This is it, the final episode for the sixth season of the Venture Brothers comes to an end as The Guild and OSI team up to end the Blue Morpho threat once and for all.
That is if everything would go according to plan but hey, it’s the Venture Brothers!
On the other hand, the list of people that have arching rights to Rusty Venture has been narrowed down to just the Red Death, a seemingly brutal living legend that might be too much for The Monarch to handle.
Will the sting operation work? Will The Monarch cross off another name off the list? Will Drs Ms Monarch finally figure out who the Blue Morpho really is?
Well…. Not quite.
The wait for the next season is going to be pretty damn long given how long the production time went for this season alone so to the ease pain, let’s jam about what happened in RED MEANS STOP.
So the big end game for this episode is that by getting The Guild and OSI to put together the perfect honeypot, they’re actually taking the Blue Morpho as a serious threat. This leads into some funny gags like Watch and Ward doing Hank and Dean cosplay, complete with the old outfits while Shoreleave disguises himself as Brock, much to the delight of his blonde wig.
With The Monarch knowing fully well to stay away from the sting, he still wants to make a move against Red Death. I actually love how this character came together as he feels like the most fleshed out gag character since Monstroso or Baron Werner Ünderbheit.
His homage of being a direct reference of Red Skull in a visual sense but it’s the voice work done by Clancy Brown that really sells the character as The Monarch best describes himself as being very humble and nice but intensely terrifying.
This leads to The Monarch being unable to kill him, let alone try to harm him as the mixture of delight/terror sways his hand so he tries a different plan by faking a plot to hold the Red Death’s family as hostage but even then, it’s merely a poly as Gary and him get the wife/daughter to head to their parent’s place.
The tone of friendly father figure with a deadly day job angle gets dialed up to 11 as the Monarch makes the phone call to intimidate Red Death but he goes full Liam Neeson/Taken and it scares the shit out of him as Red Death recites the dramatic speech with full intent on his promise.
Side mention of the other weird dark reference to another movie franchise. At the start of the episode, two guys wake up in a dark dirty bathroom area, it’s like something completely from Saw. Much like that franchise, we get jump backs to the two of them as they learn about who each of them are.
When the Red Death storms The Monarch’s home after making a thrilling arch battle (the sting flopping since The Monarch knew to stay away), he’s ready to tear some shit up but that weird soft side comes out as he gives some wise advice to The Monarch (Finish the task and move on – This could be taken in a lot of ways.) and then the Saw gag is fully revealed with a great throw away observation by The Monarch, the one guy remaining eating the remains of the other, savouring the tasty meat of the buttocks.
“Wait, you had a bathroom down here the entire time?”
The most hilarious and absurb part about the entire segment is that Gary was just trying to be nice. He didn’t want to outright murder anyone and he even went out of his way to cook them a nice meal, only for everything to go wrong in per Venture fashion as Red Death happily takes care of the last minute details that Gary couldn’t handle doing.
Overall, the episode had some pretty good gags, Red Death was incredible but still lots of details left up in the air. While the sting didn’t go as planned, Dr Mrs Monarch still wants to take out The Blue Morpho as The Monarch/Gary are still clear to carry out their mission against their next target (being Wide Wale himself) and the Ventures are still in NY.
While we gained some interesting insight into the setup of Blue Morpho and some history of arching, there’s still lots left to be explored and it’s kinda frustrating that with each season, the production feels like it takes forever with merely 8 episodes as in the past seasons, we’d get 13 episodes.
At this time, there’s another season confirmed but no dates, not even for a stand alone special like the Halloween episode or something like All This and Gargantua-2 that kicked off the current season. Like that Tom Petty song goes, the waiting is the hardest part.
Last minute mentions
– While Red Death is clearly reference to Red Skull, his daughter is most likely a reference to Sin as well.
– Saw Reference, Taken Reference – They finally acknowledged something that came after Hanna Barbara era (the 90’s reference of The Prodigy guy from Firestarter video being the most up to date reference until this point)
– Speaking of the Saw bit, the two guys chained up in Gary’s basement? Bottom right pair in the hit list. (Maestro Wave and The Termite)
– There’s a side bit as Action Man reminisces about when Rusty was younger as Rusty does something heroic for a change to save his dog, taking a gag flag in the chest from a fake grenade. This is why he only had one kidney way back in Dia de los Dangerous! (the pilot episode)
– Red Death seems to be the only one to figure out The Monarch is Blue Morpho from appearance alone as he recognized him when they meet up in the park.
– The t-shirt of the week doesn’t tie into the theme of the episode but instead, it’s a bad ass image of Brock which to be honest, everyone has been dying for some Brock merch.
– The casting for Clancy Brown as Red Death is so spot on. This is the guy that is known for being villain characters onscreen but also voicing Lex Luthor in the Superman animated series. Hell, with Daredevil season 2 having him on there, I’ve been fully enthralled with this guy!
– Blink and you’ll miss it: There’s a chalkboard in Hank’s room and it has a little message saying HV + SO so that’s delightful.
– Hank being on the villain team when the sting breaks out into a water volleyball match would be foreshadowing for a darker path for the character but this is Venture Brothers so it’s just goofy and funny.
– When Red Death shows up to wreck the Blue Morpho lair, the two pods that hold their outfits are destroyed but there’s still a third one remaining. I’d assume it’d be a costume to throwback to a Batgirl like character but it’s always been just the two of them, even with their homage counter parts as Green Hornet/Kano. Could The Monarch convince his wife to give up on The Guild in order to get back to just arching Venture? The big speech by Red Death about balancing duties of arching and family would kinda hinge on repairing that trust which has been stabilized but likely to be blown up if/when Dr Mrs Monarch really finds out what’s going on.
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