|"The Rorqual Affair"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
|Directed by||Juno Lee|
|Written by||Doc Hammer|
|Original air date||August 12, 2018|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
The Rorqual Affair is the second episode of Season 7 and the overall seventy-third episode of The Venture Bros.
Gary Fischer, AKA Henchman 21, is having a nightmare about being in a classroom with the rotting animated corpse of The Wandering Spider presenting a math problem on the chalk board. When called upon for the answer, Gary goes from being dressed as Kano to being naked. Henchman 24 appears next to him, offering his tranquilizer gun as a substitute for Gary's penis. Sergeant Hatred, dressed in Gary's old henchman uniform and sporting breasts again, admonishes 24 for giving help, which is only permitted for "killers." Gary, now back to his adolescent age when he was first kidnapped by the Monarch's henchmen, asks to take the course over. Finally the teacher becomes the corpse of Wes Warhammer, asking him if that's what he wants to do, to which Gary responds that his mother thinks he's visiting his uncle and that he's good. The original Blue Morpho, speaking with the voice of The Monarch, asks him if he is good, which wakes Gary from the dream.
Realizing he's late for his meeting with the Monarch, Gary rushes to get dressed, grabbing his Kano uniform out of its holding tank. He calls the Morphomobile only to discover it gone, forcing him to take the NYC subway to Tophet Tower. The Monarch, dressed as the Blue Morpho, sits smugly in Wide Wale's office, confronting him and his primary henchman, Rocco, with demands that he close up shop and leave town. The Monarch threatens Wide Wale that if he doesn't comply, he'll end up unconscious while Rocco bleeds to death. He counts down, expecting Kano to burst in as he smacks the decorative knife on Wale's desk, grabbing it in mid-air and launching it at Rocco, only for it to hit him with the pommel of the knife, which causes Rocco to easily take him down.
At the Meyer London public school across town, the New York members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent are in an uproar as the Council suspends all arching until the Blue Morpho's capture. Phantom Limb offers to waive the membership fee for the Guild for one year and pay the villain's weight in Guild booty for the Morpho's head. From the back of the classroom, Red Death makes a counter offer, vowing to bring in the Blue Morpho in exchange for a seat on the Council.
Wale and Rocco have the Monarch tied to a chair in the pool room of the penthouse. They wake him up to torture and insult him, showing that they have figured out that he's really The Monarch from his voice. This leads Wale to state if he is then he's in trouble and discusses his origin to the confused pair. Wide Wale whose real name is Chester Ong, reveals that his older brother "Dougie" was working on a means of curing cancer and in order to help him, Chester used his brother's molecular redistributor to enhance his DNA with that of several sea creatures. Douglas tried to stop him but the rays ended up mutating both brothers. Monarch questions the story's significance, as Wide Wale makes it clear that his brother Douglas Ong was, in fact, Dr. Dugong, whom The Monarch supposedly killed in the episode Tears of a Sea Cow. Monarch is scared as he realizes Wide Wale wants revenge on him for his actions, especially when the villain makes it known that he's finished if its him and punches him after unmasking him.
Outside Tophet Tower, Gary is monitoring The Monarch's vitals when Dr. Mrs. The Monarch video calls him and tells him to get to Rat Island, where the Blue Morpho has been supposedly caught. The villain Tunnel Vision claims the kill, but Gary refutes the claim by pointing out the body is simply a homeless guy wearing a cheap halloween mask. As they argue over the validity of Tunnel Vision's claim, the Widow of the Wandering Spider appears and confronts the Councilwoman, slapping her in the face and blaming her for her husband's death. Gary tells her that he has some things to show her and asks her to meet him back at their place, while Red Death hovers over the scene, laughing maniacally.
Back at the Tower, Rocco tells Sirena that she needs to go to her room, which angers her. She stalks off, derisively telling Rocco to tell her father he tied her to the bed, which he flips out over, as he had earlier told Wide Wale a former girlfriend of his was into that sort of thing. Back at their home in Newark, Gary confesses that The Monarch is being held prisoner and that they have been the ones who have been going out as the Blue Morpho and Kano. Although she is angry with their actions, she agrees to help figure out a way to save her husband. However, when Gary tries to show her the Morpho Cave, they are unable to access it, instead winding up in a small basement where the house's water heater is located. Disgusted, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch stalks off to seek help from Red Death.
The Monarch is awakened from a Jaws-based dream involving Dr. Venture by a bucket of water to the face from Rocco. Wide Wale continues to taunt him, wanting him to know he's going to die by telling him in Italian, "Ha ucciso Mio Fratello" (You killed my brother). The Monarch questions his Italian roots, which Wale claims comes via his wife April. That makes Rocco also question it, with a flustered Wale claiming he learned Italian while studying abroad at the University of Palermo. The Monarch mentions a henchman who spent a week in London and came back with a ridiculous English accent, which prompts Rocco to bring up guys who try to impress women by faking an accent.
Gary and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch go to Red Death's home, where he agrees to help them after revealing the truth about Wide Wale's connection to Dr. Dugong. She offers him the seat as long as no one gets killed, then tells him that they will be attacking an O.S.I. Dummy Corp. He kills the entire staff and they make their entry into the archives. Meanwhile, Rocco decides to make The Monarch play Mad-Libs with him. As Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Gary and Red Death are searching the O.S.I. files, Red Death shows off a ticket to the Movie Night Massacre. He reveals part of the backstory of his involvement, describing how one of the Guild's young guns, Stab Girl, died from her exposure to the vacuum of space. The building alarm sounds and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch gives Red Death a file, telling him to find that person and bring him to Wide Wale's home.
Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and Gary arrive at the tower and as she goes in, Gary finds the elevator going back down instead of heading to the roof, where he was to wait for Red Death's arrival. When the doors open, Hank Venture, dressed as his alter ego, Enrico Matassa, gets on, also heading to the penthouse, forcing Gary to hide his face. Gary meets up with the Councilwoman after she easily dispatches Wide Wale's guards at the door, and directs her away as Hank enters, which was seen in the previous episode. The episode then repeats the scene where Wide Wale offers Enrico the opportunity to join his crime family by killing the Monarch. Gary bursts in, dressed as Kano, imploring Enrico Matassa not to shoot, reminding him that he's a lover, not a fighter.
Wide Wale takes the gun and is about to kill The Monarch when Red Death crashes through the window with Dr. Dugong in tow, revealing that he is not only alive, but has regenerated his head thanks to the starfish DNA in his body. The Ong family is reunited completely when Sirena arrives to discover her Uncle is alive. She also learns for the first time that she has an uncle, as her father had never told her, presumably under the assumption that he had died.
Red Death notices that the VenTech Tower is suddenly trying to move, which shocks everyone watching. As they watch the building shake, Gary spots the Morphomobile appearing in the sky, landing in front of the tower. A figure gets out dressed as the Blue Morpho, which surprises both Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and Wide Wale, but delights The Monarch, who claims that this clears him of the Blue Morpho's crimes.
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture, Phantom Limb, Flying Squid
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, The Monarch, Sgt. Hatred, Dragoon, Dr. Dugong, Henchman 24, Brick Frog, Scorpio, Wes Warhammer
- Doc Hammer: 21, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Red Mantle
- Clancy Brown: Red Death
- Mark Gagliardi: Rocco, Hogfish
- Hal Lublin: Wide Wale, Tunnel Vision, The Wandering Spider
- Cristin Milioti: Sirena, Mrs. Wandering Spider
Connections to Other Episodes
- Red Death talks about the Movie Night massacre, first mentioned by Bud Manstrong aboard Gargantua-1 in the Season 1 episode Careers in Science.
- Red Death says that there was a screening of Sharky's Machine aboard the station during Movie Night, as previously mentioned by Bud Manstrong.
- Dr. Dugong was previously seen in Tears of a Sea Cow.
- The Monarch and his wife finally learn that Dr. Dugong was, in fact, mutated. Dugong had revealed this fact during their initial encounter, but neither The Monarch nor his wife believed him.
- Gary sings along to the cheerleader chant "Be Aggressive" when answering the video call from Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. She performed a personalized cheer for Gary while wearing a cheerleading uniform in Assisted Suicide.
- Gary has a nightmare about the re-animated corpse of Wes Warhammer, who died in It Happening One Night.
- The widow of The Wandering Spider mentions her husband's death, which occurred in A Party for Tarzan.
- Gary has a nightmare about the re-animated corpse of The Wandering Spider, whom he killed in A Party for Tarzan.
- This episode coincides with the plot of the previous episode.
- Red Death mentions being present at the infamous "Movie Night Massacre" on Gargantua-1, which Jonas Venture Sr. was on (as revealed in the previous episode.)
- Red Death mentions Gargantua-1 was screening the 1981 Burt Reynolds movie Sharky's Machine. In The Venture Bros. & The Curse of the Haunted Problem, the theme song from that movie ("Street Life" by The Crusaders) plays repeatedly throughout the VenTech Tower following the "awakening" of the PROBLEM.
Guild Concern over The Blue Morpho
The Guild of Calamitous Intent initially calls a meeting at The Meyer London School to offer supervillains a bounty for the capture of the vigilante The Blue Morpho. Many of the Guild members later reconvene on Rat Island when Tunnel Vision claims to have caught The Blue Morpho, though it turns out to be an imposter.
Guild Members in Attendance at The Meyer London School
- Brick Frog
- Dr. Phineas Phage
- Dot Com
- Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
- Flying Squid
- Intangible Fancy
- Phantom Limb
- Plug Face Guy
- Purple Rose
- Radical Left
- Red Mantle
- Scare Bear (working security at the front door)
- Tunnel Vision
Guild Members in Attendance on Rat Island
- Brick Frog
- Dot Com
- Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
- Flying Squid
- Henchman 21
- Intangible Fancy
- Mrs. Wandering Spider
- Phantom Limb
- Purple Rose
- Scare Bear
- Tunnel Vision
- Unnamed Guild Strangers
- Rocco tells Wide Wale that he became skilled at tying knots in his previous relationship with Angie, an ex-girlfriend from Lyndhurst who was into getting tied up.
- At The Venture Bros. panel at Dragon Con 2019 voice actor Hal Lublin mentioned that his voice for Tunnel Vision--first heard in this episode--is primarily based on Cliff Clavin, the know-it-all postal worker played by John Ratzenberger on the sitcom Cheers.
- The shark in the tank that Wide Wale steals for his brother is a 1991 work by Damien Hirst called The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. This artist was previously referenced in The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I).
- Gary sings along to the cheerleader chant/Faith No More song "Be Aggressive" when answering the video call from Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. "Be Aggressive" was on the 1992 album Angel Dust.
- The Monarch notes that Wide Wale's origin story resembles the plot of the 2003 Ang Lee film Hulk, in which a geneticist similarly looks for the cure for cancer in undersea life and ultimately transforms himself through a botched scientific experiment.
Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)
- One of Wide Wale’s henchmen calls Dr. Mrs. The Monarch Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, referring to a 1975 exploitation film in which the titular character wears an iconic black SS uniform similar to Dr. Mrs. The Monarch’s black Guild outfit.
- The scene on Rat Island is a reference to the dock scene where fishermen catch the wrong shark. The fake Blue Morpho is strung upside down in a similar fashion.
- Henchman 21 is wearing the same outfit as the character Matt Hooper, and he also questions the legitimacy of their catch. Before Henchman 21 answers Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's video call, his outfit also included Hooper's glasses and beard.
- Phantom Limb's line, "Guild, as you know, means fellowship," is a reference to the Mayor's line, "Amity, as you know, means friendship." Phantom Limb is also wearing an anchor-patterned ascot, which echoes the anchor-patterned suit the Mayor later wears.
- Red Death plays the role of Quint, negotiating his price to bring them the Blue Morpho in homage to another scene in Jaws.
- When Mrs. Wandering Spider slaps Dr. Mrs. The Monarch for letting her husband die by not informing Guild members that a vigilante was on the loose, it parallels a scene in Jaws where the mother of a shark victim slaps police chief Brody.
- During The Monarch's blackout, The Monarch waves to Dr. Venture while swimming before getting attacked by something underwater. This is a reference to the opening scene of Jaws.
- The scene in the O.S.I. Dummy Corp where Red Death and Henchman 21 compare their villain superstitions is a reference to the scene in Jaws where Quint and Hooper compare scars.
- When Wide Whale presents Hank (dressed as Enrico Matassa) to the Monarch as the one who will kill him, the Monarch thinks that Wide Whale dressed him up as a gigolo. Hank mistakenly believes that Monarch said "juggalo," which is the name of fans of the rap group, Insane Clown Posse.
- The Meyer London School where The Guild meeting takes place is an actual public school located at 122 Henry St. New York, NY. It was named after Meyer London, who was one of only two members of the Socialist Party of America elected to serve in Congress.
Sharky's Machine (1981)
- Red Death mentions Gargantua-1 was screening the 1981 Burt Reynolds movie Sharky's Machine during the Movie Night massacre in 1987.
- One of the stickers on the back of Sirena's laptop is a logo for a fictitious band called SMITHFITS, a parody mashup of The Misfits and The Smiths. Their logo uses the Crimson Ghost from the Misfits' logo.
- One of the stickers on the back of Sirena's laptop is a logo for a fictitious band called SMITHFITS, a parody mashup of The Misfits and The Smiths. Their logo uses the Marine Corporal from the cover of The Smiths' album Meat is Murder.
- Rorquals are the largest group of baleen whales, which includes the Blue Whale.
- The peeling wallpaper in Gary's bedroom has a butterfly pattern on it featuring orange, mustard, and brown colored butterflies.
- Second 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 closing credits the Supervising Sound Editor / Re-Recording Mixer is listed as Dave "Kill-Sock" Paterson.
- Scare Bear guards the door to The Meyer London School to prevent outsiders from entering the Guild meeting about setting a bounty for The Blue Morpho's capture. In a deleted scene Scare Bear is gently confronted by an A.A. group who have their biweekly meeting scheduled at the time that the Guild is using the room (ostensibly to rehearse for a production of the Sondheim musical Into the Woods.) The apparent group leader gives Scare Bear an A.A. pamphlet and tells the villain "I can see your pain. We can help."
- In the epilogue for the episode, 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 Arrears in Science both doors are open as the vehicle comes in for a landing.
| Preceded by:|
"The Venture Bros. & The Curse of the Haunted Problem"
| The Venture Bros. episodes|
August 12, 2018
| Followed by:|
"Arrears in Science"