|"Ice Station – Impossible!"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
|Directed by||Jackson Publick|
|Written by||Jackson Publick|
|Original air date||18 September 2004|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
Ice Station — Impossible! is the seventh episode of Season 1 and the overall seventh episode of The Venture Bros.
Plot[edit | edit source]
Thaddeus Venture and his colleagues Billy Quizboy and Pete White have been invited by their old college professor Richard Impossible to an Impossible Industries think tank in their Arctic base, sponsored by the United Nations. While there, he comments that the jumpsuits the trio wear can do almost anything, as he begins stretching and flexing as if made of rubber. Soon thereafter the three must provide urine samples for Impossible due to mandatory drug testing. Aware that his own urine would be tainted by the many "diet" pills and stimulants he takes, Venture has cleverly brought a urine sample from his sons, but he accidentally spills it in the restroom; luckily, he manages to get a reprieve to provide the sample later. Along the way, the men meet Richard's attractive wife Sally Impossible, with whom Richard seems displeased for leaving her room.
The infamous Race Bannon has in the meantime defeated a horde of Snakemen on their plane, retrieved the top-secret formula they had stolen, and destroyed the plane with a grenade. As he parachutes to apparent safety, the wing of the out-of-control plane smashes into his stomach and knocks him unconscious. He lands in a neighborhood full of young children, who prod at his body and chase it when the wind fills his parachute and drags him along the ground. The plane crashes on the grounds of the Venture Compound, but not before the canister Race had dropped smashes into Hank Venture's head. After investigating the wreckage, Hank, Dean Venture and Brock Samson find Race, who is near death. Race gasps that the canister, which contains "Goliath Serum," must be protected at all costs, then dies. (Rather messily, as all his sphincters relax and he releases his bowels; something which Brock deadpans, "Yeah, they never show that part on TV.")
After Richard pesters Dr. Venture for his urine sample, Sally Impossible stops by Venture's office with what she assures him is a clean urine sample, and the two begin flirting over a flask of whiskey. She confesses to Venture that she is frustrated with the confines of the base and longs to escape with an exciting man. As she draws near to kiss Venture, her skin vanishes and reveals the musculature beneath. Venture screams in horror and flees blindly, stumbling across Sally's brother Cody (who bursts painfully into flame when exposed to oxygen) and cousin Ned (who is mentally-handicapped and resembles an enormous callus). Sally explains that these strange afflictions are the result of an accident, and that she is able to keep her skin visible only by concentrating. Unnoticed by any of them, Richard eavesdrops on the conversation via an elongated ear. Feigning a casual air, he enters the room and invites Venture for a ride in one of his advanced vehicles, a flying car. As he flies over the Arctic wasteland, he justifies what he is about to do to Venture, who can not hear him due to the howling wind. He abruptly strands Venture in the snow-swept landscape and returns to base. Attempting to look on the bright side, Venture reflects that his I-Suit will keep him warm; as if on cue, the garment shatters into pieces and leaves him nude.
Brock and the boys view an old film, given to them by Race, about the Goliath Serum. Developed by Richard Impossible, it destabilizes living matter until it explodes powerfully. This is demonstrated by Impossible applying a tiny drop to an ant, which in a matter of seconds causes a detonation that destroys a steamroller. The film cautions that humans have never been exposed to the serum, but symptoms would include voracious hunger, rapid growth of facial hair, and a feverish flush to the cheeks. As Brock and Dean look at Hank, they notice his rosy cheeks and watch him stuff fistfuls of popcorn in his mouth. The boys panic as they realize that Hank has apparently become a human bomb, but Brock calms them by stating that he knows where to go for help.
Venture wanders aimlessly through the snow, suffering from hypothermia and hallucinating. Brock appears to kill a polar bear poised to attack Venture and gives him the bear's fur. Amazingly, Brock and the boys were flying to Impossible's base where they spot him. They arrive at the Impossible base and confront Richard, who tells them that killing Hank is the only way to stop the reaction. Sally, Quizboy and White prevent him from shooting Hank, insisting that they will be able to find an antidote by working together. Although Richard disagrees, he is incapacitated by Cody and Ned as the other scientists get to work. After hurriedly mixing chemicals and experimenting, they arrive at a solution just as Hank exhibits the final symptom of uncontrollable hiccups. After the mixture is administered, his hiccups immediately stop, his beard falls out and his skin tone returns to normal. The group celebrates their victory as Richard, who has untangled himself, sniffs the beaker and proclaims that they have only succeeded in inventing ranch dressing. Obviously, he says, Goliath fails to work on humans, as it was only ever tested on ants. As Sally argues the point with him, Venture quietly hurries the boys towards the X-1 to leave.
After the credits, Richard distantly soothes the weeping Sally as he peers at samples through a microscope. Frowning, he wonders aloud that Venture's urine sample seems to indicate that he was pregnant; to his puzzlement, Sally begins crying harder than ever (this subtly reveals that Sally is the one who peed out the urine sample and is pregnant with a baby).
Episode Cast[edit | edit source]
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture
- Michael Sinterniklaas: Dean Venture
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, Race Bannon, Pete White, Cody, Ned, Industrial Film Narrator, Children
- Doc Hammer: Master Billy Quizboy, Snake Agent
- Mia Barron: Sally Impossible
- Stephen Colbert: Professor Impossible
- Soul-Bot: H.E.L.P.eR.
First Appearances[edit | edit source]
Connections to Other Episodes[edit | edit source]
- Richard Impossible, Pete White and Billy Quizboy had all previously appeared in the pilot episode The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay, but they were not named or given background character descriptions in that episode's credits.
- Richard Impossible appears in the series' pilot episode The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay, as a scientist at the United Nations. Although he still has "super stretching" capabilities, he is unnamed in the earlier episode and voiced by a different actor, Peter McCulloch (show creator Jackson Publick's brother). Stephen Colbert voices Impossible in this episode.
- Brock kills a polar bear with nothing but his hands and a knife; in Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic! one of Brock's "deepest desires," as manifested by the Joy Can, was to fight and kill a polar bear with a knife.
- Ironically, though it is in fact Sally's urine sample that Professor Impossible analyzes at the end, Dr. Venture would become "pregnant" with his own unborn twin brother in the Season 1 finale Return to Spider-Skull Island.
- The Impossible family reappears in Twenty Years to Midnight, by which time Richard and Sally Impossible's son Rocket Impossible has been born.
- Race Bannon appears again in a flashback to the O.S.I. in the late 1980s in the episode The Invisible Hand of Fate. For copyright purposes he is called "Red Bannon" in his later appearances.
Cultural References[edit | edit source]
- The Impossibles are parodies of the Fantastic Four:
- Professor Impossible's first name, "Richard", is virtually identical to Mister Fantastic's last name of "Richards."
- The flying device Venture and Impossible travel in is a homage to the Fantasticar used by the Fantastic Four.
- The revelation of Sally's pregnancy is a reference to Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman's son, Franklin Richards.
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
- The episode name is a reference to the 1968 suspense/espionage film Ice Station Zebra.
- Some of Race’s equipment the kids play with take after gadgets in the James Bond film franchise, including:
Jonny Quest (1964-1965)
- Race Bannon was originally the bodyguard for Benton and Jonny Quest on the animated series Jonny Quest.
Lord of the Flies (1954)
- The scene in which the children investigate Race Bannon's body as it is dragged along the ground by his parachute is similar to a scene in the novel Lord of the Flies involving a dead pilot on a parachute, although in the novel, the children do not attempt to ride on the corpse.
Mission: Impossible (1966-1973)
- The episode name is a reference to the television series Mission: Impossible.
- When Brock torches the melted bike after stopping the kid from smoking, one of the other kids gives off an exasperated groan much like Charlie Brown from Peanuts.
The Incredibles (2004)
- The "i" insignia on the I-Suit is similar to the "i" worn by the main characters of the movie The Incredibles, another superpowered family which also heavily borrowed from the Fantastic Four.
- Pete White refers to Dr. Venture's "diet pills" as "Mother's Little Helpers." "Mother's Little Helper" was a 1966 song by The Rolling Stones about the overprescription of Valium among housewives in the 1960s.
- Dr. Venture's and Sally's ruse to pass his drug test is taken from an old urban legend about a man caught cheating on his drug test when urinalysis revealed he was pregnant.
- When Billy Quizboy, Pete White, and Dr. Venture are going to be drug-tested by Professor Impossible, Billy expresses anxiety about some cold medicine he took earlier showing up in the test results. White reassures him, saying that Dr. Venture is the one who needs to be worried with his "Mother's Little Helpers." The term refers to the tranquilizers often prescribed for housewives in the 1960s, specifically the benzodiazepine Valium.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In this episode, which originally aired on September 18, 2004, Brock Samson mentions that on television they never show people voiding their bowels when they die. Two months later, on November 3, 2004, the Comedy Central show South Park aired the episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes", in which they demonstrated that when people die they "crap their pants".
Production Notes[edit | edit source]
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Ice Station – Impossible!|
- One of the animation directors (Kimson Albert) has a "nickname" inserted into his credits. The nickname is an unusual line or word from the preceding episode. For this episode, the credit reads Kimson "Ba-Hey!" Albert.
- Race Bannon (from Jonny Quest, from which the show takes much inspiration) was a surprise guest star. Jackson Publick had wanted to use a Race-like figure to represent Brock's mentor, but upon learning that Cartoon Network actually owned the rights to Race, Publick gladly used him.
References[edit | edit source]
| Preceded by:
"Ghosts of the Sargasso"
| The Venture Bros. episodes
September 18, 2004