Hello, hello! Nightrider here!

Another week, another Venture Bros. This time, things are going from normally weird to getting into a rut with Episode Four’s “The High Cost of Loathing.”

Possible spoilers ahead, but maintaining course!

The Monarch is arching again… at a lowly Level 5. Barely. Dr. Venture begins to show his prowess in super science in the midst of a financial crisis involving the destruction of the late Gargantua 2 with predictable results. Hank is starting to realize that being carefree doesn’t necessarily apply to start a serious relationship with his new girlfriend Sirena; he doesn’t understand the concept of slowing down intensity when it’s important. Dean is beginning to mature to the point that he wants absolutely nothing to do with the Venture legacy; he is fighting to move forward to a normal life. Brock hates New York while shirking his obligations as Dr. Venture’s bodyguard. Lastly, Sargent Hatred has adapted to his new post with more gusto than usual.

In The Monarch’s case, he has to start all over again (in a sense), and he doesn’t like it at all. He is stuck in his “I wanna arch Venture no matter what!” world. It’s ironic that The Monarch is a “big enemy” of the Venture clan since Season 1 but, as Sirena pointed out, they are “level negative three.” What’s interesting, however, is that Monarch’s path of redemption can end in disaster at any time; his Level 5 arch happens to be Dr. Victor Von Helping, son of a Guild legend.

For Hank, it will be good to see what he will do to try and adapt from a situation he has never encountered before. He hit on girls before and even got “laid.” But he has never had a steady girlfriend who goes to college; he hasn’t thought about slowing down his life when it comes to investing in a serious relationship. Living life fast and carefree can take anyone pretty far, but it won’t lead to something worthwhile if one doesn’t slow down from time to time. He even takes the time to visit his father when everyone else leaves him alone in the hospital; Hank gets real about how his dad treats him differently from Dean since Dean is getting the money and education that Hank has abandoned in favor of a bachelor’s life.

Dean is starting to think for himself by himself now and wants nothing to do with the Venture legacy of super science. Dr. Venture tries to force his world down Dean’s throat with nothing but science courses in college. But in comes his new botany instructor, Dr. Von Helping. Von Helping gives sage advice to Dean before convincing him to join his botany course at night. Even cool moments like this are interrupted by The Monarch, who fails to get anything done and almost gets killed by an irate Von Helping when The Monarch threatens Sirena in front of Dean and Von Helping. Dean settles the matter with a generous check and saves the day in a desperate attempt to live a normal life on his own. Now he is starting a friendship with Hank’s girlfriend with awkward results. But it’s now a normal kind of awkward.

Where are the adults here? Doc Venture is starting to lose it as a businessman and hilariously ends up in the hospital. Brock treats Dean’s big day of attending college like a chore and Sgt. Hatred tries to get close with the Venture clan but is stuck at the front desk. This may be character development in disguise, especially for Dean and Hank since their existence in New York will not be normally abnormal at this point.

If this season is about story and character development with new obstacles to deal with, then Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick should keep this up. The predictable has probably become unpredictable now. All we have to do is see how far this unpredictability goes.