|"The Unicorn in Captivity"|
|The Venture Bros. episode|
|Directed by||Juno Lee|
|Written by||Jackson Publick|
|Original air date||September 16, 2018|
|List of The Venture Bros. episodes|
The Unicorn in Captivity is the seventh episode of Season 7 and the overall seventy-eighth episode of The Venture Bros.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The Monarch is invited by Dr. Mrs. The Monarch to join a supervillain team for a single caper, despite his protests that he only works solo. She promises that, in exchange for his one-time performance in a team heist, he'll be bumped up a full level in The Guild's EMA ranking. The Monarch grudgingly agrees to go to Tophet Tower to join a heist lead by Copycat, with Tunnel Vision, Ramburglar, Presto Change-O, Dot Com, and "Driver X" on the team. Having recently lost Tiny Eagle when a nonplussed Brock Samson crushed him to death, Copycat has The Monarch replace him as their "aerial reconnaissance" lookout. The group plan to break into VenTech Tower to steal Doc's groundbreaking new teleporter pads.
Episode Cast[edit | edit source]
- James Urbaniak: Dr. Venture, Phantom Limb
- Patrick Warburton: Brock Samson
- Chris McCulloch: The Monarch, Pirate Captain, Sgt. Hatred, Pete White, Gen. Hunter Gathers, Roy Brisby, Valet
- Doc Hammer: Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, 21, Billy Quizboy
- Mark Hamill: Presto Change-O, Illuminati 1
- Toby Huss: Copycat
- Hal Lublin: Tunnel Vision, Bartender, Tiny Eagle
- Mark Gagliardi: Ramburglar, Illuminati 2, Illuminati 3
- Annie Savage: Dot Com, Receptionist
First Appearances[edit | edit source]
Episode Transcript[edit | edit source]
"The Illuminati"[edit | edit source]
Dr. Venture encounters an organization that secretly controls the world, though it turns out to be a projection of his own mind within a virtual reality simulation. The members of his imagined Illuminati appear to include:
Connections to Previous Episodes[edit | edit source]
Gary grabs a box of Apple Mummy cereal from the kitchen cupboard in The Monarch's house. The same cereal has previously been seen at the Venture compound being consumed by various members of the Venture family.
- The bartender informs Doc that he is eating "orphan sashimi", which Doc promptly spits out. In Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic! Doc himself used parts from an orphan boy to make the Joy Can.
- Dr. Venture asks the bartender at the Illuminati orgy for a Red Mocho Kooler, which is a "doctail" that Doc first mentioned way back in the Season 3 episode ORB.
- The Monarch boasts to Copycat's team that he could tell them Dr. Venture's sleep number ("It's 25! He's soft.") This is a callback to Lindsey Wagner in Rusty's invisible harem asking, "What's your sleep number?", in Assisted Suicide.
- Dr. Venture mentions that he plans on retiring on the island of Spanakos, which was last seen in the Season 5 episode Spanakopita!
Cultural References[edit | edit source]
- Henchman 21 brings The Monarch his wings disguised inside a package of "Manpers" adult diapers.
- The orgy participants wear ornate Carnivale masks like those famously worn to the annual Carnival of Venice.
- Gary wears a t-shirt with a twenty-sided die on it, a reference to the d20 System developed for the third edition of the tabletop role playing game Dungeons & Dragons and employed by numerous subsequent games.
- Henchman 21 disguises himself in a red-and-blue uniform from "PHARMhouse", a clear parody of New York-based pharmacy and convenience store Duane Reade. The name tag on his outfit even reads "DUANE".
- Hunter Gathers tells Dr. Venture that his teleporter invention would put delivery companies like FedEx out of business.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
- The Monarch remarks that he is wearing his "cape wings", which are nonfunctional for flight purposes, and requests that Henchman 21 bring him "the good wings, the Glengarry wings". This is a reference to the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, where a team of desperate real estate salesmen compete to keep their jobs and gain access to a coveted list of premiere clients referred to as "Glengarry leads".
- Dr. Venture mocks Billy Quizboy's short stature by calling him "Hobbit Oppenheimer", a reference to hobbits, a diminutive fictional human-like race in the novels of J. R. R. Tolkien (including the 1937 children's novel The Hobbit.)
- In Dr. Venture's virtual reality experience he encounters members of the Illuminati, a shadowy cabal of billionaires, politicians, military, and other power players who are believed by some to secretly control the world
- The Group's banner (q.v.) features an emblem including an owl, a mascot of a group meeting annually at the Bohemian Grove campground which some believe to be secretly in control of the world; the Grove features a giant statue of an owl.
- Dr. Venture refers to the unnamed bartender as "Jeeves", the famed valet from the fiction of P.G. Wodehouse.
- Dr. Venture calls Billy Quizboy "Hobbit Oppenheimer", a reference to the famed physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Prest-O Change-O (1939)
- The character Presto Change-O is named after an old stage magic expression, first featured in mainstream popular media in the 1939 Merrie Melodies cartoon Prest-O Change-O.
Rockstar (energy drink)
- The knife-tipped strap-on is a reference to the murder weapon for the crime of lust in the 1995 neo-noir film Seven.
- The orgy sequence parodies the 1999 Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut.
- The valets that let Dr. Venture into the party resemble characters from another Stanley Kubrick film, Barry Lyndon.
- The bar at the orgy resembles the bar from another Stanley Kubrick film, The Shining, and Dr. Venture refers to the bartender as "Jeeves" like the lead does in that film.
- The orgy sequence appears to reference the eighteenth century French novel The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade.
- The building that hosts the orgy is based on the real life Manhattan museum The Cloisters. The Cloisters are part of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and contain numerous collections, including the seven tapestries that comprise The Hunt of the Unicorn.
- Ramburglar's name is a play on ram (male sheep) and The Hamburglar from McDonaldland, a diminutive burglar in a domino mask and black-and-white striped shirt who would attempt to steal hamburgers from Ronald McDonald in McDonald's commercials.
- The tapestry featured in the episode is from a series of seven tapestries called The Hunt of the Unicorn. They tell the story of a hunt, during which a unicorn is lured by a virgin, captured by hunters, killed, and then brought back to life in captivity.
- Presto Change-O's costume is similar to the costume worn by Fantastic Four enemy, The Impossible Man. The Impossible Man was also able to shift shape.
- Presto Change-O's whimsical voice is very similar to that of The Joker, the most famous supervillain from Batman: The Animated Series, who was also voiced by Mark Hamill.
The Lady, or The Tiger? (1882)
- Dr. Venture is forced to choose between two doors: one holding a topless lady in a mask (implied to be Dr. Mrs. The Monarch), the other holding a large man in a tiger mask and bondage gear wearing a knife-tipped robotic strap-on. Illuminati 1 asks him if he's read the famous short story "The Lady, or The Tiger?" (1882), in which an accused man must similarly choose between two doors, each holding either a young woman or a ferocious starving tiger.
THX 1138 (1971)
- The virtual reality machine holding Dr. Venture at the end of the episode is based on a similar device from George Lucas' 1971 dystopian thriller THX 1138.
- Brock Samson sneeringly refers to Presto Change-O as "Toyman", a DC Comics supervillain who uses toy-based or toy-themed devices and gimmicks in his various crimes.
- The explosives Copycat uses to blow the roof off of the panic room are identical to the proton grenades used by the Rebels to destroy the Imperial Bunker on the forest moon of Endor in the movie Return of the Jedi.
- A costumed Dr. Mrs. The Monarch complains to Dr. Venture that working Illuminati orgies was a much easier gig "before they inducted the guy who invented Viagra." Viagra is a medication most famously used for treating erectile dysfunction.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- First guest appearance by Mark Hamill, famous for portraying Star Wars' Luke Skywalker and voicing The Joker in animated films, television shows, and video games. Kevin Conroy, his Batman counterpart from Batman: The Animated Series, has been voicing Captain Sunshine since the season 4 episode Handsome Ransom in 2009.
- The Illuminati banner that Dr. Venture walks past in the simulation reads "ORDO - MUNDI - IMPERIUM" at the top, which roughly translates to "World Order Government" or "Commanding the Order of the World" in Latin. The middle shows an owl with spread wings clutching the globe in its talons, superimposed over an eye in a pyramid design. A scroll at the bottom reads "GRATIAS AGO VOS CAN NOBIS", which roughly translates to "You can thank us" in Latin.
- During its initial and subsequent broadcasts on the Adult Swim cable and satellite feeds as well as on their website, mobile, smart devices, and OTT (Over the Top) apps the episode was aired censored to include blurring for nudity and graphic sexual situations as well as bleeps for language. However when the episode was released less than 24 hours later on the Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes stores it was entirely uncensored, with the language, nudity, and sexual situations left intact. The upcoming BluRay and DVD releases will also be uncensored, as every BluRay and DVD release of the series has been since Season 3.
Reference[edit | edit source]
| Preceded by:
"The Bellicose Proxy"
| The Venture Bros. episodes
September 16, 2018
"The Terminus Mandate"