"The Bellicose Proxy" – The Venture Bros. S07E06 Review

Ah, with "The Bellicose Proxy" that's more like it. As much as The Venture Bros. has an "it" to be like. In this case, creators McCulloch and Hammer ignored most of the current continuity and went with a good old superhero parody. The plot kind of revolved around the star-crossed lovers, S-464 and Kimberly, but they were pretty incidental to the whole. There was no Sirena, no Van Helping, no Brown Spider, and Dean didn't even have a voice appearance although we do see him briefly at the end.

What was the story? Monarch is trying to get points with the Guild. After a brief fairly humorous tour of the Guild HQ (they make up an agent to look like Dave Grohl, because no one ever refuses Dave Grohl), Watch and Ward finally tell Monarch he can get points by mentoring a newbie. In this case, annoying memorabilia character Augustus St. Cloud, who has wandered in and out of the series throughout the year.

Meanwhile, Girlfriend is trying to turn S-464 against the Peril Partnership. He's willing to agree rather than face a bathtub full of milk and honey (it's more painful than it sounds). However, he wants to get back with Kimberly, the OSI sniper who dumped him after she discovered last week that S-464 has "PP" (Peril Partnership: minds out of the gutter!) on his belt.

The Guild has assigned Augustus to level-1 arch Billy Quizboy. Who is terrified of the possibility. Rusty takes a parental interest in making sure Billy can handle him. After a rigorous training regimen compliments of Brock, Billy dons a "Delta Boy" costume. Which looks like the old Major Matt Mason exploration suit from the 60s. Pete dons a non-functional Killer Drone costume. They fight Augustus, who has a lightning rifle and laughing gas bombs.

Meanwhile... Girlfriend has decided the best way to get Kimberly back with S-464 is to up the wattage on Augustus' level-1 lightning rifle to level 6. That will cause a violation of the recent Treaty of Tolerance with OSI, Kimberly will intervene, and Girlfriend will get her back together with S-464.

Kimberly does intervene, but refuses to take S-464 back until Girlfriend explains S-464 did it all to get Kimberly back. However, Girlfriend loses her temper and prepares to square off against Kimberly. Monarch pulls his wife away and she realizes he saved her job as Guild councilwoman. However, Monarch assures Girlfriend she would have kicked Kimberly's butt.

In the end tag, Billy and Pete describe their epic fight with Augustus to Hank and Dean. Rusty and Brock look on, and Rusty says he'll never tell Billy he hallucinated the whole thing because of the gas.

Like I said, "The Bellicose Proxy" is more of a return to form for the series. There was the three-part Morphic Trilogy, then "The High Coast of Loathing" which focused on the newer storylines and character, then last week's "The Inamorata Consequence" which was more about telling us what had happened to some old faces.

"Bellicose" had all kinds of little bits and pieces. Augustus briefly stops by Billy's mother's home thinking Billy is there, and Rose and Col. Gentleman beat him up. We get to see more of Augustus' collection of media memorabilia, including Blue Thunder the helicopter, a Sigmund and the Sea Monsters costume, and one of the Batmobiles. And that provides lots of cultural riffs.

We get to see Brock in capable mode, stalking Billy and shooting him repeatedly. With a paintball gun, but it's better than nothing. We get a brief bit with Rusty taking Billy and Pete to Enzo the tailor to get them superhero costumes. We get the tour of the Guild base, and a weird scene where Dr. Z describes how they're going to take S-464 out for a makeover, complete with wigs to cover S-464's transparent skull and outfits to cover his bad choice of costumes.

Like the best Venture Bros. episodes, "Bellicose" was a pretty straightforward story that provided an excuse to hang funny gags on. It's a forgettable episode: S-464 and Kimberly get back together, and Monarch continues his quest to level up in the Guild. But it's an entertaining episode.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?

Written by Gislef on Sep 10, 2018


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