Venture Bros: Tears of a Sea-cow

Pity Dr. Dugong. No matter how lame his backstory, or how inadequate his one-robot security system, he still apparently has had enough success with his study of "gentle sea-creatures" to build himself a Stromberg-like undersea fortress. Does he deserve the fate he is given here, a point-blank blast in the face from The Monarch’s not-at-all-phallic over-sized electronic bazooka thing?hitcounter

(Now that I think of it, the finances of the VB universe continually baffle me. Who pays for all this stuff? A flying cocoon, a hovertank, a Monarchmobile? Rusty has to worry about finances all the time, but the supervillains live in a gated community with what, exactly, as income?)

The Monarch is bugged. Love has brought him to buy into an essentially harmless, middle-class lifestyle of supervillainy, where one menaces but rarely kills, threatens but often loses. Why does the Guild exist if it forbids supervillains to do what they do best? Dr. Mrs. The Monarch has no trouble putting on the costume, striking the poses and leveling the cliched threat, why can’t The Monarch "get it up" for the attack on Dr. Dugong? Even the Moppets have willingly changed their costumes to become the Pupae Twins or whatever they are now.

The Monarch has no difficulty planting his feet, pointing his finger and shouting his demented threats when he wants to, but he can’t summon that pose at will — he has to feel the hate. And The Monarch, apparently, has not felt the hate since getting married to Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. He only hates Rusty, and his professional commitments forbid him from doing so, which forces him to fake it with lame-o’s like Dr. Dugong, which he resents, which impacts on his marriage. So this is both a professional dilemma and a marital hitch — sex and hatred and love and career all mixed up into a poisonous little ball of poison, covered with spikes and nestled at the base of his brain.

(I like that Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is willing to go through the motions…up to a point. When the mood is broken, she sighs and says "Give us the key or the plans or whatever the hell you have.")

A less demented reading would say that The Monarch is an artist, and marriage has taken him away from his art and thrust him into soulless business, but The Monarch, as he tends to, keeps bringing sex back into it. Essentially, as near as I can figure it, The Monarch has married Dr. Mrs. The Monarch but still carries a torch (or perhaps a bazooka) for Rusty. His urges to go arching Rusty are presented exactly in the manner of a man tiptoeing off to see an old mistress because the wife "can’t give him what he really needs." Or, as 21 puts it, "A man can’t live a lie and still be a man." The Monarch even talks about Rusty as though he is a jilted lover, saying that Rusty "abandoned" him. Given the opportunity to do some real damage to the Venture compound, the The Monarch can only think to strike in ways that consistently involve bodily substances — "a dump in his pool," some spit on a microscopic slide, and, most disturbing of all, a conjugal visit with a robot bearing Rusty’s face.

("You abandoned me" — interesting that The Monarch blames Rusty for his unhappiness in much the same terms as Rusty uses to blame his father — no one in the Venture universe feels responsible for their own unhappiness, every fault must be projected onto someone else.)

Meanwhile, Hank and Dean’s relationship continues to deteriorate as Hank hangs out with "real teenager" Dermott, with Dean developing into more of a little Rusty and Hank becoming slightly more of an average teen. Dean is even taking to wearing speed-suits and carping about "the boys" while Hank forms a lame rock band and conducts lame, pointless competitive behavior with Dermott.

(I note the poster for the moon landing in their bedroom, with the date "7-20-69". The moon landing was, of course, the pinnacle of the optimistic futurism that Jonas Venture represents, but I also note that this episode was broadcast on 7-20-08, thirty-nine years to the day. Coincidence, or matter of deep significance?)

Hank’s flirtation with Dermott stands in contrast to The Monarch’s obsession with Rusty.The Monarch is willing to risk his marriage and career for a shot at self-actualization (the fact that self-actualization, in this case, involves fucking a robot is immaterial), while Hank is coming dangerously close to losing his identity as a "Venture Brother" through his relationship with Dermott (who may or may not be Brock’s long-lost son, although it certainly looks that way to me). In a way, when Henchman 21 shoots Hank (after separating him from Dermott), he re-awakens him back into total idiocy.

(On the other hand, a season or so ago I was willing to bet that Hank was actually Brock’s son, while Dean is Rusty’s — this based partly on hair color and partly on Brock’s fatherly attitude toward Hank, while Rusty bought speed-suits for Dean. Since then, Rusty has shown no particular interest in either boy.)

(Oh, and, of course, The Monarch is risking more than marriage and career, he’s risking his family. "His kids" are the henchmen, "her kids" are the Moppets, and the kids absolutely don’t get along, but how is that different from any other family? His attachment to Dr. Mrs. The Monarch should, in theory anyway, make this whole Brady Bunch situation work, but I don’t see much evidence of that. Or is the point that the henchmen are The Monarch’s "true family," and that it’s Dr. Mrs. The Monarch who does not belong and must be cast out in order for him to be his "true self"?)

As the plot drives to its climax (so to speak), Dr. Mrs. The Monarch leaves her Moppets at home, puts on her Dr. Girlfriend costume, pilots the cocoon and goes to fetch The Monarch at the Venture compound. What is being said here? Dr. Mrs. The Monarch has, apparently, come to understand that The Monarch needs to arch Rusty in order to feel like a man, and, like a good wife, she’s doing what she must to make her man whole. And yet, she’s putting on her "single clothes" to do so, and she’s leaving "her kids" at home to do so, while commandeering "his kids" in the cocoon. In a way, she’s "becoming" the Monarch, while becoming Dr. Girlfriend again at the same time.

(Speaking of which, mid-way through the show Dr. Mrs. The Monarch lectures The Monarch about his sense of identity. She’s one to talk, she’s gone through more identities than David Bowie.)

Comments

63 Responses to “Venture Bros: Tears of a Sea-cow”
  1. rjwhite says:

    I’m not sure, but I think The Monarch has a largish trust fund.

    • mr_bix says:

      Yeah, Phantom Limb says as much in “Victor. Echo. November.” and the Monarch mentioned it in “Shadowman 9”.

      • Todd says:

        So, both he and Rusty inherited their wealth. Interesting.

        Gee, that makes their conflict seem even more like George W. Bush’s relationship with Osama bin Laden — two trust-fund brats playing war with each other while other people suffer.

        • ytoabn says:

          Riches

          However, Venture basically blew it, his fortunes were all tied up in inventions and patents that he can’t fix or use.

          The Monarch also apparently ran out of money after building the Cucoon, and had to steal parts from Sgt. Hatred (That or he just didn’t know enough about tech to get them).

          The Guild obviously keeps their villians in the lap of luxury. I would guess that the police and governments pay the Guild, who pay their villians to make sure no major damage is done. Basically pacifying the whole system with money. However, the end result is theoretically miserable good guys who have to deal with these clods and miserable bad guys who are barely evil.

          So everything is semi-peaceful, but miserable.

        • ndgmtlcd says:

          Remember Baron Werner Ünderbheit? He inherited his wealth too!

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s actually mentioned in the very first episode as well.

  2. ytoabn says:

    Shut off all Audio Functions!

    Figured this needed explaining. Some have asked where the lasers that attacked The Monarch came from. Theoretically, it’s from the Venture Alarm system. The Alarm was still working, it’s simply a matter that the audio was turned off. When Dean yelled Shut off all audio functions, not only did it shut off Helper, it also shut off the Alarm noises, their watches from making noise, and even Hank’s Radio (complete with Venture Logo) from making noise.

    Now that’s one well integrated system.

  3. I love that The Monarch’s wealth is simply attributed to a trust fund.

  4. schwa242 says:

    Meanwhile, Hank and Dean’s relationship continues to deteriorate as Hank hangs out with “real teenager” Dermott, with Dean developing into more of a little Rusty and Hank becoming slightly more of an average teen. Dean is even taking to wearing speed-suits and carping about “the boys” while Hank forms a lame rock band and conducts lame, pointless competitive behavior with Dermott.

    Even though Dean is becoming more like Rusty, there’s a part of him that yearns for escape, with his plea for everyone to be good so that public school may be an option for him and Hank.

    (I note the poster for the moon landing in their bedroom, with the date “7-20-69”. The moon landing was, of course, the pinnacle of the optimistic futurism that Jonas Venture represents, but I also note that this episode was broadcast on 7-20-08, thirty-nine years to the day. Coincidence, or matter of deep significance?)

    I believe they’ve shown this poster with the date on previous episodes.

    Since then, Rusty has shown no particular interest in either boy.

    Perhaps what is pushing Dean to act more like Rusty, just like Rusty acts in his way like the father who abandoned him.

  5. misterseth says:

    The Monarch has married Dr. Mrs. The Monarch but still carries a torch (or perhaps a bazooka) for Rusty. His urges to go arching Rusty are presented exactly in the manner of a man tiptoeing off to see an old mistress because the wife “can’t give him what he really needs.”

    It’s interesting to note, that in one previous episode (Are you there God…) When he couldn’t arch Venture because of a time out, the Monarch was left with no purpose. It seems that he NEEDS Rusty to give his life meaning, or just to make him suffer for whatever Rusty did to him.

    • misterseth says:

      Another thought…
      In the same episode, the Monarch showed a desire to arch the original Dr. Venture. Since he’s now Arching JJ, he may have his chance, or as close as he can get.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.”

    “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.” In VB logic, this is being said, unironically, by people whose life is defined by wearing masks, costumes and alter identities that have subsumed any “real” names.

    I think this episode was introducing the play of imagined / clone / family relations to come, from pointing out “Dean can’t die” to the potenial Dermott/Son, the henchman as pupae and as writing loveletters wanting “mom”, and so on.

    Only the Monarch, although a focal point, felt more a red herring. For example, back some episodes, when he visited the yardsale of Venture, he sneaked into the compound with Dr.Girlfriend into Rusty’s Bedroom – but there too, he couldn’t get it up…

    He isn’t really himself (a lie) and he goes for various projections and incarnations of whatever Venture stands for him, which he doesn’t truly know, and can’t state, but therefore he only wants the chance to pose and threaten, to “feel” it… not to do it. That’s what felt false about killing the manatae-character.

    When Monarch is discovered by Dean, literally raping his father (as robot), he excels at the situation, by throwing a mind-fuck onto Dean (you tell Rusty, you become me, my plan is then complete…) in the end, Dean always the drama queen, revels in the situation, and poses and threatens Monarch, who is happy to have this indicator of an arch.

    And Dr. Girlfriend’s nee wife Henchman, who seriously ask “What has Dr.Venture done to the Monarch!?” to which she never answers. As it was her in backstory, who planted Monarch’s real DRIVE – whispering it in his drugged out ear, during Phantom Limbs courtroom Guild-authorized fog-out.

    I think this episode established a all the “imagined” relations such that one soon needs a guide. Especially on my mind, was Dr. Girlfriend nee Wife, as for the first time, I felt sorry for her situation, the only starring woman stuck in this VB male universe, and having to accomodate men all the time, when she shows consistently she could do it all, career, lover, and “kids” even, better. My bet is she is going to snap eventually, and I look forward.

    • laminator_x says:

      Re: “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.”

      The cheer that went up from the henchmen as she roused the coccoon to action was particularly choice.

      In keeping with all the crazy identity issues, in spite of her being theone of the most effectual and competant characters we’ve met to date, she doesn’t really have any identity of her own. She’s always defining herself in relation to someone else. Even in her brief solo stints as Lady Au Pair, her identity was defined in relation to caring for her Deadly Moppets; and she seemed to have foundered without direction in that identity.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.”

        Yes – her look of complete satisfaction at that moment they yelled was telling, all that was missing was a cigarette.

        She’s much more the “real thing” there alone running the show, than the Monarch, whom she insists has “real passion in his hatred”.

        Her various names tell what role to inhabit, but not how. It comes to my mind now, in the episode with Sgt. Hatred’s party and the name-on-the-back game, she lost as she didn’t know the name on her back – Jackie O. … yet she is clearly wearing her uniform! She received the uniform with the character I guess, but the backstory comes from the old Guild, not her generation.

        The facts we are constantly shown, she is a smarter woman in the boys-club whose dicking around she can’t stand, and she had to tactically define her way by being in orbit around some playa.

        • Anonymous says:

          Re: “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.”

          When we first see Mr. White and Billy at the yard sale, they try to get Dr. G to strike out on her own.

          I’m waiting for it to happen. : )

          • Anonymous says:

            Re: “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.”

            Two connected words: Spin-off

            • greyaenigma says:

              Re: “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.”

              And don’t forget that she inspired Triana’s friend to be a supervillainess. Or possibly her sidekick.

              • cdthomas says:

                Re: “A man can’t live a lie and still be a man.”

                She’s already split off, with the addition of her murderous Moppets who are really, um, murderous. Even the Monarch’s henchmen use non-lethal tactics; why are the Moppets cleared to use knives when the Guild’s mostly a non-lethal organization?

                Also, the way she’s aware they’ve threatened just about anyone who’s not her, and that their behaviour must have been similar during her Au Pair days, signals that DMTM accepted her role as an archenemy along with the heightened hair/clothes/makeup responsibiities, as a glamorous sidekick. She was always the more bloodthirsty of the arching couple, even though TM has that hatred hardon for Dr. Venture.

                If she doesn’t chafe under TM’s growing instability, then she’ll have to take over the operation, just to keep him out of GCI limbo/imprisonment. She’s already the one who runs operations, the one who designs the clothes, and the liaison for the Guild. The only reason she’s with TM is love — that and the heavy masculine bias of the superscientist/archenemy game. The sooner she finds a suicide mission for the Pupae Twins and hires Triana’s friend, the sharper and more distinctive her own goals for evil will be. Can’t wait to see the costumes… if she pulls that off, she’ll be the Mrs. Peel of crime….

  7. kornleaf says:

    the whole “sex with robot” thing kinda was a little over the top for me.

    • smallerdemon says:

      I found that whole thing fascinating, and somewhat overlooked in toddalcott’s analysis. Did I say somewhat? I mean entirely. πŸ™‚

      There’s a lot to be said in that scene, though. First, the The Monarch uses the same sexual voice with G.U.A.R.D.O. when he sees it light up with Rusty’s face as he does when he is making sexual overtures at Dr. Girlfriend. The fact that he then ends up having sex with the robot with Rusty’s face on it has a whole pile of implications about The Monarch’s psyche and his feelings for Rusty. Feelings here meaning his hatred, of course. The idea of rape/forced sex as punishment on Rusty by The Monarch for abandoning him certainly comes to mind, especially given that we see him murder an impotent, wheelchair bound doddering old peace loving guy in cold blood as soon as he unleashes his rage in regards to Rusty “abandoning” him (although Rusty has nothing to do with it, of course). I certainly admit that I saw the murder of Dr. Dugong as exposing something about The Monarch that we had not seen to this particular extent: that he’s a ruthless son of a bitch. We’ve been exposed to his love for Dr. Girlfriend (Dr. Mrs. Monarch) and even his “affection” for his henchmen (and that is dubious, since what he really wants are targets for physical and verbal abuse to empower himself as a contrast to his continue impotence against actually being SUCCESSFUL in killing Rusty). Note, too, that we are getting a LOT more of references to Rusty being Rusty this season than ever before. i.e. that Rusy is being made more innocent in the eyes of viewers. He denies his villainous fate after all, and as big an ass hole as he is, he still is struggling himself with the idea of what a “good person” is. The one episode where this interpretation is out of place is Billy Quiz boy, and that makes sense considering it was originally slated to be a season 2 episode. What are we given with The Monarch this season? Less giggling in the bedroom, that’s for sure. In fact, he burns the bed in the first episode, setting a precedence for the whole season letting us know that the giggling bedroom scenes are destroyed and a caged Monarch is a very, very dangerous creature. The fact that The Monarch is becoming more genuinely evil and less likable as time goes by is a good lead up to the sex with the robot that has the face of Rusty on it. The Monarch is a bad guy. He’s not misunderstood. He’s a murderous villain that is obsessed with hating Rusty for yet-to-be-disclosed reasons (“How come we can never get a straight answer?” asked one of the Moppet Pupas), and that hatred seems to have grown to the point that more than killing Rusty, he wants to defile him and truly, truly humiliate and punish him. THAT is what you are getting a glimpse of with The Monarch having sex with G.U.A.R.D.O. πŸ™‚

      I would also note The Monarch is practically intoxicated after his sexual liaison with the Rusty faced G.U.A.R.D.O. What he says to Dean makes little sense. The incoherence is lost on Dean, of course. But The Monarch is in a drunken stupor. He’s so intoxicated from that experience that he can’t get his pants back on by the time he reaches the top of cocoon.

      • Anonymous says:

        Robots

        There is a nice set-up of Robot relations:

        Monarch rapes G.U.A.R.D.O. / Dr. Venture

        Rusty sleeps curled up next to his latest invention in the same bed, his “robot vacuum”.

        The boys deal with robot Helper, who keeps Dean from sleeping, unexplainably unable to access any functions other than some unstoppable movements and noisy rhythmns.

        • Todd says:

          Re: Robots

          Ah: good call on the robot/sex-partner echoes. Monarch rapes GUARDO, Dr. Venture sleeps with the Boom Broom and Hank and Dermott, well, I guess we could say that they transfer their physical feelings for each other via HELPER, before shutting him — gasp! — in the closet.

          • Anonymous says:

            Re: Robots

            Well, yeah, but Hank is visibly smitten with Nancy and Drew, and seems repulsed when Dermot decides to, uh, hide his lighter. I don’t think Hank’s gay; I just think he’s every bit as sheltered and naive as his brother.

            Also, apropos of nothing, I find it hilarious that while Brock is no talk and all supercompetent action, Dermot is all talk and hilariously, dorkishly incompetent, to a degree that even Hank and Dean can surpass. (Hank completely shows him up in the bed-jumping relay, Dean beats him up, etc.)

            — N.A.

            • Todd says:

              Re: Robots

              Yet another instance of the son living, incompetently, in his father’s shadow.

              • Anonymous says:

                Re: Robots

                Quite well-written in the end of the chase scene, where Henchman 2? captures Dermott who tries a would-you-believe, first as “Hank’s friend” and then “Brock’s son” on him, to which Henchman 2? responds if that were true, no way he could have caught him then, which Dermott responds by explaining he has a lighter up his ass and couldn’t really run. Upon hearing that Henchman 2? readily accepts, “OK you’re Hank’s friend.”

                Dermott’s just a teenager who needs to still grow (even into the body he has) and who tries to compete with all the others in this strange new world his mother dropped him off in.

                Left on his own, his self-defense seems to solely consist of sneering putdowns, so-called esoteric knowledge of spy glossary, pseudo-autobiographical backstories with registered killerweaponhands, and the like. Not so different from the rest of the world he is in.

                But he remains unable to convincingly answer the Henchman’s “who are you”.

                The way Dermott’s character came off is similar to Entman the mensch, potentially a best friend, only Dermott’s more a charmless klutz in this world of clones, robots, aliens, costumes, titles, roles, etc.. And he can’t help but reveal – he shows sentiment, he cares to have the tape of Brock, and fear as he gets scared of aliens, etc.

                In the end of the episode, he comes up parallel in status to the VBoys due to the Monarch’s attack on him along with them. The Monarch-training seems to excel in psychological warfare:

                Hank plans to tell his father about the Monarch’s attack, but is disarmingly put off by the Henchman’s revelation of Hank’s immortality, only to then be shot “dead” in the heart by a butterfly-dart.

                Dean plans to tell his father about the Monarch’s attack, but is put off by Monarch’s desperate ruse, a tale as a double-bind mind-fuck: (YES, you SHOULD tell, as if you do, that makes my work complete, and you will be evil like me…)

                Dermott doesn’t know about running to tell fathers, and the Henchman who caught him also has no tales. A simple negotiation ensues, silence is bartered, an opportunity for Dermott to get some of those secret weapons his bragging fantasizes about.

      • mr_bix says:

        I would also note The Monarch is practically intoxicated after his sexual liaison with the Rusty faced G.U.A.R.D.O. What he says to Dean makes little sense. The incoherence is lost on Dean, of course.

        Actually, it makes perfect sense. He’s preying on Dean’s naivete, making it seem like Dean telling Doc about the Monarch fucking GUARDO is the final part in a diabolical plot that has subconsciously trained Dean to be evil. Dean completely falls for the cliche’ and swears to never tell, so the Monarch’s unauthorized henching will remain a secret and he gets off scot-free (21, on the other hand, tells Hank the truth – and unknowingly sets off an event that will probably have some seriously deadly consequences).

        • mr_bix says:

          Whoops, that first part was supposed to be in quotes.

        • smallerdemon says:

          It certainly could be the case that The Monarch is exploiting Dean’s natural inclination toward dramatic behavior. Dean plays the part almost too easily, in fact. More the part of a damsel in distress almost. Very weird.

          Still, The Monarch is in an odd mental state after the incident.

          • ytoabn says:

            Well I think The Monarch was less concerned about getting caught by the Guild and more concerned with getting caught by Rusty Venture.

            Think about it, if Dr. Venture and The Monarch’s relationship is to be seen as a lovers quarrel, then they were lovers for a long time, they had a fight towards the end of season 1, made up and started arching again but the flame was gone and soon they parted ways. Now Dr. Venture is dating (arching) someone new, making the Monarch jealous. The Monarch goes through other men (heroes) like tissue, using them up and not feeling the same thrill. He still hopes to reunite with his true love (hate) Dr. Venture. However, at the same time, he doesn’t want to admit this to Dr. Venture, he doesn’t want to admit he needs him. This could either be as simple as not wanting to seem weak or it could be that in order to admit that he needs to hate Dr. Venture, he would have to also admit he loves to hate Dr. Venture, which would imply some love, which would go against his pure hatred (that sentence made no sense at all, yay).

            And now, The Monarch gets to date (arch) Dr. Venture’s brother. Will it be just the same, will the Monarch use it to make Rusty jealous? I know that Venture stories tend to bounce back and forth between episodes but I wish the next episode started RIGHT after this one. I can’t wait to see what will happen.

  8. dougo says:

    I’m still a little confused as to why the Guild doesn’t allow The Monarch to arch Rusty. Is it because Dr. Mrs. The Monarch doesn’t want him to? Or does she not want him to just because she wants him to obey the Guild?

    • Do you remember how, at the end of Season 2, Dr. Girlfriend made The Monarch agree to 3 things in order for their marriage to occur?

      It was during the scene at the cheap motel, directly after The Monarch proposed.

      Item 3 on the list was “no more arching Dr. Venture,” so The Monarch’s illicit arching was actually quite naughty, in terms of both the guild and for Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

      • dougo says:

        Right, but why does she care?

        • ytoabn says:

          The Guild wanted to punish the Monarch for illegal arching by death most likely, however, they are willing to let the Monarch go if he stops it. Remember, Dr. Venture requested the arching to stop multiple times. On top of that, Sgt. Hatred pulled some strings to make sure he could arch Venture. ON TOP OF THAT, Monarch made a pinky swear to not arch Venture.

          PINKY SWEAR!

          • dougo says:

            It seemed like the Guild was just upset because The Monarch didn’t go through proper channels before arching Dr. Venture. But they are now willing to let him arch someone else, and to let someone else arch Dr. Venture, so it’s not that they have a problem with either party separately. Do they have some particular reason to keep the two of them apart? Are they just afraid that he’ll make it too personal and break the rules (and violate their motto “Hate You Can Trust”)? Or are there some backroom politics going on or something? Dr. Mrs. The Monarch says she had to pull some strings to get them to allow him to arch Jonas Jr.– maybe she also pulled strings to disallow his arching of Rusty.

            • ytoabn says:

              Yes, there are backroom politics.
              A. Sgt Hatred, punishing the Monarch for stealing his parts.
              B. Dr. Venture doesn’t want The Monarch to arch him anymore.

              • dougo says:

                When did we learn B? I guess that’s the part that I missed. Good point about A, though.

                • ytoabn says:

                  It was assumed when Dr. Venture sent restraining orders, called the police, and filed grievances with the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Let’s not forget when Sgt. Hatred and Venture first talked, Venture was impressed at the “service” and kindness he got with this villian, remarking how crazy his past one was. Why would he want to switch?

                  • Anonymous says:

                    why switch

                    Like Brock communicated in the earlier episode: Doc misses you…

                  • dougo says:

                    What episode was that, when Dr. Venture filed grievances? When The Monarch was arrested (as the patsy in the Guild’s plot to abduct Tiny Attorney, in “The Trial of the Monarch”), Rusty said to Brock that he’d have called the police on The Monarch a long time ago if he’d known he could do that, but Brock said that the police don’t interfere with Guild business.

                    • dougo says:

                      Answering my own question again: The Council mention Dr. Venture’s grievances in their trial of the Monarch in “Shadowman 9”. But that was only to prove that he had not properly registered with the Guild before arching. So I’m still not sure why they won’t let him arch Venture now that he’s been properly inducted into the Guild. (If Venture’s grievances meant anything to them, why didn’t they do anything about it back when they were filed?)

                    • Anonymous says:

                      “The Trial of the Monarch

                      Precisely, that was the trial where Dr. Girlfriend goes over to the knocked-out-but-open-to-suggestion (Guild-gassed) Monarch, leans over and says into his ear: None of this is my fault, it’s all Dr.Venture – and really sets-up Monarch’s irrationality, the drive.

                    • smallerdemon says:

                      Re: “The Trial of the Monarch

                      Actually, she says it was the boys, which is the lead up to why he wants them dead at the end of season one.

                      From the Wikipedia entry: “Still distraught, she tells the immobilized Monarch that the Venture brothers, and not she, is responsible for all of this.”

                    • Anonymous says:

                      Re: “The Trial of the Monarch

                      “Actually, she says it was the boys, which is the lead up to why he wants them dead at the end of season one.”

                      D’oh!

            • smallerdemon says:

              My guess is that the Guild’s true intentions of keeping The Monarch and Dr. Venture from being arch enemies is something we are going to find out later.

              • greyaenigma says:

                I’ve always had the suspicion that the elder Dr. Venture is somehow directly involved with the Guild. (Perhaps still!) If we hadn’t already seen David Bowie, I’d think Dr. Venture was Sovereign.

                It could explain why the Guild seems oddly interested in keeping Dr. Venture challenged, but alive.

        • dougo says:

          Answering my own question: in “Hate Floats”, she says he spends more time arching Dr. Venture than with her, so it’s just that she thinks it’s an unhealthy obsession.

  9. ytoabn says:

    Dr. Mrs. The Monarch

    All this talk about Dr. Girlfriend having so many identities and costumes reminds me of how a lot of the characters in the Venture Bros have titles like Dr., Sgt, or even The (The Monarch). Now when she’s out arching she’s Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. Perhaps a sign to her wearing so many hats and identities.
    And yet at the same time, of all those titles what goes first? Doctor. A title that suggests intelligence and respect. No matter how many titles she may go bye, she can never act like the dumb woman or sex crazed villian-ess that the Guild seems to want her to play. She’s simply too smart for that. So, even though it’s taken her a long time, I believe she’s finding her identity.

    • Todd says:

      Re: Dr. Mrs. The Monarch

      And she was a Queen and a Lady before that, to name only two.

      • ytoabn says:

        Re: Dr. Mrs. The Monarch

        Gah, the in-joke just hit me like a ton of bricks.

        Lady Au-Pair
        Queen Etheria
        Dr. Girlfriend
        Dr. Mrs. The Monarch

        Lady, Queen, Girl, Mrs, they all have some title in them to signify she’s a woman. A joke I assume on her masculine voice.

  10. mimitabu says:

    the interesting thing about dr. girlfriend + her “kids” and monarch + his “kids” is that dr. girlfriend has been part of that family for years. the moppets are coming from a family where either dr. girlfriend was a single mom or phantom limb was the father. the monarch’s henchmen on the other hand have always had the monarch and dr. girlfriend as “parents”. the whole family setup of theirs was conceived by the monarch and dr. girlfriend in a car outside of phantom limb’s house, and we’ve seen dr. girlfriend as mother for the henchmen for 3 seasons.

    it’s weird because dr. girlfriend as mother-of-the-moppets is like a new wife/mother with her own family, but dr. girlfriend as mother-of-the-henchmen has always been there. the relationships and conflicts involved are very strange, because dr. girlfriend occupies different, sometimes contradictory roles.

    unrelated: have i gone insane, or did they never reveal what dr. girlfriend said in the escape pod at the end of season 2???? no one is expressing frustration about this, so i’m thinking i missed it. help!

    • dougo says:

      They never did. And yes, it’s frustrating.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the implication, from the season opener, was that Dr. Girlfriend revealed she’d been taking orders from the Guild behind the Monarch’s back to get him to stop arching Dr. Venture. Remember, she tells her inquisitors that she’s done exactly that, and asks what more they want from her. That would certainly make the Monarch upset, but considering she did it to save his life, it’s also something he could forgive her for.

      — N.A.

      • Todd says:

        If the Monarch were the forgiving sort. Which, I’d have to say, given the evidence, mmmm, not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Monarch got to have SEX with Dr. Girlfriend, I would say “forgiving” is the least of the things he should be doing…

  11. noskilz says:

    I’ve wondered if this organized villainy business with its treaties and bylaws isn’t just a way to keep what would otherwise be extremely disruptive elements (super scientists and super villains) out of the general public’s hair. Or maybe not (The Alchemist didn’t seem to be too taken with the idea of chasing the same guy for again and again – comic book heroes do tend to find themselves doing that with little to show for it.)

    Something about the Ventureverse reminds me of luchador films: you have all these costumed guys running around, but no one seems to pay any special attention. Until the shooting starts, the average joe just seems to go about his business. We’ve seen the super villain scared-straight program, is there some sort of super villain awareness program in the school system? Maybe they just leave it up to Darwin?

    Isn’t there a saying about hatred giving purpose to an otherwise meaningless life? Although he must have a real name(say,to initially claim his inheritance or enroll in college), we’ve never heard it – he’s The Monarch 24/7, 365 days a year (or so it seems.) So far, Dr. Girlfriend hasn’t hit him with the using his real name shtick she employed with the Phantom Limb. It’s as if he’s The Monarch and nothing else.

    I’d sort of hoped that the Monarch was mostly interested leaving an exceptionally awful piece of security camera footage, but looking for love in all the wrong places seemed to be kind of a recurring theme. It still seems a shame about Dr. Dugong, though – just wanted some attention and got a bazooka in the face.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Monarch’s real name

      I believe the Monarch’s real first name is Malcolm. Similar to Mal Content perhaps?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monarch

      • noskilz says:

        Re: The Monarch’s real name

        The student who rushes up to tell him about the explosion in “Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny” does call him Malcolm, so you are correct(the wiki didn’t list any citation and it took me this long to catch that episode again.)

        I was mostly going for the idea that whoever he used to be, he’s the Monarch now and just the Monarch. Of course, the way my luck runs, there will probably be an episode that turns that notion upside down.

  12. Anonymous says:

    False Choices

    When Monarch weaseled out of boning the robot by presenting Dean with a false Good/Evil decision, I couldn’t help but think of the Good/Evil decision presented to Rusty a few episodes ago by Killinger. Any normal person would describe Rusty as evil, yet he refused to become a “supervillain” because that would mean he was “a bad person.”

    Would officially becoming a villain really change Rusty’s character? No more than telling on the Monarch would change Dean’s.

    -Doctor Handsome

  13. teamwak says:

    “I’m giving you fathers robot Chylmedia”

    This should be the tagline for the whole series! lol