Gary decides to take things up a notch and begin open recruitment SPHINX. Only thing is the people he recruits? Old generation SPHINX members. You know what that means to me yeeeeessss.. COBRA COMMANDER PARODY!!!!! Also Hank dons the Baroness-like costume and weird feelings are had all around. Meanwhile, the Monarch and Mrs. Monarch go deep undercover as beaver inspectors to destroy Dr. Venture!
Poor Gary. The former Henchmen 21 is really trying to leave his former lifestyle, yet it seems that lifestyle no matter what will always be forced onto him. I mean sure he has flickers of just awesome as demonstrated when he assists Sgt. Hatred in taking down the Monarch's latest attempt. Yet any attempt at being progressive in SPHINX? Dashed. He's a good soldier, but a leader? Yeah, Gary just hasn't reached that pinnacle. I thought he did in the season premiere, but nope this episode showed me how wrong I was in that. I'm curious where Gary goes from here. His home is now torched (thanks you over reacting Sgt. Hatred), and SPHINX is no more. If there's any plus to this entire episode for him at least he's in better with Brock and Shore Leave now along with getting that nifty crossbow.
Alright, I've gone on long enough and must talk about what I really enjoyed most about this episode. Ever since SPHINX was introduced in the Venture Brothers it was a clear homage to being Cobra from G.I. Joe. We were always teased that several Cobra homages worked for SPHINX (the biggest being their “Destro” who got decapitated and then his head was used in a ping pong match with a pair of O.S.I. jets. Tonight, we got a truck load of Cobra homages along with nods to both the cartoon and the comics written by Larry Hama.
So yeah.. SPHINX Commander was probably the greatest one-shot Venture Brothers character for me ever. They nailed and parodied everything about him to perfection. From the perfect impersonation from Chris McCulloch channeling Chris Latta's voice (seriously that was just a chilling job how he nailed it) to even the homage of his unmasked self ripped from the Hama comics. It was absolute icing on the cake of this episode for me. This episode is going to get mad replay value from me.
Though it might for other reasons as well, with a doozy of a revelation tonight. I was wondering where the Monarch and Mrs. Monarch's plan would go tonight. Really I thought it was just them accidentally compounding the matter of Hatred's distrust for Gary. It did that yes, but we got something else as well. Something that was laid out tonight to set up a future plot line. Way back in the series, we had a very Fantastic Four-like atmosphere explaining why the Monarch hates Rusty Venture. It was a Reed Richards/Dr. Doom type relationship. Tonight, the first hint was dropped it could be much more than that with the Monarch finding a picture of the two as children. As the Monarch plainly states: “WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!”
Well, it could mean a bunch of things and I'm not gonna delve into those can of worms given this show takes it's time with subplots such as these. More so, the pay off could be even a parody as well (need I remind anyone of the Orb subplot). We just don't know when and where this subplot will pay off. I'd wager the earliest might be this season finale. The actuality of when this will pay off? Not until next season. Still, this is a bombshell in the making possibly if Hammer and Publick go with this. Some fans always wondered if there was more to the two characters, and we know in the past Jonas Sr. was a swinger. Is it possible he had a third child? Time will tell.
This episode delivered a load of payoffs to some lingering plots started way back in Season 3. It wasn't a waste to see all these Cobra homages fully be cast. Hank wearing the Baroness-type outfit was hilarious and went perfectly to the right areas I thought it would go. I am almost sad we never got a “Storm Shadow” vs. Brock moment (heck he was even voiced by the Ladies' Man himself Tim Meadows come on.. why didn't we get the big fight?!), but the Shore Leave vs. “Major Bludd” and the way the former casually owned the later was great. Likewise Brock vs. SPHINX Commander more than made up for the lack of what my mind wanted to see. Oh boy did it ever and I still want more!! MORE SPHINX COMMANDER!! *ahem* Sorry about that I cannot help or control myself. Still, after two bright and hopeful episodes.. FAILURE returned with a vengeance. It's curtain cast deep into Gary tonight and with SPHINX gone where will he go from here? As always, I cannot wait for the answers.
5 out of 5
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About the Author - Zechs
Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Character Spotlight, and Cartoon Reviews. He's also an aspiring comic book writer trying to get some of his works published on the Outhouse. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.
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