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Questions are answered and truths are revealed. Learn how Henchman 21 copes with life without 24. See what happens when Brock and the Venture family are forced to part ways. Discover the final fate of H.E.L.P.eR. And all the while, the balance of the free world hangs in the hands of Dean Venture, who must kill Hitler.
The Venture Bros. continues its relentless march towards absurd brilliance with this second volume of its fourth season, which unfolds in a dizzying blend of conspiracy theories, convoluted psycho-dramas, maturity rituals, and at least one musical number. The brothers themselves--hapless Dean and thoughtless Hank--continue to grow up whether they like it or not, with Dean taking on an internship with Professor Impossible voiced by Bill Hader that proves to be more than just a résumé builder, and Hank joining the ranks of manhood in a particularly unpleasant manner while investigating his surly pal Dermott's parentage. Both episodes "Bright Lights, Dean City" and "Everybody Comes to Hank's" are note-perfect examples of what makes the Venture Bros. such a pleasure: clever but never self-satisfied writing with a keen understanding of the show's comic book-pop culture roots and just the right blend of crassness and wit. The season's other highlight is its hour-long conclusion, "Operation P.R.O.M.," which brings the season's entire, labyrinthine story arcs to a finale that is fitting, a bit touching, and completely unhinged. Elsewhere, viewers learn along with Doc Venture James Urbaniak about the hideous slang term attached to his name, while Brock Samson Patrick Warburton, Sergeant Hatred Christopher McCulloch, a.k.a. series cocreator Jackson Publick, and Henchman 21 cocreator Doc Hammer resolve some long-standing emotional conflicts. It's a rare thing for a series to continue to grow and even blossom in its fourth season, but The Venture Bros. does both, in its own very odd but charming ways.
Extras on the two-disc Vol. 2 set are, like its predecessor, slim but entertaining: Publick and Hammer provide amusing commentaries for each of the eight episodes in the set, and there's a smattering of inconsequential deleted scenes. Actor Toby Huss, who voices the deeply deluded General Triester, is featured in a segment that has him providing a number of different readings on a line of dialogue, and the set includes several promotional spots for the show during its original broadcast. Viewers should know that the episodes in Vol. 2 are presented uncut, which means that the ridiculously grotesque definitions for a "Rusty Venture" are unbleeped; it's an unfortunate choice, as the adult language tends to cheapen the show's humor. --Paul Gaita