The Venture Bros.
Season 2, Episode 2: “Hate Floats,” 2006
I shout my out my love for this show – about middle-aged super-scientists, supervillains and superheroes living in denial of their constant failure – on a fairly regular basis. Season 2 cemented it firmly in the pantheon of my all-time favorite series, and this episode was the mixer.
All parties and plot points converge on the local mall. Doc Rusty Venture, boy adventurer turned scientist living off the estate of his dead father, has come to buy his younger son, Dean, a speed-suit, aka a hideous jumpsuit he sees as the uniform of a proper super-scientist. His longtime archnemesis, the Monarch, has come to stalk his ex-girlfriend, the aptly named Dr. Girlfriend, who is currently dating another supervillain, Phantom Limb, who’s come seeking supplies for a dinner party.
The Monarch’s henchmen, freshly recruited from the inner city, shoot up the place, kidnap Dr. Venture and overthrow the Monarch and his two remaining original Henchmen, 21 and 24. The Ventures’ bodyguard, Brock Samson, gets shot but is rescued by Phantom Limb, who tends to Brock’s injuries and suggests a team-up to retrieve the Ventures and Dr. Girlfriend, whom they believe to be kidnapped. Dr. Girlfriend, however, has escaped the melee with the Venture boys and are figuring out their own plan to save the others. There’s a lot of people believing the wrong people have been kidnapped, and in the end all parties reconvene at the Monarch’s flying cocoon base, Brock and Phantom Limb kill a bunch of goons and everyone turns out fine.
In between, though, there is a lecture about the proper heft and serration of kitchen knives that will be referenced again nearly 10 years later in the Gargantua II special, the Venture boys wonder whether Dr. Girlfriend is their mommy (Spoiler: She’s not), and Henchmen 21 and 24 become two of my favorite characters on the show with their bickering beta-bros schtick.