In many ways, The Venture Bros.’ “Bot Seeks Bot” serves as a direct sequel to the fantastic season five episode “O.S.I. Love You,” with Brock Sampson and his O.S.I. team getting one step closer to uncovering the identities of the mysterious Council of Thirteen, who may or may not be led by David Bowie. In an episode that’s dominated by so many strong personalities, and just as many outrageous super villains, it’s really an incredible feat to see how so many old and new Venture players are still able to shine.
After learning the identity of Councilman #4 by Monstroso before the villain’s sudden disappearance in “O.S.I. Love You,” Councilman #4 conveniently winds up soon after. Left with nowhere to go, an O.S.I. stakeout of the funeral results in identifying another one of the councilmen, this time Councilman #1, who turns out to be a cyborg villain named Vendata. After finding a personal ad listing by Vendata, who’s in search of a cyborg personal companion, the O.S.I. orchestrates a sting operation by responding to it. This requires bringing in Ghost Robot, an old ally of Captain Sunshine, to pose as the interested bot. Of course, since this is the Venture Bros. we’re talking about here, nothing goes as planned, and soon everyone finds themselves in a thumping nightclub, that’s crawling with every super villain you can imagine.
“Bot Seeks Bot” just goes to show how well-populated the world of The Venture Bros. really is, when Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer can craft an entire episode based entirely on obscure side characters, and some we’ve never even met before. Along these lines, the always bizarre and weirdly villainous character designs never fail to impress, and it was an absolute treat to actually see most of The Council of Thirteen outside of their normal TV monitor silhouettes, let alone interacting with one another! And as always, it should still be noted how Brock continues to steal the show each and every time he’s onscreen (especially in his fleeting interactions with Dr. Venture). Characters aside, though, the plot of the episode was nothing short of superb, and it led to some truly memorable payoffs towards the end of the second act.
But hands down, the best part of the episode happens right at the end, when The Monarch unexpectedly comes to Dr. Venture’s rescue, just when it seems like Brock and Shore Leave have run all their options dry. Of course, while The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch’s impressive legal knowledge of the Guide rulebook were simply enacted so The Monarch could be the one to end Dr. Venture’s life, it’s hard not to smile at the odd sense of underlying friendship that’s sort of been forming since the start of the show (let’s not forget this season’s revelation that the two archrivals were once childhood playmates). However, the shocking cliffhanger ending that follows immediately after is going to make it quite the test of patience in waiting for next week’s episode.
In the end, “Bot Seeks Bot” is another fantastic addition to The Venture Bros. stellar fifth season. Not only does the episode stand on its own as an incredibly enjoyable story, but it offers lots of things to ponder for you “bigger picture” fans out there. And also, we get more Brock Sampson, so what’s really not to love?
Score: 5 out of 5