|"I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
"He's brainwashed you with those lie machines he makes you sleep in!"
|Directed by||Jackson Publick|
|Original air date||24 September 2006|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills is the tenth episode of Season 2 and the overall twenty-third episode of The Venture Bros.
The episode introduces a new supervillain, Dr. Henry Killinger, as well as Myra Brandish (who may or may not be the mother of Hank and Dean Venture). During the episode, Myra kidnaps Hank and Dean in order to get them away from (what she perceives as) the negative lifestyle they live with their father, Doctor Thaddeus Venture. Dr. Venture and Doctor Byron Orpheus take a road trip to discover why Dr. Venture is haunted by an oni, and Dr. Killinger helps reunite The Monarch with his ex-girlfriend, Dr. Girlfriend.
The title of the episode mimics the title of Maya Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The episode shares certain themes with the book as well. Angelou's book is a harrowing narrative about children who are taken from their parents and sent to live with relatives. The children are abused and struggle with their identity. The image of a caged bird is used throughout the work to typify the struggle against oppression. In this episode of The Venture Bros., the audience learns that Hank and Dean Venture were taken from their mother at a young age, their mother alleges they are abused by their new guardians, the boys continue to struggle to find their identity in the real world, and Myra has been repeatedly imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital and struggles to free herself. Maya Angelou is explicitly mentioned in the episode.
The episode begins with a cold open in which The Monarch raids what he thinks is a secret Venture compound, only to discover he has mistakenly attacked his own accountant's office. The Monarch allows his henchmen to steal office supplies before demanding that they also take the security tape so that he may post it as a QuickTime video on his homepage.
After the title sequence, Dr. Venture is shown visiting Dr. Orpheus's apartment (located on the Venture compound). Venture, recently returned from Japan, complains of a Japanese oni (a demon-like entity) hanging above his head. He is relieved that Dr. Orpheus can also see the oni, since Brock Samson (Venture says) could not see it and was convinced it was merely a side-effect of Dr. Venture's use of diet pills. Orpheus's initial attempt to exorcise the demon fails, and he announces he must consult his Master. Meanwhile, Henchman 21 and Henchman 24 address a meeting of The Monarch's henchmen. They conclude that the raid's failure was one of weaponry, and try to convince The Monarch that the henchmen should henceforth wear "pedi-blades" (ice skates with very sharp blades). The Monarch argues with the two henchmen, claiming that the organization suffers from poor planning. Suddenly, Dr. Henry Killinger appears in the back of the auditorium, agreeing with The Monarch. Back at the Venture compound, Dean Venture is practicing his driving skills on the compound's runway. They come upon a car which appears to be broken down, and stop to investigate. They are startled to see an apparently unconscious woman. When the boys approach her, she sits up and sprays them with a gas which renders them both unconscious.
In a 29-second transitional scene, Dr. Orpheus arrives in the netherworld, where The Master is reenacting the alleged death during bestiality of Catherine the Great with the help of his multi-faced assistant, Ms. Manyface, to teach Orpheus a lesson about "biting off more than you can chew." At The Monarch's cocoon headquarters, Dr. Killinger suggests that The Monarch has too many staff doing too little work, so The Monarch orders Killinger's tall, athletic, menacing Blackguards to kill two of them (which they do). Henchmen 21 and 24 complain to one another about the changes Killinger has made, and The Monarch gives Killinger access to his classified files on Dr. Venture. Back at the Venture compound, Brock Samson discovers Dean's abandoned automobile and goes to look for the two missing teens. Dr. Venture and Dr. Orpheus arrive, following the oni. Venture attempts to get rid of the oni by locking it in the car's trunk, but the oni starts the car and drives around in a circle—dragging Venture behind the vehicle. A bruised and chagrined Venture and a bemused Orpheus agree they should get in the car and let the oni take them to where it wants to go. Meanwhile, at a meeting attended by The Monarch, his henchmen, and Dr. Killinger, 21 and 24 try to rally the henchmen against Killinger, poking fun at Killinger's body shape. An angry Monarch orders 24 taken to the "Chamber of a Thousand Torments," but Killinger asks for a few minutes alone with 24 to change his mind without torture.
That evening, the oni-driven car finally stops outside a "cheap motel" in a flat, arid area. When Dr. Orpheus suggests that the oni wants them to rest there for the night, Dr. Venture accuses Orpheus of trying to seduce him so that they might engage in homosexual intercourse. Orpheus denies this, and the oni drives them into the motel parking lot. Elsewhere that evening, Brock Samson and H.E.L.P.eR. take Brock's car in an attempt to locate Hank and Dean, debating the merits of the rock band Led Zeppelin (whose music H.E.L.P.eR. dismisses as "jock rock" about little more than hobbits) along the way. Brock's wristwatch device tracks the boys' wristwatch devices to a dumpster. Alarmed, Brock swiftly digs through trash (believing the boys' bodies might lie within), but instead finds only the two wristwatch devices. The devices display the message "The Boys..." and "Are Mine!" Brock exclaims, "Oh crap, Myra's back" just before the explosives the devices are wired to detonate. In the next scene, Hank and Dean wake in a run-down room in an unknown location, bound with rope and lying on a dirty mattress. A woman quietly sings a lullaby in the next room, and bursts through the door when she realizes the teens are awake. The woman is Myra Brandish, a crazed-looking, leather-clad, buxom woman with a lined and aged face in contrast to her physically fit body. She hugs the boys (pressing her breasts into their faces), and declares that she is their mother.
After the commercial break, Henchman 21 convinces the Blackguards to let him see 24 (who is locked in his room, happily reading a pornographic magazine). 21 says he is there to rescue 24, but 24 says he now appreciates what Dr. Killinger is trying to accomplish. 21 declares that Killinger knows nothing about honor or "living by the sword," calls 24 brainwashed and a "pod person," and leaves. Back in the dingy room, Myra tries to convince the boys that she is their mother. Hank makes some startling revelations about the boys' previous kidnappings, and Myra shouts her hatred of Dr. Venture. At The Monarch's cocoon, Dr. Killinger sleeps with his "magic murder bag" handcuffed to his wrist. Henchman 21 quietly enters Killinger's bedroom, and—having attached toy versions of Spider-Man's web-shooters to his wrists—attempts to steal Killinger's magic murder bag. Killinger wakes and has a Blackguard drag off 21 (who screams "Semper Fidelis Tyrannosaurus!", or "always faithful terrible lizard"). At the motel, Dr. Orpheus obtains snacks and some mercurochrome antiseptic for Dr. Venture, and the two men decide to jointly rent a skin flick. At The Monarch's Cocoon, 21 is escorted by a Blackguard to 21's room. As 21 reveals that he gets extensive flatulence when stressed, the Blackguard reveals that he is 24. 21 tries to hypnotize 24 into letting him go. The attempt fails, but 24 lets him go anyway.
Meanwhile, Myra tells Hank and Dean that she used to be an agent fresh out of the Office of Secret Intelligence (OSI) academy who was assigned to protect Dr. Venture. She also fell in love with him. After saving his life during an assassination attempt, Myra and Venture made love in Venture's new car. Myra claims that this night of passion led to Hank and Dean's birth nine months later. The action now shifts to a road in the woods. In an attempt to break Dr. Killinger's hold on The Monarch's organization, 21 has convinced The Monarch's ex-girlfriend, Doctor Girlfriend, to return to the cocoon with him in 24's Nissan Stanza. They converse as they drive off into the distance. Simultaneously, Brock Samson flies overhead with the aid of H.E.L.P.eR. (who has sprouted helicopter blades from his head and feet), following the tire tracks of the suspected kidnapper using the infrared capabilities of the robot. Brock reveals that Myra is insane and has kidnapped (and harmed) Hank and Dean several times in the past. H.E.L.P.eR. quotes Maya Angelou on the subject (although Brock thinks he was quoting Shel Silverstein at first).
The next morning, the oni has started the car and is ramming the trunk of the vehicle against the motel wall to waken Dr. Venture and Dr. Orpheus. The audience finally is shown that the room in which Myra is holding Hank and Dean is in the same motel where Dr. Venture spent the night. Myra is still ranting about Dr. Venture (even as Hank and Dean attempt to sleep while sitting up), and reveals that Hank and Dean are 19 years old. Just then, many cats begin to enter the room, which Myra says are Hank and Dean's "brothers and sisters." Realizing the boys (like the cats) are probably hungry, Myra attempts to breastfeed the two teenagers (who resist). An alarm goes off, and Myra grabs a shotgun and races out of the room. Myra arrives in the reception area of the motel, where Dr. Orpheus is revealed to be the one causing the ringing of the bell. Orpheus says he and his friend would like to check out, and gestures toward Dr. Venture sitting in the car outside. Enraged at the sight of her former lover, Myra attacks Orpheus and begins beating him while Venture (listening to music in the vehicle) remains unaware of the battle going on just a few feet away through the clear window.
At The Monarch's cocoon headquarters, Dr. Girlfriend and 21 attempt to gain entry unnoticed. Dr. Girlfriend is able to pass through laser alarm beams (which she installed) using gymnastics, but 21's girth and lack of flexibility trips the alarm. Several Blackguards attack, and Dr. Girlfriend easily kills them. She leaves the hapless 21 behind, who confesses aloud that he is falling in love with her before farting profusely.
Back at the cheap motel, Myra has vanquished Dr. Orpheus, tied up Dr. Venture, and put all three Ventures into Venture's car. Myra caustically wonders why Dr. Venture won't talk to her. Dr. Venture reveals to Hank and Dean that Myra once tried to burn down their house, and says that his lawyer has advised him not to talk to Myra. She angrily knocks Dr. Venture unconscious with the butt of her shotgun. Just then, Brock and H.E.L.P.eR. land in the motel parking lot. Myra runs over them both with the car. As she speeds down the highway (whispering "ten and two, ten and two"), Brock gets up, stands in the middle of the road, faces away from the retreating vehicle, and adopts a Zen-like position. Seeing him, Myra turns the car around and attempts to run Brock down. At the last second, Brock leaps into the air and flies through the car's windshield—his outstretched arm holding Dr. Venture in his seat as the vehicle decelerates, and his crooked arm automatically taking hold of the steering wheel. His body crushes Myra into the seat, where she moans, "I feel like Catherine the Great." Back in the motel, Dr. Orpheus is surrounded by Myra's adoring cats.
At The Monarch's headquarters, The Monarch reacts incredulously to Dr. Killinger's plans for a summit meeting with Dr. Venture in the spirit of détente and realpolitik. With little warning, Killinger pushes The Monarch aside just as Dr. Girlfriend drops from the ceiling. Dr. Killinger tells The Monarch that Dr. Girlfriend is there to rescue him from loneliness, then opens his magic murder bag and produces a bouquet of flowers for The Monarch to give to Dr. Girlfriend. Dr. Killinger also produces The Monarch's journal for Dr. Girlfriend, and tells her that The Monarch's "love for you is spelled out on every page." Using his magic umbrella, Killinger locks the two of them in the room and says they will not be released until they have reached a compromise. Opening his umbrella, he flies upward like Mary Poppins (but gets caught on something off-camera and asks for assistance).
Back in the Ventures' car, Brock tells Hank and Dean that Myra used to be "Powerkat" on the television program American Gladiators. When the show was cancelled, she went insane. Every few years, Brock says, she breaks out of her psychiatric hospital and either kidnaps the boys, tries to kill Dr. Venture, or burns down the house. When Dean questions why they don't remember her, Brock nearly reveals that the boys are clones, but then trails off without answering him. Hank and Dean feel they are not getting the truth, and Dr. Venture angrily exclaims, "All right! So I f(bleep)ked her! What of it!?"
After the closing credits run, a post-credits scene depicts Dr. Killinger (offscreen) whistling and calling the oni to him. The trunk of Dr. Venture's car opens, and the oni flies up into the air to rendezvous with a hovering Killinger. The oni seems to moan disconsolately. Killinger says that the oni failed to reunite Brandish and Venture, but that it did manage to save the boys. Killinger concludes by saying: "Compromise, my friend, is the essence of diplomacy, and diplomacy is the cornerstone of love." Killinger then flies off, sighing in a singsong voice, "Sweeeet love..."
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, The Monarch, Dr. Henry Killinger, Henchman 24, Additional Voices
- Michael Sinterniklaas: Dean Venture
- Doc Hammer: Henchman 21, Dr. Girlfriend, Additional Voices
- Steven Rattazzi: Dr. Byron Orpheus
- Joanna Adler: Myra Brandish
- H. Jon Benjamin: The Master
- Soul-Bot: H.E.L.P.eR.
Connection to Other Episodes
- Dr. Venture tells Dr. Orpheus that Brock Samson could not see the oni, and chalked its alleged existence up to "the diet pills." Dr. Venture was first seen ingesting diet pills in the season one episode Careers in Science.
- Myra mentions "the lie machines" that Hank and Dean sleep in, a reference to their "learning beds"--chambers they sleep in at night which subliminally provide them with education (as first seen in the first season episode Home Insecurity) and keep them from having to attend a regular school.
- Dr. Venture tells Dr. Orpheus that Brock Samson could not see the oni, and chalked its alleged existence up to "the diet pills." Roy Brisby noted that Dr. Venture was a "pill popper" in The Incredible Mr. Brisby.
- Dr. Byron Orpheus is seen petting his cat, Simba, in this episode. The fact that he had a cat was first depicted in the season one episode, Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!
- Myra calls Dr. Orpheus "Dracula." That is a common epithet many people use to describe him; Dean Venture first used it in the episode Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!
- Brock Samson's laudatory opinion of the music of the rock band Led Zeppelin was first noted in the first season episode Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!, which also featured Dr. Orpheus.
- Dr. Venture tells Dr. Orpheus that Brock Samson could not see the oni, and chalked its alleged existence up to "the diet pills." Professor Richard Impossible suspected Dr. Venture's pill usage in Ice Station – Impossible!
- It is not surprising that 21 has toy Spider-man web-shooters in his possession. 21 first revealed that he had a closet full of collectible comic book-related toys and memorabilia in the first season episode Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean
- Myra's claim that Hank and Dean are 19 years old naturally confuses the two boys, who believe they are 16 years old. The boys are unaware that they are clones and have died at least 13 times, as revealed in the season two premiere, Powerless in the Face of Death.
- One of The Monarch's henchmen is seen using a netgun during the mistaken raid on The Monarch's accountant's office. Earlier in the season, in the episode Hate Floats, Brock Samson says he has never seen a netgun which actually works. (He was admiring Phantom Limb's netgun, which did work.)
- While accusing Orpheus of attempting to seduce him in the car, Dr. Venture says Orpheus is trying to get him out of his "speedsuit." Venture mentioned the speedsuit (which is really just a jumpsuit) previously in the episode Hate Floats when he purchased one for Dean Venture.
- Henchman 21 last showed off his closet full of collectible comic book-related toys and memorabilia in the episode Hate Floats.
- Henchman 24's powder blue Nissan Stanza was first seen in the episode Hate Floats.
- This is the second appearance of Dr. Orpheus' mentor, The Master. He first appeared as the mythological creature Cerberus in the second season episode, Escape to the House of Mummies Part II.
- The existence of a doorway to another dimension ("the Necropolis") in a closet in Triana Orpheus' bedroom was first revealed in the second season episode, Escape to the House of Mummies Part II. Dr. Orpheus wipes the memories of the closet from Triana's mind to protect her in that episode.
- Brock Samson's laudatory opinion of the music of the rock band Led Zeppelin was emphasized in the season two episode Twenty Years to Midnight.
- Dr. Venture agrees to watch a hard-core pornographic film with Dr. Orpheus. The last time he attempted to watch such a movie was in the episode Victor. Echo. November. Venture watched The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas thinking that it was pornography, not knowing it is actually a musical.
- Henchman 24's powder blue Nissan Stanza was mentioned in Victor. Echo. November.
- Dr. Venture angrily accuses Dr. Orpheus of trying to have homosexual intercourse with him in the episode. This is not the first time that Dr. Venture's homophobia has manifested itself. In the episode Love-Bheits, three episodes previous to this one, Hank Venture recalled that his father had attempted to isolate the "gay gene" and wipe it out. Congressional hearings and protests prevented him from completing this work (Hank says).
- Henchman 24's powder blue Nissan Stanza was stolen by a prostitute in the episode Fallen Arches. It reappears in this episode.
- Hank also says that "most" of his sexual experiences with Sgt. Hatred "were awful," implying that some of them were enjoyable. This is not the first time Hank has admitted to enjoying homosexual sex, as this was also implied in the second season episode Guess Who's Coming to State Dinner?
- Dr. Henry Killinger has a minor speaking role in Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I), the first part of the second season two-part finale, as the person who officiates at the wedding of The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend.
- When Hank Venture, disguised as "Russian Guyovitch", sits next to Sergeant Hatred at the wedding of The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend, he asks "Are you going to bad-touch me?" Hank revealed in this episode that Sergeant Hatred had previously touched him and Dean inappropriately.
- Dr. Henry Killinger attempts to officiate the wedding of The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend in Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part II), but is interrupted by Phantom Limb and an armada of Guild Wasps.
- Dr. Henry Killinger is a main character in the third season episode The Doctor Is Sin, where he helps Dr. Venture overcome his sense of failure by trying to turn him into a supervillain.
- Hank Venture worries that Myra Brandish will touch Dean and himself "inappropriately." When Dean says that has never happened, Hank reminds him that Sergeant Hatred did so previously, alluding to Hatred's ongoing problem with pedophilia—mentioned in the third season episodes Home is Where the Hate is and The Buddy System and explored more fully in the fourth season episodes Handsome Ransom, Return to Malice, The Revenge Society, and Self-Medication. (Dean did not remember the sexual abuse, Hank says, because Dean was passed out from drinking too much wine.)
- Henchman 21 admits that he once passed out and suffocated Mr. Mostly Mittens, The Monarch's cat. Mr. Mostly Mittens would be mentioned again (and seen, in stuffed form), in the season four episode Return to Malice.
- Dr. Orpheus once more wipes the memories of the closet from Triana's mind to protect her in the season four episode, The Better Man.
- Henchman 21's love (or lust) for Dr. Girlfriend forms in this episode. It is discussed in greater detail in the season four episode Pinstripes & Poltergeists.
American Gladiators (1989-1996)
- Brock tells Hank and Dean that Myra used to be "Powerkat" on the television program American Gladiators.
Batman Returns (1992)
- Myra Brandish's black costume has a number of seams, hems, and other stitches in it in odd places, similar to the costume which Selina Kyle (Catwoman) created out of a black plastic raincoat in the 1992 movie Batman Returns.
Blade: Trinity (2004)
- Henchman 21 warns Henchman 24 against Dr. Killinger, stating that "He knows nothing about honor or living by the sword." This is almost a word-for-word quote from Drake (Dracula) in the 2004 vampire/superhero film Blade: Trinity.
- The Master appears as Catherine the Great's horse, in a reference to a legend in which the Russian ruler was allegedly crushed to death when her servants lowered a horse on top of her during an attempt to engage in bestiality.
- Myra Brandish apparently is a cat hoarder. Cat hoarding afflicts women three times more often than men, and cat hoarders often see their animals as a surrogate family (much as Myra does). Cat hoarders believe they are rescuing their cats, and do not realize that they also are endangering them (a situation similar to the relationship Myra has with Hank and Dean).
- The Monarch's demand that his entrance during the attack on the accounting office be filmed, and refilmed when they attack the Venture compound, is similar to General Douglas MacArthur's insistence that his wading ashore at the Philippines on October 20, 1944, be filmed and re-filmed until the publicity-seeking MacArthur was satisfied.
- Dr. Henry Killinger is primarily based on Dr. Henry Kissinger, the German-born American political scientist and diplomat who served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon. His role as a critical advisor to Nixon during the Vietnam War (and in particular his strong advocacy of a secret massive bombing campaign in Cambodia and Laos beginning in 1970) led protestors against the war to give him the nickname "Dr. Death." Kissinger's heavy German accent, which many people find difficult to understand, is a widely recognized trait of his. Kissinger was notably short, paunchy, and not athletic, and his wide-hipped, obese physique has been parodied before by the Monty Python comedy troupe in the song, "Henry Kissinger."
- Dean Venture and Myra Brandish repeatedly murmur "ten and two...ten and two" while driving. This is a reference to the safe-driving practice (commonly taught in American driver's education courses) of placing the hands at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions on the steering wheel.
- The conference room Dr. Killinger set up bears a similarity to the conference room from the Stanley Kubrick movie Dr. Strangelove.
For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- Henchman 21's suggestion that The Monarch's henchmen adopt "pedi-blades" (ice skates) as a weapon is similar to the use of ice skates as a weapon in the 1981 James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only. The weapons prove just as ineffective in this episode as in that motion picture.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983-1986)
- The Black Guards serving The Monarch resemble the B.A.T.s (Battle Android Troopers) from G.I. Joe season 2.
- Myra Brandish sings the song "Hush, Little Baby," a traditional lullaby, while preparing for the boys to wake.
- Henchman 21, alarmed at the way 24 has come to see Dr. Killinger in a positive way, calls him a "pod person," a reference to the 1956 science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In that film, invading aliens land six-foot long pods on Earth and place them in people's homes. A duplicate of each human being grows in each pod, taking on the original person's memories. The pod person, who declares there is no invasion and nothing is wrong, then kills and disposes of the original individual.
- While speaking in baby-talk gibberish to Dean Venture, Myra Brandish keeps calling him "Jimmy Dean," a reference to the late country music singer, actor, and purveyor of his own brand of Jimmy Dean Sausages (also mentioned by Myra).
- Brock Samson claims that Led Zeppelin's lyrics are about love, longing, and hobbits—a reference to the Led Zeppelin songs "Ramble On" (from the 1969 album Led Zeppelin II), "Misty Mountain Hop" (from the band's untitled 1971 album, commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV), and "The Battle of Evermore" (also from Led Zeppelin IV), all of which contain references to the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.
- Henchman 21 declares that Dr. Killinger has no idea what it means to "live by the sword." This could be referring to the Biblical phrase (attributed to Jesus) "Live by the sword, die by the sword," which may be interpreted as how a person lives their life affects their destiny or that those who live by violence will die by violence.
- Dr. Killinger's black-and-red mask (see infobox, above) depicts the outline of a human skull but also contains delicate, curving lines similar to Māori facial tattooing. Such facial tattooing was usually adopted only by high-status, adult Maori men in their 30s, which might also possibly indicate Killinger's status (either among supervillains or magicians). Evidence for this may be found in the third season episode The Doctor Is Sin, where Dr. Orpheus admits that Killinger is "somewhat more magical" than himself or The Alchemist. The Maori do not believe that facial tattoos have magic qualities, while Killinger clearly has magical abilities and devices.
- Dr. Henry Killinger derives many characteristics from the fictional character of Mary Poppins, most notably the use of a magical umbrella which enables him to fly and the "magic murder bag" (similar to Poppin's "magic carpet bag"). Killinger, like the title character in most of the Mary Poppins stories, arrives in a male-dominated and dysfunctional setting; has magic powers; is kind but brusque, efficient, and business-like; and understands the emotional and living needs of the main characters far better than they themselves do.
- The title of the episode mimics the title of Maya Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
- H.E.L.P.eR. quotes a poem by Maya Angelou, which Brock mistakes for the work of Shel Silverstein.
- During the assassination attempt on Dr. Venture (during which a young Myra Brandish saves his life), Dr. Venture is dressed as the Roman god Mercury. The Ford Motor Company produces cars under the brand name Mercury, which are also named after the Roman God Mercury.
Mr. Belvedere (1985-1990)
- Henchman 24 says Dr. Killinger is a "great guy," and compares him to the title character on the Mr. Belvedere sitcom (broadcast on the ABC network in the U.S. from 1985 to 1990). Mr. Belvedere was an English butler who helped his dysfunctional American family overcome various obstacles and become more civilized, similar to the service Dr. Killinger performs for The Monarch and his henchmen in this episode.
- Henchman 21, upset that he has had to use 24's Nissan Stanza to retrieve Dr. Girlfriend, bemoans that the car "doesn't even burn nitrous." This refers to the use of nitrous oxide in high-performance racing vehicles to improve engine performance.
- While backing up in his car, Dean Venture imitates the beeping sound of an OSHA-required commercial vehicle "backing-up" alarm (adopted in the United States by regulation in 1980).
- Dr. Venture and Dr. Orpheus agree to jointly rent a pornographic film, probably via pay-per-view on their motel television (a service a large number of hotels and motels in the United States offer).
- The design of the "cheap motel" at which the oni stops (and where Myra Brandish has hidden Hank and Dean Venture) is similar in design to the Bates Motel in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror film, Psycho. Both are single-story wood frame structures; both are set beside a two-lane highway in a flat, desert-like area; both feature a large neon sign set many feet in the air on metal legs; both structures have an L-shaped design; and both have single-door cabins set in a long row with windows (each Bates Motel room has a double-window, but the rooms in this motel are one long window).
- The Monarch demands that his henchmen take the security tape of his raid on his accountants' office so that he may post it as a QuickTime video on his homepage.
- Myra Brandish shouts "Rusty, why have you forsaken me?" This is a paraphrase of one of the sayings of Jesus on the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
- Henchman 21 screams "Semper fidelis tyrannosaurus!" ("Always faithful terrible lizard!") as he is dragged out of Dr. Killinger's room. As Killinger notes, 21 meant to say "Sic semper tyrannis" ("thus always to tyrants"), a phrase used by the murderers of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar in the 1599 William Shakespeare play of the same name as well as by John Wilkes Booth during the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
- While trying to convince Hank and Dean that she is their mother, Myra becomes distracted and says, "So true, funny how it seems, always in time but never not for dreams." She then cries "I bought a ticket to the world, but now I've come back again!" These are the first lyrics and chorus to the Spandau Ballet song "True" (from the 1983 album of the same name) respectively.
- The Spider-Man web-shooters which Henchman 21 has strapped to his wrists (and which he uses to attack Dr. Killinger) seem to be the Triple Action Web Blaster developed by Toy Biz, the toy division of Marvel Entertainment. Both the real-world toy and the devices in this episode feature a can of silly string in red with black spider-web markings in a dark blue holder strapped to the wrist and activated by a toggle which lies in the palm.
- Henchman 21 tries to get Dr. Girlfriend to recall spin art, an art genre popular in the 1960s. Spin Art was also the brand name of a popular toy (marketed by Rapco) which produced this kind of art. Spin art was a popular form of entertainment at carnivals in the United States in the 1960s as well. 21 mentions that he used to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain and make spin art.
- When Myra tells the boys that she is their mother, they are disinclined to believe her. She then says, "Search your feelings boys, you know it to be true!" This statement is very similar to a scene in the film The Empire Strikes Back, where Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker that he is Luke's father. Luke, too, rejects Vader's claim, but Vader responds, "Search your feelings. You know it to be true."
- Henchman 21 declares that Dr. Killinger has no idea what it means to "live by the sword." This is possibly a reference to the teachings of the Chinese philosopher and warrior Sun Tzu.
- The scene where Hank and Dean find a blonde woman in a red dress unconscious in the road is reminiscent of a similar scene in the 1978 motion picture Superman. In that scene, Lex Luthor has his accomplice, Eve Teschmacher, wear a red dress and blond wig and pretend to be injured after an automobile accident (so that Luthor's other accomplice, Otis, can reprogram the nuclear missile Luthor intends to use in his plot to destroy California).
Tekken 3 (1998)
- Henchman 24 mentions that Dr. Killinger's Blackguards have "removed the Tekken 3 game from the lounge." He is referring to the Tekken 3 fighting video game, released in 1998—almost a decade prior to this episode.
The Bodyguard (1992)
- Myra bemoans her failed romantic relationship with Dr. Venture by saying she broke the rules, and then quotes the rules: "Never let your guard down. Never let them out of your sight. Never fall in love." This is a not-quite-verbatim quote of similar rules from the 1992 romantic-thriller film The Bodyguard.
- The episode's cold open, in which The Monarch's flying cocoon headquarters attacks his accountant's office, is reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's short film The Crimson Permanent Assurance, which is both prologue to and "attacks" the "main feature" in the motion picture, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. In The Crimson Permanent Assurance, accountants create a pirate ship out of their building in the film's prologue, and then midway through the film the "supporting feature" "attacks" the feature film (e.g., the accountants, swinging on ropes, burst through the windows of a modern skyscraper and attack an office of modern business executives).
- While driving with Dr. Girlfriend, Henchman 21 says that he once helped paint Henchman 24's Stanza with tempera paint, and when it rained the paint ran—making the vehicle appear as if it had been tie-dyed.
- The Wilhelm scream can be heard just after the first explosion during the raid in the show's "cold open."
- The car which Dean Venture is learning to drive in is the same car Dr. Venture was unveiling to the public during the assassination attempt, and the same car which Dr. Venture and Myra Brandish made love in. The vehicle can be identified by the "Venture Industries" signage along the running board.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills|
- One of the animation directors (Kimson Albert) has a "nickname" inserted into his credits. The nickname is an unusual line or word from the episode. For this episode the credit reads Kimson "Magic Murder Bag" Albert.
- The music heard in the episode during Myra's flashback is the song "Mitre Storm," performed by the band Jasper McVain (music by Doc Hammer and Max Vanderwolf; lyrics by "Bess" and Terrence Fleming). Jasper McVain is a side project created by Doc Hammer, and which includes Hammer, actor Terrence Fleming (the voice of Col. Bud Manstrong on the series), and Max Vanderwolf (singer in the band Last Man Standing). "Jasper McVain" previously contributed the song "Revv Me Up" for the episode Mid-Life Chrysalis.
- ↑ Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Random House, 1997. (Originally published in 1969) ISBN 055338001X
- ↑ Vilain, E. "Genetics of Sexual Development." Annuual Review of Sexuality Ressearch. 11 (2000): 1–25; Mustanski B.S.; Dupree, M.G.; Nievergelt, C.M.; Bocklandt, S.; Schork, N.J.; and Hamer, D.H. "A Genomewide Scan of Male Sexual Orientation." Human Genetics. 116:4 (March 2005), 272–278.
- ↑ Schubart, Rikke. Super Bitches and Action Babes: The Female Hero in Popular Cinema, 1970-2006. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2007. ISBN 0786429240
- ↑ Toropov, Brandon. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Legends. Indianapolis, Ind.: Alpha Books, 2001. ISBN 0028640071
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Simon, Clea. The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats. Rev. reprint ed. New York: Macmillan, 2003. ISBN 0312316100
- ↑ Adams, Michael C.C. The Best War Ever: America and World War II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. ISBN 0801846978
- ↑ Totten, Samuel; Parsons, William S.; and Charny, Israel W. Century of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. New York: Routledge, 2004. ISBN 9780415944304
- ↑ Pinch, Trevor and Swedberg, Richard. Living in a Material World: Economic Sociology Meets Science and Technology Studies. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2008. ISBN 0262662078
- ↑ Isaacson, Walter. Kissinger: A Biography. Reissue ed. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2005. ISBN 0743286979; Black, Conrad. Richard Milhous Nixon: The Iinvincible Quest. London: Quercus, 2007. ISBN 184724209X; Safire, William. Before the Fall: An Inside View of the Pre-Watergate White House. New York: Transaction Publishers, 2005. ISBN 1412804663
- ↑ Royko, Mike. Like I Was Sayin'-. New York: Dutton, 1984. ISBN 0525242686; Drew, Elizabeth. Richard M. Nixon. New York: Macmillan, 2007. ISBN 0805069631; MacPherson Myra. The Power Lovers: An Intimate Look at Politics and Marriage. New York: Putnam, 1975. ISBN: 0345252454
- ↑ Idle, Eric. The Greedy Bastard Diary: A Comic Tour of America. New York: HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 0060758643
- ↑ Wildman, Frank. The Busy Person's Guide to Easier Movement: 50 Ways to Achieve a Healthy, Happy, Pain-Free and Intelligent Body. Berkeley, Calif.: The Intelligent Body Press, 2006. ISBN 1889618772; Allen, Jim. Four-Wheeler's Bible. St. Paul, Minn.: MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN 0760310564; BMW Car Club of America. BMW Enthusiast's Companion: Owner Insights on Driving, Performance and Service. Cambridge, Mass.: Robert Bentley, 1995. ISBN 0837603218
- ↑ Siegel, Don and LaValley, Albert J. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1989. ISBN 0813514614
- ↑ Davis, Erik. Led Zeppelin IV. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005. ISBN 0826416586; Shadwick, Keith. Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their music, 1968-80. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005. ISBN 0879308710
- ↑ Senior, Donald. The Passion of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1985. ISBN 0814654606
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Cavendish, Richard. Man, Myth & Magic: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural. London: Marshall Cavendish Corp., 1971.
- ↑ Best, Elsdon. "The Maori." Journal of the Polynesian Society. 1926.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Kemp, Peter. "How Do You Solve a 'Problem' Like Maria Von Poppins?" In Musicals: Hollywood and Beyond. Bill Marshall and Robynn Jeananne Stilwell, eds. Bristol, United Kingdom: Intellect Books, 2000. ISBN 1841500038
- ↑ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. 8th ed. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN 0345455428; Brown, Les. Les Brown's Encyclopedia of Television. 3rd ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. ISBN 0810388715
- ↑ Davis, Earl and Perkins-Davis, Diane. Supercharging, Turbocharging and Nitrous Oxide Performance. St. Paul, Minn.: MotorBooks/MBI Publishing Company, 2002. ISBN 0760308373
- ↑ Best's Safety Directory: Industrial Safety-Hygiene Securuity. Kathleen M. Guindon, ed. Morristown, N.J.: A.M. Best Company, 1989.
- ↑ Corliss, Richard. "That Old Feeling: When Porno Was Chic." Time. March 29, 2005 (accessed 2010-01-01); Bradley, Matt. "Latest Antiporn Target: Hotel-Room TV." Christian Science Monitor. September 6, 2006 (accessed 2010-01-01); Johnston, David Cay. "Is Live Sex On-Demand Coming to Hotel TVs?" The New York Times. January 17, 2007 (accessed 2010-01-01).
- ↑ Jacobs, Steven. The Wrong House: The Architecture of Alfred Hitchcock. Rotterdamn, The Netherlands: 010 Publishers, 2007. ISBN 906450637X
- ↑ Rozakis, Laura. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shakespeare. Indianapolis, Ind.: Alpha Books, 1999. ISBN 0028629051; Kauffman, Michael W. American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies. Reprint ed. New York: Random House, 2005. ISBN 0375759743
- ↑ Goldberg, Teri. "Blockbuster Toys." MSNBC.com. August 2, 2004 (accessed 2010-01-01).
- ↑ Sypher, Howard E. and Applegate, James L. Communication By Children and Adults: Social Cognitive and Strategic Processes. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1984. ISBN 0803923163
- ↑ Mangels, Andy. Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters. New York: Ballantine Books, 1995. ISBN 0345395352
- ↑ Stevenson, Jay. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eastern Philosophy. Indianapolis, Ind.: Alpha Books, 2000. ISBN 0028638204
- ↑ Poole, Steven. Trigger Happy: Videogames and the Entertainment Revolution. Reprint ed. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1559705981
- ↑ Childs, Erica Chito. Fade to Black and White: Interracial Images in Popular Culture. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. ISBN 0742560805
- ↑ Chapman, Graham; Cleese, John; Gilliam, Terry; and Idle, Eric. The Pythons Autobiography by the Pythons. New York: Macmillan, 2005. ISBN 0312311451
- ↑ Belfer, Nancy. Batik and Tie Dye Techniques. 3rd ed. New York: Courier Dover Publications, 1992. ISBN 0486271315
| Preceded by:|
"Guess Who's Coming to State Dinner?"
| The Venture Bros. episodes|
September 24, 2006
| Followed by:|
"¡Viva los Muertos!"