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Assisted Suicide

  • Original Air Date:
    October 17, 2010
  • Written by:
    Doc Hammer
  • Production Number:
    49
  • Rate This Episode:

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Jump To: Summary | Capsule | Notes
All-time score of 4.0 with 271 votes

Summary

Dr. Venture isn't feeling himself lately...he's killing himself. Orpheus suspects it's an inside job and pries the Venture family from their touch football game to help him teach Doc the value of self-love.

Capsule

We're at the Venture Compound. We see a touch football game taking place. It's Shoreleave, Sgt. Hatred and Dean against Brock, Hank and Dr. Orpheus. Shoreleave throws Hatred a pass, but he's tackled by Brock. Hatred complains that it's touch football. Shoreleave complains about Dean. Dean wanted to be shirts, Shoreleave wanted to be skins. Dean didn't want sunburn. Dean.

BROCK
Somebody's in my car. [runs away]

SHORELEAVE
Alright, that is a legitimate super power.

HANK
Seen him do that from another country away.

SGT. HATRED
Pfff, big deal.

DEAN
Come on, give me a chance I'm wide open here!!

In the hangar Brock runs to his car only to discover that it's running and Doc is sitting in the driver's seat with a 'Goodbye cruel world' note taped to his chest. Brock notes that he's not serious since he converted his car's engine to electric. It's not only green, it's also 100% crybaby suicide proof. Sweet. Doc attempts to set off a road flare in his mouth, and then fill his mouth with shaving cream. Brock thwarts both of these seemingly half-hearted attempts and drags Doc out of the car.

In the living room everyone is around. Sgt. Hatred notes that they shouldn't pressure him. He knows how it is! He's seen his wife's legs wrapped around some jerk! A now shirtless Shoreleave comforts him. He really wanted to be skins. Everyone tries to ask Doc what's up but he's rather unresponsive aside from more half-hearted attempts to kill himself. Dr. O takes a look at him, noting that he was also sad when Triana left. But no, Dr. Venture is not suicidal.

SHORELEAVE
Oh really, then why's he trying to hang himself from your tie?

DR. ORPHEUS
Because Mr. Venture is possessed!!

Opening credits logo.

We're now up in Doc's room. Still very comatose, Dr. Venture is on his bed with Dean's stuffed giraffe and some monitors hooked up to his chest. Sgt. Hatred's old field monitor. It works! Probably. Shoreleave, Dean and Hank are also prepared for vomit. Bucket, raincoat and camera. Dr. O instructs Hatred and Brock to hold Dr. Venture down while he performs the spell. Anything could happen! Except pea soup vomit. Dr. O performs the spell of binding which keeps Doc from moving. We then see... the Monarch... inside Rusty's head? Only it looks kind of like a weird robot head or something. What?

We shift out and see the Monarch on his own bed, eyes closed, wearing some kind of crazy helmet. So what exactly is going on here anyway? Dr. Girlfriend and 21 have been monitoring him, and he's crashing now. 21 says that they should bring him out of it, but Dr. Girlfriend states that they can't since it will make him into a vegetable. Instead (while the Monarch pukes all over Dr. Venture's memories) they defibrillator him and bring him back and hook him up to life support.

Back at the Venture Compound everyone is offering their assistance to help Doc, but Dr. O notes that he's not a priest so all their items aren't very helpful. No, instead he will enter Dr. Venture's mind and do battle with the unwelcome spirit! The one thing that Hank and Dean can do is help Dr. O gain entrance by being perceived as friendly. Since they are the great love of their father then this should be easy, right? Dr. O grabs Hank and Dean and begins his spell.

DR. ORPHEUS
I am blessed by what he loves most, the key to his soul's lock! Open his mind to meee!!!

[nothing happens]

DR. ORPHEUS
Please?

BROCK
Yeah, I'm not sure you have the right, uhhh, key?

Screen wipe and we see Doc is still on his bed and Dr. O is performing the same spell, but this time much calmer and only holding Dean's hand as well as a box labeled 'Rusty's Things'. Nope.

SHORELEAVE
Wait! Try it with his old headshot, all the awards, the signed picture of Lonnie Anderson, all the money, the newspaper clippings, the shoebox of old love letters, but without the Rush cassette!

BROCK
[picks up the cassette] Oh here's your problem. It's a 'best of'.

SHORELEAVE
Annnd there's one more thing we haven't tried [puts his arm around DEAN] and it's nothing personal, but...

DEAN
I get it.

Dean sadly walks away and Dr. O recites the spell one more time, this time only holding the box. And of course the spell works. Dean sadly bows his head.

BROCK
I'm sure it was the Rush cassette, Dean.

We now see Dr. O in what is apparently Dr. Venture's mind. It's a long hallway filled with doors. Someone who looks suspiciously like Pete White approaches Dr. O, who attempts to ward off the mystery Pete, though with little success. At this moment a winged fellow who looks a lot like Billy pops up as well. Turns out they are Dr. Venture's Eros and Thanatos; sex and death. They motivate our every action.

Eros and Thanatos tell Dr. O that they don't really need him around since there's already some other guy messing things up in here. They've got around an hour or two before The Rusty falls into a coma. Dr. O informs them that he may be the one responsible for this shut down. Nice.

Back in the Cocoon Dr. Girlfriend and 21 puzzle over how to help out the Monarch. 21 suggests they sing their song. You know, like their romantic song. Dr. Girlfriend confesses that they don't have one. Maybe that Human League song? You know... the one with the cocktail glass or something. 21 attempts to recite some lyrics but it's really still not it. There's a knock at the door! It's Kevin and Tim-Tom! Security inspection!

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
Go away!

TIM-TOM
We can't, mom! Mandatory. Monarch's orders.

[DR. MRS. THE MONARCH glares at HENCHMAN 21]

HENCHMAN 21
Don't look at me! It was his idea! [points at THE MONARCH] First of every month there's this mandatory inspection, no exceptions! To look like a big man he even included himself.

TIM-TOM
We're coming in!

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
Crap, they can't see this! The whole mind assassin thing is against Guild rules.

HENCHMAN 21
It is?! Oh, great! Super! Yeah, brilliant idea!

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
[rooting through a dresser] Take off your clothes!

Meanwhile in Doc's brain the Monarch continues to mess stuff up. He's pulling switches and doing whatever he wants. He hobbles over to a large switch on the wall behind him and clumsily pulls on it. Eros, Thanatos and Dr. O are walking through the hallway when all of the doors open. Yeah, that's not right.

Outside The Monarch's room Kevin and Tim-Tom continue to shout into the room. Kevin then attempts to bash in the door with his 'secret mind powers'. They're a secret even to him. Tim-Tom has a key to the room though. They barge in and check their clipboards and then proceed to look very uncomfortable. They both avert their eyes and leave the room. Yeah, this is all inspected. Sorry.

HENCHMAN 21
[slowly] Close the door behind you.

Commercial.

In The Rusty Dr. O notes that the doors of perception have open all at once. Now they have to close them all! Eros and Thanatos note that could take a while since there are a ton. Oh also the Leviathan is coming, so that's pretty great. You know, why men murder and make war. Oh also this army dead Hank and Deans has to pass by.

EROS
I hate those things! They're all over the place in here, they chew on stuff and they get poop on everything!

DR. ORPHEUS
They are his dead sons. Forever haunting his subconscious mind!

THANATOS
Leviathan draws near! Death is at hand! We cannot outrun the beast!

EROS
He gets that way around death. It's like he's in a Creed video! [shouts at THANATOS] Why don't we just go in one of these doors?!

THANATOS
[calms down] Okay. Yeah, that's cool.

Back in the real world not inside Doc's head Brock and Sgt. Hatred continue to monitor Doc. Unseen to the viewer Hank and Shoreleave are playing football in the house. Brock shouts at them to not do so and Sgt. Hatred tells Brock that it's his job to do that sort of thing now. Brock continues to eat Skittles. Hatred asks him for some and Brock gives him one. A Skittle.

Back in the Cocoon Dr. Girlfriend thanks 21 (both of them still in their... uniforms... from earlier) for putting up with everything.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
... He doesn't mean to do it to us but he's-

HENCHMAN 21
Our leader! I am his henchman.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
Come on, 21, you're not just one of the drones, you're different!

HENCHMAN 21
Am I? [sighs] I had dreams once. And I have given them to the Monarch. I even bought my own costume. I was saving up for a monster truck or maybe Patrick Swayze's leather jacket from Road House... or, I dunno, have Rockapella perform for the guys. I'm out of dreams.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
Look, I know that we all have numbers in this game; we're supposed to just forget that we make people die. But when it hits home, it's hard. Gary, you've seen too much.

HENCHMEN 21
I've seen my only real friend die. I've seen a giant penny roll over a guy dressed like a rainbow. I've seen the Donkey Kong kill screen. I've seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
[doing a cheer] Awww, G, A, R, Y! You ain't got no alibi, you're Gary! What, what? You're Gary!

HENCHMAN 21
Okay, I have not seen that ever!

Back in The Rusty Dr. O and his crew have stumbled upon some of the ladies from Dr. Venture's life. Myra, Dr. Quymn, Sally, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, among others. We then encounter a young looking Rusty who introduces himself as The Rusty's id. Eros says that he would have spent less time with Thanatos if he knew about the pretty ladies.

ID
[laughs] These ladies are not for you, they are for The Rusty. The Rusty could have any of these women if he just put in the effort.

THANATOS
Lindsay Wagner. Really?

ID
Yes! The Rusty met Lindsay Wagner at a party! She was totally into The Rusty! Witty banter was shared! But The Rusty did not seal the deal. This was because The Rusty was tired. Only because of this!

Dr. O apologizes and informs id that he and his friends only want passage to Master Control, not The Rusty's women. The id laughs, noting that they wouldn't be able to obtain The Rusty's women. Dr. O agrees and compliments The Rusty and id agrees to let them through on one condition.

ID
The flying baby shall make love to the black spectre! Yes! Yes! They shall make sweet, sensual love for me!

EROS & THANATOS
[various protests]

DR. ORPHEUS
Ahh, you ass too much of us, id. This is Thanatos and Eros, they are love and death. To have them copulate is impossible!

THANATOS
Huuuge understatement!

ID
Then they shall merely kiss! And! They shall use their tongues! This I command!

EROS
I'll do it if he does.

THANATOS
Yeah I bet you will.

EROS
Yeah, like I wanna do it.

ID
And there shall be laughing, and mirth! And also ass-grabbing!

EROS
Dude, just do it he's upping the ante! Will you just kiss me already!?

DR. ORPHEUS
Time is of the essence!

ID
I demand kissing! And also I demand at least... second base!

Back in the Cocoon Dr. Girlfriend and 21 are still talking, still in their previous getups, and now drinking wine. Hmm. 21 quotes Star Trek and Dr. Girlfriend finishes the quote. Oh. My. God. This is interesting. They both drink down their first glasses of wine.

Back in The Rusty Eros and Thanatos argue while they and Dr. O reach the next level of consciousness, the ego. The ego doesn't seem overly happy with much of anything, noting that he doesn't really care for Eros or Thanatos... or the dead boy clones wandering around. Or Dr. O. Dr. O implores the ego to let them pass and they will help him and save The Rusty while they're at it. The ego tells them that if they want passage they will have to help him fix something. He holds up a wooden puppet that looks like a young Rusty Venture. He wants them to help him fix it.

Back at the Venture Compound (but not inside Doc's head), Brock and Sgt. Hatred are talking about Hank and what is apparently his ability to shoot downed guys. All thanks to ol' Sgt. Hatred. Just then Hank runs in telling them that Dean is hurt. Brock says he'll deal with it but Sgt. Hatred won't have any of that and he follows them as well.

Inside Master Control the Monarch is still having issues but is still unable to drive Dr. Venture insane. He collapses and outside of The Rusty and on the monitor at the Cocoon we see him flatline. However 21 and Dr. Girlfriend don't seem to notice at all. Dr. Girlfriend is complaining about the Monarch when 21 asks if she thinks she can do better. Dr. Girlfriend shrugs, saying she isn't sure who. And then...

At ego's workbench Eros and Thanatos seem to be having no luck repairing ego's broken puppet. Dr. O has disappeared though, and just when they notice he reappears... with help. Seems he's gotten the ladies from id and they can help ego repair the boy. How did he get them away from id? Don't ask. Please don't ask.

In the meantime Dean is running around the compound lawn holding his butt and screaming. Seems he's got ants in his pants. Sweet. Shoreleave sprays them with whatever's in his water bottle.

SHORELEAVE
And, solved! Okay who's up for another game?

DEAN
[continues screaming] What was that!?

SHORELEAVE
Oh, relax. It's just Sprite!

SGT. HATRED
Sprite!? That's sugar! They eat that. You just fed the ants!

DEAN
[screams]

Still within The Rusty, Dr. O, Eros and Thanatos note that The Rusty is getting kind of hot, in that dieing sort of way. They also encounter the super-ego, a rather dashing and confident looking Dr. Venture. He notes that he hasn't been called on in a very long time, but is able to immediately open a doorway to Master Control. Easy!

They emerge from the door at the end of the hallway. The super-ego notes that the doors aren't really supposed to be open. Also there's this one huge door at the end of the hallway that's not open. The only one. Dr. O asks if there's anything else they can do, and super-ego notes that one might be able to crawl through the tragic memory ducts they should be able to get to Master Control. Those ducts lead everywhere. Dr. O states that he has a plan: super-ego and Eros must go to the origin of the ducts! Their strength and love will be the bait! He begins to explain the rest of his plan, though it's difficult to hear, and then... screen wipe...

Up in Master Control the Monarch continues to hold on for dear life. We then see all of the memories of dead Hanks and Deans pop out of the air ducts in the room. They're all calling for daddy. They all swarm the Monarch, who isn't quite sure what to do. However it appears they only want to hug him, not do anything harmful. Nevertheless the Monarch screams and...

We see him snap out of his sleep in the real world. Dr. Girlfriend and 21 quickly stop kissing. The Monarch stops screaming and glances at 21 and Dr. Girlfriend, who are still in their same outfits from before.

THE MONARCH
Whaaaat's going on?

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
Nothing!

HENCHMAN 21
[sadly] Any more.

Back outside the Venture Compound Dean is laying on the ground with his ass in the air as Brock hoses him down. It's perhaps one of the more humiliating scenes in the series. Sgt. Hatred notes this but Brock states that this is basically the only way to get rid of the ants problem. Sgt. Hatred says that they're his problem, not Brock's. However Dr. Venture, now fully conscious and seemingly fine, shows up, still attached to Sgt. Hatred's machine.

DR. VENTURE
You're both wrong! Those boys are my problem. Brock, turn off the hose. Dean, get up and get in the shower. Hank! Stop giggling at your brother! Hatred, what the hell is connected to my chest? And... Shoreleave... I don't know, go do... something. [turns around] Ugh, I have a huuuge headache.

Roll end credits.

In the Venture living room Doc is sitting on the couch and looking rather dazed.

HANK
Are you okay? Dr. O said your probably insane now and that you'll... never be the same.

DR. VENTURE
[laughs] Are you kidding? [sighs] Okay. I'm just turning sixteen and having a birthday pool party. My father invites every girl he knows. And I'm not talking about girls my age, no, not Jonas, he invites Playboy bunnies and models and, I think actual whores. You know, real prostitutes.

So there I am in my giant bathing suit with nervous puberty oozing out of my gigantic pores. Just awful. So, the band suddenly stops playing, and I hear: 'and now, the man of the hour, Rusty Venture!' All eyes on me, right? Then suddenly, almost predictably, the Action Man shoots my groin with a shrink ray right as that fucking jackass Colonel Gentleman pulls my shorts down.

HANK
Wow. That's like a nightmare.

DR. VENTURE
Oh, no, no! What I went through today was [airquotes] 'like a nightmare'. What happened when I was sixteen. That is my life.

Notes

  • In the beginning of the episode Dr. Venture (or the Monarch, really) attempts to kill himself via carbon monoxide suffocation. It's a relatively common method of suicide to sit in a car that's in a closed garage and start the engine. The car outputs carbon monoxide which causes hypoxia when breathed in. Dr. Venture's issue is that he was attempting to do it inside an airplane hangar, so it wouldn't exactly work unless he left the car running for a very, very long time (if at all). The Mantis-Eye Experiment would also like to let it be known that it does not condone any act of bodily harm to self or others.

  • Dr. Orpheus suggests that his exorcism of Dr. Venture "isn't a Gallagher Two performance" which refers to the brother of famed comedian Leo Gallagher (better known simply as Gallagher, you know, the watermelon smashing guy), Ron Gallagher. Ron would often perform under the moniker 'Gallagher Too' (or Gallagher Two) at smaller venues who couldn't afford the original Gallagher. Leo initially granted Ron the use of his act and name, but only on the condition that Leo made it clear that audiences were not seeing the original Gallagher. Ron, however, never made it overly evident (Leo thought the 'Gallagher Two/Too' name was not distinct enough) and Leo eventually sued his own brother for trademark violations and false advertising. The courts ultimately sided with Leo and Ron was forced to stop performing under the guise of his oleo brother.

  • The chamber the Monarch is hanging out in that represents Dr. Venture's head (master control) is similar to The Swan, an area from the TV series Lost. The Swan is a central plot point of the earlier seasons of the show and holds a few of the mysteries of the island, including the infamous switch and countdown. It's hard to reveal more without oversimplifying or not making any sense for those of you who haven't seen the series, so I'll just stop now.

  • 21 asks Dr. Girlfriend if she thinks that the Monarch will 'bring back a pissed off Billy Mahoney with him' which is a reference to the 1990 film Flatliners in which the film's main characters conduct experiments with near-death experiences. The experiments reveal ghosts from their pasts which manage to manifest themselves in the real world (if only to the person who experienced them). The main character, Nelson (played by Keifer Sutherland) is haunted by a boy from his past named Billy Mahoney whom he and his friends used to pick on. In the film Mahoney wears a hood and attacks Nelson a number of times, so there you go. If you want to you can check out some choice scenes thanks to YouTube.

  • As stated in the episode Pete and Billy represent Thanatos and Eros, respectively. They are both figures from Greek mythology but in Freudian psychoanalytic theory (which the figures inside Rusty's head are all based upon) Thanatos and Eros are opposing life instincts. Thanatos is one's 'death drive', which is to say the drive towards death and self-destruction. Eros is the opposite of that; the drive towards survival, propagation and other life-producing drives. Eros can also be referred to as 'libido'. Interestingly enough Freud never coined a term for Thanatos, it was introduced by one of his early followers, Wilhelm Stekel.

  • Dr. Girlfriend mentions that the Monarch is always singing 'that Human League song', referring the the British synthpop/new wave/electropop/etc band that became popular in the 1980s. 21's first guess is their rather popular song from 1983, "(Keep Feeling) Fascination". He then goes on to recite incorrect lyrics from the 1981 "Don't You Want Me". 21's lyrics are as such:

    So they were working like a countess in a cocktail glass
    When I knew about you, don't you want me?
    Do you not want me? Don't you want me, baby?

    These are borrowed (and altered) from various points in the song, assumably to avoid any sort of licensing fees or copyright issues. The proper corresponding lyrics from the song would likely be:

    You were workin' as a waitress in a cocktail bar
    When I met you
    I picked you out, I shook you up and turned you around
    Turned you into someone new

    Don't, don't you want me?
    You know I can't believe it
    When I hear that you won't see me

    Don't you want me, baby?

  • Thanatos is correct. A quadrillion is a real number. It's actually a thousand million million (1015) and not a thousand billion as Thanatos states. But still, it's not a made up thing like Billy says. Thanks to 'J' in the comments for sending a correction on this one.

  • Not only it 21's lengthy conversation with Dr. Girlfriend significant, it's also chock full of references. 21 mentions saving up money to buy Patrick Swayze's leather jacket from Road House or having Rockapella (potentially most famous for their participation in the kid's gameshow Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, especially the theme song) sing for the guys. The final line he speaks, "I've seen attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion" is a very famous line from the 1982 film Blade Runner.

  • The women in Rusty's mind are speaking lines similar to many late-night sexy lady phone lines (explaining why they are all wearing headsets) except for Lindsay Wagner who inquires for a 'sleep number', which is a reference to the actual Lindsay Wagner being a spokesperson for Select Comfort's line of Sleep Number beds. Wagner is of course most famous for playing the lead role in The Bionic Woman.

  • In the 'invisible harem' we meet The Rusty's id, which is the first part of the Freudian id, ego and super-ego psychic apparatus. In a nutshell the id is the unorganized part of the personality which contains basic drives. The id acts according to the 'pleasure principle', meaning it wishes to avoid all pain/non-pleasures. In Freudian psyche models the id is the most basic instinctual part of the mind. It is entirely self-motivated, illogical, primarily sexual and without any sense of time.

    Interestingly enough the id is actually divided in to Eros (life instincts) and Thanatos (death instincts), though Eros is the primary one since, as noted, Freud didn't think of death instincts until much later in his life.

  • Before serving the wine 21 says "We must drink. This is tranya." And Dr. Girlfriend responds with "I hope you relish it as much as I", both of which are from a scene (spoken by the same character) in the original Star Trek series, specifically an episode called "The Corbomite Maneuver" (also mentioned by 21). You can watch the scene on YouTube if you like.

    They also mention "Ron Howard's brother", which refers to then child actor Clint Howard who played Balok (the alien speaking the line they recited) in "The Corbomite Maneuver" and is indeed the younger brother of actor-turned-director Ron Howard.

  • The next portion of The Rusty's psyche we meet is of course the ego. In the Freudian model of the psyche, the ego acts as a moderator between the id and the super-ego (who we will meet and explain shortly). Since the id is governed by drives that are generally not acceptable in modern society, it becomes the ego's job to please those drives in ways that will benefit in the long term. The ego's task is the find a balance between what the id, super-ego and real world need and require, and as such is in constant danger causing discontent of the other two. It's generally thought that the ego favors the id more than the super-ego but that the super-ego punishes it for this favoritism. These punishments manifest in the form of guilt, anxiety and inferiority. The ego itself overcomes these punishments with defense mechanisms that help to cover up the impulses and reduce tension. Defense mechanisms examples are denial, fantasy, projection, regression and repression, among others.

  • The final part of The Rusty's psyche we meet is the super-ego, the organized part of the personality structure. The super-ego contains an individuals goals, ideals and conscience. The super-ego is the opposite of the id, working in contradiction to it. As noted this gives the ego trouble in reconciling the two, and since the super-ego acts as the conscience it is often aggressive towards the ego when it makes concessions to the id.

    Above all else the super-ego strives for perfection and as such maintains our sense of morality. Basically the super-ego knows how we should behave and what is expected of it and will accept nothing less. This is why when the ego compromises by listening to the id the super-ego will punish the ego as noted above.

  • The name 'Master Control' (The Rusty's main control center, naturally) is potentially a reference to the 1982 film TRON, which involved an antagonist AI called 'Master Control Program'. However the two share little beyond their similar names.

Episode Cast

James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
The Rusties
Rusty's Women
Patrick Warburton Brock Samson
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Steven Rattazzi Dr. Orpheus
Chris McCulloch The Monarch
Hank Venture
Sgt. Hatred
Pete "Thanatos" White
Tim-Tom
Doc Hammer Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
Henchman 21
Billy "Eros" Quizboy
Shoreleave
Kevin

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