VENTURE BROS. Season 7 Episode 9 [Review]

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THE VENTURE BROS. Season 7 Episode 9 – “The Forecast Manufacturer”/ Written by DOC HAMMER/ Directed by JACKSON PUBLICK/ Animation by TITMOUSE INC./ Starring JAMES URBANIAK, JACKSON PUBLICK, MICHAEL SINTERNIKLAAS, DOC HAMMER & PATRICK WARBURTON/ Produced by ASTRO BASE GO! & CARTOON NETWORK

[WARNING: The following review contains some minor SPOILERS.]

A once-in-a-century blizzard has besieged New York City and Team Venture is ready to face it. Well, part of it is. Hank Venture, surprisingly, isn’t up for an adventure that might lead to stopping some super-science terrorist with a weather-control device. He’s too busy trying to get a hold of his girlfriend, Sirena, but he can’t get a decent signal through the storm and she isn’t answering his texts. But Doctor Venture is begrudgingly ready to face it because he needs the publicity and Billy Quizboy is ready to face it because literally anything would be better than his current project – testing an internal-temperature regulating suppository.

Meanwhile, The Guild of Calamitous Intent is dealing with the crisis in their own way, for their own reasons. It seems that someone has stolen one of their weather manipulating ships and all fingers point to The Creep – the supervillain leading the rogue faction of the Canadian super-villain union called The Peril Partnership, which has been trying to take down The Guild.

Officially, The Guild’s leadership cannot sanction an assassination attempt on The Creep due to their treaty with The Peril Partnership. Unofficially, however, they can send two of their members who have a record of success when it comes to “solving” these sorts of problems in a “permanent capacity”. That is to say a fatal capacity. That is to say, eventually, without saying anything, that they recruit The Monarch and Gary to “deal with” The Creep. Unofficially.

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The miraculous thing about “The Forecast Manufacturer” is that it works so well despite largely being a filler episode. That is to say that there’s no real development of any of the season’s subplots until the final two minutes. Even then there’s little in the way of serious drama, leaving most of the episode to focus on the strange non-sequitur conversations that make up much of the show’s humor and the characters having free reign to play off of each other in comedic dialogues.

Strangely enough, the scenes with Hank are the strongest in this regard. The scene in which Sgt. Hatred tries to warn Hank out of crossing the street to visit his girlfriend at the height of a blizzard highlights the sheer absurdity of The Ventures’ world. The comedy comes not because Hank’s reaction is unreasonable but because, despite Hank (having a tenuous grasp on sanity at the best of times) is not wrong when he says there’s a far better chance that his girlfriend has been kidnapped or that she has amnesia than that her phone got stolen or she just can’t get a signal through the storm. Naturally, the urgency with which Hank departs on this quest is forgotten in two minutes because… well, this IS Hank.

The rest of the episode is made up of similar dialogues and one-off gags, with Monarch and Gary playing off of each other and Billy and Rusty doing the same. And there’s a bear with a chainsaw hand for no reason! (A No Prize to the first person who understands that reference!)  So while it might not be quite what we were expecting from the penultimate episode of the season, “The Forecast Manufacturers” is still a solid episode of The Venture Bros.

5-5

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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