Ah, yes, the Venture Bros Mother’s Day special. Only two months late. In the world of the Ventures, somehow that seems appropriate.
1. Family Life
From the very get-go of this episode, the focus of “Momma’s Boys” was about the Venture family again. Whether it be Rusty’s not-so-great parenting habits or the general disillusionment and confusion of his sons, the episode revolved around how the Venture family interacts — or, well, doesn’t interact — with each other, and what that means for each character. It was a surprisingly heartfelt episode about a family that’s broken apart, and while they’d never admit it they have a long road to to walk before they’re a real family again. Yet, if that final shot of everyone at the table talking isn’t indication, I’d say they’re on the right path.
So, in other words, this was the best episode of the season. I know a lot of people loved last weeks and I did too, but the show works best when it is about the Ventures. This week proved that, I think.
2. The Voice on the Other End of the Line
Damn. Remember Myra? I had actually forgotten about her.
Unlike others, I don’t read the titles of episodes or watch the previews, so I honestly had no idea what tonight’s episode would be about before watching it (we’ll actually get to that later). When Myra of all people showed up, I couldn’t help but shudder in a good way at the memory of when we last saw her, because I half-expected a girl that Dean would be interested in to be on the other end of the line! Foolish me, right?
But the return of Myra was pretty great, and it wrapped up a few questions regarding who she really is in relation to the boy’s development. So that’s nice, for those of you who like the overarcing subplots of the story.
That and “Collectible Deanie Baby” was maybe the funniest throwaway line of the episode.
3. Probably the Most Clever Turnaround in an Episode Yet
So, OK, if you’re like me and don’t peek ahead at what’s coming, what would you think this episode was about at first? The boys breaking into prison to find “Teddy”, and that’s probably it, right? But there we are, with Myra and Hank changing every word in his dictionary to Hank and Dermott’s discovery the Monarch riff (second best line of the episode goes to “Mother helped build the wall!”) — and Teddy is actually an inmate and is actually the same as the tape?! That was just too good to be true. By the end of the episode you sort of saw that last reveal coming, but having Hatred climb up over the clip and see Teddy and Rusty talking was a laugh out loud riot.
And a “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” parody in there to boot? Too good.
I think this episode basically represents all of my favorite things about this show. They manage sometimes to pack so much into so little of a space that it’s almost unbelievable. This season has been pretty much on fire after the premiere all things considered, and it’s immensely gratifying as a fan to see the show utilize its formula so well.
4. We are INSANE CRIMINALS!
Best new thing ever? Best new thing ever.
I expect to see so much fan fiction about Enrico Metasa. I don’t even like fan fiction and I expect to see it, or else people aren’t Hanking it right.
5. Later… Dad
The episode did a lot to really give Dermott his identity, and it was subtle/unsubtle about it. You had moments where Dermott could understand Helper and Doctor Orpheus’ claim of being summoned by a Venture, and then you had moments where Rusty just flat out said he was his son. That special about Shallow Gravy made it pretty clear that Rusty knew but it was nice for the show to acknowledge that — and for Dermott to then acknowledge it himself was interesting.
Do I think this is going to change anything? Not really. Rusty has been caught in lies before, even if he’ll never admit it. It’ll be interesting to see if this changes anything for Hank and Dean, though; Dean probably not so much, but Hank? Hmm.
This does seem to continue to put a stamp on this season’s overarcing theme being about Family, even if it doesn’t always reflect that. With the photograph in the premiere of the Monarch and Dr. Venture as children, I would expect a LOT more family stuff to come out this season too.