The Venture Bros. season 5 finale review: The Devil's Grip
Kaci feels somewhat cheated by the Venture Bros. season finale. Here's her review of The Devil's Grip...
This review contains spoilers.
5.8 The Devil's Grip
Well, Venturoos, we waited for three years for the fifth season of The Venture Bros., and now it has come and gone. This week's episode is a good episode of television, but I'm not so sure it's a very good finale. I guess I'm used to there being high stakes at the end of each season, to being given a huge "gasp!" moment to go out on and hold me captivated until the next season picks up. This show has never shied away from huge stake-finales or leaving us with major cliffhangers. This episode didn't do that. But it's still a pretty great episode of the show, so I have to admit to you that I'm completely torn. I both love and am disappointed by it. You'll have to tell me which side you come down on in the comments, because I honestly don't know how to feel.
We pick up shortly after we left off: Doc is presumed dead and Sgt. Hatred ships the boys off to their godfathers — Dean is sent to live with Colonel Gentleman and Hank is shipped to stay with Action Man. Neither of the boys is very happy about their new living situation; Hank is stuck hanging out in Boca Roton and mostly just wants to head back to the compound, while Dean is forced to write out Colonel Gentleman's life story and deal with his ex-boyfriend drama. (It appears that things have taken a turn to the south with Kiki.) Finally, after returning home to the compound with their guardians, Dean 'fesses up to Hank about their status as clones. And, as probably could've been predicted, Hank thinks it's cool, which allows Dean to relax for the first time all season.
Doc, however, is doing pretty okay, which makes last week's cliffhanger feel cheap. He's not even that badly injured; Sheila gets him fixed up pretty quickly and hands him over to The Monarch for torture. Only The Monarch isn't as good at torturing Doc as he'd like to believe. Either that or he's too good. See, The Monarch completely fails at physically torturing Doc Venture and the two commiserate over their failures. The Monarch eventually asks Doc to go, and Doc dejectedly heads for home. When confronted by his wife, however, The Monarch says that it was his plan all along — not to break Doc down physically, but mentally. And the thing that's so great about this show and these characters is that I honestly don't know if he's lying. I like to think he is, since it's always seemed like Sheila and Gary (let's be real: mostly Sheila) were the brains behind the operation, but considering this show's love affair with failure, I'd believe it if you told me it was his intent all along.
Meanwhile, Hatred recruits Gary to storm his former boss's cocoon, but the Moppets catch wind of what's happening and turn the two of them against each other. Gary, it seems, has decided to go back to The Monarch (hands in the air like you just don't care if you're upset about the loss of all the potential Gary had to join the O.S.I. and hang out with Brock and Shore Leave, be bros and save the world) and in retaliation, Hatred blasts the cocoon out of the sky and destroys The Monarch's home, leaving the villains to head off to the house The Monarch grew up in. What this has to do with The Monarch's parents being friends with Jonas Venture and the possibility that his father was Vendata is anyone's guess, but there are probably clues in that house. We'll have to wait for next season to find out, though.
I guess that's where my problem with the episode lies: it feels like all the cool stuff is happening next season, but there aren't any cliffhangers or clues to tide us over until then. It feels like seasons five and six were written to instead be one long season, so Doc and Jackson didn't bother to write a finale for this far in. Later, when I look back and am able to take the two seasons together, I'm sure my slight disappointment with this episode will fade. But right now, I just feel like a season finale deserves more, and we didn't get it.
Geekiest Moments of the Week!
"Are all these tapes Sabrina the Teenage Witch?" "Well, obviously, son. It's the only show that starred Salem the cat!" - Dean and Colonel Gentleman, giving a shoutout to the 90s kids.
"This is a toy chest." "That's a display cabinet for collectibles." - Hatred and Gary, getting something straight. They're not toys; they're collectibles.
"The Moppets have broken our most sacred law! They killed Henchman 24! Hench has killed hench!" - Gary, proving that even bumbling mercenaries have a code of honour.
"Attention, Gary! It's your old pal, Sgt. Hatred! Come out with your hands up or I will — oh, that is a missile. Oh, boy. That is on all kinds of fire. It's headed for the house and it is on fire! Gary, I still hate ya, but you gotta get out of there! You gotta evacuate, man! Oh, the humanity! I'm just gonna go now and uh, pick this up another time." - Sgt. Hatred, because let's be real, this is a far more accurate take on super villainy than anything seen in mainstream comics.
"Dean, that is awesome!" "You're not upset?" "About what? That I'm like, some kind of super cool, probably magic, highlander cyborg clone? Uh, no." - Hank and Dean, neatly side-stepping all the moral and identity-related complications of being a clone.
Read Kaci's review of the previous episode, Bot Seeks Bot, here.
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