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Episode Recap of “Pomp & Circuitry”

pomp and circuitry 03

Last night’s Venture Bros was filled with so many references to past episodes, it warmed my heart. Doc Hammer once said, “Continuity is a bitch,” but many things not only paid tribute to the past, they gave us a glimpse at what’s to come.

The episode opens with Hank and Dean in their learning beds. Every time “Rusty” is suppose to be mentioned in the lesson, it’s dubbed with “Hank and Dean.” I never imaged them actually graduating from their learning beds, but Dean’s diploma prints out. There’s talk of college and career advice from Billy. What careers will two horribly sheltered boy clones pick? Some of the careers Hank wants are drifter, owner of Chimp Eden, and two different eras of Batman. (Golden age and post crisis) While Dean choices include husband, boy detective, and boy reporter. But no “super scientist”, as Rusty points out. Billy explains Hank and Dean aren’t ready for college as their knowledge is as outdated as “Funk and Wagnalls.” Rusty learns Hank’s diploma never printed and he “better get back in that bed until you graduate.” Hank in a very Batman moment, rebels and runs off to join S.P.H.I.N.X. and he’s actually pretty good at his montage of trials. He’s “Brock trained”, after all.

At Guild Headquarters, Phantom Limb is planning his escape from the prison. He calls out to his detached limbs hidden in a filing cabinet with Lady Nightshade the shoe and Chuck the toaster. While it might look like the intimate objects are kicking the guard’s asses by themselves, it’s the limbs doing the work. The toaster firing at the guards was genius, as was Watch and Ward freaking out over a bug while Limb is clearly escaping on the screen. Next we Limb approach see a homeless Baron Ünderbheit.

Using their connection as former members of the Boy’s Brigade, Phantom Limb then tries to woo a broken, lovesick Professor Impossible to the dark side. Impossible has his own problems as his arch the Phage shows up with his Henchmen of “Pro-teens”. After a few so-bad-they’re-good virus puns and a brawl, Impossible agrees to team up. Phage goes running to the Guild to tattle. Where is the new team headed? State College, of course, which is exactly where Rusty takes Dean. At State, we see throwbacks to everything from Brisby to the building explosion that Rusty was mistakenly blamed for. The best part of the college tour was the painful talk with the head of the school. In a moment of sheer awkwardness, it’s revealed the only reason why Rusty was given a meeting is the Dean thought “Dr.Venture” meant Jonas Jr.

When Impossible arrives at the college, we learn that Limb was hiding inside his elastic body. As he sneaks off to find “Limb Augmentation Apparatus” plans, he’s met by the diamond dogs, Strangers, Guild robots, and the Sovereign’s floating video head. Limb tells the Sovereign he’s going to start his own Guild. He puts up a good fight but is chased across the lawn where Impossible is trying to give a speech. In the midst of all this, the same damn building blows up again.

In a touching moment back at the compound, Brock tries to tell Hank he doesn’t want to be spy. Besides, he needs a diploma. Hank bangs on his bed and out pops his wrinkled diploma. His moment of happiness is squashed by Brock telling him he has to be 18 too. If Hank only knew the truth…

After the credits, we learn that Phantom Limb’s new evil organization is coming to fruition as Impossible is now on his side, complete with a new menacing costume. He tries in vain to think of new evil names for himself like “Professor Incorrigible, Professor Indo-China, and Professor Indignant.” During this, Ünderbheit walks into the room. This is going to be awesome.

Points of Interest:

I love how Dean’s career titles include the word “boy.”

The Council of 13 arguing about replacing councilman 8 due to him sharing a body with 3.

Phantom Limb’s implied conjugal visit with Lady Nightshade.

Hunter’s line: “Well, my boot wants to join up with your ass and I’m about to give them a shotgun wedding.”

Brock and his mysterious rookie partner fighting Vatican Karate Gorillas.

Hank’s use of a tin foil hat to stop his mind from being wiped.

Hunter throwing the phone at the agent’s head for the attempted start of the slow clap.

Rusty telling Dean a Take Back the Night rally is a great place to pick up girls.

Dean explaining he was taught by his “electric Grandpa bed”.

Rusty’s relief that at least this time, nobody can blame him for blowing up the building.

— Jennifer Amlie

Review by Jennifer Amlie, Junior Writer – The Venture Bros. Blog

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