|"The Terminus Mandate"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
|Directed by||Juno Lee|
|Written by||Doc Hammer|
|Original air date||September 23, 2018|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
The Terminus Mandate is the eighth episode of Season 7 and the overall seventy-ninth episode of The Venture Bros.
An incognito Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and Red Death meet in front of Vincenzo's restaurant in New York City. They look around to make sure they haven't been spotted, then enter the restaurant for their secret meeting with the Peril Partnership. Inside the restaurant they find Phantom Limb sitting at a table in full costume. After noting with frustration that he thought they were going for "intimidating villainy", he leaves to change into a disguise, asking them as he leaves to save him one of the stuffed peppers he ordered.
At another table in the corner of the restaurant Dr. Venture has a conversation with Night Dick about a potential "black widow" murderer named Teresa Didae. Night Dick warns Dr. Venture that Teresa has a history of seducing wealthy men and murdering them. Instead of fearing for his life, Dr. Venture takes this as a guarantee that she will romantically pleasure him if he can get her to agree to a date.
While they wait for Phantom Limb to return, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and Red Death taste a bottle of Monfortino red wine. The last remaining stuffed pepper sits on a plate in the middle of the table. The loutish villain Blind Rage noisily enters the restaurant in his street attire. He looks from side to side as he yells his dialogue, making a dramatic show of being unable to see as he crosses the restaurant. Blind Rage confesses that his "radar" sense actually allows him to see perfectly fine as he takes a seat at the table with Red Death and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.
Blind Rage is insulting toward the Guild of Calamitous Intent, mocking the Council and making threats if the Guild doesn't resume paying kickbacks to the Peril Partnership that had previously been established under Wide Wale. Red Death moves to physically put Blind Rage in his place until the Councilwoman verbally restrains him. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, clearly disgusted by Blind Rage, tells him that she'll bring up his offer at the next Council meeting. He messily eats the last stuffed pepper and exits the restaurant, complimenting the "chef" as he goes--actually a disguised Phantom Limb, who hadn't been able to find anything to wear other than a chef's hat and a Vincenzo's-branded apron.
The Council calls a meeting on Meteor Majeure. They take a vote on the Peril Partnership's proposal and, despite reservations from Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and Dr. Z, collectively decide to resume the payoffs, with Red Death volunteering to make the drop off on his way home. The Council also resolves the issue of not having thirteen members by checking with the original Guild charter, which reveals that no set number of council members is specified to lead the Guild, though Council members are required to stop being active villains to dedicate themselves to Council duties. Watch and Ward distribute sealed envelopes containing final arching assignments, allowing every Council member one last chance to be a villain before retiring.
At the VenTech Tower Hank sit on his bed, grudgingly helping his father reach out to Teresa Didae through social media. Brock Samson attempts to dissuade Dr. Venture from pursuing the potential black widow, with Dr. Venture responding that he wants to be touched and loved by a beautiful woman who won't mock or judge him for being pathetic. Brock concedes to helping out and Hank announces that Teresa has accepted Dr. Venture's friend request.
Dr. Mrs. The Monarch goes home and explains to The Monarch that she'll no longer be able to serve as his Number Two after she finishes her final arching assignment and commits full time to the Guild Council. He doesn't take the news well, throwing a tantrum and stomping out of the room. Henchman 21 stays behind and, upon request, reads aloud Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's final arching assignment for her.
In a flashback a young Lady Au Pair burglarizes a bank vault with the assistance of her Murderous Moppets, Tim-Tom and Kevin. She marvels at the Faith Diamond, a massive jewel worth over $300 million, only to have it snatched from her hands by the bride-themed superhero Novia. The two trade barbs and Novia absconds with the diamond, leaving Lady Au Pair empty handed. Reflecting back on the caper Dr. Mrs. The Monarch sees it as her most humbling failure as a young villain, which is why the Guild has selected Novia as her final arching assignment to provide a sense of closure.
Phantom Limb reclines on a couch in his luxurious condominium, talking on the phone to an old archrival while two young women attend to him. He agrees to meet his old nemesis at midnight on the Central Park Bow Bridge.
Wide Wale reads his final arching assignment with a chuckle in his penthouse apartment in Tophet Tower. He informs his bodyguard Rocco that his final arch is against Curtis Sliwa, founder of the vigilante group the Guardian Angels, despite the two having made peace years ago. Wale instructs Rocco to beat up Sliwa on his behalf, then take him out to a fancy steakhouse as an apology.
Dr. Z reads his final arching assignment which--to nobody's surprise--is his nemesis Action Johnny. Dr. Z fondly flashes back to the memory of one of his first encounters with Johnny, which looks like an old episode of the show Jonny Quest. Z holds a gun on Johnny, but Johnny's dog Buddy scares off Z's bungling henchmen with the aid of a mask of the Egyptian god Anubis.
Radical Left sits in a house that is visually split in half, with each side decorated in a theme reflecting one half of his body. He holds up the final arching assignment given to him by the Guild of Calamitous Intent, already knowing what it will say: Right Wing, the name for the more conservative half of his body. Radical Left and Right Wing agree to a final conflict, with Right Wing beseeching Radical Left not to absorb him (again).
At Red Mantle and Dragoon's house the two elderly supervillains are afraid to discover the results of their envelope, with Dragoon hoping to be assigned the handyman Al from the television series Home Improvement because he seems like he would never hurt anyone. They put off opening the envelope by making dinner and watching Downton Abbey.
Blind Rage waits on a street corner in Chinatown for Red Death to deliver the payoff money for the Peril Partnership. Red Death emerges from a cloud of steam in an alleyway. He crumples his final arching assignment up in his left hand and drops it neatly in an open dumpster. Red Death growls as he approaches Blind Rage, to which the blind supervillain responds by mocking the senior villain's age and belittling him as a mere "errand boy". The insults end when Red Death knocks Blind Rage unconscious with a single well-placed punch to the face.
Radical Left defeats Right Wing in an intense game of Clue, prompting Right Wing to request they play for best of five.
The UP button on the elevator lights up and the elevator dings in the living room of the penthouse of the VenTech Tower. Dr. Venture clears his throat and approaches the elevator. The doors open to reveal Dean Venture wearing a bride's veil over his face. Dr. Venture tries to work out how to safely approach his date, with Brock, Hank, and Dean assisting him with a simulated scenario. All goes well until Dr. Venture unthinkingly takes a sip from a drink that Dean hands him, which Dean reveals could've been poisoned had this been a date with an actual black widow. Hank calls for them to reset and run through the scenario again.
Phantom Limb and Hunter Gathers approach the Central Park Bow Bridge at midnight. Each reaches a hand inside the front of their overcoat, as if going for a gun in a shoulder holster. The two men stare each other down, then each pull a wooden ruler from inside their overcoat and proceed to have a literal dick-measuring competition.
Blind Rage awakens to find himself bound and gagged, tied to the train tracks. He attempts to shout through his gag, but his voice is muffled. Red Death schools the arrogant young villain on the concept of the "Gentleman Villain", explaining the personal touch of tying an adversary to the train tracks and the building terror of the ticking time bomb, which potentially inspires hope before ultimately proving deadly. To relate the concept to their situation, Red Death tells Blind Rage that the approaching train may or may not be on his track and he could survive if he manages to escape. Red Death departs on his flying horse, telling Blind Rage as he leaves that the Guild isn't afraid of the punk in the Peril Partnership.
Dr. Z talks to the receptionist at Sunnylake Retreat Rehabilitation Center, hopeful that he'll be able to visit Action Johnny. She informs him that it's not visiting hours but offers to give "John" a note on Z's behalf. Dr. Z scrawls out a simple threat on a piece of paper, which touches the receptionist's heart enough to convince her to ask a counselor to let Z visit with Johnny.
Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, dressed in her old Lady Au Pair costume, follows the beeping makeup compact in her hand, which has tracked the location of Novia to Columbus Circle, in the general area around VenTech Tower. Henchman 21 walks beside her in a Moppet costume. When she spots Novia at the front door of the VenTech Tower, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch gets cold feet and tries to walk away. 21 takes the initiative and approaches Novia for her, shaming Sheila into approaching. The two former archenemies have a surprisingly touching reunion, treating one another like old friends, and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch breaks down crying in Novia's arms.
Dr. Z and Action Johnny sit in separate chairs in the lobby of Sunnylake Retreat Rehabilitation Center. An open present box sits on the coffee table in front of Johnny, with the statue of the Head of Anubis inside a layer of colored tissue paper. Dr. Z tells Johnny that his wife and adoptive son Ro-Boy are fine with him moving in, but the recovering junkie shows little interest in the prospect. They both sit awkwardly together until Johnny picks up the Head of Anubis, asking Dr. Z if he wants him to go run and hide with it. Dr. Z lights up at the suggestion, eagerly pleading for Johnny to do it just one more time.
Red Mantle and Dragoon finally work up the courage to open their envelope only to find that all of their archenemies are deceased. The two supervillains celebrate, relieved to have "outlived all of those good guy pieces of crap."
Dr. Venture and Novia sit on the living room couch in the VenTech Tower penthouse. Dr. Venture has dark circles around his eyes, his cheeks are flushed, and he is sweating profusely. His speech comes out slurred when he talks to Novia. Two wine glasses and a bottle of Monfortino sit on the coffee table in front of them. Dr. Venture tells Novia that he's learned some things about her past and has been drugged with "atropine, theophylline, and antivenom" as a protective measure by his bodyguard. Novia says she doubts that what Dr. Venture heard was true. Dr. Venture passes out from the drugs, falling off the couch and over Novia's lap. A red laser sight appears trained on Novia's forehead. She raises her hands in surrender, addressing Brock in the bushes to let him know that she has had nothing to do with Dr. Venture's lack of consciousness.
Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and Henchman 21 sit in the backseat of a limousine as it drives through New York City, driven by a Guild Stranger. At his request Dr. Mrs. The Monarch cuts off Henchman 21's ponytail with her switchblade. She confides in him that she's worried her partnership with her husband is over, which makes her feel even worse than getting hugged by her former archnemesis and vomiting afterward. As a consolation she reveals that she stole Novia's wallet when they hugged.
With all of their final arching assignments complete, the Guild Council reconvenes on Meteor Majeure. Each member systematically resigns from active villainy and pledges to serve on the Council, with the exception of Wide Wale, who leaves the Council to remain an active villain.
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture, Phantom Limb
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Mike Sinterniklaas: Dean Venture
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, Dr. Z, Dragoon, Radical Left, General Hunter Gathers, The Monarch, Tim-Tom, Watch
- Clancy Brown: Red Death
- Doc Hammer: Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, 21, Red Mantle, Ward, Kevin
- Brendon Small: Action Johnny, Blind Rage
- Cristin Milioti: Novia, Receptionist
- Hal Lublin: Wide Wale, Z Henchman
- Mark Gagliardi: Rocco
- James Adomian: Night Dick
Connections to Other Episodes
- Henchman 21 stated that he was growing a ponytail just before he inadvertently killed the Venture Brothers, which he lets Dr. Mrs. The Monarch cut off in this episode.
- Dr. Mrs. The Monarch takes on her Lady Au Pair guise, an identity first shown in Fallen Arches when she applied to be the main arch for the Order of the Triad.
- In Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's failure as the villain Lady Au Pair is commented upon in a flashback. In The Terminus Mandate this is elaborated upon: her humiliation by Novia in grabbing the Faith Diamond is noted as Lady Au Pair's most significant defeat in the final arching letter given to her by The Guild.
- There is a framed photo of Dr. Z and Sergeant Hatred on Dr. Z's wall. That photo was taken way back in the Season 3 episode The Buddy System, which was also Dr. Z's first appearance on the show.
- It is stated on the card written by Watch and Ward that all of Red Mantle and Dragoon's former enemies are deceased. This might mean that Desmond, the original Captain Sunshine, may have passed away as Dragoon mentioned in Any Which Way But Zeus that he used to arch him in the '60s.
- Dr. Venture says he hasn't been with a woman since Hank's graduation. This happened in Operation P.R.O.M., though the "woman" was actually one of Molotov Cocktease's Black Hearts mercenaries who had been mutated into a human-fly hybrid.
- The Murderous Moppets, who are seen in Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's flashback this episode and referenced by Novia, last appeared in the Season 5 finale The Devil's Grip. They died in that episode when Sergeant Hatred inadvertently destroyed the Cocoon.
- Night Dick first appeared as part of the Crusaders Action League when they were introduced in the Season 6 premiere Hostile Makeover.
- Red Death, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Dr. Venture, and Novia drink from a bottle of Monfortino, the wine enjoyed by Scaramantula in the flashback at the beginning of Faking Miracles.
- A disguised Hank Venture serves Wide Wale a glass of Monfortino at Vincenzo's in Tanks for Nuthin', the same wine Red Death and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch drink at Vincenzo's in the beginning of this episode and Dr. Venture and Novia drink at the VenTech Tower later in the episode.
- Red Death has been given a seat on the Council of 13, presumably as part of the deal Dr. Mrs. The Monarch worked out with him in The Rorqual Affair.
- The Go-Pod was destroyed by Wide Wale's henchmen in The Rorqual Affair. It now sits, still broken, in the corner of Hank's bedroom.
- Dr. Phineas Phage is notably absent from the Guild Council in this episode. The reason for this absence is later revealed in The Saphrax Protocol: he has become comatose as a result of an accident with the teleporters stolen from Dr. Venture in The Unicorn in Captivity.
- Action Johnny's dog Buddy scares away Dr. Z's bungling henchmen by wearing a hollow statue of the Egyptian god Anubis as a mask.
- Dr. Mrs. The Monarch refers to the mansion home she shares with her husband as "stately Wayne Manor", the home of Bruce Wayne in Batman comics.
Batman Forever (1995)
- Radical Left's house is split in half, with each side decorated in a theme reflecting one half of his body, similar to Two-Face's hideout in the 1995 film Batman Forever.
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
- Radical Left is seen playing the board game Clue against his chosen final arch, Right Wing. This is similar to Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan playing the same game, amongst others, against Death to avoid being consigned to the afterlife for all eternity in the 1991 movie Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Upon losing Right Wing even channels Death by demanding "Best out of five."
- Dr. Venture casts Teresa Didae (Novia) as a "black widow", a common trope in fiction (and occasionally real life) typified by a woman who seduces, marries, and then murders men for their money.
- Wide Wale's first archenemy was the real-life 1970s New York City crime fighter Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, a volunteer organization of unarmed crime-prevention vigilantes. Sliwa is now a radio talk show host and chairman of the Reform Party of New York State.
- Blind Rage's civilian guise in the restaurant scene at Vincenzo's references the casual outfit worn by Ryan Reynolds' 2016 movie version of the superpowered antihero Deadpool.
Downton Abbey (2010-2015)
- Because Red Mantle and Dragoon are too afraid to read their final arching assignment they instead procrastinate by watching the British historical period drama Downton Abbey.
Fight Club (1999)
- Blind Rage's civilian guise in the restaurant scene at Vincenzo's references Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden outfit in Fight Club.
Home Improvement (1991-1999)
- Dragoon hopes that his final arching assignment will be Al, the handyman from the sitcom Home Improvement.
Jonny Quest (1964-1965)
- Dr. Z's flashback is nearly identical to a scene from episode 3 of the animated series Jonny Quest, "The Curse of Anubis". The villain in the episode, Dr. Ahmed Kareem, wears the same outfit that Dr. Z wears in his flashback, complete with red fez. (Dr. Zin, the basis for Dr. Z, wouldn't make his first appearance on the series until two episodes later in "Riddle of the Gold".)
- After instructing Rocco to rough up Curtis Sliwa, Wide Wale then tells him to "take him to Keens for some chops", referring to a well known steakhouse in the Garment District in Manhattan. The restaurant also houses a collection of more than 50,000 smoking pipes, making it one of the largest collections in the world.
- Dr. Mrs. The Monarch says that Henchman 21's ponytail smells like LA Looks, a brand of hair gel popularized in the late 1980s. He replies that he never got over "the wet look".
Mary Poppins (1964)
- Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's "Lady Au Pair" costume is loosely based on an outfit worn by Julie Andrews in the classic 1964 musical fantasy film Mary Poppins, particularly the hat with the flowers on it.
- Red Death and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch sample a glass of Monfortino, an exceptional vintage from Italian wine producer Giacomo Conterno. Red Death declares it "interesting."
- Dr. Venture and Novia split a bottle of Monfortino when she visits his penthouse home in the VenTech Tower.
- Action Johnny's t-shirt features a silhouette of a surfer and the initials OK on it, a parody of the Ocean Pacific apparel brand popular in the 1970s-80s. Ocean Pacific is known for producing surf related apparel, swimwear, footwear, and accessories branded with the OP logo.
Our Man Flint (1966)
- Phantom Limb's apartment resembles that of special agent extraordinaire Derek Flint, complete with a suspended wicker bed and female "playmates".
- When discussing the "black widow" Novia with Dr. Venture, Night Dick refers to Penthouse Forum, a magazine put out by the publishers of the pornographic pictorial magazine Penthouse that focused more on editorial content, erotic essays, and letters from readers.
- Suspected "black widow" Novia's real name is Teresa Didae. Night Dick says her friends would call her "Terri" if she had any. Theridiidiae ("Terri Didae") is the taxonomic family to which black widows, among other spiders, belong.
- When reading his final arching assignment card, Wide Wale says "Those two set the Wayback Machine all the way back to when I started out", referring to the WABAC Machine, a time travel machine used by Mr. Peabody and Sherman to meet historical figures of the past in the "Peabody's Improbable History" segment of the show The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
- Blind Rage's civilian guise in the restaurant scene at Vincenzo's references Bane's outfit from The Dark Knight Rises.
- Hank moved into Dean's old room in the VenTech Tower after Dean moved to the on-campus dorms at Stuyvesant University in The High Cost of Loathing. On the shelf next to Hank's bed are his Enrico Matassa hat and the Batman mask he wears as The Bat. Also in the room are a photo of Sirena Ong, a football, a beanbag chair, Hank's Stingray bass guitar and amplifier, and the demolished Go-Pod.
- Red Mantle/Dragoon's home is based on a real house in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY that Christopher McCulloch walked past on his way to school as a child which was dubbed the Gingerbread House. It is officially known as the Howard E. and Jessie Jones House after its original owners. A video tour can be seen here.
- The bridge that Blind Rage is tied to the tracks of is the Manhattan Bridge.
- No one seems to notice the logical flaw in their preparations for Novia. It's established that she (is believed to) kill her husbands, after they're married, to inherit their wealth. There's no reason to be afraid of her on the first date; she has no motive to kill Rusty until and unless they are married (or at least until he changes his will).
| Preceded by:
"The Unicorn in Captivity"
| The Venture Bros. episodes
September 23, 2018
"The Forecast Manufacturer"