"The High Cost of Loathing"
The Venture Bros. episode
The High Cost of Loathing.png
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 4
Directed by Juno Lee
Written by Jackson Publick
Production code 704
Original air date August 26, 2018
Episode Chronology
← Previous
"Arrears in Science"
Next →
"The Inamorata Consequence"
List of The Venture Bros. episodes

The High Cost of Loathing is the fourth episode of Season 7 and the overall seventy-fifth episode of The Venture Bros.

Plot[edit | edit source]

The show opens two months after the previous episode. A Venture Industries cargo ship is being assaulted by a revitalized, lethal and confident Monarch, aided and abetted by 21 (sporting a much more bad-ass version of his armor), a crack team of minions and a newer, more menacing cocoon. The Monarch, wearing a truly menacing suit of armor, forces open a cargo container holding 'uranium' in small canisters. The Monarch opens one of the canisters... and proceeds to use the contents to smooth out his eyebrows. The radioactive label falls off the canister, revealing the contents are actually pomade. The scene then dissolves, revealing the whole event was a reverie by the Monarch, who is being evaluated by Dr. Z. to determine his status level in the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Monarch has turned the Blue Morpho cave into a lair for the Monarch, and enlisted a small number of new minions, although they are clearly wearing ruined ill-fitting uniforms and appear to be the immigrant men who until recently were remodeling The Monarch's house. Dr. Z is less than impressed, noting that “Taylor Swift rolls with a bigger squad“. After poking a hole in the 'new' cocoon - an inflated balloon which the Monarch tries to pass off a real cocoon, Dr Z restates his evaluation. The Monarch is officially a level 5 antagonist.

The Ventures as shown to be moving on with their lives after the traumatic events of the last episode. Dean has elected to move on campus as Stuyvesant University, Hank is moving into Dean's old (and much nicer) room at the VenTech Tower penthouse, and Dr Venture is attempting to shore up losses in the Ventech company caused by the disaster on Gargantua 2 and the costs incurred to repair the Ventech Tower after Jonas Venture Sr. tried to make the building 'run away'. While demonstrating Jonas Jr.'s flying belt as the next potential technological breakthrough from Ventech, Dr Venture dramatically hurls himself out a window...and gets a shard of glass jammed into his leg, cutting his femoral artery and ending up in the hospital.

The Monarch and 21 visit a bank to secure a multimillion dollar loan to finance a new cocoon and other anticipated expenses that will be incurred by trying to elevate Monarch's threat level. Not only is the Monarch turned down, he discovers he has depleted his trust fund, having spent lavishly on the restoration of his family home. Monarch impulsively decides to rob the bank, but is thwarted by the Brown Widow.

Back at the Monarch's, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch returns home to find 21 waiting outside of the study. Realizing he's had a bad day in regards to villainy, she goes to the study to find him moping. She tries to comfort him, saying he's having an "rough day". To which, the Monarch breaks down and tells her, he's broke. He's lost all his inheritance, he's lost his arching rights, and he feels like he has nothing. She reminds him, she's still here by his side and that he's still got #21.

She informs him he's got a better arch this time. She calmly tries to tell him to not give up and just go up the ladder to be a level 10. When he appears to give up, his wife immediately halts him. She gives him an uplifting speech about how he is a survivor just like the monarch butterflies he idolizes. He then looks at a Monarch display frame, she handed him. Her speech lifts his spirits and looks at the butterfly, hinting its his "adoptive" mother. He thanks his wife and both look at his "mother" fondly. He states his "mother" would have liked her.

Meanwhile, on campus, Dean meets with Professor Von Helping to see if he can drop the science classes his father signed him up for. Dean explains he doesn't want to be like his father, which Von Helping says he understands. At first, Dean is reluctant to listen about his matter, but the professor explains he understands his plight by showing Dean a picture of his father and explaining the latter was a supervillain that wanted him to follow in the family "business". He found some solace in science that helped people and being a teacher. He makes a deal with a surprised Dean to take one of his classes to see if he like it. The two decide on botany class.

At VenTech, Hank desperate to get extra cash, decides to use his old room renting it out to traveling European couple. He goes to campus to surprise Sirena with flowers, but gets disappointed when she reminds him that she's busy due to her college classes.

On the road, the Monarch has to use gel for his eyebrows, much to his disdain. He and #21 look up who they've been assigned to arch. Its, revealed to be Professor Victor Von Helping. They are more surprised to realize he is the son of the Vigo Von Hellfire, considered Guild royalty. They read that Victor was being groomed for the family business but had a change of heart. According to his file, "After a freak super-science accident left him hideously scarred on over 80% of his body". But on photo, he looked normal to them.

Dean gets ready for Von Helping's botany class and is surprised to find Sirena will be his classmate. While waiting the two bond over how their fathers want them to follow the science careers they pursued. The moment the professor comes to the classroom, the Monarch and #21 break in to "arch" Professor Von Helping; much to Dean's dismay.

Back at VenTech, while Hank's "tenants" trigger the security alert, waking up Sergeant Hatred. While upstairs, Brock annoyingly realizes Hank took the flat-screen TV from the living room.

Hank is later shown visiting his dad at the hospital, who's still unconscious. He quietly talks his frustrations (particularly how he feels he favors Dean more) to his father, and is bewildered to hear someone singing in their room. He wanders a moment to find Stars and Garters singing to the unconscious Think Tank. He awkwardly tells Hank that its said "music helps" and thinks it awoke Dr. Venture. For a moment, Hank thinks his father listened to his conversation as Dr. Venture tells his son that he was always his favorite and loved him. Only to get a surprise, as he calls Hank, "Kate Jackson" (hinting he's probably not aware of his surroundings yet).

Meaningwhile, both Hatred and Brock are looking for Hank and go to his "old room", neither one are aware he rented out his old room. Thinking they're being burgled, they storm the room with the couple inside. Though their fate is never shown, only gunshots can be heard.

Back at Professor Von Helping's class, 21 and the Monarch continue their arching. The Monarch demands something, though not sure what to take since Von Helping doesn't seem aware of the arching system and simply thinks its a prank. Sirena, watching this, comments how the scenario is "sad", angering the Monarch and orders 21 to hold her hostage. This clearly upsets Von Helping as he quickly loses his temper and his false skin melts off.

This reveals his metallic form and he begins to rage, proclaiming himself by his birth name; Victor Von Hellfire. Before he can harm the Monarch, Dean tries to calm down the situation and his professor. He then yells at the Monarch, asking what it will take to get him to leave them alone. A tired Monarch, vents on how he's struggling as a villain since he can't arch Dr. Venture anymore. He goes to tell Dean, he wouldn't understand since he's money and doesn't have to work. Dean agrees to end this, to which the Monarch at first thinks he's got a gun.

But Dean merely takes out the check book, signing the Monarch a check for a million dollars to leave them alone. To which a bewildered Monarch agrees. The Professor thanks Dean for teaching him something, but the Monarch interupts his speech, getting annoyed by the moment. 21 then asks Von Helping to sign a Guild form 4-B Arch confirmation.

While they talk, Dean checks on Sirena. Sirena tells him she's fine and how she's not impressed by the Monarch. She thanks Dean though for standing up for her and pecks his cheek. The gesture makes him blush and once Sirena leaves, he's embarrassed to see he has an "erection".

At the end of the episode, #21 hangs a frame that the Guild award the Monarch "Top Earner for the Month" for his arch with Professor Von Helping. This also gets him pushed to a level 6. His wife declares how proud of him she is, stating that even Dr. Z was impressed. She hands him a parcel he sent for the Monarch. When he opens he finds a note from Dr. Z congratulating him on his level 6 and a tin of Handy Dandy pomade from his own personal stash. The Monarch grins, feeling emboldened.

Episode Cast[edit | edit source]

Connections to Previous Episodes[edit | edit source]

Past Tense

Twenty Years to Midnight

Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny

The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)

Venture Libre


The Devil's Grip

  • The Monarch's new Henchman "army" are seen wearing uniforms that look a bit charred around the edges, likely from when the cocoon caught fire and fell over onto his mansion, thanks to Sergeant Hatred in The Devil's Grip.

All This And Gargantua-2

Tanks for Nuthin'

It Happening One Night

The Venture Bros. & The Curse of the Haunted Problem

Cultural References[edit | edit source]

300 (2006)

  • While Prof. Tompkins is teaching Dean and Jared's philosophy class, he shows them the movie 300, directed by Zack Snyder and based on the same-named graphic novel by Frank Miller.


Assassin's Creed


Björn Borg

  • Substitute professor Tosh Tompkins makes fun of Jared's hairstyle and headband by calling him Björn Borg, a famous Swedish tennis player who had a similar hairstyle in the 1970s.

Carl Sagan

Coen brothers

Dune (1984)

"Father Figure" (George Michael, 1987)

Hamilton: An American Musical (2015)

Kate Jackson

Lord of the Rings (films)

  • Jared's side of the dorm room has a poster from one of the Rings of The Realm movies, an obvious Lord of the Rings parody.


  • Brown Widow, the show's Spider-Man parody, has numerous photos drying on lines on the walls of his dorm room. Spider-Man's alter ego, Peter Parker, is a photographer who develops his own photos.

Taylor Swift

Ben 10(2005)

  • When Brock is drifting around the University statue a women dressed as Gwen Tennyson in the original series can be seen ducking out of the way.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Preceded by:
"Arrears in Science"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
August 26, 2018
Followed by:
"The Inamorata Consequence"
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