Last night's Venture Bros. episode, "The Silent Partners," drove home that the show's title is increasingly becoming a misnomer. Who were the key players? Billy Quizboy, Brock, Monstroso, and the Pirate. Oh, and a robotic Hazzard boy. Good ol' RoboBo.
"The Silent Partners" is a bit of a scattershot episode, so here's the pith of what went down. Billy is moonlighting as a doctor, but gets into hot water when the hospital questions his credentials (he trained under Dr. John Hopkinsburg...at Stamford). Meanwhile, a trio of magic vampire-demon-guys known as "The Investors" (who strongly resemble The Gentlemen from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) have stolen King Gorillas' heart — they later abduct Billy (who owes the Investors money) and Guild of Calamitous Intent strongman Monstroso. Apparently Billy and Monstroso have been tapped to become immortals, and Billy's going to become a vampire.
Meanwhile, Pete White recruits SPHINX to find his diminutive roommate. Brock, Hunter Gathers, and Shore Leave set off to Spider Skull Island to borrow the X-2, but instead must make due with the Captain's old pirating vessel (big ups for dressing up the Pirate as Captain Crook from McDonaldland). Oh, and SPHINX leaves Pete under the watchful eye of Sgt. Hatred, who regales Mr. White descriptions of his podiatric abcesses. Goody.
"The Silent Partners" was by no means a bad episode — indeed, Season 4.5's track record has been pretty impeccable — but it felt a bit off at times. Maybe this had to do with the fact that this is the penultimate episode of the season (the show's on hiatus until the 60-minute season finale on November 21), and we got a character-building episode for Billy. Sure, Billy's been a stalwart for Season 4.5, but his crappy relationship with Pete White has always been more of a side gag than a plot concern.
Also, the truth about the Investors was a totally who-cares revelation, but Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick pull red herring like this all time. Perhaps it was the fact that characters like Hatred are getting more screen time than Doc or the Monarch (although it was nice to hear the details concerning Hatred and Billy's impromptu sleepover). In any case, the episode was solid, corybantic cartooning, but it lacked the gravity of last week's just as frenzied journey through Doc's mind.
Even if it didn't feel like there was much at stake, it was nice that "Silent Partners" gave Billy his "cowboy speech" moment. And like Hank, this encephalitic cyborg man-boy lost his virginity, even if it was like an outtake from The Hunger:
Also, Brock's banter with Shore Leave makes you yearn for more episodes about Brock's missions, à la "Assassinanny 911" :
In conclusion, R.I.P. King Gorilla. May winged monkeys deliver you to your Simian Love God in the Great Banana Aether.