The Venture clan and everyone around them have each been going through a personal or family crisis in this fourth season. Hank and Dead have hit puberty and are struggling with their family legacy. Dr. Venture has partly come to terms with his past as a boy adventurer. Number 21 has channeled the grief of losing Number 24 into becoming the ultimate henchmen. The Monarch is as unhinged as ever. Brock is still off in the shadows on a deadly mission to infiltrate SPHINX. Now it's the Orpheus family's turn, as Dr. Orpheus and Triana each face important personal challenges.
"The Better Man" is one of those episodes in which the revelations outweigh the big laughs and goofy asides make up for unrealized comedic set-ups. Fans of Dr. Orpheus, Triana and the Triad will appreciate it for the amount of screen time given to those supporting players, but even they might be bothered by the short shrift given to major characters. Either way, it's almost certainly the weakest of the season's installments.
The episode finally reveals the truth behind Dr. Orpheus' failed marriage, as he's forced to face the powerful OutRider, a former student who stole Orpheus' wife out from under his nose while he was too busy with his dark arts. The story begins with the Triad in battle with their arch nemesis, Torrid, whose attempt to open the gates of hell is thwarted by the OutRider, much to Orpheus' dismay. Astonished and dejected by the revelation that his former protege can move between the Earthly plane and Hell whereas he cannot, Orpheus turns to the mysterious Master for help.
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