Venture Bros. wrapup: “Now Museum, Now You Don’t”
For a guy who earned two doctorates in the space of a few months, Dr. Jonas Venture Jr. sure can be a dummy sometimes. Dredging up the past, now matter how well-intentioned, is typically a bad idea when super-scientists, adventurers, and their arch nemeses are involved.
This week we delve deep into the past of some significant people and places. In an action-packed flashback we see Dr. Jonas Venture going undercover (barely) to infiltrate the Fraternity of Torment (Scaramantualla, Manotaur, and Brainula), who have taken little Rusty hostage. In storms the original Team Venture – Col. Gentleman, Ook-Ook, Kano, Otto Aquarius, Speedy, a very large Dr. Entmann as Humungeloid, and a psychotic Action Man, who goes apeshit and unloads two gun clips into a hapless henchman – to save Rusty and the day in general. The nefarious (and very Italian) Scaramantualla escapes, but on his way out activates a self-destruct device. When it fizzles, victory (and Spider-Skull Island) belongs to Team Venture.
Flash forward to the present, and we’re back on the island, now HQ for Jonas Venture Junior and team (Sally Impossible, Ned Impossible, the Sea Captain, and his former crewmates). He’s converted the island base to the Jonas Venture, Jr. Museum of Jonas Venture, and tonight is the gala opening. The surviving members of Team Venture and the Fraternity make the trek to the island, as does the current Team Venture. Predictably, Rusty is none too pleased about any of this.
Even in this all-star affair, there are two standout guests. First is Richard Impossible, who I didn’t think we’d see since Stephen Colbert stiffed Jackson and Doc for voice duties this year. Christopher McCulloch takes his place and while it’s not quite the same, it’s good enough for me (F you Colbert. “Too busy” my ass!). The second is Col. Gentleman, who it turns out wasn’t dead after all – just in the midst of a diabetic coma when Hank and Dean found him way back in season 2. And that’s just fine with me – God help me, I do enjoy watching that misogynistic man-lover.
One of the only people having a good time is the starstruck Billy Quizboy, who is in heaven surrounded by his childhood idols (even the villains). His desperation for their autographs gives them an idea, and they open up competing booths to start selling them. From there, things go downhill quickly as Brainula (pretending to be senile) cooks up a scheme to exact his revenge. He uses his mental ability to foment discord amongst the party guests, and it kind of works: Richard Impossible makes an ass of himself, Billy Quizboy goes on a memorabilia theft spree, and Pete White reveals his secret yearning for Joanna Kerns.
The final straw is a revolt of the hired help – the Sea Captain, tired of the indignity of domestic servitude, boils over when he’s socked by Col. Gentleman. He rouses his all-too-eager crewmates and there’s mutiny afoot!
And of all things to save the day, it’s dear old dad again, this time in the form of some touching home movies. Of course Rusty isn’t around to see it, as he’s off wallowing in self-pity on the X-1. He almost makes an emotional breakthrough, but instead we get the funniest exchange of the whole episode.
“Now You Museum, Now You Don’t” follows the basic formula of great episodes like “Tag Sale – You’re It!” and “The Buddy System” – lots of characters all crammed together in a weird situation, and each shown in delicious bite-size comedy nuggets. What’s not to love?
Final grade: A-
- I love Dr. Fandragon’s cover story – he hails from the village of Japaninawa despite being clearly dressed as a stereotypical Chinese person. “Yes, that’s why I’m all evil now!”
- Listen closely for the Wilhelm scream when the Excavator Car breaks into Spider-Skull Island; that’s at least the third or fourth time it’s been used this season.
- Action Man going apeshit and unloading two clips into the hapless henchman. It’s so great I had to mention it a second time. Action, action, action!
- “This is the real atomic secret the Rosenbergs tried to sell the Russians.” Ouch!
- “C’mon boys, let’s go whet our non-alcoholic whistles.”
- “I got plastic knees you son of a bitch!”
- Every time I laugh at Ned (and I laugh all the time), I know I’ve reserved a hotter place in hell for myself.
- “The compound’s good but those kids, they keep trying to flush me down the f*$@ing toilet! They think I’m the Ty-D-Bol Man!”
- Mallomars and a Yoo-Hoo chaser, mmmmm…..
- “Incompetent fool! The man should be wearing a rubber ass on his face instead.”
- “Tell the truth. You was just tryin’ to kill yourself weren’t you?”