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Recap / The Venture Bros S 4 E 8 Pinstripes And Poltergeists

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Episode - Season 4, Episode 8 (Production Code: 4-47)

First Aired - December 13, 2009

Henchman 21 is having a conversation with the deceased Henchman 24, who is either a ghost or a figment of 21's imagination. The Monarch bursts into the room, berating 21 for not being in the Monarchmobile when he was supposed to. He reveals that he has a plan to take down Dr. Venture once and for all.

After a SPHINX themed title sequence replaces the show's regular one, Brock Samson and Shoreleave are on a mission in the base of the evil Dr. Schumpmaker, where he is weaponizing a volatile sulfur compound into a stink bomb. As they get past the security door, Shoreleave allows himself to be captured. Schumpmaker and his henchmen torture Shoreleave, who remains defiant. As they move in to kill him, Brock drops down from the ceiling, killing the henchmen and incapacitating Schumpmaker.

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The Monarch, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, and 21 are in the flying Monarchmobile headed to the headquarters of the supervillain-lawyer, Monstroso. Unable to land the car on the roof, Monarch and 21 jump out while Dr. Mrs. the Monarch continues to fly it. Monstroso (repeatedly) offers the Monarch a cigar and explains his plan to destroy Dr. Venture's livelihood via legal loopholes. 24's "ghost" searches around Monstroso's office and reveals to 21 that Monstroso's henchmen are armed and have a chloroform hankie to knock out and double-cross the Monarch. As they move in, 21 attacks them and takes them out, exposing Monstroso's plan. Monstroso, more intrigued than upset, agrees to work with the Monarch.

At the Venture compound, Dr. Venture is using Sgt. Hatred's computer but is inundated with chat requests from Hatred's pedophile associates, who apparently roleplay with eachother to satiate their urges. Hatred walks in on Venture and the two argue over it, when Venture gets an email from the "Mammoth Corporation" explaining that his compound is in danger of being repossessed due to zoning regulations established by his grandfather, which require 75% of his compound being dedicated to "the care and upkeep of American rightness and the active defense of her civil needs." Venture brainstorms ways to bring his compound into compliance, including kicking out some meth dealers who rent one of his buildings. (Which upsets Venture, as "they always pay their rent on time.")

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In the SPHINX headquarters, Brock and Shoreleave soak in a bathtub trying to get the stinkbomb smell off of themselves. Col. Hunter Gathers, now the leader of SPHINX, berates Shoreleave for tearing up his clothes again when Gathers is approached by a low-level SPHINX soldier. They intercepted the email about the Venture compound being repossessed and play it off as nothing in front of Brock.

The Monarch and his men sit in the Cocoon bored out of their minds as they wait for Monstroso's plan to take effect, "killing Venture with paperwork," as Monarch puts it. When Dr. Mrs. the Monarch hears that he is working with Monstroso, she explains that Monstroso is the "king of the double cross," being a supervillain AND a lawyer. 21, from his monitor, reveals that he stole access codes from the Blackberry of one of Monstroso's henchmen, and used them to learn Monstroso's plan. Monstroso is planning to take over the Venture estate...AND the Monarch's. Monarch, enraged, plans to drag Monstroso in front of the Guild but Dr. Mrs. the Monarch explains that it won't do any good, as the Guild actually encourages double crossing. 21 jumps up and says that "he knows what he has to do."

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Venture is trying to convince Billy Quizboy and Pete White to rent out one of his buildings. They enter the building and discover that SPHINX is using it as their headquarters. Venture remembers SPHINX as being a criminal organization that fought with the O.S.I. back in the day, but Gathers explains that the old SPHINX was destroyed in the "Pyramid Wars of 1987." Gathers explains that the new SPHINX is an offshoot of former O.S.I. agents who grew tired with the red tape bureaucracy of the O.S.I. and went rogue. As SPHINX, they can pursue criminals any way they want, free of the O.S.I.'s restrictions. Venture sees SPHINX as the answer to his zoning issue, but the operatives refuse, as they must remain clandestine. The compound's security system goes off, interrupting their conversation.

21 has infiltrated the compound and destroys several security devices. He calls upon the ghost of 24 to knock out the rest, but 24 explains that he can't, as he's not a poltergeist. He does say he'll take a look around, but only if 21 displays his uncanny ability to match celebrities to their signature perfumes for 24's new friends: the deceased Monarch henchman Speedy and former president Woodrow Wilson. 21 does so, but 24 vanishes.

At the Cocoon, the Monarch rages about Monstroso to Dr. Mrs. the Monarch. The Moppets/Pupa Twins, Tim-Tom and Kevin, run in to inform them that 21 has gone rogue, stealing the Monarchmobile intending to attack Monstroso. Dr. Mrs. the Monarch tells the Monarch that this actually puts them in the clear, since they didn't order it, it's not against Guild rules. And if 21 succeeds, their problem with Monstroso will be solved.

21 is still snooping around the compound when he encounters Brock. Brock claims to not remember 21, who has been looking forward to this fight for a long time. 21 gets the first blow in, surprising Brock with actual competence. Brock strikes back and the two have a good fight.

Inside the SPHINX headquarters, Gathers has had Billy's memory wiped while he explains to Venture that SPHINX will solve his problem with Monstroso. Hank and Dean walk into the headquarters and Gathers tells Mile High to wipe their memories as well. Before they do, Dr. Venture takes the time to explain to the boys that they are clones and reveals the identity of their real mother (off screen, of course.)

Outside, 21 wakes up after being knocked out by Brock. Brock commends him on his improved fighting skills and 21 reveals his plan to ambush Monstroso. Brock tells him to think bigger and the two head off. A while later, Monstroso sits at his desk. 21 (out of his costume and in Jedi robes,) enters the office. He pretends to use a Jedi mind trick, telling Monstroso to rip up the contract he signed with the Monarch. Monstroso tries to push a button to summon his henchmen, but they don't respond as 21 has "put them to bed" already. Monstroso stands up, revealing himself to be truly gigantic, and tosses the furniture in the room aside. He advances on 21, commenting that he is "twice your size." Brock joins 21, saying "not anymore," and the three battle as the credits roll.

The Stinger shows Brock, covered in blood, eating cereal at the table in the Venture kitchen. Hank, half asleep, walks into the kitchen for a glass of water. As he walks back out, he says "good night, Brock," and Brock responds "good night, Hank." Offscreen, Hank drops the glass of water and exclaims "BROCK!?"

Tropes:

  • Amoral Attorney: Monstroso. He's a supervillain lawyer.
  • The Bus Came Back: This is the first time Brock has been seen since the season four opener, Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Monstroso's MO. His double-crossing is actually encouraged by the Guild.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Monstroso, who has been mentioned repeatedly in the series, going all the way back to season one, finally makes his first appearance here.
    • One of the ghosts 24 has apparently met in the afterlife is Speedy, the henchman who died in the first episode, Dia de los Dangerous!
    • Billy remembers Gathers from when he lost his hand and eye, as seen in The Invisible Hand of Fate, but gets his memory wiped again.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Monstroso's voice is almost inhumanly deep.
  • Expy: Monstroso shares a number of similarities with Marvel Comics villain The Kingpin, including massive size, a nice suit, and being a businessman running a criminal empire. His beard, devil hood (for "Guild business,") and devil themes also draw from Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan.
  • Genius Bruiser: Monstroso is a 10-foot tall giant, who is also a Harvard educated lawyer (based on the degree on the wall of his office.)
  • Running Gag: Monstroso offers the Monarch a cigar four times in 90 seconds.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Gathers refers to Billy "Short Round."
    • Shoreleave refers to Brock at one point as "Brock Lobster," referencing The B-52s song Rock Lobster. He also calls Brock the "Brock Ness Monster".
    • 21 dresses as a Jedi at the end to confront Monstroso, and the exchange closely resembles Luke Skywalker's confrontation with Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi.
    • 24 mentions speaking with Star Trek actor James Doohan and Rasputin the Mad Monk in the afterlife.
    • When Monarch remarks that they should fly the Monarchmobile higher to avoid tall buildings, 21 comments that the last time they did that, they ended up on UFO Hunters.
    • When 21 calls for 24 while infiltrating the compound, 24 comments: "What is this? I Dream of Jeannie?"
    • 24 mentions The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when 21 asks him about the meaning of life.
  • Tomato Skunk Stink Cure: After busting Dr. Schumpmaker's lab, Brock Samson and Shore Leave try a tomato bath to get rid of the stench. Notably, it doesn't work, causing Hunter Gathers to comment they now smell like "tomato and crap soup".
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