|"Arrears in Science"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
The Whiskey a No Go in 1977
|Directed by||Juno Lee|
|Written by||Jackson Publick|
|Original air date||August 19, 2018|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
Arrears in Science is the third episode of Season 7 and the overall seventy-fourth episode of The Venture Bros.
Picking up from the end of The Venture Bros. & The Curse of the Haunted Problem, Dr. Orpheus senses Jonas Sr.'s desire to run away, which Dean responds to with a "Super run away!" Dean heads down the steps of the escalator, followed by the Order of the Triad and Sgt. Hatred. On the floor of the Lobby, Billy Quizboy is trying to revive Pete White as the others attempt to run outside. Outside the Penthouse, Brock Samson calls Rusty Venture to find out why the building is shaking when the Morphomobile soars overhead and heads down to the entrance, which is seen across the circle in Tophet Tower by Wide Wale and the others gathered at his home. Henchman 21 identifies the vehicle as the Morphomobile as the final moments of The Rorqual Affair are replayed.
As the car circles in for a landing, Phantom Limb and a pair of Guild Wasps appear and Limb orders The Blue Morpho to surrender and "face Guild Justice." Brock attempts to rappel down the side of the tower with his grappling gun and calls General Hunter Gathers for back up. Gathers, at the site of the attack on the O.S.I.'s "Dummy Corp." location, tells him that they can't spare any back up. The grappling gun's wire reaches the end and Brock is left hanging in front of the VenTech logo on the tower. He watches through the glass as the Morphomobile lands, and The Blue Morpho walks calmly into the building, The Original Team Venture is in shock as he reaches the top of the escalator and calls out for Jonas Sr., revealing himself to be, in fact, Vendata, the former member of the Guild Council.
The scene shifts to four months before, during the events of Bot Seeks Bot, where Councilman 1 discovers his "date," Galacticon (actually Ghost Robot in disguise) in a compromising position in a bathroom stall with Brock Samson, disguised as a Yeti Mummy. After being kicked into a urinal by Samson, Vendata begins to experience memory flashes of his previous life as Don Fitzcarraldo, The Blue Morpho, and realizes he lives in Newark, New Jersey. He leaves Don Hell's Nightclub and spends the next four months walking the 1,766 miles to the home of The Monarch, arriving the morning of the events in the previous two episodes. He experiences more memory flashes of his wife at the top of the stairs, then opens the passage to the Morpho Cave. He regains the knowledge that he is The Blue Morpho only to find his costume is missing, but retrieves a spare suit and takes the Morphomobile to find Jonas Venture Sr.
After The Blue Morpho asks again where Jonas Sr. is, Rusty points to his father's head inside the PROBLEM, which the Morpho recognizes. He converts his left index finger into an interface key and plugs into the PROBLEM, stopping the building's movements for the moment. Rusty asks someone to explain what just happened as the Morpho enters the virtual mainframe of the VenTech Tower. Here he finds Jonas Sr. sitting in a virtual recreation of his personal office at the old Venture Compound. "Street Life", the theme from the 1981 film Sharky's Machine is playing in the background as Jill St. John and Stella Stevens swim by the windows that face the pool.
Jonas Sr. recounts what he recalls since his last memory, recounting his encounter with his grandsons, which occurred during Careers in Science, the crash of Gargantua 1 and the PROBLEM's discovery by Jonas Jr., who brought it to VenTech Tower. As they continue to speak in the VenTech Mainframe, the original Team Venture tells Rusty that the Blue Morpho did in fact die in 1976, but that Jonas Sr. refused to accept his death and resurrected him as Venturion later that year. The other members of Team Venture were disgusted at the result, preferring that their friend rest in peace, knowing that Jonas Sr. would lose interest in him. In fact in 1977, less than a year after being resurrected as Venturion, he suffered a system error while looking at Rusty, having memory flashes of his son and Rusty playing. The memory of his son Malcom (The Monarch) crying triggered more flashbacks to the plane crash that killed him, and he attempted to strangle Rusty. Kano then snapped his head off, which led to his taking a vow of silence for "killing a great man."
At the same time, Phantom Limb, Dr. Z, Red Mantle, and Dragoon arrive, demanding to be let in, but the VenTech Logo had fallen and blocked the entrance. Telling the Monarch and 21 to hang back, since they are dressed as the Blue Morpho and Kano, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch joins the other Council members. Brock accuses them of hitting Dummy Corp., which Limb denies as the three of them were yachting, unaware of the actions of Red Death earlier at Dummy Corp. Brock informs them that The Blue Morpho was in there as the villains realized that Councilman 1 Vendata, is The Blue Morpho. Hank arrives and Dean informs him of what happened, prompting Hank to want to meet his grandfather, only to stop when he finds out he's just a head.
When asked by Councilwoman 1 about his construction of Vendata, Dr. Z confesses that he did not build him, but instead discovered the discarded Venturion in the dumpster outside the Venture Compound in the summer of 1977. He recounted he discovered that Venturion was a cyborg and--citing his enjoyment at using Jonas Sr.'s inventions against him--wiped Venturion's memory, repaired him, and programmed him for evil. Before he could activate him he was arrested by Singapore authorities on drug charges, ratted out by one of his henchmen. By the time Dr. Z had escaped from the Super-Max prison he was in, Vendata was gone.
Before the conversation can continue further, a New York Police officer orders the group to clear the sidewalk as they lock down Columbus Circle for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which will occur in the morning. Before the Morphomobile is towed away, the Monarch and 21 manage to retrieve their normal costumes from the trunk.
Back in the mainframe, Don Fitzcarraldo is reliving the memory of finding out that Jonas had taped their orgy with Jill St. John and Stella Stevens in his study and used it to not only blackmail the Morpho into doing his dirty work, but also implies that he seduced Mrs. Fitzcarraldo under the guise of aiding their infertility issues, which resulted in the birth of his son. Morpho criticize Jonas for his actions stating that along with his services that he took Kano as payment. Jonas remarks on how he is sounding like himself again, as Don realizes this.
Red Death leads them to a nearby diner he used to frequent where Brock and the Guild Council learn of the circumstances of the infamous Movie Night Massacre, which led to Jonas Sr.'s death. Red Death, along with a group of up-and-coming Guild villains, including Vendata, would meet at the diner, where the plot to attack Gargantua 1 was hatched by Laugh Riot and implemented thanks to Vendata knowing when the station's Movie night was always held. Brock accuses Red Death of lying since the O.S.I.'s former adversary, S.P.H.I.N.X., claimed responsibility for the Massacre. Red Death revealed that the Sovereign, rather than punish the survivors for their botched attack, masqueraded as S.P.H.I.N.X. Commander and claimed credit for the massacre, setting off the Pyramid Wars of 1987 between the O.S.I. and S.P.H.I.N.X. Brock is horrified to learn the truth of the war, as Red Death, Red Mantle, and the villains take glee in his shock.
Red Death admitted he didn't know who opened the cargo bay doors, but claimed he had a theory about that. Don relives the last confrontation with Jonas on Gargantua 1, threatening to broadcast the tape of their orgy if he doesn't comply. Rather than give in, Jonas Sr. tells him that he IS The Blue Morpho, and that he is still a good man, then tells him to join him for the movie. Jonas, however, accuses Don of opening the bay doors and killing him. Team Venture is also recounting the events of the massacre from their perspective, running late due to Col. Gentleman's indecision on his wardrobe. They fly into a field of frozen bodies of the crew, including Stab Girl, whose frozen body bounces off the window. They manage to retrieve Jonas' frozen body and get it to the PROBLEM, but when it is opened, one of Rusty's little toy cowboys falls out, causing Col. Gentleman to slip and drop Jonas' body, which shatters.
All of a sudden, The Action Man collapses as he suffers the stroke Dr. Orpheus predicted in their first meeting. With the front door blocked, Pete grabs the Shrink Ray, which is on display nearby and shrinks Kano, Col. Gentleman, and The Action Man so they can get out through one of the cracks. He attempts to reverse their shrinking but instead hits a cockroach, making it the size of a car. Dr. Orpheus communicates with the bug and it's used to get Rodney to the nearest hospital. Brock and the Guild agree to jointly take custody of Vendata, who will be dismantled for the death of Jonas Sr. and his crimes as The Blue Morpho.
While they argue, Jonas reaches out to Rusty, telling him and Billy that he needs his brain transplanted into Venturion's body, but Billy refuses, citing his Hippocratic Oath. The Monarch, who had been watching from a nearby ledge, bursts in and interrupts Jonas' scheme. He aims to kill the supposed impostor but stops at seeing Jonas' head. In the digital world, Morpho is protesting that he didn't do open the doors, as he'd recall that. He stops to take notice of Jonas' glance and wonders what's up to. He breaks the connection and scans The Monarch, discovering that he is in fact his son, Malcom Fitzcarraldo. He weakly calls Monarch by his real name, to Monarch's shock. Jonas, however, attempts to grab the Morpho so he can take his body, and they both fall down the escalator, with Rusty trapped underneath them, while The Monarch jumps onto the top of the PROBLEM curious to learn how he knew his name. Vendata's rocket boots activate, sending them flying across Columbus Circle, eventually crashing in front of the New York Museum of Natural History, while Rusty and The Monarch land together onto the Rusty Venture Balloon that was being prepared for its debut in the Parade. The Monarch runs over and in a hopeful tone addresses Morpho as his father, Morpho smiles at him to confirm the question, before he short-circuits a final time and seemingly dies. The Guild Council see this and declare that he has killed the Morpho, and Jonas Sr.
The next morning, the Ventures, Brock, Pete, Billy, Rose, Kano, Col. Gentleman, and the Order of the Triad are outside the penthouse to watch the parade, despite the Fire Marshall saying it wasn't safe. Horace comforts Rose, telling her that this isn't Rodney's first coma, while Al shows Orpheus a building for sale nearby that would be perfect for them. Hatred is leading the crew for the Rusty Balloon when one of the handlers trips and loses control of his rope, which sends the balloon off into the Circle, heading for the top of VenTech Tower as the commentators on the broadcast warn parents to get their children away from the TV.
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture, Phantom Limb, Jonas Venture, Jr.
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Mike Sinterniklaas: Dean Venture
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, Pete White, Sgt. Hatred, The Monarch, General Hunter Gathers, Col. Gentleman, Action Man, Dragoon, Dr. Z, Kano
- Doc Hammer: Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Red Mantle, Billy Quizboy, Vendata, 21
- Clancy Brown: Red Death
- Paul F. Tompkins: The Blue Morpho, Parade Announcer 1
- Mark Gagliardi: Enzo, Cop, Young Buddy Manstrong
- Cristin Milioti: Stab Girl, Mrs. Fitzcarraldo
- Steven Rattazzi: Dr. Orpheus
- Charles Parnell: Jefferson Twilight
- Dana Snyder: Alchemist, Parade Announcer 2
- Paul Boocock: Jonas Venture Sr., Laugh Riot
Connections to Other Episodes
- The episode's title is a reference to Careers in Science, the episode which introduced Gargantua 1, the Movie Night Massacre, and the PROBLEM. "Arrears" is a legal term for an unpaid debt that has become overdue.
- Dr. Orpheus' prediction in Past Tense that The Action Man would have a stroke in two years, seventeen days comes true. If he was correct with the timing that would indicate that this amount of time has elapsed between the two episodes.
- Pete White's terrible aim with the Shrink ray gun is once again demonstrated, as was seen in Escape to the House of Mummies Part II.
- It is revealed that Kano's vow of silence for "taking from the world a great man", which he confided to Brock Samson in ORB, was actually for killing Venturion to stop him from strangling Rusty Venture. Brock had incorrectly assumed that Kano had killed Jonas Venture Sr. for attempting to activate the Orb.
- The incident where Venturion tries to strangle a young Rusty Venture in 1977 is shown this episode. Dr. Venture first hinted at this incident in the lyrics to the song "I'm Rusty" from his autobiographical musical Rust!, heard near the end of Bright Lights, Dean City: "The dreams I buried / with robot fingers / they linger".
- The Pyramid Wars of 1987 mentioned in SPHINX Rising, which was a series of wars between O.S.I. and S.P.H.I.N.X., were caused by The Sovereign posing as S.P.H.I.N.X. Commander to pin the blame on S.P.H.I.N.X. for the Movie Night massacre on Gargantua 1.
- It is revealed that Dr. Z rebuilt and reprogrammed Venturion to become Vendata after finding him lifeless in a dumpster outside the Venture compound front gate. The intelligence file on Vendata seen in Bot Seeks Bot stated that Vendata had previously been Venturion, built by Venture Industries in 1976.
- The incident where Venturion tries to strangle a young Rusty Venture in 1977 is shown this episode. This was the basis for Dr. Venture's terrified reaction to seeing Vendata in Bot Seeks Bot: "No! The metal murder man from my nightmares--he was real!"
- It is confirmed Vendata is the The Blue Morpho. This was revealed in Vendata's memories of the plane crash, and showing how The Blue Morpho became Vendata. In Bot Seeks Bot, a confused and damaged Vendata asks where his wife is and says he thinks the plane is going down.
- Billy came to believe Dr. Venture was The Blue Morpho in Rapacity in Blue. As of this episode, he finally learns the truth.
- The incident where Jonas has Blue Morpho seduce Dr. Z is shown.
- Dr. Z stating Blue Morpho would do anything for Jonas is elaborated on, with it turning out Jonas blackmailed the vigilante.
- Jonas is shown using the Jill St. John/Stella Stevens sex tape that he and Morpho made in 1967.
- Through Vendata's flashback, it is strongly implied that The Monarch may be the half-brother of Dr. Venture and Jonas Jr.
- The Blue Morpho mentions Jonas taking Kano as payment for "helping" him conceive a child. This was mentioned in Red Means Stop.
58-60 Rivington Street
- The real estate listing that The Triad members are looking at in the post-credits scene is for a real building. Originally a synagogue, after falling into disrepair it was converted into studio and apartment spaces for local artists.
- The top title on the movie marquee by the Whiskey a No Go reads Near Encounters of the Other Kind, an obvious parody of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Dr. Z's flashback was set in 1977, the same year this film was released.
- The outfit that Colonel Gentleman wears during the Movie Night flashback in 1987 is based on the outfit David Bowie wore in the Dancing in the Street music video in 1985.
- Red Death suggests the group eat at Starstruck Diner, a NYC restaurant he used to frequent in the 1980s. Starstruck Diner is likely a parody of Ellen's Stardust Diner, a famous retro 1950s theme restaurant located on Broadway in New York's Theater District.
- The surname "Fitzcarraldo" is a reference to the 1982 Werner Herzog film Fitzcarraldo. It portrays would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman known in Peru as Fitzcarraldo, who is determined to transport a steamship over a steep hill in order to access a rich rubber territory in the Amazon Basin. The film is derived from the historic events of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald.
- Mr. Fahrenheit the Supersonic Man is modeled after Freddie Mercury of Queen while the character's name comes from the lyrics of the 1978 Queen song Don’t Stop Me Now.
- In the 1987 diner flashback, Red Death wears a black leather motorcycle jacket with spikes on the shoulders similar to the Marvel Comics antihero Ghost Rider. Both characters also have a human skull for a face.
- One of the villains mentioned by Dr. Z in his 1977 month-long bender flashback was Scary Nilsson, based on the prolific songwriter Harry Nilsson, who was also known as a founding member of the notorious Hollywood Drinking Club known as the Hollywood Vampires.
- Hank confesses to Dean that when he takes on a persona--be it Enrico Matassa or The Bat or Russian Guyovitch--something comes over him and he becomes that character. He wonders if this makes him crazy, like James McAvoy's character in the 2016 horror film Split.
- Dean dismisses the idea of Hank having dissociative identity disorder, saying he just has an "overactive mind". Hank takes this to mean he is less like James McAvoy in Split and more like McAvoy's portrayal of Professor X in the X-Men films.
- Following his 1970 transition from The Beatles to a solo career, rock legend John Lennon separated from his wife Yoko Ono in 1973 and began what he called his "Lost Weekend" period. During that time he recorded the 1975 album Rock ‘n’ Roll with producer Phil Spector and was kicked out of West Hollywood nightclub The Troubadour with Harry Nilsson after the two drank too many Brandy Alexanders and Lennon heckled The Smothers Brothers onstage. Dr. Z's 1977 month-long bender with Phil Spector and Harry Nilsson is based on Lennon's "Lost Weekend".
- When Pete White misses (again) with the shrink ray, Colonel Gentleman yells “Maggie’s Drawers, Whitey!” This is an archaic military slang phrase from the first half of the twentieth century indicating a complete miss of the target on the rifle range. The term referred to a red flag attached to a pole, used to signal a miss on the rifle range, which has since been replaced by a red disk.
- The bottom title on the movie marquee by the Whiskey a No Go reads Killer Whale, which is a parody of the movie Orca, alternately know as Orca: The Killer Whale. Dr. Z's flashback was set in 1977, the same year the movie was released.
- At the Starstruck Diner, Red Death recommends that Phantom Limb order the Patti Lupone melt. Patti Ann LuPone is an American actress and singer, best known for her work in stage musicals, and is a vocal critic of distractions by audience members, even stopping her performance on more than one occasion to scold the offender and/or demand their removal from the theatre.
- One of the villains mentioned by Dr. Z in his 1977 month-long bender flashback was Shrill Spector, based on former "Wall of Sound" innovator Phil Spector, who was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in 2009.
- Hank confesses to Dean that when he takes on a persona--be it Enrico Matassa or The Bat or Russian Guyovitch --something comes over him and he becomes that character. He wonders if this makes him crazy, like James McAvoy's character in the 2016 horror film Split.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
- In the flashback to Movie Night in 1987, the young paperboy "Buddy" Manstrong is wearing the same blue uniform with reddish-orange and yellow stripes near the neckline that Wesley Crusher wore on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- The Starstruck Diner likely takes its name from Starstruck, a science fiction comedy play performed in New York City in 1980 and 1983, which spawned an ongoing comics series and audioplays.
- At the Starstruck Diner, Red Death orders for himself "The usual with a Side by Side Salad by Sondheim instead of fries". Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre. Side by Side by Sondheim is a musical revue featuring the songs of the Broadway and film composer. Its title is derived from the song "Side by Side by Side" from Company.
- Stab Girl looks similar to the British indie comic book character Tank Girl, created by artist Jamie Hewlett and writer Alan Martin.
- In a flashback Dr. Z "reprograms" Venturion for calamitous intent by flipping a switch in his head from GOOD to EVIL, turning him into Vendata. This is a reversal of a famous joke from The Simpsons' 1992 Halloween special "Treehouse of Horror III", where a cursed talking Krusty the Clown doll repeatedly attempts to kill Homer Simpson until a repairman flips a hidden switch on the doll from EVIL to GOOD.
- In the 1980s diner flashback, Laugh Riot holds an issue of EPOCH magazine, a parody of the weekly news magazine TIME using a similar design and logo font.
- Stab Girl's physical appearance is similar to punk singer Wendy O. Williams, leader singer of the punk/metal band Plasmatics. The character's name may be a play on the title of Wendy's song "Bad Girl" from her 1986 solo album Kommander of Kaos.
- In a flashback a young Dr. Z can be seen being kicked out of a nightclub called Whiskey a No Go with two other villains. The club is based on the famous West Hollywood nightclub Whiskey a Go Go which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
- The Monarch's real name is Malcom Fitzcarraldo.
- The Blue Morpho's real name is Don Fitzcarraldo.
- On the back cover of the issue of Epoch magazine held by Laugh Riot, there is an ad for the 1987 Nissan Stanza (in powder blue) which was the same model car that belonged to Henchman 24 before it got totaled by the destruction of The Cocoon.
- This episode finally reveals how Jonas Venture Sr. died.
- It is unknown if Jonas Venture Sr. and Blue Morpho are truly dead after this episode.
- This marks the first time Mrs. Fitzcarraldo (The Monarch's mother) had a speaking role.
- The Gargantua Gazette newspaper is mimeographed, like The Venture Home News. Both are printed in that same telltale purple ink.
- In Dr. Z's flashback where he gets kicked out of the nightclub you can see the O.S.I. surveillance van parked in front of the building next door, and the Hale Brothers' convertible drives by, however this is likely due to the animators reusing vehicle animation models as they tend to do with background people in order to save time.
- Final episode of the "Morphic Trilogy", which comprises the first three episodes of Season 7 and was originally intended to the be the three-part finale for Season 6.
- In the epilogue for The Rorqual Affair the Morphomobile can be seen coming in for a landing with both gullwing doors closed. Upon landing, the driver-side door opens and The Blue Morpho exits the vehicle. In the opening sequence of this episode both doors are open as the vehicle comes in for a landing.
| Preceded by:
"The Rorqual Affair"
| The Venture Bros. episodes
August 19, 2018
"The High Cost of Loathing"