The Venture Bros.Season 4, Episode 3: "Perchance to Dean" - Review

The Venture Brothers have hit puberty.

If you're a fan of this show's brand of absurd comedy, then you know that can only mean good things for the series. It means the misguided pair of adolescents will have to deal with their ever-changing physical and emotional states without a single responsible adult to make the transition easier. It means Dean will finally have to fulfill his legacy in the family business, and Hank will have to deal with his status as second fiddle to Dean, jockeying for his father's love and attention through good old fashion teenage rebellion. On the surface, those sound like storylines right out of some bad CW teen drama or sappy after-school special. This is The Venture Bros., though, so the results are far more ridiculous, inventive and hilarious than that simple explanation.

"Perchance to Dean" is the best and most complete episode yet in an already great season. The show's writers here do what they do best, setting their demented sights on aspects of geek culture as diverse as The Shining and progressive rock. In addition to the show's typical brand of irreverent comedy, the episode also manages to subtly push one of the series' overarching plotlines forward. More importantly, it returns to the show's great tradition of using music to tremendous comedic effect. All in all, it left me more satisfied than any episode since last season's incredible two part finale, "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together."

The episode's plot is fairly straightforward, at least by this season's standards. It begins with a flashback to one of Dr. Venture's earliest meetings with Brock Samson, in which the good doctor introduces his new bodyguard to his laboratory of cloned offspring. From there, we see Rusty abort one of the disfigured clones of Dean, and then soon find out that the clone has survived only to live in the Venture Compound's attic and plan for the fateful day when it can replace the real Dean and take his rightful place in the family.

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