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Friday, March 28, 2014

Random Update: It's Been A Long, Long Time

Hello again, friends. Nice to see you again. I've been MIA for... HOLY SHIT I'VE BEEN GONE THAT LONG!!!. Well, Jesus H. Christ I should probably do something for you guys. Let's see...damn I got nothin'. Seriously, guys, I've got absolutely nothing meaty for my return to the blogoshpere. It's not that I've been extremely busy, either. I didn't head back to college and my current job is just some part time work. well, since I both wanna get to a semi-fresh star and seriously have nothing big going on right no, let's just go through some stuff I find interesting to talk about... for a couple of sentences, at least.

  • First of all let me show you an upcoming cover for Red Hood and the Outlaws #32
'ahem': BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! Ar...are you serious, DC? For real, this is a cover for a comic being made in 2014?! This is almost on par with the leather fetish nuns from the Hitman: Absolution trailer in terms of over the top cheesecake aimed at the adolescent male mind. All it needs is and explosion or American flag in the background (or an exploding American flag!) from earning the Michael Bay Hat Trick. I am not joking when I say I don't know whether I should be offended (given DC's recent track record) or astonished that they thought this wasn't going to be a figure of ridicule. To quote thanekos of scans_daily, "That's a cover that makes you think Vice should be somewhere in the title."

  • Have you been watching Kamen Rider Gaim? If not, I'd suggest getting on that immediately. Gaim is closely becoming on of my favorite tokusatsu shows...no no no, one of my favorite shows PERIOD.  It is seriously on of the more compelling narratives I've come across in years. And yes, people, I've seen Breaking Bad. That's excellent and, yes, better than Gaim. But most series are inferior to Breaking Bad, and that doesn't make Gaim any less of a good show. So watch it. I'd suggest trying TV Nihon, but AesirSubs is good as well (eve if they take some liberties with their transations). 
This is MY stage now!
  • Speaking of Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Ichigo himself, Hiroshi Fujioka, is coming back to appear in the film Kamen Rider Taisen. While like most of Toei's tokusatsu films, I suspect KRT will end up being more spectacle than a functioning narrative, I'm sure it will be fun to see the man as Takeshi Hongo once more
"Rider....HENSHIN!"
  • Heading back to comics, I've been following the whole Superior Spider-Man  drawn-out gimmick  storyline through scans_daily, and I was surprised to see it end with Otto flat out admitting that Peter was always the better man.  Kinda brings home Ock's whole "trying to one-up a ghost" story arc. 
  • Also, to everyone who comments on Peter being to whiny, I ask this: Do you think it's the fault of the character himself or because the Marvel has kept him in character retrograde for the last decade or so?
  • Also, I think I've come up with a new term: Character Retrograde. It's like regular retrograde, only it involves characters going the opposite of basic character progression. I suspect Peter Parker has been stuck in this ever since the late '90's, with the event "One More Day" sticking him into this pattern. Trust me, if things don't improve, he'll be acting like a five yer old before you know it. 
  • Lastly on the subject of Spider-Man, I would like to come and say that I am somewhat shocked that they're going to adapt the "Harry becomes a drug addict" story from the comics. And while I'm sure they've chosen to make him a meth addict due to meth being the "sexy" (as far as illegal drugs mostly associated with poverty and crime can be considered sexy), but  them willing to do this for a more kid-friendly property like Spider-Man makes me think they're at least trying to be bra...wait, what? You mean that's not Dane DeHaan as a meth addict, but as the Harry Osborne version of the Green Goblin? 
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHHAAAAHHHAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Garo is getting an anime series. In other news, no word yet on the wheter Toei has taken up my suggestion for a Kamen Rider Spirits anime.
  • Onto a less nerdy subject, does anyone have an answer to why Vladimir Putin seems hellbent on reigniting the Cold War? Was he a big fan of being on the brink of nuclear destruction?
  • This is the new look of Michaelangelo of my second favorite super team* of the 1990's, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 
Ecch
And here is the trailer:

to paraphrase a chemically scarred lunatic: " I have given a name to my pain...and it is Johnathan Liebsman" 

*My favorite super-team is, of course, The Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

  • Just so I don't end on a sour note, I'd like to thank you all for sticking by me after all dead air. I will, in fact, try this time to update regularly. See y'all later.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Thoughts On "The Day of the Doctor"

"Gallifrey Falls...."
 (Spoilers ahoy)

There is no way in hell this episode could have been perfect for me. The only way it could is if we got to see both Christopher Eccleston and Paul McGann involved in the actual plot instead of in stock footage (and in McGann's case a 6 minute short on YouTube). We would have seen the full scope of the Time War, with the various planets it affected by such a disastrous conflict. We would have gotten to know the people of Gallifrey who were going to be burned to death by the Doctor's use of  The Moment. We would have gotten to see the scope of the Doctor Who universe laid bare, with time and space and alternate dimensions and all life engulfed in it. And, most importantly for me, we would have gotten one scene: the Ninth Doctor, the character who got me to be a fan of the franchise, my Doctor, weep with joy at the sight of Gallifrey finally being saved after all this time, seeing his greatest torment undone.

That would have made it the perfect episode. As it stands, the episode is really, really, really, really 
REALLY, REALLY FREAKIN' GREAT!!!
My reaction by the end of the episode
 Almost had ya there, didn't I? Good, then let's not beat around the bush anymore. The Day of the Doctor is quite possibly one of the best landmark event episodes of any TV series I've seen. I can't say it has the strongest narrative of  the franchise, but Moffat yet again indulging in the time travel craziness again doesn't take away from the sheer amount of seasons-long narrative payoff, excellent character interactions and possibly one of the most "OH HELL YES!" endings the revived series has produced to date. I can safely say that almost everything works here and what doesn't work don't derail the entire enterprise.

First, let's get all the bad out of the way. Like I said before, showrunner Steven Moffat seems to really like screwing with the space-time continuum for his big events from the time compression of the Series 5 and 6 finales to people just going through the Doctor's timeline at the end of series 7. They don't always work, (see the cluster%$#*  of concepts you thought were cool  in grade school that was "The Wedding of River Song" for proof of that), but I will say this is the closest  Moffat has ever gotten to recapturing the greatness of the one-two punch of  "The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang".

Clara Oswald is... well, she's there. I haven't had the greatest fondness for Clara the mystery girl, but at least here, like in "Cold War" and "Rings of Akhaten" we ignore that in favor of focusing on here innate need to help people. Love to see more from her character, especially here where she gets shoved into the basically inconsequential Zygon plot. I don't blame Jenna-Louise Coleman for any of her character's failing in series 7B since she seems to be written so sparsely instead of the actress just not having the chops to pull it off.

Speaking of the Zygons, while it was nice to see Kate Stewart and UNIT again, the Zygons attempting an invasion through stasis-paintings seems a bit unimportant with the sight of the Daleks (my personal favorite villainous alien species) invading Gallifrey on the last day of the Time War. I do hope to see them again in future episodes as they're interestingly designed creatures. And I've got to admit, the stasis-paintings plot is one of the more interesting ways t accomplish world conquest I've seen in a while. It's like the "aliens have been in sleeping all along", only the sleep and awakening is deliberate.

Reverse the reverse of the polarity
Now that we've got the bad out the way, let's go on talking about the rest. The glorious, glorious rest. Tennant and Smith make for a very good double act, playing off each other very well. While they still seem like the same man, both thankfully do feel distinct. Tennant's Tenth Doctor is still swashbuckler/motormouth he was back during his tenure, but doesn't overdue it or distract from the rest of the cast. Smith is less quirky here, but thankfully he proves again that he's been just a wonder at conveying drama and the weight of tough situations. And there was really no way that an actor of John Hurt's caliber could give a terrible performance when he's given something to work with (hell, even when he has very little to work with *coughIndy4cough*), so his "War Doctor" is both believable and touching. It's the kind of performance that could only be delivered by a decades-experienced actor, and Hurt is probably the stand out of this special. I really kind of hope we get some Expanded Universe stuff (comics, audio dramas, ect.) featuring his Doctor.
The Doctor for the day it wasn't possible to get it right
The Moment herself was rather fun. Billie Piper, instead of playing Rose, was given a role appropriate for the special, connecting the special back to the 2005 revival and the Ninth Doctor. Not as good as having Eccelston himself back, but I can give that a half of a pass seeing as how he was probably doing Thor: The Dark World (half because the film didn't really utilize Eccelston to his fullest).Otherwise, Piper provides both a pixie-like energy and old god gravitas to the Bad Wolf Girl. One particular scene that stands out is a scene between her and the War Doctor, when the later says he has no intention of surviving the destruction of his species. She coldly says the following:

"Then that's your punishment. You'll survive this."

Chilled me when I first say it, despite the fact they were in the desert.

Did I mention the production is absolutely beautiful? Because it is bea-u-ti-fil! Almost everything to do with Gallifrey is some sort  of autumn-colored modernization of it 80's Flash Gordon aesthetic, with reds and golds pervading throughout. While I personally would have loved to see the other chapter of Time Lord society and possibly even the Outsiders, it was still a beautiful sight to behold. The sections of the special taking place during the rule of Queen Elisabeth I are also very well done and well costumed. Even in the modern setting, the hi-def modernism of the UNIT sections looked good, if only because it looked like a more high-budget TV series. And the Zygons are gorgeously represented here, bringing a unique looking monster from the old series to the 21st century.

The Horror of Tentacles

So now let's go with no organic transition to the big one: the salvation of Gallifrey. Throughout this special the destruction of Gallifrey is a foregone conclusion. It is something that is going to happen, and absolutely no one will be able to stop it. But today is The Day of the Doctor, and if there's one thing any version of the Doctor can do, it's pull of the impossible. And so he does. Thanks to gathering every incarnation he has (including the piercing gaze of Peter Capaldi's Twelfth) freeze Gallifrey in time and hide in another dimension. That's right, Gallifrey is alive and there's a chance it'll come back.

This is a concept I freakin' loooooove. It's something I've wanted to see since the overstuffed End of Time. Finally, the Doctor can truly let go of the guilt he's had over the death of his own people. The burden of his entire revival series existence has become a victory. What was impossible becoming all too real. Certain death made into a chance at life. Such is the nature of the Doctor. Gallifrey will live. And maybe, just maybe, she can rise again.

And this is why I love The Day of the Doctor. It celebrates the 50th anniversary in style. It was obviously a labor of love, with almost every bit of love on screen. It's about as close to perfect an anniversary story as we're probably going to get in this era. So I congratulate you, Doctor Who. Here's to another fifty years.

"...No More"





Wonder Woman To Be In Superman/Batman Movie

All the world is waiting for you....
This would happen. Here I am, prepping to work on my extraoridnarily late article on The Day of the Doctor, and while perusing Reddit to waste some time, and this pops up...



So yeah, Zach Snyder's Superman/Batman movie is starting to become a Trinity movie with Wonder Woman finally being cast. This is big news since Warner Bros. Have been essentially backpedalling on the prospect of a solo Wonder Woman movie for a while. And the lucky actress who'll be shouldering the responsibility is...a model/actress I've never heard of.

Hi lady!
Well, that's not a fair assessment of the woman. Her name is Gal Gadot, an Isralei actress whose been working for several years. I just havent really noticed here because she's mostly work on The Fast and The Furious Parts 4-6, and I haven't watched any of the films after Tokyo Drift. I was surprised to find out  that she was in the Steve Carell/Tina Fey vehicle Date Night, which I do remember seeing, but she was basically making a cameo appearance for thirty seconds while Fey and Carell met up with Mark Wahlberg's character. So really, this is as close to getting an unamed actor as Cavill was back when he was cast as Superman. So...good luck to Ms. Gadot, I guess.

Okay, since I can't give a fair assessment of this woman's acting abilities, so I'm gonna pad this post out with my thoughts on Wondy herself. I've never been that big a fan of the artist formerly known as Diana Prince but I've always been interested her.  I have two of her trades, one from the Greg Rucka run (specifically Eyes of the Gorgon, which I've yet to read) and the first volume of the Nu52 run (which didn't impress me all that much). My favorite interpretation of Wondy has to be the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited version of her, even though I feel she was under-served thanks to being part of larger casts. If anybody has any recommendations for stories featuring Diana, I'm open to suggestions.

As for the upcoming film, I really have no idea how Diana will fit into the film, but I'm pretty excited to see her on the big screen. The only thing I can say that I want for WW in the film is that the costume be more in line with the classic color scheme a'la  Justice League. Also, please filmmakers, do not use the Members Only jacket design from 2010.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Belated Review: Thor: The Dark World

Aye, Verily.
You know, ever since The Avengers came out last summer I've been trying to figure out what the public perceive as a "dumb movie". With both the aformentioned assembling of Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Pacific Rim being called "Transformers for the slightly less dumb", I can't stop thinking about the differences between how both those movies work and how much the Transformers movies completely fail at basic storytelling. But I think I've almost come up with a personal working distinction for something like Avengers and the cinematic hell that is Bayos (sounds like "chaos" and coined by the Master of Explosions himself): these are not dumb, they are simply straightforward in the way they present themselves. They have no true overarching message to deliver, not tricks or twists to the story that the observant won't see coming a mile off and have no true comments on the geopolitical state of life today. And while these can be a hinderance, the film can be salvaged by strong relationships with the characters, the story beats not insulting the intelligence of the viewer, and action that's actually engaging.

I say all this because Thor: The Dark World is exactly that kind of movie: straightforward and simple without being stupid.

Our story goes as thus: After the events of The Avengers, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is stuck in Asguardian prison, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is looking for spacial anomalies and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is doing battle across the nine realms in order to keep the peace. While in London, Jane accidently discovers and gets infected by the aether, a Macguffin that awakens Malekith the Accursed  (Christopher Eccelston) and the rest of his Dark Elf brothers from their millenia-long slumber. With Malekith raring to cause the end of the universe on a cosmic event that will align the nine realms. Will Thor be able to save the universe from impending destruction?

(Spoiler: Yeah, probably.)

Alright, now that we've got that out of the way, let's focus on the film as a whole. Thor: The Dark World has to be one of the most visually beautiful films of the Marvel Movie canon*. One particular scene after the Dark Elves' Siege of Asguard was almost heart-breakingly beautiful. (If you've seen the film, you know exactly which scene I'm talking about) The fights are dynamice enough to keep your attention and just long enough not to overstay their welcome. And the comedy bits...dear God, the comedy bits! I don't think I've seen an action film that was able to tickle my funnybone this much in modern cinema in a long while.

The stars, of course, bring their A game for this. Chris Hemsworth is still selling the hell out of his role as a now more self-serious God of Thunder. Natalie Portman still gives it her all even if the film reduces her into a walking MacGuffin for a good portion of it. Kat Denning still plays darcy as somewhat annoying but overall actually likeable in a harmless womanchild like way. Stellan Skarsgard get all the best comedy bits, playing Dr. Selvig as a mad excentric after Loki's mind screwery in Avengers. Anthony Hopkins and Idris Elba...are Antohny Hopkins and Idris Elba, so you know they're going to deliver the goods, save for one scene where Hopkins looks like he might be phoning it in but I am not sure on that. And really, is there nay point in saying that Tom Hiddleston steals every scene he's in as Loki? Man's basically made the role his own.

On the downside of things, Christopher Eccleston doesn't get much to do with Malekith. The character  is essentially stoic to the point of uninteresting (save for two scenes where he gets to show that he does still have the talent that made me a fan of Doctor Who). The romance between Jane and Thor still kinda feels really storybook buoyed only by the fact that Hemsworth and Portman have chemistry.  The comedy also nearly threatens to undermine the stakes of the final act showdown, but never entirely sinks the ship in my opinion. There's also the fact that Portman, as stated before, gets turned into a walking Macguffin and almost goes to Forest Gump levels of stumbling into major events. Plus, as engaging and fun as found that last battle, its ending of the battle itself felt like kind of an anticlimax.

Still, these things do not destroy the movie. Thor: The Dark World is a good movie through and through, sometimes reaching true greatness and  never sinking into the utter crap where things like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, TMNT (2007), the Bayformers films, and X-Men: The Last Stand lie. So good on you, Thor Odinson. See you for your inevitable third installment.

* I saw the film in regular 2D, so I can't comment on how the 3D looked.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

You Should Be Watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Shakedown/Breakdown/ You're Busted
I will admit that I had some trepidation going into this series. I haven't watched anything SNL related in five years save for an episode of  Weekend Update last year. But my  love of cop shows not backed by Jerry Bruckheimer, I decided to finally check out the series when the episodes went up on Hulu. I've gotta say, the show is pretty damn good. Not at the level of great yet, but still something to keep an eye out for for the Fall 2013 TV season. 

The series stars Andy Samberg as Detective Jake Peralta, best detective of the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn. He's an immature jerk who rubs the ambitious Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and annoys the hell out of Sgt. Terry Jeffords (the always welcome Terry Crews), but he does his job well and catches bad guys all while he gets to do whatever he wants. That is, until the drunk slob of a captain the Nine-Nine had gets dropped for the new, straight-laced captain Ray Holt, played by cop show veteran and natural choice for a "black man as authority figure" alongside Dennis Haysbert, Keith David and Harry Lennix: Andre Braugher. It's his first command after being passed over for decades thanks to him being openly gay. Now, Holt wants the Nine-Nine to become the best precinct in Brooklyn, and forcing Peralta to grow up is his special project. 

If I may just repeat a common praise thrown at this show, Samberg and Braugher are the main draw here. Their two man act have been, for the past two episodes the best thing about the whole show. And really, the two have excellent chemistry Samberg about as laid back and juvenile enough to be funny but not foolish enough to be completely incompetent. And Braugher really does bring a dry wit and authority to the role of Holt. 

The rest of the cast is pretty damn good, too. Joe Lo Truglio's Detective Boyle is just the best kind of sad sack, giving his character a optimism even in the face of the his own clumsiness and woman of his dreams not really caring if he exists. Stephanie Beatriz plays a fine parody of the tough as nails female cop, bordering on a female Gene Hunt from Life of Mars UK. Melissa Fumero does a fine job as the uptight kiss-up Santiago, antagonistic to Jake and the being set up as his possible (but not likely) love interest. Chelsea Peretti gets to play the kooky civilian administrator Gina Linetti and she seems to play off Truglio's Boyle, constantly reminding him of his lonely, lonely life. 

Also, Terry Crews is freaking awesome. While he doesn't go full President Camacho on us (mores the pity), he seriously plays a beleaguered second in command very well and certainly shows off some soft spoken humanity (something he already demonstrated well back during Everybody Hates Chris).   You should be watching the show for him alone. In fact, The world needs to put Terry Crews in more things. Like, Marvel, help him find a way to be in the Movieverse somehow. He doesn't have to play Luke Cage, just find a role and let him loose.

The series, as I've stated before, is not great, but it's still in it's infancy with only two episodes out of a thirteen episode season having been aired. It's still finding its stride, but I can definitely see this becoming a great comedy. So keep you eyes peeled to the idiot box and catch Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Make It So: Judge Dredd TV Series

Lawbreakers Beware
By Stomm, its been a while since I've done a post, hasn't it? I could give you a long and detailed explanation about my life, my new job and me being back in school, but I've got to say that my natural tendency for procrastination was 90% responsible. No matter, I'm back for like the fifth time this year with another request post. And this time it's not another request for a toyline!(I'm sure you're all thanking God that I'm not talking about toys). So let us, for this post, look at the universe of Judge Dredd and look at his potential as a TV series.

Look at the television landscape today. Network and cable television are filled with variations on the dramatized hardships of the men and women who enforce the law and protect the citizenry of their respective cities. CSI and Law And Order are mega franchises unto themselves, and there's not a year that goes by that doesn't feature a detective show with some sort of gimmick to make it stand out from the crowd. That, paired with the "loose cannon cop who doesn't play by the rules" cliches that seem to affect every one of these shows, I'd say its the perfect time to give television audiences an introduction to Mega City One and the toughest lawman of the 22nd Century.

Now, Dredd and his stories have always lent themselves to both procedural drama and serialized storytelling. Many of Dredd's cases seem unrelated to each other, just being freaky-occurrence-of-the-week. But there have also been various longer storylines peppered throughout the comics' existence, Like The Cursed Earth, The Day The Law Died, The Robot Wars, Necropolis, Blockmania, and the ever popular Apocalypse War. Te stories have also ranged from the satirical (look up the stories You Bet Your Life and Sob Story) to the dramatic (The Return of Rico, Cursed Earth and The Judge Child Quest) to the dark and introspective (Democracy and America, though I sadly only know of them by reputation). Hell, you don't even have to entirely follow or use stories from the comics since Dredd's universe basically runs on satire, violence and high concept sci-fi. The possibilities are endless for an ongoing television series. The only big question you'd have to ask yourself (if you were a producer or network head interested in making a Judge Dredd TV series) which way do you go: live action or animated?

Going either route seems to be extremely viable. For the live action route, its would probably be for the best to follow up where Dredd 3D left off: borrow the aesthetic of that film and follow Dredd and his fellow Judges doing their jobs and navigating the crime riddled streets of Mega City One. YOu could show them dealing with various gangs, block wars, crazed religious movements (such as the loonies for "Loonie's Moon)  and even dealing with other Judges from cities like East Meg 1 and Hondo City. It would probably be very expensive to produce but it would make for an interesting sci-fi series.*

As for animation, I'd be lying if I didn't say this is the way I'd prefer to see Dredd have his televised stories told. With animation, you could go the places that the comics go to for not as much of the expense that it would be in live action You could go into all the crazy sci-fi places  the early comics went to and have Dredd travel to beyond the farthest star to capture a super criminal. Hell, you could actually do staight adaptations of the longer storylines mentioned above. (Of which I'd especially love the see The Day The Law Died finally given a straight visual adaptation if only so the world an experience the wonderfully hilarious insanity of Chief Judge Cal.)

Either way, I'd personally say that Judge Dredd was not only viable for a television series, but could succeed where his film counterparts failed: getting a mass American audience to love his stories and his world. His brand could expand to various forms of merchandising like DVDs, T-Shirts..and maybe even toys.(I' know, I know, I couldn't help myself).

*P.S. If you do go the live action route, may I suggest going with Law And Order: SVU alum Christopher Meloni as Ol' Stoney Face. The man has the experience and probably would go at it like a man born for the role. But that's just my opinion.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Go Team Venture! The Devil's Grip Review

Hank is Punk as Funk 
Synopsis: Following being crushed by giant disco ball, Dr. Venture finds himself in the hand of The Monarch. While Hank and Dean are sent off to live with the Action Man and Colonel Gentleman respectively, Sgt. Hatred and Gary storm the Monarch's cocoon to save Doc. But will they be too lat...

[Record Scratch!]

Wait, what am I saying?  There's no way in hell The Monarch's going to succeed. There's been too much competence and minor successes in this season. There's got to be some failure to balance this out.Or at least some depression.

Lo and behold, The Monarch ends up letting Rusty go in the end. There are just too many ideas floating around in his head and all the tortures he tries just end up backfiring. (My favorite of which is Monarch trying to torture Rusty with a dentist drill, only to be beat by Rusty's halitosis) To paraphrase the Clown Prince of Crime, The Monarch is like a dog chasing cars. (The cars in this case being Rusty) He wouldn't really know what to do with Rusty if he ever had him in his clutches and this episode proves that.

Mind you, utter lack of  actual threat is something that I think that everyone in the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, while tending to Rusty's wounds after he was crushed via giant disco ball, threatens to slit Rusty's throat if he doesn't play along and act like every one of the Monarch's tortures is the most painful thing he's ever experienced. Rusty casually just brushes it aside, and for once I tend to agree with the delusional asshole. I doubt. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch would be able to kill the guy without violating some sort of Guild bylaw and without Rusty her husband would literally go nuts. (As he proved in Tears of a Seacow) So Rusty will never be in real danger with these people since their not really supervillains: they're more like cosplayers playing a ginormous game of pretend.

Still, Mr. and Mrs. Monarch's lack of threat is nowhere near a bad thing. They're scenes between each other and Rusty really show how much they care about one another and really show how they really click, with the woman formerly known as Sheila being the true brains and control and Monarch having the passion for being evil that only a madman can muster.

But enough about the continuous game of cat and also cat, let's talk about old people trying to combat the loneliness of their twilight years! For this, we see a return of The Action Man and Colonel Gentleman, raising Hank and Dean respectively. For old Rodney, he's focused on getting into the pants of fellow Retirement home resident Rose, who's revealed to be Billy Quizboy's mom. Han's more than willing to help Action Man out since they are basically family and Hank can understand at least the need for long term companionship. Hell, Rodney and Hank seal their pact with the only thing that matters to the both of them: The V Sign, their generational symbol of brotherhood. Gentleman, meanwhile, is slowly coming to the realization the Tangiers isn't exactly the best place for a man to live out his retirement years. Sure, he can kick the ass of any young punk who comes his way, but Kiki's left him again and all his old conquests are all kind of dead. He also has Dean doing alot of useless stuff, but that's not all that important.

There's also a sub-plot involving Gary and Hatred bonding during a rescue attempt of Doc. The rescue fails miserably (and Doc was released anyway), but both men come to a bit more of an understanding. Hatred gives his reason for his changing alliances over the years by way of saying that he's a fighter first and foremost. Given him a cause to fight for and he'll go for it head first and guns blazing. With that (and their mutual annoyance at Rusty) they become...well not friends since Hatred is tricked into thinking that Gary betrayed him, which makes him go nuts and attack the Cocoon. Mind you, he does tell Gary to get out after he realizes that he went overboard and destroyed the damn thing. Yep, the Cocoon, a constant of the series for all five seasons so far, is destroyed and replaced with the Monarch's childhood mansion. Gary's back in the Monarch's employ and, praise be to the Lord Almighty, the Moppets are gone!

We end the episode on a funeral for Dr. Entmann. (Well, his second funeral. Maybe even his third if he was declared dead all those years he spent trapped in the M.O.T.H.E.R. control room). More importantly, we end with Dean finally telling Hank that they're clones. Hank, thinking about it for a minute, decides that it's basically awesome and taking as another cool thing about being a Venture brother. Finally, after a very long while since it happened, the titular Venture Bros. throw up the V sign, signaling Dean finally coming to terms with the revelation he had back during a Halloween special I never got to see. And the final shot of the season, with the old statue of Jonas Sr. with Rusty on his shoulders, leaving the season on a note of hope.

This was more than likely the most emotional episode of the whole of season five. People seem to be coming to terms with their lot in life. With Rodney and Gentlemen filling out another combat against loneliness (making these last three episodes a sort of Loneliness Trilogy) and the Monarch slowly coming to terms his life (with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch becoming a member of the Council of Thirteen and just not being able to torture Rusty) was great to watch. Weakest aspect for me was the Gary/Hatred subplot, but that's only because the other two plots were extremely well done. Overall, fantastic episode.