Venture Bros. wrapup: “What Goes Down, Must Come Up”

Well that was…f&@*ed up.  It seems poor Doc Venture is once again left to clean up one of his father’s messes.  And speaking of Jonas Venture, the shine sure has come off his apple this season, eh?

What Goes Down, Must Come Up

The action this week returns to Venture Industries – deep below Venture Industries, in fact (just how friggin’ big is this place anyway?).  Rusty and Brock drop through the floor of the compound and find themselves trapped in different areas of what’s revealed to be a giant nuclear fallout shelter.  While Brock ends up chatting with a miniaturized cohort of the late Dr. Venture (the cleverly named Dr. Paul Entmann), Rusty fares considerably less well.

It turns out the shelter is still inhabited, and has been since a 1978 accident forced its closure.  Well, maybe accident is stretching things a bit.  In any case, the shelter is populated by a bunch of drugged-out, Jonas-worshiping crazies, who take his recorded words as gospel.  They don’t really well to Rusty, despite many of them having been members of his fan club.

Meanwhile the boys, anxious over their dad and bodyguard’s disappearance, enlist the aid of Dr. Orpheus to find them.  The good doctor, in turn, summons the other two-thirds of the less than enthusiastic Order of the Triad.  When their efforts at using magic to find the missing pair fail, the task falls to Pete White, who finally succeeds.

That success comes at a price, as they inadvertently activate M.U.T.H.E.R., the computer intelligence in charge of the shelter.  M.U.T.H.E.R. demands to see Jonas, and when no one can produce him she decides to go all WarGames and launch a nuke.  Why Jonas decided to keep a nuclear missile in a fallout shelter is beyond me, but whatever.

“What Goes Down, Must Come Up” was almost like two different episodes.  The first half was a straightforward mystery/action story, and contained the bulk of the laughs.  The second was entertaining but considerably darker.  As dark, in fact, as any episode of The Venture Bros. outside of perhaps “¡Viva los Muertos!” or “Return to Spider-Skull Island”.

The transition from the more comedic front half of this episode to the weird half was a bit jarring, but this was a very well-done story nonetheless.  It was so much story, in fact, that once again we get the 3-second opening.

Character-wise, Brock was a bit wasted, seeing as he spent most of his time jawing with Dr. Entmann, but Jackson Publick had to have a way to provide backstory. And anytime the Order of the Triad makes an appearance it’s a welcome sight, although the rising tensions within the team may be a bad portent.

Final grade: B+

Best lines/moments:

  • “Alright, that’s it.  You promised no penetration jokes.”
  • “There was even talk of french toast, but there was none to be had.”
  • “He wrote a little poem to his dollies.”
  • For the second week in a row Brock takes shit over his ‘do – “So that’s really how people wear their hear now?  Men?”
  • “Aw, now I got the blue balls in my Blood Eye.”
  • “Hey man, I gotta go where the blacktion is.”
  • “Would you rather be Spock with a bald spot?  I’ll trade you.”
  • I’m sure the underground denizens represented a myriad of music references I don’t get, but even I couldn’t miss Keith Flint of The Prodigy.  (“He just keeps saying he’s the Firestarter.”)
  • “And I’ll check for Blackulas.  Nope, no Blackulas.”
  • “Geez, Jefferson, you ever hear of Jergens?”
  • Who knew the boys had an extra pair of Spider-Man pajamas, in adult size?
  • Rusty and Pete spy on Brock and his women?  And use tissues?  Yuck.
  • “We’re gone two minutes to heat up some pizza rolls, and we come back to World War 3?”
  • I can’t be the only one who just found out what a Scopitone was.

Oh by the way, Jackson Publick finally updated his LiveJournal after a long absence.  Production on season 4 has begun!