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"The Trial of the Monarch"
The Venture Bros. episode
TrialOfTheMonarch
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 12
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Doc Hammer
Production code 1-13
Original air date 23 October 2004
Episode Chronology
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"Past Tense"
Next →
"Return to Spider-Skull Island"
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.

Plot Edit

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.

Episode CastEdit

First AppearancesEdit

Connections to Other EpisodesEdit

The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay (pilot)

Tag Sale - You're It!

Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)

O.R.B.

  • 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.

Cultural ReferencesEdit

Carrie (1976)

  • 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)

Danceteria

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.

Frank Frazetta

Happy Days (1974-1984)

Indiana Jones

Jim G. Thirlwell

Knight Rider (1982-1986)

Lost in Space (1998)

Lydia Lunch

Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996)

Necronomicon

Oh! You Pretty Things (1971)

Simple country lawyer

Stiv Bators

The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Tom of Finland

  • 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.

Tom Selleck

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.

Production NotesEdit

  • 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.

TriviaEdit

  • 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:
"Past Tense"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
October 23, 2004
Followed by:
"Return to Spider-Skull Island"
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