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Recap / The Venture Bros S 4 E 5 The Revenge Society

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Episode - Season 4, Episode 5 (Production Code: 4-44)

First Aired - November 15. 2009

A masked figure is infiltrating the headquarters of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, disabling a series of traps using a common household toaster. The Council of 13 is holding an inquisition for the Intangible Fancy. After a video plays of his crime, the faces of Councilman 3 (Red Mantle) and Councilman 8 (Dragoon) suddenly become visible. They are attacked by the intruder, who announces himself as "Revenge." The fight spills into the inquisition chamber where Revenge successfully subdues Dragoon using a familiar death-touch.

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At Revenge's headquarters, an abandoned mansion, a kidnapped Billy Quizboy performs life-saving surgery, attaching Dragoon's head to Red Mantle's body. As the newly-attached duo wakes up, Revenge introduces himself. They recognize him as the now-insane traitor, Phantom Limb. They expect Limb to murder them, but Limb reveals that he needs them, as they are the eldest members of the Guild still alive.

David Bowie is reading a book when Watch and Ward enter his chamber. Bowie ducks for cover and uses the holographic Sovereign face to communicate with them. Watch and Ward explain that everybody knows who the Sovereign is. Bowie steps out from hiding as Watch and Ward tell him about the missing councilmen. Bowie instantly knows that Phantom Limb is behind this. The two also tell Bowie that Limb has stolen the Guild Charter. Bowie gives orders to the Guild operatives and springs into action personally.

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At the mansion, Red Mantle and Dragoon are learning to operate their new shared body as they page through the Guild Charter. Limb is demanding information about his grandfather's, Fantômas, involvement with the founding of the Guild. He also introduces his "Revenge Society," consisting of a coffee mug, a toaster, and a high-heeled shoe. The elder duo says that they met Fantômas on February 16, '59 when he asked them, both former musicians, to join his band. Fantômas turned out to be a lousy sousaphone player who needed them, along with some other kidnapped musicians, to support him. Limb cuts them off saying he isn't interested in that story, but instead, wants to know his grandfather's connection to the legendary artifact ORB. Billy, listening in from the sack Phantom Limb kidnapped him in (which Billy climbed back into hoping not to die,) says he knows where the ORB is: The Venture compound.

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At the compound, Sgt. Hatred has had a break down due to Hank's resentment of him. He has locked himself in the bathroom and is drinking cologne for the alcohol. Venture tries to talk Hatred out of the bathroom, but is forced to leave when the compound alarm system goes off. Hank runs into to tell them that a massive Guild army has arrived at the compound. Hatred storms out of the bathroom and orders everyone but Hank into the panic room, hoping to bond with Hank by having him help. Hatred believes that the Guild is there for him, due to him spilling all the Guild secrets he knew to the O.S.I. Trying to bond with Hank, who claims to be Brock-trained and "Batman-loaded," Hatred allows Hank to call the shots. This leads to them taunting the Guild and doing things that Venture normally disallows Hank from doing.

In the panic room, Dean has thrown up on himself from fear. Venture comforts Dean with a story from his youth, which boosts Dean's confidence, causing him to suggest confronting the Guild to see what they want.

On a road overlooking the compound, Limb orders the councilmen, Billy (still in his sack,) and Chuck (the toaster,) to enter the compound and retrieve the ORB. Meanwhile, he, Lady Nightshade (the shoe,) and Wisdom (the coffee mug,) will stay and survey the situation. The captives refuse at first, but Limb threatens them with his death-touch, sending them on their way.

In the tunnels under the compound, Hank and Hatred are riding hover bikes. Hatred reveals that he knows that Hank is taking advantage of him, and brings up the training Hank received from Brock. Hank decides to return to the compound and fight the Guild.

The councilmen and Billy find Dr. Venture's safe. They throw Chuck at a Guild soldier to get past him and acquire the ORB, but in the process, drop Billy who is knocked unconscious.

Limb, monitoring the situation from the road, gets into an argument with Wisdom. He accuses the coffee mug of being the Sovereign in disguise.

Rusty and Dean are riding the moving walkway (seen previously in The Doctor is Sin,) when they encounter a Dr. Venture claiming to be from the future. After a brief scare, he transforms into David Bowie, who asks the two Ventures for help.

Hank and Hatred find the bag containing Billy, which Hatred believes is a Guild trap preying on his pedophilia.

Outside, the captive councilmen and Limb meet with high-ranking Guild operative Brian Eno. The councilmen are forced to read a statement from Limb, stating that Limb is the rightful heir to the Guild via his grandfather, Fantômas. Several Guild soldiers draw their weapons but Limb disarms them by throwing Lady Nightshade at them.

Bowie arrives with the Ventures and announces that Dean, through his great-grandfather Lloyd Venture, is the true heir to the Guild. Dean officially bequeaths control of the Guild to Bowie who orders that Limb be taken prisoner. Limb has one final ace up his sleeve, however: The ORB. He tries to activate it as a Flashback plays, showing that Sandow didn't really kill Lloyd Venture, instead, breaking the ORB when Venture tried to use it. In the present, Limb fails to activate it and is quickly captured.

The Stinger shows Billy waking up in bed, calling out to Pete White to tell him about the "dream" he just had. Instead, Hatred emerges from under the covers next to him and greets him. Billy cries and asks to be put back in his bag.


Tropes:

  • Acrofatic / Stout Strength: For being large and quite old (especially if he really is the Big Bopper,) Dragoon is able to toss around the much younger Revenge/Phantom Limb like a rag doll until Limb hits him with his Touch of Death. He also manages later on to knock out a Guild soldier with a toaster (thrown one-handed, in a body he had only hours before been grafted onto, with an arm he only has limited control over, no less).
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Sovereign implies that Revenge/Phantom Limb's treacherous nature may well have been inherited from his grandfather Fantômas, who had similarly attempted to usurp control of the Guild from Col. Lloyd Venture.
  • Companion Cube: Wisdom the coffee mug, Chuck the toaster, and Lady Nightshade the shoe are each one for Revenge/Phantom Limb. It is even implied that he is in a sexual relationship with the shoe. (The shoe is revealed to have once belonged to Dr. Girlfriend/Dr. Mrs. the Monarch.)
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Many to the Season 3 episode: ORB.
    • The car Revenge/Phantom Limb drives is a turquoise Honda Accord with a ghost painted on the hood. He mentioned this as the car he drove before making it big as a supervillain in Victor. Echo. November.
    • In the statement he forces the conjoined councilmen to read, Revenge/Limb claims to have been the victor in the "Battle of Cremation Creek," as seen in the season two finale two-parter Showdown at Cremation Creek.
    • Hank and Sgt. Hatred were riding the hoverbikes through the tunnels sealed by Dr. Venture at the end of What Goes Down, Must Come Up.
  • The Coup: Phantom Limb/Revenge seeks to usurp control of the Guild of Calamitous Intent from the Sovereign, with his being grandson of Fantômas being precedent and his possession of the ORB as leverage; he is thwarted by the Sovereign and Team Venture, and the ORB is revealed to be a useless dud.
  • In the Name of the Moon/Knighting: Dean dubs The Sovereign, "in the name of Chaos, Dominion, and Organised Havoc", as Lord of the Guild of Calamitous Intent.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Revenge/Limb, for all his insanity, successfully disarms a series of Guild death-traps with a toaster and disarms a group of Guild solders using a high-heeled shoe as a boomerang. Dragoon, likewise, uses the same toaster to knock out a Guild soldier.
  • Insistent Terminology / Exact Words: Phantom Limb's claim to the right to rule the Guild hinges on him being descended from founding Guild member Fantômas; his demand that the Sovereign hand over the Guild to its rightful heir fails to count on there being someone else present with equal or better claim.
    Sovereign: Yes, well in that case, I'll hand the Guild over. Meet the rightful heir to the Guild of Calamitous Intent: Dean Venture! Lloyd Venture, that boy's great-grandfather, was the grand protector of the ORB; your grandfather, not unlike you, was a usurper! (kneels before Dean.) All hail the Sovereign!
  • Malaproper: When Sgt. Hatred is awkwardly trying to explain his pedophilia to him via a convoluted "birds and bees" metaphor, Hank notes that he already knew Hatred was a "pedestrian".
  • Metaphorgotten: Sgt. Hatred's attempt to explain his pedophilia to Hank involves a lot of talk about birds, bees, eggs and honey.
  • Mondegreen: When Dragoon is recounting how he and Red Mantle first got into the Guild, he refers to the date as "February 16, '59"; Billy, mishearing this as 1659, imagines the two dressed as wandering minstrels.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Dragoon and Red Mantle are strongly implied to be the Big Bopper and Buddy Holly, having been recruited into the Guild instead of dying in that plane crash. Brian Eno is also apparently a high ranking member of the Guild, possibly even #2 to David Bowie.
  • Offered the Crown: Zigzagged. Dean Venture, as rightful heir of the Guild, gets a few seconds of power before redubbing the Sovereign as its leader.
  • Precision F-Strike: When "Revenge" introduces himself to Red Mantle and Dragoon:
    Dragoon: Your name is Phantom Limb, you fucking lunatic!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Brian Eno, dressed in his Roxy Music garb, arrives at the Venture compound in the "Warm Jets," a reference to his first solo album, Here Come the Warm Jets.
    • Revenge/Limb references The Three Stooges while berating the newly conjoined councilmen.
      "If we run into Shemp or Moe you would give them quite a thrashing."
    • Numerous references are made to David Bowie's music, including his album Hours..., Diamond Dogs being actual robotic security dogs, his short-lived band Tin Machine, the Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal Family, and Revenge/Limb calling him the "thin white douche," in reference to his self-created title "the thin white duke."
    • The scene where Bowie hides behind a table to protect his identity as the Sovereign and his dialogue then are references to The Wizard of Oz.
    • Rusty tells a story from his childhood where the Action Man would wake him up in the middle of the night by putting an empty gun to his head and pulling the trigger while saying "Not today, Rusty. Not today." Derek Almond did and said this to his wife in V for Vendetta.
    • Dragoon's uniform is that of an actual Real Life Dragoon (an infantryman deployed by horse) while his character is based heavily on the character of Y.A. Dragon (Thayer David) from The Eiger Sanction.
    • Likewise, Red Mantle's voice is based on Doc Hammer's impression of a drunk Alec Guinness.
    • Hatred's explaining that he was a pedophile using a comparison to birds and bees may be a reference to an infamous scene in Spartacus when Crassus gave a similar speech to his young male slave about oysters and snails.
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