|"The Trial of the Monarch"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
|Directed by||Jackson Publick|
|Written by||Doc Hammer|
|Original air date||23 October 2004|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
The Trial of the Monarch is the twelfth episode of Season 1 and the overall twelfth episode of The Venture Bros.
A fantasy sequence dissolves into a courtroom, where The Monarch is noisily objecting to Hank and Dean's ridiculously overblown and obviously false testimony. The court erupts into chaos. Outside, a stranger kills the security guards. The judge rails against the Monarch's idiotic self-defense. The villain, being prosecuted by a midget lawyer (Tiny Attorney) conjoined to the abdomen of a large, dimwitted man, is on trial for the killing of a police officer.
Dr. Venture complains to Brock that he would have called the police on The Monarch long ago if he knew he could have. Brock responds that the police do not interfere with Guild business and implies that the group of villains bear a grudge against The Monarch for some reason. Somewhere else, plans are declared to be "ready".
When the court resumes, The Monarch begins testifying on his own behalf. He begins with the furor caused by the publication of The Flight of The Monarch, a "tell-all" book filled with "lies and pictures of also-lies." He threatens to kill all his henchmen until the hench-author comes forward; though Henchman 24 admonishes Henchman 21 for his role in authoring the book, an unnamed henchmen is subdued and delivered to The Monarch as the ostensible author. The Monarch later explains that the details in the book led to a fight with his girlfriend, Dr. Girlfriend. He accuses her of being mad with grief; she explains she went to her ex-boyfriend, Phantom Limb, for emotional comfort. When the details of Limb's flirtations get too adult, Brock takes Dean and Hank out into the hall; they become excited over discarded chewed gum.
In a flashback, The Monarch tries to get Dr. Girlfriend back and is rejected. At the court, Dr. Orpheus enters. Guild operatives, called Strangers, enter. Brock, familiar with their methods, feels Dr. Venture is in no danger. Another flashback, this one recounted by mind-reading from Dr. Orpheus, reveals that a drunken encounter with the missing cop led to a Stranger bribing the officer to simply move away. Just as Orpheus is about to tell the court, Strangers swarm the courtroom and flood it with gas that freezes everyone inside. Their target: Tiny Attorney. Brock and the teens hide in the restroom. Phantom Limb orders memory wipes on the entire court. One Stranger asks for instructions regarding Orpheus, since necromancers are highly resistant to memory wipes; Phantom Limb replies that they are highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. Leaning close to the frozen Orpheus' ear, Phantom Limb whispers that The Monarch is a very bad man who wishes harm to the Ventures and is guilty of all charges. In return, the Guild will repay Orpheus with the archenemy he has so sorely wanted.
Dr. Girlfriend still seems uneasy about setting up The Monarch, but Phantom Limb assures her that someone must be the patsy. Still distraught, she tells the immobilized Monarch that the Venture brothers, and not she, are responsible for all of this. As the group leaves the courtroom, one of the Strangers stationed outside of the bathroom thanks Brock for not interfering and that they have twenty seconds until the freeze effects wear off. The boys and Brock take a seat next to Dr. Venture just as everyone awakens as if nothing had happened. As Limb had predicted, Orpheus cries his fervent belief that The Monarch is guilty.
The final scene after the credits shows The Monarch wearing an orange prison jumpsuit over his black bodysuit. He is in the visitor's area, separated by a sheet of glass from Dr. Girlfriend, with whom he is speaking via a telephone. The Monarch affirms that he forgives Girlfriend and that they will start over with each other when he is released in a few decades. A reverse angle shot shows that his visitor is actually Henchman 24 dressed like Dr. Girlfriend, who uneasily asks if he can leave now.
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture, The Phantom Limb, Judge
- Michael Sinterniklaas: Dean Venture
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Chris McCulloch: Hank Venture, The Monarch, Tiny Attorney, Monarch Henchman 2, Security Guards 1 & 2, Watch, Bailiff
- Steven Rattazzi: Dr. Orpheus
- Doc Hammer: Dr. Girlfriend, Monarch Henchman 1, Stranger, Ward
- Nina Hellman: Woman in court
- Guild Strangers
- Monstroso (mentioned only)
- Murderous Moppets (Tim-Tom and Kevin, mentioned only)
- The Flight of the Monarch (book)
- The Sovereign
- Tiny Attorney
Connections to Other Episodes
- The costume the Monarch wears during Hank Venture and Dean Venture's made-up witness statement is based on the one he wore in The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay.
- This episode has its roots in the episode Tag Sale - You're It! in which Phantom Limb unsuccessfully tries to woo Dr. Girlfriend away from The Monarch.
- Phantom Limb's machinations against The Monarch — which he carries out for the dual purpose of reclaiming Dr. Girlfriend and staging a coup to seize control of The Guild — form the crux of Season 2 and come to a head in the episode Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I).
- The red-headed woman sitting next to Phantom Limb in the courtroom reappears as a background character in the Season 3 episode O.R.B.
- The Monarch states with disgust that in one of the pictures of Dr. Girlfriend he can see her "dirty pillows." This unusual term for breasts is a reference to a term the overprotective mother uses in Stephen King's 1974 novel Carrie and the 1976 film based on it. In the "behind the scenes footage" of a fictional live-action The Venture Bros. movie (found on the second disc of the season 1 DVD; this episode is also found on that disc), Dr. Venture uses the term to describe some of the details of a supposed love scene with Dr. Girlfriend.
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (1989-1990)
- Hank and Dean's outfits in their fantasy courtroom testimony evoke Chip and Dale from Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, as Chip dresses like Indiana Jones and Dale dresses like Thomas Magnum.CHiPs (1977-1983)
- The Monarch sneeringly refers to the police officer as Officer Poncherello, Erik Estrada's character from the televised crime drama CHiPs.
- Danceteria, the club where The Monarch was photographed making out with Stiv Bators and Lydia Lunch for The Flight of the Monarch, was a famed New York City nightclub that operated in several different locations between 1979 and 1986.
Dark City (1998)
- The Strangers' names, garb, and operations are inspired by the antagonists of the 1998 science fiction thriller Dark City.
Dr. No (1962)
- The hair across the door appears to be a reference to the film Dr. No, the first in the 007 film franchise. James Bond does this to the closet in his hotel room to be aware of any intruders.
- During their fight over the book The Flight of The Monarch, the Monarch sarcastically asks Dr. Girlfriend if Frank Frazetta designed her outfit. Frazetta was a noted fantasy and science fiction artist whose subjects were often scantily-clad.
Happy Days (1974-1984)
- The Monarch sneeringly refers to the police officer as Fonzie, Henry Winkler's character from the sitcom Happy Days.
- The photo in The Flight of the Monarch of Dr. Girlfriend skinny dipping with "Jim Foetus" is a reference to Jim G. Thirlwell, aka Foetus, the influential underground musician who is also the official musical composer for The Venture Bros.
Knight Rider (1982-1986)
- In Hank and Dean's fantasy courtroom testimony Brock Samson is dressed as Michael Knight from Knight Rider.
Lost in Space (1998)
- In Hank and Dean's fantasy courtroom testimony their imagination-enhanced H.E.L.P.eR. appears to be modeled after the robot from the 1998 film Lost in Space.
- The Flight of the Monarch features a photo of The Monarch making out with Stiv Bators and Lydia Lunch at Danceteria. Poet/singer/actress Lydia Lunch was a lover of and frequent musical collaborator with JG Thirlwell in the 1980s. The two performed together in the band The Immaculate Consumptive (with Nick Cave and Marc Almond) and released a three-song EP together called Stinkfist in 1987.
Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)
- Phantom Limb tells Dr. Girlfriend that she was "a regular Mata Hari", referencing the Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996)
- The Sovereign's head somewhat resembles Zordon from the television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
- The book that Dr. Orpheus swears upon in the courtroom is the Necronomicon from Sam Raimi's Evil Dead film series in both look and name.
- The Necronomicon originated in the writings of author H. P. Lovecraft, who first mentioned the fictional grimoire in his 1924 short story "The Hound".
Oh! You Pretty Things (1971)
- The Guild's Strangers are a reference to the lyrics "all the strangers came today, and it looks as though they're here to stay" from David Bowie's 1971 song Oh! You Pretty Things.
- Tiny Attorney's overall demeanor, complete with white suit, is that of the archetypal "simple country lawyer" character: an accented Southerner who speaks in folksy regionalisms and affects humility and ignorance while actually harboring a keen knowledge of the law and a shrewd ability to work a courtroom.
- The "simple country lawyer" has been embodied or parodied in numerous television shows and movies, including:
- The Flight of the Monarch features a photo of The Monarch making out with Stiv Bators and Lydia Lunch at Danceteria. Stiv Bators was the lead singer of the seminal punk band The Dead Boys and the goth-rock supergroup The Lords of the New Church. He died in 1990 after a taxi struck him in Paris.
- The title of the episode is a reference to the 1989 made-for-TV film The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, a sequel to both the 1988 television movie The Incredible Hulk Returns and The Incredible Hulk, the 1978–1982 television series that spawned both films.
- Marvel legend Stan Lee, famed for his film and television cameos, made his first ever live action cameo as the Jury Foreman in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. Show creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer make similar cameos in this episode as members of the jury.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- The Sovereign's head is based on the head of Oz, the Great and Terrible from the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz.
- The Monarch derisively compares the uniformed police officer to a Tom of Finland character. Tom of Finland was a Finnish artist known for his stylized highly masculinized homoerotic fetish art and for his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. His artwork often featured fetishized male characters in authoritative uniforms.
- At the beginning of the episode in the boys' flashback Hank Venture and Dean Venture are dressed as Indiana Jones and Thomas Magnum respectively. Tom Selleck, who played the lead on Magnum, P.I., was originally slated to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Total Recall (1990)
- The character Tiny Attorney is a parody of Kuato, a character in the movie Total Recall who was similarly a deformed twin growing out of a man's torso.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Trial of the Monarch|
- 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 "Mecha-Shiva" Albert.
- The jury is made up of the show's cast and crew, including Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, as mentioned in the episode's DVD commentary.
- In the shot showing the Guild of Calamitous Intent's command center, Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick are shown on separate monitors.
- The biography The Flight of the Monarch makes numerous references to the early '80s New York City punk scene.
- To this date, most viewers haven't figured out what was going on in the episode. (What was the point of the trial?) The Guild framed the Monarch for killing a cop so as to have him tried. Their primary objective was kidnapping Tiny Attorney, who was on their most wanted list. Dr. Girlfriend was in on the plan and may even have been originally assigned to infiltrate The Monarch's gang before falling in love with him, but Phantom Limb abused his position of authority to stop The Monarch being acquitted so as to win Dr. Girlfriend.
| Preceded by:|
| The Venture Bros. episodes|
October 23, 2004
| Followed by:|
"Return to Spider-Skull Island"