"Operation P.R.O.M."
The Venture Bros. episode
Screen shot 2010-12-03 at 8.05.40 PM.png
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 16
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick
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"The Silent Partners"
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List of The Venture Bros. episodes

Operation P.R.O.M. is the sixteenth and final episode of Season 4 and the overall fifty-fifth episode of The Venture Bros.

Plot

In order to celebrate the "graduation" of his sons Hank and Dean from high school, Dr. Venture, along with Brock Samson, Sergeant Hatred, Pete White, Billy Quizboy, Dr. Orpheus, Jefferson Twilight and The Alchemist, plans to throw them a budget "homeschool prom." During the preparations, Henchman 21 enters the Venture Compound, intending to bury the skull of Henchman 24, as 24's ghost has been preventing him from masturbating. As he buries the skull, Sgt. Hatred and Shore Leave engage in a petty argument over who is the better shot, and Sgt. Hatred accidentally shoots 21 in the chest.

Brock, having secured a limo, takes Hank and Dean to pick up their "dates", beginning with Triana Orpheus. While Dean takes pictures with Triana at the home where she lives with The Outrider and her mother Tatyana, her boyfriend Raven (a crippled Edward Cullen parody) appears, sending Dean into a jealous rage. Later, Hank tries to pick up the family's middle-aged mail carrier as his date and fails, and mentions that the Quymn sisters have asked that he stop calling them. The limo happens to pass Dermott, who is stranded on the side of the road, so they pick him up instead.

21 wakes up in S.P.H.I.N.X. headquarters with little more than a bad bruise where he was shot, and quickly discovers the unconscious body of Monstroso, revealing to Shore Leave that the Guild has been thrown into an uproar following Monstroso's abduction. Shore Leave elaborates that S.P.H.I.N.X. has been using several false Monstrosos to engage in a bluffing game with the O.S.I., intending to use him to win negotiations with their former employers. Before he can erase 21's memory, though, Shore Leave is alerted to invaders at the front gate of the compound, and summons a small battalion of S.P.H.I.N.X. agents to fight them, inviting 21 along to help.

Meanwhile, the rest of S.P.H.I.N.X. are on a mission led by Colonel Hunter Gathers and Sky Pilot, heading for the flying O.S.I. headquarters. Gathers is escorted to the office of General Treister by Mr. Doe and Mr. Cardholder, but must wrestle with his former boss in order to get any information. Gathers finally pins Treister, winning himself and the other S.P.H.I.N.X. members clemency from the O.S.I.'s wanted list, but when he reveals that there are apparently moles from the Guild of Calamitous Intent within the O.S.I., Treister begins convulsing in rage and attacks her along with Doe and Cardholder. Later, when Gathers wakes up in the destroyed office, having been badly beaten, he steps outside and finds Treister encased in foam with his clothes torn up; Treister claims that he is a Hulk.

At the Venture Compound, the prom is not going well - Dr. Venture poorly attempts to seduce one of the prostitutes he hired for the evening by offering her a "Rusty Venture," unaware that, according to the Alchemist and Shore Leave, it is a horrific sex act originating in the gay community in the 1980s. Al and Shore Leave debate what kind of act it actually is, eventually calling up Colonel Gentleman and then Watch and Ward for help that neither source can provide. The others around the room begin debating it, and when Triana brings up the definition of it she read on UrbanDictinary.com, Dean flies off the handle and accuses her of performing it with Raven, causing Triana to leave the prom angrily.

The Monarch, meanwhile, after catching the Moppets in the act of checking names off of 21's hit list in his "Eye for an I" to determine 24's murderer, learns that 21 has gone to the Venture Compound. Believing that he has gone there on an undercover mission to arch Dr. Venture, he and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch]] infiltrate the Compound themselves. When confronted by Sgt. Hatred, they use Princess Tinyfeet as a hostage, but admit to Hatred that all she ever wanted from him is indulgence of her bondage fetish. Thankful to the Monarch for inadvertently getting his marriage back together, Hatred allows them in as long as they put on formal clothing. Meanwhile, Hank and Dermott determine that they must help Dean get Triana back (though Hank incorrectly believes Raven is a cyborg) and the three leave in order to carry out their plan.

Out back, Brock, about to have sex with one of the prostitutes, takes her into the S.P.H.I.N.X. base - but he is shot by the one agent left behind to guard Monstroso, revealed to be an undercover Molotov Cocktease.

General Treister explains to Colonel Gathers that he has been diagnosed with cancer, and as a result of the chemotherapy, he has begun transforming into a Hulk. Shortly thereafter, while discussing Treister's sad decline with Doe and Cardholder, the two disclose that because the head of the O.S.I. is no longer mentally fit for command, the U.S. government has placed control in their hands - Gathers realizes that they are the Guild moles, but he and Sky Pilot are captured. Not long after, however, Gathers is summoned to the "secret bridge," where a flag-draped General Treister reveals the truth - he is aware that he is not really a Hulk, and furthermore, he knew all along of Doe and Cardholder's treachery. To take them down, Treister had a plant within S.P.H.I.N.X. the entire time - Sky Pilot. The "Monstroso" taken to the base was actually a Trojan Horse containing a number of S.P.H.I.N.X. agents, whom arrest Doe and Cardholder as they move to assassinate Monstroso and cover their tracks. Explaining that he knows he is dying of his incurable cancer, Treister hands over command of the O.S.I. to Colonel Gathers, then launches himself into space inside a missile, believing that he will be found by aliens who will cure his illness.

The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch meet up with 21, but when he admits that he realizes Dr. Venture is not a bad person, the Monarch accuses him of being drugged. An inebriated 21 snaps and angrily reveals his infatuation with Dr. Girlfriend, even telling the Monarch about their previous amorous encounter, but the Monarch merely laughs it off due to his "swinger" relationship with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's (common among villains) and tells 21 to stop being a crybaby. Having had enough, 21 quits his job as henchman and storms off.

Awakening to discover Molotov Cocktease stuffing Monstroso into the back of the limo and fleeing, Brock hijacks the Conjectural Technologies conjecture cycle and engages in an epic high-speed battle with his antagonist and love interest. Finally, Molotov spins out after hitting Brock, stopping with the back half of the limo dangling over the edge of the cliff side highway. Brock sits down on the hood, lights a cigarette, and explains to her that he is tired of chasing her, because she will always be a greedy, cold-blooded mercenary with no sense of loyalty. However, Molotov claims she has changed, and this time her mission is one of love, throwing out her unlocked chastity belt to prove it. Believing that Molotov means she is ready to get serious with him, Brock draws near for a kiss, but she suddenly breaks away. She explains that she is taken now by another man - Monstroso. Enraged, Brock threatens to kill them both, but Molotov claims her Blackhearts are undercover at the Venture prom as the prostitutes, and if she does not call in an abort code for the mission by midnight, they will slaughter all present. However, one of the women in her flashback is one of the prostitutes she threatened, whom clearly didn't know her. Also later no weapons were found on the women, meaning Molotov was bluffing. But Brock has no time to find out if its true or not. Brock threatens that he will instead make Molotov call in the code under the threat of his killing Monstroso, but she simply declares that she would rather die along with her true love, and appears to commit suicide by popping the limo's hood, throwing Brock off and rolling the limo over the cliff.

Checking his watch, Brock finds he has only two minutes and rushes back. However he finds that the party is still going and the women are seduced by the effects of Rusty's specially engineered strain of Spanish Fly. As Brock relaxes, however, the women transform into giant mutant flies. Gleefully sensing a bloodbath he hasn't had in some time, Brock draws his knife and rushes in.

The missile containing General Treister breaks apart in space, releasing his body, frozen in a salute, with a note reading "FIX IT!" attached to his chest.

In the sting Dean, Hank and Dermott's plan comes together - having constructed Triana's name in logs on the Outrider's front lawn, Hank and Dermott told Dean to dress up in gothic clothing. However, Dean took this to mean something "spooky" and arrived with a ghost costume. Realizing it will have to do, Hank and Dermott light up the wood and hide while Dean dons his costume. The fire quickly sparks out, but Dermott left most of the fuel on the "t", causing Dean to appear to be a KKK member engaging in cross burning The Outrider appears and nearly kills him before realizing it's Dean. Calming down, he explains that after Triana came home from the prom (after that argument back there) she apparently went to Raven's house. Understanding what's going on with Dean, he attempts to cheer him up. The Outrider tells him the honest truth that Triana likes Raven and are very happy together, but he tells Dean that if he truly loves Triana, he will let her go and be with Raven, whom she is happy with. To this advice, Dean merely says to the Outrider, "You know what I think?... Fuck you!"

Episode Cast

First Appearances

Connections to Other Episodes

Hate Floats

  • After Monstroso's henchmen are dispatched by S.P.H.I.N.X., Henchman 24's ghost recognizes the voice of one of the deceased as a former henchman of The Monarch. It had been mentioned in Hate Floats that many of The Monarch's henchmen quit to work under Monstroso after The Monarch was imprisoned.

Assassinanny 911

Victor. Echo. November.

The Invisible Hand of Fate

Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman

The Better Man

  • Hank having a crush on his mail carrier was previously mentioned in The Better Man.

Everybody Comes to Hank's

Bright Lights, Dean City

Assisted Suicide

Cultural References

Andrea Dworkin

Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990-1996, 1999-2000)

Arrested Development

  • Henchman 21 and 24 reference the 1992 Arrested Development song "Mr. Wendal", a hip hop song about treating the homeless with respect and learning from their nonmaterial lifestyles. The aging guru in the music video was played by the group's "spiritual elder" Baba Oje, whom the henchmen mistake for the titular Mr. Wendal (who was actually a homeless person.)

Ashley Tisdale

Baba Oje

Ben Edlund

Best in Show (2000)

Casablanca (1942)

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Dune

Feng shui

George Gurdjieff

  • The Outrider attempts to placate Dean after his fight with Triana by quoting George Gurdjieff (or possibly Baba Oje). Gurdjieff was a famed mystic and spiritual teacher who claimed that most humans do not possess a unified consciousness, and thus live their lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but that it is possible to awaken to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential.

Green Machines

  • Sky Pilot says that driving The Mighty Khafra is "like trying to drive a Green Machine made of cement". This is a reference to "Green Machines", a model of children's tricycles manufactured by Huffy.

Hawkgirl

Hunter S. Thompson

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

  • Hunter Gathers tells Sky Pilot to abort their mission, warning him that "Brando's got us on our bellies and he's reaching for the butter!" This is a reference to a scene in the erotic drama film Last Tango in Paris where Marlon Brando's character Paul anally rapes a Parisian woman named Jeanne using butter as a lubricant.

Linda Lovelace

Matchbox cars

"The Mayflower Madam"

  • When the six female "escorts" arrive at the prom, Dr. Venture greets them and states, "...and may I say, that the Mayflower Madam has not lost her touch!" Sidney Biddle Barrows, aka "The Mayflower Madam", was arrested in 1984 and charged with running a high-class escort (prostitution) service.

Operation Dumbo Drop (1995)

Pulp

S.H.I.E.L.D.

Sir Mix-A-Lot

Sleeping with the Enemy (1991)

Slipknot

Spanish fly

South Pacific

Star Wars

The Fly (1986)

  • The escorts hired to attend the homeschool prom at the Venture Compound turn into human-fly hybrids after receiving a dose of Dr. Venture's homemade "Spanish Fly" formula, resembling the title character from David Cronenberg's 1986 horror film The Fly.

The Go-Go's

The Incredible Hulk (1966)

The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982)

  • General Treister begins to say, “You’re making me angry! You won’t like me when I’m angry!” as Gathers reveals the infiltration of O.S.I. This is a reference to The Incredible Hulk TV series where Bruce Banner would say the same thing to warn those who were in danger of triggering his transformation into the Hulk.

The Sound of Music

The Twilight Saga

Thundarr the Barbarian (1980-1981)

  • Rusty Venture confides in one of the hired escorts that he is less a TV star than a "cartoon notable", as his cartoon show was eventually cancelled for underperforming in the ratings despite having the cartoon Thundarr the Barbarian as a lead-in.

USS Indianapolis

  • When Shore Leave calls Colonel Gentleman to inquire what a "Rusty Venture" is, the good Colonel is working on a model of the USS Indianapolis attached to a blue sweater on his dog Mischa. This is a reference to the famous sinking of the ship during WWII, where most of the crew died as a result of shark attacks. The sweater has several sharks and sailors embroidered on to it. So, in effect, the dog costume commemorates this shipwreck. The event was also discussed in a famous monologue in the 1975 film Jaws.

Wikipedia

Production Notes

  • 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 Operation P.R.O.M. the credit reads Kimson "Wiki-penis" Albert.

Trivia

  • It turned out that 21 never spoke with the ghost of 24, but actually hallucinated throughout the season. Apparently, his subconscious has developed this hallucination 24 as a way to cope with the death of his friend at the end of the third season.
  • This is the first episode where Hunter Gathers' eyes are seen.
  • Last appearance of Triana Orpheus.
  • Sky Pilot saying it was alright "the rest of the S.P.H.I.N.X. agents ejected just in time" references the practice of American action cartoons skirting showing death. Similarly, in the US dub of Dragon Ball Z after a news helicopter was blown up by Cell a line was inserted from offscreen saying the pilots were ok, as they could see parachutes.
  • This episode, which originally aired on November 21, 2010, featured people mutating into human-fly hybrids after taking a supposed aphrodisiac. The Adult Swim show Rick and Morty aired an original episode titled Rick Potion No. 9 on January 27, 2014 in which a supposed aphrodisiac gone wrong eventually results in people mutating into mantis-human hybrids and the whole world devolving into a Cronengbergian nightmare. Both episodes took inspiration from David Cronenberg's 1986 horror film The Fly.
  • When Henchman 21 leaves behind the "ghost" of Henchman 24 to attend Hank and Dean's homeschool prom 24 calls him a Flat Leaver. This is urban slang which refers to an individual who leaves a person or group of people to go hang out with a more prefered person or group of people. It can also apply to a person who breaks plans with someone to be with someone else. The phrase seems to have fallen out of usage, but was more common in parts of New York and England, where apartments are called "flats", and it is mostly unheard of elsewhere.


Preceded by:
"The Silent Partners"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
November 21, 2010
Followed by:
"What Color is Your Cleansuit?"
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