The Venture Bros.: The Rorqual Affair
August 13, 2018 10:12 AM - Season 7, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Wide Whale has the Monarch, Hank's posing as Enrico Matassa, the Guild is revolting (and I'm made of ectoplasm), the Red Death is back (for a price) and Gary is apparently dressed like Matt Hooper from Jaws.
posted by GuyZero (32 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh man I fucking loved this. When they were in the bowels of OSI and Red Death was talking about gargantua 1 in the 80s.... Chills!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:25 AM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


A weirdly large number of season one threads coming together. Same as last time, everyone should go rewatch Careers In Science.
posted by GuyZero at 10:31 AM on August 13, 2018


Rorquals are the largest group of baleen whales, a family with nine extant species in two genera, who range in size from the largest animal, the blue whale. Even the smallest of this group, the northern minke whale, reaches 9 tonnes (9.9 short tons). I'm sure that the episode title is also a reference to a movie or book titled The [Blank] Affair, but I'm not sure what that might be at the moment.

Dr. Douglas Ong, or Dr. Dugong, is back from a brief appearance at the beginning of Season 3 Episode 8 ("Tears of a Sea Cow"), when he was presumed dead. But thanks to his sea star DNA, he's fine!

Additional trivia from The Venture Bros wiki: The Meyer London School where the Guild meeting takes place is an actual public school located at 122 Henry St. New York, NY. It was named after Meyer London who was one of only two members of the Socialist Party of America elected to serve in Congress.

Is this the first time we see the lower back tattoo on Gary?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:11 AM on August 13, 2018


It's so very clear that these first three episodes are a chopped-up version of the script to an hour-long finale that Hammer and Publick couldn't find the time or money to make last season.
posted by painquale at 1:01 PM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


And with a SPOILER:

Where'd the Morpho-lair go? And who got out of the car at the end?
posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on August 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's so very clear that these first three episodes are a chopped-up version of the script to an hour-long finale that Hammer and Publick couldn't find the time or money to make last season.

There's a story in the VB art book that basically says Jackson and Doc got hornswoggled out of a S06 finale because the Adult Swim suits couldn't make up their mind about whether "All This and Gargantua-2" counted as a S05 finale, a separately-budgeted special, or an early S06 episode. So when they'd fully planned out the season and started production, they inadvertently found themselves a couple of episodes short.

I do wonder if we're going to have a mid-season "reset" to the premise on the order of what's happened at the beginning of every other season.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:58 PM on August 13, 2018


Also, was Red Death the PHANTOM SPACEMAN?
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:01 PM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


Brick Frog's "my only skills are brick-throwing and front-being" is a The Tick level joke but I love it because the What A Cartoon podcast did a show about the Tick animated series today and kept connecting its universe with the Venture Bros and I fully embrace this canon.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:22 PM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


Rocco and Monarch's interactions with Mad Libs and dunking on Wide Wale for going full on fake Italian after a semester abroad were great. Also Monarch was so thrilled he caught that knife even if he didn't nail the follow through! Delightful.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:57 PM on August 13, 2018 [6 favorites]


"frog-being" god damnit we need a one hour edit window
posted by Space Coyote at 7:14 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Is this the first time we see the lower back tattoo on Gary?

Oh no we've seen Hench For Life before.
I love Gary
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:23 PM on August 13, 2018


The one on his back is a butterfly- that's the tattoo he got when he was drunk, the one time the henchmen got the drop on Brock
posted by InfidelZombie at 8:19 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


I love how Rocco immediately gets what's going on when Wale starts lying to his brother about it all being a game and pretending he's not doing anything illegal, because clearly this has happened before and Wale just becomes some little five year old who got caught stealing cookies when he's around the brother he looks up to. They really deflated Wale's whole menacing image in this episode in that perfect Venture Bros way where they'll build something up carefully over a season only to have some awkward human reaction take it apart.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:43 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


So many Jaws references, but my favorite was recasting the USS Indianapolis story as Movie Night on Gargantua-1.
posted by whuppy at 4:52 AM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Red Death. Doting father, equality-minded husband, font of wisdom, loyal ally, crack detective, and relentless foe. He's the whole package, and exquisitely voiced by Clancy Brown. Swoon.

One of the very few non-failures in the Venture canon.
posted by whuppy at 5:57 AM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Red Death Dad Sweater is going to be my new band name.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:14 AM on August 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


My favorite Jaws reference: the "Whuuuuuh?"
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:53 AM on August 14, 2018


Or Phantom Limb in his nautical garb
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 8:53 AM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Or Phantom Limb in his nautical garb

Which in turn is another callback, not to the show itself, but to a Publick/Hammer DVD commentary from either S01 or S02, where they talk about buying themselves matching Amity Mayor suits to wear for their Comic Con panel.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:09 AM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


I was more right than I knew about Brick Frog

Brickfrog's name appears in the 2001 live-action series, The Tick, in the second episode. While Captain Liberty is looking for a super-villain for the Tick, she scrolls past Brickfrog's name on her torch computer
posted by Space Coyote at 10:36 AM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


His only skills are brick-throwing and frog-being. What else is there to know?
posted by filthy light thief at 11:19 AM on August 14, 2018


...Publick/Hammer DVD commentary from either S01 or S02, where they talk about buying themselves matching Amity Mayor suits to wear for their Comic Con panel.

Which Paul F. Tompkins, voice of Blue Morpho, Dr. Heinie, and Turnbuckle, actually did.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 1:00 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


You know what

Exactly what did everyone think happened to Jonas Venture Sr?

Like, no one seems to know how he died. It's never referenced at all. Was there a funeral?

Like how did no one notice his body was missing? Or presumably the original Team Venture knew and kept it a secret, but what did everyone else think happened?
posted by GuyZero at 3:33 PM on August 14, 2018


The art book reveals the true origin of Brick Frog and it's pretty adorable.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:17 AM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm sure that the episode title is also a reference to a movie or book titled The [Blank] Affair, but I'm not sure what that might be at the moment.

There are many many movies and TV shows with that kind of titling but one that came to mind as I watched was the original Thomas Crown Affair. The simplified plot is that wealthy bank executive pulls off the perfect heist only to be dogged by a sexy investigator he falls for. So a stretch I know, but Monarch as Blue Morpho thinks no one can connect him to the crimes and is being chased by Dr. Girlfriend.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:02 AM on August 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, on the off chance anyone here didn't get the Hirst reference, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
(via the reddit thread about the episode) - I knew it was the Hirst shark thing, I did not realize it had such a Hirst-esque name.
posted by GuyZero at 2:55 PM on August 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


Also, apparently the whole episode is thick with Jawsreferences, but having never seen it I am, as they say, at sea.

Any Jaws superfans want to break it down?
posted by GuyZero at 2:56 PM on August 15, 2018


GuyZero, these two scenes in particular are required viewing:
Mrs. Kinter and Chief Brody
Quint's USS Indianapolis monologue
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:57 PM on August 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


My favorite USS Indianapolis reference on the show, because of course there's more than one, is still Colonel Gentleman idly building a diorama of the sinking of the ship on the back of his incredibly patient dog, while describing a masturbation technique called the Double Frogman to Shore Leave, Al and Dr. Venture to settle a bet about the sex act called the Rusty Venture and god damn I love this ridiculous show.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:45 PM on August 15, 2018 [5 favorites]


But seriously though, just go watch Jaws, it's a very good movie.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:29 PM on August 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


In addition to the previously linked scenes, the scene where Gary and Red Death are comparing their psychological scars is a parody of the Jaws scene where Hooper and Quint compare physical scars. The Monarch's dream is a parody of the opening of Jaws where the girl is bobbing in the ocean and she gets attacked by the shark. The scene where the guy claims he's caught Blue Morpho is a parody of the scene in Jaws where it looks like a guy has caught the great white but it turns out to be a false hope. The scene where Red Death interrupts the big meeting is a parody of a similar scene in Jaws where Quint scrapes on a chalkboard to gets everybody's attention and then makes a speech about how he alone can catch the shark.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:48 PM on August 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


Exactly what did everyone think happened to Jonas Venture Sr?

Like, no one seems to know how he died. It's never referenced at all. Was there a funeral?


At least one of the Rusty-in-college flashbacks shows him getting the news and having to go home for the funeral. It's very possible they did it closed-casket or just grew a clone body for the funeral. I don't think they've ever said how Jonas died.

I think Jonas Venture died on Movie Night. I don't know the exact timing, but Red Death puts Movie Night in the 80s, and I think that's about when Rusty would have been in college. It would explain the ProBLEM's fixation with the theme from Sharky's Machine.

Would it be too obvious to speculate that the original Blue Morpho opened the bay doors before going into hiding and/or faking his own death?
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 7:27 PM on August 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


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