rainbow backgrounds and transformation scenes” is a riff on the Super-Friends title sequence. The hairy villain Brock faces is called Haranguetan.

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