The Venture Bros. season 5 episode 3 review: SPHINX Rising

Review Kaci Ferrell
18 Jun 2013 - 07:15

Gary takes centre stage in this week's episode of The Venture Bros. Here's Kaci's review of SPHINX Rising...

This review contains spoilers.

5.3 SPHINX Rising

I honestly don't know what kind of spiritual connection Doc Hammer has with Gary, but I could've told you long before the end credits that he'd penned this week's episode. Don't get me wrong — both of the writers of this show are amazing — but there's just something about the way Doc writes Gary that's truly special. 

Gary sets out to reform S.P.H.I.N.X. this week after accidentally messing up an O.S.I. mission by blowing Brock and Shore Leave's cover. (For the record, I love that they're still partners even after switching organizations. They make a great team.) He decides to put out a classified ad looking for more team members, only to find his ranks filled with the old pre-O.S.I. rejects S.P.H.I.N.X. members and Hank. 

After failing to note the signs that maybe his new subordinates know just a little too much about the S.P.H.I.N.X. compound than they should, Gary finds himself their prisoner. To make things worse, he isn't even the one to save the day — Hank is able to get them out of their cell and distract the commander, allowing Brock and Shore Leave to board and take out the villains. 

I like that Gary fails at this. As much as I love how competent he's become both on his own and while leading groups of people before, I like that he has this moment of weakness where his eagerness to have a team again leads him astray. It's very much in keeping with who he is and what he seems to want out of life. Unfortunately, it ends with S.P.H.I.N.X. headquarters getting blown up, so where Gary (and Hank?) are headed next is anyone's guess, but I'd personally love to see them both recruited into the O.S.I. 

Meanwhile on the compound, the Monarchs trick their way onto the property and set explosives all along the Venture basement, and Hatred's distrust of Gary sends him and Dean out to retrieve them. Along the way, Dean confesses that he's been so moody lately because he "knows too much," and Hatred inadvertently gives him the perfect advice: he's Dean. The best Dean. For someone who just found out he's a clone, that's a pretty great thing to hear. 

And, of course, there's that huge bomb that gets dropped on our heads: while at the Venture compound, The Monarch finds a picture of himself and Rusty playing together as children...and his parents are in the photo, too! I have so many questions. Does Rusty know that's The Monarch in the picture? Why has he never mentioned it? Why doesn't The Monarch remember it? Why is it significant that his parents are in the photo? 


Sunday night can't get here fast enough, you guys. It just can't. 

And now on to the good stuff: 

Geekiest Moments of the Week! 

"That's classic Monarch 'look at my cool new thing' approach." "Should I ready the extinguishers?" "Please. He only uses fire and lasers at night. I've got my money on acid or a magnet kind of thing." "READY THE ACID MAGNET!" - Gary, Sgt. Hatred, and The Monarch, making a good point about the predictability of super villains. 

"H-T-T-P-full, the letter H, then — really? You just type the — fine!" "You haven't had to type that crap since the nineties!" - the old S.P.H.I.N.X. members, re: web addresses. 

"Who the hell is that guy? He looks like Criss Angel! Is what what you like now? Tacky crap?" - the old S.P.H.I.N.X. commander, proving that Criss Angel is the Nickelback of magicians. 

"Totally forgot it was a strength suit." - Hank, solving a plot hole. 

"Hank? What are you doing here? And why are you on his lap?" "He needs my bosom, Brock. Plus the suit is frozen. I can't move." - Brock and Hank, discussing the cons of the strength suit.

Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, Venture Libre, here.

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