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Recap / The Venture Bros S 1 E 6 Ghosts Of The Sargasso

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Episode - 1-06 (8th in Broadcast Order)

First Aired - September 11, 2004

In a Flashback, we see the original Team Venture (Jonas Venture Sr, young Rusty Venture, Kano, Colonel Gentleman, and the Action Man) in the Bermuda Triangle in 1969 aboard the X-2 boat. They are in communication with Major Tom, a test pilot flying the TVC 15, an experimental craft designed by Jonas. Major Tom cryptically ends communication, quoting lines from David Bowie's song Space Oddity. Soon after, the craft crashes into the water, killing Major Tom.

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In the present day, the current Venture family are preparing a mechanical diving suit aboard the X-2 in the same area of the ocean. Dr. Venture hopes to find and recover the TVC 15 in order to make money off of it. Venture begins making journal recordings into a hand held recorder as Hank and Brock lower him into the water. Hank accidentally jostles the crane controls, dropping the suit faster that expected and leaving Brock with severe rope burns on both hands. Using his invention, a "Metasonic Locator," Venture sets off to find the wreck.

As night falls, Brock sits at the controls of the X-2 communicating with Venture in the water. The fog clears to reveal an ancient pirate ship in the distance, which Brock leaves to investigate. Hank wakes up and leaves to take a leak off the side of the boat. Meanwhile, men dressed in stereotypical, old-timey pirate gear board the X-2 and cut the communication wires. Brock manages to sneak up behind the pirates, but drops his knife due to his bandaged hands. He disables them by bashing their heads together while telling Hank, via his communicator watch, to stay hidden.

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A ghost pirate awakens Dean, telling him to leave the boat. Brock clobbers the ghost pirate with a fire extinguisher, revealing him to be an ordinary man in a costume. However, the Pirate Captain emerges with a gun on Dean's head. Brock surrenders and is taken to the pirate ship. Chained up in the brig, Brock manages to communicate with Hank via his wrist communicator and instructs Hank on how to battle the pirates.

On the ocean floor, unaware of the events on the X-2, Venture searches for the downed aircraft. Upset that his Metasonic Locator isn't getting any readings, he increases the power. As he does, the Locator's waves reach the wreckage of the aircraft, where a green glow flies out of the cockpit towards the surface. Venture accidentally walks into a giant clam, which quickly closes around his suit, trapping him. He tries to contact the surface for help, but is unable.

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The Pirate Captain tells his story to Dean on the bridge of the X-2. Their ship has been stuck in the sargassum for 10 years, where they hijack passing ships. However, instead of treasure, they've only been able to raid a Toys'R'Us ship, a Red Cross ship and a ship containing pantyhose. The green glow from the aircraft manifests itself on the deck of the X-2 as a screaming, burning green skeletal ghost wearing a tattered flight suit. The screaming scares the Pirate Captain, who decides to use to the X-2 to flee the area. However, Brock has the key, so he instructs his lackeys to get the key from Brock. Brock stalls for time by telling the pirate guards that the key is "up his ass."

Back under the water, Venture notes in his voice journal that he escapes the clam when the legs of his mechanical suit exploded. He is not hunched in the forward compartment of the suit, using it's arms to crawl. As he nearly gives up hope, he stumbles onto the wrecked aircraft.

One of Brock's pirate guards (reluctantly) puts on a rubber glove and begins to search for the keys up Brock's ass. Brock asks the other pirate for a cigarette to help him relax, who refuses at first, but the pirate searching his ass convinces the other pirate to give Brock the cigarette. As he does so, Brock clenches his ass around the arm of the one pirate, and swings him around to take out the other pirate. When the pirate captain asks for a report via walkie talkie, Brock takes a moment to taunt the captain.

The pirate captain manages to hotwire the X-2 in an attempt to escape Brock's coming wrath, but unknowingly drags Dr. Venture along as he drives away. Venture's suit becomes trapped between two rocks and acts as an anchor to the ship, bringing it to a halt. As the captain investigates the problem, he finds his crew tied up. The horrible screaming from the burning green ghost gets the attention of the captain and Dean, who investigate to find Hank cowering in fear of the ghost. Dean convinces the pirate captain, as the only adult left, to fight the ghost. However, the ghost does not react in any way to his attacks. It just continues to stand there and scream.

Hank uses his wrist communicator to call Dr. Orpheus, since he's an expert in matters like ghosts. Orpheus searches Jonas Venture's records at the compound, to learn the identity of the ghost as Major Tom. He instructs the boys to contact Major Tom's widow, Jeanie, who is remarried to Rodney, the Action Man. The ghost calms down when Jeanie talks to him, but starts screaming again when Rodney barges into the conversation. Brock attacks the ghost from behind, beheading it, and tosses it back into the ocean.

As water slowly fills the suit, Venture makes one final journal entry noting his failure but is interrupted as the screaming ghost corpse lands on his suit. Venture is pulled back aboard the X-2, visibly shaken and asking to know who the pirates are.

Hank and Dean force the pirate captain to apologize to Brock and ask for a ride home, which Brock grants. Hank and Dean then perform the "Go Team Venture!" pose, confusing the pirate captain.

Tropes:

  • Apocalyptic Log: Venture's final journal entry indicates his journal is going to be one of these, but is saved before he dies.
  • Ass Kicks You: Brock Samson performs a much more disturbing and violent variant of this move when a pair of professional "ghost pirates" (actually guys who make a living pulling Scooby-Doo hoaxes) attempt to perform an, ahem... "cavity search". Suffice it to say that one of the Mooks in question doesn't get his hand back until he is dead. Brock, it should be noted, is in shackles the entire time... you figure it out.
    Brock: (regarding a cigarette) Hey buddy... I'd kill for one of those right about now.
    Smoker: It's my last pack.
    Brock: It'll help me relax...
    Searcher: Dude, give him one! Please!
    Smoker: No! Screw him! Pirates don't give people cigarettes! They take them!
    [Brock clenches his ass so tight that he breaks the guy's hand, and proceeds to use him as a weapon against the other pirate, before breaking free of his shackles and picking up the cigarette]
    Brock: I told you what I'd do for one of these.
  • Ass Shove: Where Brock claims to have hidden the X-2 keys.
  • Cool Boat: The X-2.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Parodied. In yet another Scooby-Doo homage, Dean excitedly reveals that the "ghost pirate" is just a regular man in a mask — a completely pointless move, since it's very obviously a costume, the guy underneath the mask isn't recognizable in any way, Brock just killed him a minute ago, and the real captain had already identified himself as the leader of the gang. The moment even serves as the page image.
  • Ghost Ship: Averted. The pirates are very much alive (though one pretends to be a ghost at one point), and their ship is just stuck.
  • Glove Snap: One of the pirates before searching Brock's ass for the keys to the X-2.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Justified, as the pirates have been stuck in the sargassum for 10 years. They'd like to do more, but have never been able to rob anything more than a Toys'R'Us ship, a Red Cross ship, and a freighter full of pantyhose.
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The pirates try to trick unwary freighter ships into giving up their cargo by dressing as luminescent ghosts and projecting a sea monster onto the fog.
  • Shout-Out
    • Major Tom and the Action Man are references to the David Bowie songs Space Oddity and Ashes to Ashes. the TCV 15 is named after another Bowie song. Also, the dialogue between Major Tom and Dr. Jonas Venture is taken directly from Space Oddity.
    • The Sargasso Sea is the setting for an episode of Jonny Quest and a Doc Savage book, two of the major influences for the series.
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