In this week’s Venture Bros episode, one of the show’s biggest themes, failure, is in the spotlight once again. The “F” word rears its head in numerous ways, from another Jonas Sr. parenting failure, to St. Cloud failing as an archenemy. However, in “Spanakopita!” we see an adult Rusty being truly happy, even if the underlying circumstances are a bit weird.
The episode opens with Rusty trying to convince Pete and Billy into going to a Greek Island festival. Apparently, Rusty has been attending this festival for years. Hank (who is still wearing last week’s Countess costume) and Dean don’t want to go. Rusty treats Pete and Billy to a slideshow of Jonas Sr. and the original Team Venture in Greece. He cements his title as “world’s worst drink maker” with concoctions called “Hot Mummy” and “Slim Jim Fizz.” As the scene ends, we see what looks like the owl from Clash of the Titans spying on the Ventures.
When Hatred, Billy, Pete, and Rusty arrive at the island, the X-2 is there. Of course, Rusty assumes Jonas Jr. is there too. The islanders seem to love Rusty and “Spanakopita!” is yelled more times than you can count. The whole affair seems downright shady. But, Rusty is in his glory, even if the Welcoming Committee appears to be kidnapping him. Hatred realizes something is up.
The X-2 doesn’t belong to Jonas Jr., but Billy’s arch-nemesis, Augustus St. Cloud. It’s the original ship that was destroyed in 1968. St. Cloud had it rebuilt. He also took Rusty’s hotel room. The locals are happy to give Rusty another one, for $200.00 more. The insanely rich St. Cloud not only owns the X-2, but Bubo the owl, an outfit from GoldFinger, and a ton of other pop culture items we see through the episode. He’s on the island to “win” the festival by buying the crown. Instead, he makes a bet with Rusty. If St. Cloud wins he gets the X-1, and if Rusty wins he gets a million dollars. St. Cloud constantly cheats in every one of the games.
While the games play out, Hatred is still worried about the situation on the island, and calls Brock. Brock knows exactly what’s going on, but tells Hatred to drop it. Apparently, Brock’s had some fun during the festival, as Hatred is surrounded by women caring for mini-Brocks.
Billy is having problems of him own. In a Clash of the Titans type dream, he envisions St. Cloud as the Kraken, Rusty as Medusa’s head, and Pete as Pegasus. This scene is actually stop motion, just like the movie. The whole bit works well, especially Rusty as head-only Medusa.
Billy decides to sneak aboard the X-2 with Pete. As they look around, it’s amazing how much stuff St. Cloud jammed on that boat, like the clown from FX and props from Indiana Jones. They’re caught when St. Cloud uses blow darts from his Indiana Jones collection to knock them out. They wake-up outside, bound to the ground as the sun is about to rise. We learn that albinos actually burst into flames if the sunlight touches them. However, St. Cloud’s albino rescues them because of the “Albino code.”
At the same time, Hatred is finding out the truth behind the festival. As a kid, Rusty was unknowingly taken by the island locals while they were robbing the X-2. He’s discovered hiding in a trunk. When the robbers try to reach Jonas Sr., he’s too busy fighting L. Ron Hubbard. All little Rusty wants is his dad. When days pass with no word from Jonas, the locals invent the Spanakopita festival as a way to distract Rusty. 20 years later, Rusty shows up for the “festival.” The islanders quickly pull together some games and Rusty wins the crown every year. As long as he pays, they go along with the nonsensical festival. While it shows what a crappy father Jonas was, it’s nice to see that the locals tried to cheer up Rusty and continue to make him happy 20 years later, even if it’s a lie.
In a twist, it’s Billy who wins the crown. St. Cloud tries to buy out the island and festival, but all he gets is a ton of Greek spinach pie: “Spanakopita!”
After the credits, Jonas Sr. does show up for Rusty. Jonas and Colonel Gentleman beat the hell out of Rusty’s “captors.” They vow to get back at him. And they do, as Rusty has spent 20 years of Venture family money getting price gauged at a fake festival.
Random fun stuff:
- What doesn’t St. Cloud own? Pete and Billy even comment that his collection on the X-2 is like a floating Planet Hollywood.
- Billy realizing early on that Spanakopita means spinach pie.
- Pete’s desperate attempts at staying out of direct sunlight.
- The festival games include the running of the goats and diving for sea sponges.
- Brock’s reaction when it seems like the women know Hatred’s on the phone with him.
VENTURE BROS. “SPANAKOPITA!” SNEAK PEEK
If faced with wearing that outfit or letting our skin burn, we’d take the sun.
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