The Monarch has officially tapped out. This week's episode of the Venture Bros. begins with a dream: The Monarch and his team of newly outfitted henchman raid a VenTech ship, not for weapons or technology, but for pomade to help smooth out Monarch's bushy eyebrows. The dream last until he's looking Dr. Z in the face, smack dab in the middle of his surprise Guild of Calamitous Intent inspection, where he's been knocked down to a level 5 because his dwindling resources have him desperate enough to pass off a balloon as his new cacoon. "Even Taylor Swift rolls with a bigger squad" might just be the most vicious burn of the season so far.
It isn't quite as vicious as Hank's new outlook on life, though. Since Dean's moved onto Styvusent University campus, Hank's turned it into his own personal man cave that he tries to invite Sirena into. She's got classes to go to, most of which actually happens to be with Dean. Dean is both happy to be free from the Venture orbit for a while but also upset that his father signed him up for a load of science classes he didn't want, but his new professor Victor Von Helping proves to be a kindred spirit; his father Hellfyre wanted him to go into the family business but he chose the path of heroism and activism instead. That doesn't stop him from completely losing his cool when it turns out the Monarch is his new arch and storms his class, causing his skin to melt and reveal the deformed hero underneath.
Speaking of the Monarch, he's having an even rougher time than we thought he was. During a trip to the bank after his Guild inspection, it turns out that his infamous trust fund has been overdrawn. An impromptu robbery summons the Brown Widow, who roundly kicks Monarch's ass and prompts an existential crisis that Dr. Ms. The Monarch helps him overcome. While fighting Von Helping, a fed up Dean steps in the middle and makes Monarch an offer: one million dollars to leave him alone forever. On top of all of that, Dean "saving" Sirena during Von Hellfyre's attack might be foreshadowing a sibling rivalry between Hank and Dean for Sirena's affections.
VenTech seems to be hemorrhaging money after the events of "All This and Gargantua-2" and company face That Pirate Guy takes Rusty to task in front of the board members. Rusty tries to pass off Jonas Jr's personal jetpack as a new invention and almost pulls it off before the glass window he dove through cuts his face something fierce. He's laying up in the same hospital as Think Tank after their fateful encounter in last season's "Tanks For Nuthin.'"
Identity and failure are both big recurring themes on Venture Bros., and this week proved to be no exception. The Monarch is most likely still shaken from his seconds-long reunion with his father/Vendata from last week's massive "Arrears In Science," which has exacerbated his frustration with his lowly Guild ranking and lack of money. Dean is slowly but surely trying to break away from the Venture orbit but can't outrun the outlandish nature of the world that is, unfortunately, his birthright. Hank's inferiority complex is leading him back to Hank Co. practices and deep-seeded feelings about his relationship with his father, who is showering more praise and money on the son who has a more solid sense of direction in his typically cold and controlling way (i.e. Dean). New York has proven to be quite an adventure for the Venture clan and anyone else caught in their gravitational pull, but will anyone on this show ever feel close to whole?