[See the end of our recap for our spoiler filled theory!]
The episode started with The Monarch’s dream opening: his henchman being efficient and succesful in new gear with flashy new cocoon and costumes. Unfortunately, it’s a daydream occuring as Dr. Z is reviewing his Guild arching level which unfortunately only results in a reclassification to a level 5. The opening was badass but sets the wheels in motion for an all too relatable episode about being broke while pursuing your dreams.
The Monarch is a broke villain, Hank is a broke kid trying to make a quick buck, Ventec is struggling, and Dean is poor in attention and emotional needyness.
Ventec’s issues lead Rusty to market off the design of his late brother’s hover belt — sold to the board in a dramatic dive through a skyscraper window that laves him hospitalized the remainder of the episode, although he is still present enough to screw over his kids in uniwue and different ways. He alters Dean’s class schedule to include the science classes he’s not interested in, while simultaneously missing his son’s move in to the college dorms (where he now rooms with The Brown Widow (also seeing his back spineret anus is nasty. We said it.)) On the other hand he did give Dean a loaded check book, while telling Hank he needs to make his owm way and without continuing school the free ride stops. This leads to Hank air bnb’ing his room and over fixating on Serena, who is busy going back to school, which causes her to tell him she’s busy and will see him on the weekend.
The sadder storyline is the Monarch realizing his trust fund is dry and he has no funds to rebuild his villaonhood to get back to arching Venture (who we now have confirmation is likely his own brother so haha “venture bros”). After a bad critique, a loan rejection, a failed bank heist foiled by Brown Widow, and being assigned a new level 5 arch, The Monarch feels defeated. We finally get a glimpse that his relationship with Dr. Mrs. His Wife is on the mend from the peptalk she gives him and the closing scene where she praises him for the guild rewarding him with the ‘Highest Earner of the Month’ plaque and newly assigned level six ranking. How’d he earn it? By crashing in on Dean’s sciemce class to arch his professor. There’s backstory and lore involved but the most notable part is Serena’s annoyance with The Monarch’s incompetenceand how she rewards Dean for paying the villain to go away and checking she’s okay — with a kiss on the cheek.
And that’s where our theory flares up — that Dean and Hank are growing to become rivals, with Dean as the budding super scientist and Hank continually showing signs of instability, chaotic behavior, trauma, and isolation. Conflict arising over Serena could be the catalyst needed to ignite the feud, and Dean’s rivalry and gloating over his directionless brother could lead him down a path. Plus, then we get concentric Venture Brothers full circle reference, which is very in the tone of the show.