Hey, you want a Venture Bros. episode that doesn’t re-write history or cast anybody’s existence into doubt. Well, we’ve got a goofy episode about low-level antagonists that should go down nice and smooth after all the revelations of recent episodes. So let’s get to that epic showdown between Billy Quizboy and Augustus St. Cloud. It’s “The Bellicose Proxy” and there is a makeover scene!

The Monarch and Gary visit a brownstone that serves as the new headquarters of the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Watch and Ward take them on a tour. There’s the Blackmail Training Center, the Surgical Alteration Center (where they’ve made a guy look like Dave Grohl because “Nobody refuses Dave Grohl”). There’s a Hypnosis Training Center and a Hologram Training Center, both referred to as the HTC. They almost get mauled by vicious animals before they make it to the Interrogation Center. Monarch is looking to level up, and they explain the Big Villain program where they mentor a low-level antagonist will definitely score them some points. The Monarch figures that’s easy enough, and they tell him the only one available today is Augustus St. Cloud. YES! Monarch doesn’t know who that his, but when they find out he’s arching Billy Quizboy and Pete (“It’s big-headed Billy and that albino guy!”), it’s also a good way to get to Doc. So they sign up for mentoring.

Augustus St. Cloud has been appearing in crowd scenes since at least “Tag Sale, You’re IT!”, but he became a real character with a name and a voice in last season’s “Maybe No Go”.  But you already knew that.

In the next room, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is questioning S-464. She’s good copping it. If he confesses to joining the Peril Partnership, she’s willing to set him up as a double agent to spy on them and everything’s done. If not, she tells him about a torture that actually makes me queasy. He agrees to cooperate.

Monarch and Gary arrive at Augustus’ boat. He owns Doc’s X-2, which we haven’t seen in a long time. He’s also got Blue Thunder parked on the helipad. Gary is impressed and Monarch compares returning to the X-2 to “visiting the house you grew up in… if you hid a dead guy behind it”.   They meet Augustus and he makes as weird and off-putting an impression as you would expect.

Doc brings Pete and Billy doughnuts that are mostly for him. Billy is hiding with a caulk gun (that doesn’t have any caulk in it) because they got a scroll in the mail. It’s a Declaration of Aggression from the Guild. Doc tells him it’s nothing to worry about, but Billy is still worried. So Doc calls for Brock and tells him they have a Level 1 arching threat. Brock, and this is maybe one of the five best line deliveries of Patrick Warburton’s life, responds “So? You want an aspirin or something?” HA!

Back at the Guild, Dr. Z suddenly bursts in to play Bad Cop, but Dr. Mrs. has already worked everything out. All S-464 wants is for Dr. Mrs. to help him get back with Kimberly. Dr. Z says he needs a makeover, and we get that makeover montage you know and love. You know, people trying on new outfits and hairstyles while their friends either shake their heads or give them the thumbs up. It’s all in Dr Z’s head, but it’s very funny.

Back on the X-2, Gary is wowed by St. Cloud’s collection of stuff. Then he shows off his villain costume and it’s, well, we’ve seen it. He lists his superpowers as “lupus, fibromyalgia, and restless leg syndrome”. Monarch decides to order some Level One weapons – a lightning rifle and cloud bombs filled with laughing gas.

Back at the Ventech Building, Billy has locked himself in the bathroom. Doc demands he open up and as soon as he does, Brock shoots him with a paintball. They’re training him to survive! Doc reminds Billy that they could have sent a killbot with his voice and in fact he already has one named G.U.A.R.D.O. Hee! There’s a callback for you! Brock also manages to hit White with a paintball without turning around.

Monarch tries to train St. Cloud to step out of a cloud of smoke and laugh evilly. He keeps facing in the wrong direction and his laugh is subpar at best. Man, I love this character. Gary says his laugh is “scary, but in like a gross way”.

Hank comes home to find Billy hiding behind a table. Billy tells him what’s up and Hank shoots him with a paintball. He holds up his watch so Brock can yell at Billy. Hee! The Monarch and company make their way down a busy street in the Batmobile from Batman ’89. Man, Hank would be so excited. Monarch tells St. Cloud that it’s time for him to pull his first PENIS. Which stands for “Prelimimary Effective New Information Stooling”. Basically recon. It’s really just Monarch and Gary making St. Cloud say “penis” over and over again.

At Guild HQ, Watch and Ward find out OSI has Kimberly doing grunt work, mostly security on Level 1 arches. And there’s a Level 1 arch scheduled for today, so Dr. Mrs. and S-464 are heading to the St. Cloud / Quizboy fight. Oh, also Dr. Mrs. has them upgrade the lightning rifle the Monarch ordered to a level 6. Kimberly will have to intervene on a weapons violation.

St. Cloud breaks the window and climbs into Billy’s mother’s house. He tells Colonel Gentleman he’s going to bust some stuff up, but the Colonel calls in Rose to see if she wants to deal with her son’s nemesis, and she is ready to kick his ass. Meanwhile, his sidekick goes skywriting at Ventech to leave the message in the sky “I will get you! Mruu-HaHa”. Doc and Brock recognize that as the dumb way that Monarch spells an evil laugh out. So Doc decides they have to step up their game.

St. Cloud is wearing makeup that, in live action, would probably be deemed “brownface”, but it’s a thick coat to cover up all the bruises Rose gave him. Monarch says it’s like if “Michael Kors worked at the Wonka factory”. They show him his new lightning rifle, still not realizing it’s way more deadly than what they ordered.

Doc brings Billy and White to Enzo for super suits, and Enzo claims it will take four months. When pressed, he acknowledges he might have an old rental for Pete, but Billy will be tough because “he’s like a bambino, but his head is like big strong man. Like a man maybe six meters tall”. But Enzo wants them to look good for their arching, so he promises to come up with something.

Kimberly, disguised as a truck driver, blocks traffic outside the Ventech Building. The Monarch and Gary, now wearing “Big Villain” t-shirts are impressed that they go to such lengths now. A cloud of purple smoke bellows up, chasing off the passerby. Dr. Mrs. and S-464 watch from a nearby cafe.

Doc tries to get the guys to go outside for their arch, but Billy doesn’t care for his costume. It used to belong to Delta Boy of Venus in the Sixties and it’s a blocky retro spacesuit that looks very silly. White is wearing Killer Drone’s bee costume that does not cover the legs at all. St. Cloud begins his speech and fires the lightning rifle, which damages the building. Doc tells the guys that White can use his stinger and Billy just has to give a heroic speech. Brock drags Billy outside and tells him to get over it. Gary is happy to see St. Cloud facing the right way. (“I see you brought your albino.” “I’m not his albino…. People don’t own albinos!”)

Kimberly goes to Dr. Mrs. to shut it all down, due to unsanctioned weaponry. She’s not especially happy to see S-464. St. Cloud tosses some laughing gas bombs but he gets caught up in it, and soon he’s laughing along with Billy and White.

Dr. Mrs. The Monarch gets into it with Kimberly when she gets a little too mouthy. Kimberly and S-464 get very close to reconciling, but Dr. Mrs. really wants to fight the woman who’s twice her size. Monarch breaks up the fight, pretending he needs Council help with his Little Villain’s paperwork. And then we get a really sweet moment:

Dr. Mrs. The Monarch: “You saved my life.”

Monarch: “I saved your job. I saved that woman’s life. You woulda kicked her ass.”

END CREDITS!

In the tag, Billy and White tell a rapt Hank and Dean about how they kicked St. Cloud’s ass and we learn from Brock that they just hallucinated and they actually fell asleep.

The Titmouse chirp is replaced by Augustus St. Cloud saying “penis”. Hee!

–I don’t have much to say about this episode. Which isn’t a bad thing – it just wasn’t super referential. A funny, continuity light episode is fine with me. Plus, I love St. Cloud and Billy, so I am firmly on board. I like that they’re keeping this Peril Partnership thing going – it feels like a big plot point and it’s good to keep it in focus even if it’s largely part of a Parent Trap scenario this week.

No great insights about the nature of the show, but it was really fun. Next week, it looks like Copycat is back and there’s a team going after Doc!

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