Perchance to Dean
Original Air Date:November 1, 2009
Written by:Jackson Publick
Hank, along with is friend, Dermott, start breaking all of the Venture Compound Rules in a bid to get his father's attention. But Dr. Venture is focused completely on Dean, who is taking his first steps in joining the family business as a Super Scientist. But someone else wants Dr. Venture's attention, too: A shadowy figure from Dr. Venture's past who is out to steal Dean's future.
We start off in Dr. Venture's cloning lab.
I know you're still settling in here and all, but I figure if you're gonna be my new bodyguard then you might as well see what you're in for.
It's Dr. Venture and Brock. Inside the cloning tubes are a number of infant clone slugs. Dr. Venture explains that he likes to 'keep a few spares in the trunk' since life with him can get 'a little bit bumpy'. Brock sort of looks around, no real reaction on his face. He taps the glass on one of the tubes.
Don't talk much, do you? Well good! Because mum's the word on my little cabbage patch here; these tadpoles aren't exactly street legal if you get my drift.
[Brock exhales his cigarette as he looks at Dr. Venture]
You know you really shouldn't smoke when we're pregnant. [laughs] Seriously. No, no smoking in the lab areas.
Brock puts out his cigarette on his tongue and spits it out. Dr. Venture watches for a second before noticing specimen D-19, a rather bumpy looking clone slug. He hits the large 'ABORT' button on the front of the baby's tube and he's flushed down, never to be seen again...
We transition to the shower, clogged with hair. Dean picks up the hair in the drain and studies it, looking somewhat upset. Outside Sgt. Hatred pounds on the door, telling Dean that his ten minutes are up and Hank needs to use it. Dean leaves and Hank (who appears to have been holding it in for a long time) rushes in. Mid-pee he's interrupted by his father, who grounds him, apparently for calling him the president of the United States of Boogers in front of company.
Dean, meanwhile, sadly goes to bed, putting the clump of hair under his pillow. Hank and Dr. Venture's arguing can be heard throughout the Venture Compound. We zoom through some air ducts until we come to an unknown area. A vaguely familiar looking figure is listening.
Opening credits logo.
Dean wakes up the next morning and checks under his pillow. There's a note from his father that says 'meet me in the panic room'. Dean reads the note as his bed flips over, spilling him into the panic room. Dr. Venture is there, and he tells Dean that they need to talk. Turns out there's no such thing as the hair fairy.
The time has come for you to leave the magic and folly of childhood behind, Dean.
Because I'm losing all my baby hair and and my grownup hair is gonna start coming in soon?
No, because you need to start taking your future career in science more seriously, Dean. Your biological time bomb is ticking.
But I have been practicing my science, just like you told me, pop. [he pulls something out of his pocket] Look, I made these!
Shrinky-Dinks don't count, son. I'm not even gonna ask you why you sleep with those things.
Because I can't find Mr. Reechy.
Don't blame yourself, Dean, it's my fault. I should have given you this years ago. Tada! [he motions to the other side of the panic room where some science stuff is set up]
The... panic room?
Your very own junior laboratory! No more working on the kitchen table for you! In here, you'll be able to really focus on your science with no distractions!
[enters, pushing a hand truck] How come baby Einstein gets his own lab and I'm stuck pushing boxes around, huh? When do I get to train for my future career?
Who says you're not right now? Ooh, those go up in the attic, boy.
Hank leaves and Dr. Venture tells Dean to get into his speed suit. Another surprise is waiting. Meanwhile, still listening through the air ducts is subject D-19, a deformed and, after 18 years of isolation, deranged clone of Dean. He is walking around holding Dean's stuffed giraffe and complaining that he's smarter than Hank and Dean but never got anything from Dr. Venture.
D-19 then starts talking to an imaginary Dr. Venture who tells him that he's not the real Dean, and that he was rejected. Dean tries to sell himself, saying he learned from Dr. Venture's real sons, but he just wasn't pretty enough. Dr. Venture notes that there's still a face issue. D-19 then reveals his master plan. He's apparently cobbled together a Dean suit. He attempts to put it on, but it's a bit of a tight fit, plus it's made of human skin possibly. A noise is heard outside and D-19 hides as Hank walks into the room. He dumps off the boxes and angrily notices the wall adorned with dozens of photos of Dean before leaving. Tonight, D-91 promises. Tonight.
In Dr. Venture's lab Sgt. Hatred is showing the Doc a scaled down version of something he has planned. Explosive decoys. He demonstrates by knocking over a small model with a pencil, creating a very large explosion given the small size.
We place 'em at key locations around the compound and the next time your Monarch or your Baron What's-his-bite comes a-knockin' he gets spanked in the face with five feet, seven inches of screamin' hot stop it!
I'm five ten.
Psh, yeah maybe with them fancy elevator Beatle boots of yours.
Just then a delivery guy walks in carting three crates with Sgt. Hatred's logo on them. Hatred signs for them and the delivery guy jostles them, much to Hatred's disdain. The delivery guy asks if the crates have any hazardous materials since he's required by law to report it.
Hey! Nosey McPeeks-a-lot, you know what brown can do for me? He can mind his own business!
The delivery guy only looks at Dr. Venture before turning around to leave. He runs into Hank, also pushing a hand truck.
Hey there, slugger, you look like you're buckin' for my job!
Did my dad tell you to say that?
Then... are you psychic?
Hank, leave the man alone. Just because he's black doesn't mean he has the Shining.
[sighs] Save me, dude.
Hank walks over to Dr. Venture and Hatred, saying he's done packing stuff. Ungrounded? Nope, still stuff on the list! What list, why this huge list with a ton of things on it! Enjoy, Hank! Dr. Venture gives Hank his shoes (for shining) as he leaves.
I don't wanna tell you how to do your daddy duty or nothing, but don't you think maybe you're being just a little hard on the ol' Hankinator?
'Hankinator'? You're sleeping with him, aren't you!?
Up in his room, Hank angrily shines his father's shoes and then spits in one. Dermott enters. He says that he's grounded too but he snuck out. Dermott asks where Dean it, and Hank informs him of the rather unfair situation in the Venture family. Dermott notes that he still owes Dean a beatdown, but Hank points out that Dean basically beat him up before, which of course leads to a stream of excuses by Dermott. Reading the list Dermott notices number five, car wash. What better opportunity than to give the car a good reason to be washed?
Dr. Venture, meanwhile, is showing Dean more of his secrets. First off, 'the Egg', one of those weird half-sphere chairs, which is apparently where all Doc's ideas have come to him in. He tells Dean to sit down because he has to introduce him to his muse. Dean thinks maybe it's going to be his mother, but no, turns out it's progressive rock. He has a milk crate full of old LPs.
Now, normally I'd start you off with Asia or something more accessible, but I think you're ready for the primo shit. [he hands Dean a record] Just take a gander at that cover art and try to pretend you're not inspired.
[studying the album cover] It's like something out of a dream.
Painted by our greatest living artist, Mr. Roger Dean.
Hey, that's my name!
That's no accident, boy. Maybe now you have some sense of the gravity, nay, the destiny of this moment. This is your birthright!
Golly! I don't know what to say.
Just say 'Yes!' [pulls out the record and blows the dust off it]
Hey, what's this one with the face?
Oh! That! No, no, no, you're not ready to step into The Court of the Crimson King. At this stage in your training an album like that could turn you into an evil scientist.
He puts the record on for Dean, first accidentally starting in the middle of the album and startling Dean. He starts the record at the beginning and Dean enters a strange psychedelic dream world filled with progressive rock. Naked, he's hurtled through space and ages and dies and is reborn. Or something. Dr. Venture asks him what he thinks, and Dean says he's not sure but he think he feels something. That's called inspiration! Dean requests more and Dr. Venture complies before leaving (along with a warning not to air drum). Doc leaves the room but runs into Sgt. Hatred who asks if they can 'do this'. He's wearing an apron and rubber gloves.
Hank and Dermott, meanwhile, are doing donuts in the compound lawn. Dermott tries to get Hank to go to the quarry for some 'offroad action' but Hank thinks it's not such a good idea. At the same time D-19 is digging in front of the compound. He's discovered an old Dean, which is somehow not decomposed. D-19 seems excited by his new find and pulls the Dean corpse out of the hole. However as he's dragging the body across the compound driveway, Hank and Dermott quickly approach. They're arguing so they don't notice him. D-19 notices them just in time and abandons the corpse, which collides with Hank and Dermott, flipping over the car.
At Nightin' Ales the delivery guy sits at the bar, drinking a beer. Suddenly he stops and stares ahead, clearly horrified. He shakes a little and rushes out of the club to catch his breath. He takes out his cell phone and dials.
Hello, uh, sheriff? I think something terrible is about to go down at the Venture Compound.
Above the compound the delivery guy is now with the local sheriff, who comments that it just looks like a pretty standard super science industrial complex to him. The delivery guy notes that he delivered a dozen army surplus crates there, so it's possible they're planning for something big. He's got a feeling. The sheriff says that he's got a lot of premonitions and none of them seem to pan out. The delivery guy, however, insists that something is up. I mean they've got the guy with the crazy tattoo on his face and some creepy kids!
Hank, meanwhile, is busy freaking out over having just killed his brother. Dermott seems unimpressed. Hank says they have to confess, but Dermott has another plan since jail is terrible. On account of all the butt sex, you see. Dermott hops into action. First they need to wipe the car clean, removing any evidence. Then they need to burn Hank's learner's permit for some reason. Dermott says that he needs to go off the grid. Maybe hang out in Mexico for a couple of years until this all blows over.
The real Dean of course is safe in The Egg and listens to more prog rock. He now seems to be smack in the middle of a Roger Dean painting, complete with a dragon which he is riding. Gigantic brown hairs emerge from the ground and the dragon narrowly avoids them before screeching and taking off. He flies above them but they grab Dean before they can escape. Oh, did I mention they're on a planet shaped like Dean's head? Yep.
Sgt. Hatred and Dr. Venture are finishing up making a full body casting of Dr. Venture.
[spits] I've been buried alive five, maybe six times in my life. This was worse! Oh my god, I forgot about Dean!
[he rushes back to where Dean is, but he's fallen to the floor, his nose bleeding]
Dean!! Noooo!! [he listens to the headphones] Oh my god it's side two of Dark Side of the Moon! He's in a Floyd hole!! Fill the tub with ice, now!!
Sgt. Hatred complies and a few minutes later Dr. Venture dumps Dean into the tub. Dean wakes up and shouts 'eureka!'
No, Dean! Sit back! Breathe! You've been through a lot. You need to rest.
No, dad. I need... to science.
A Dean science montage plays. We see Dean plucking out one of his hairs and studying it under a microscope. Sgt. Hatred is making his weird exploding Dr. Venture clones. Dean douses a clump of his hair with plant food. Sgt. Hatred paints his weird exploding Dr. Venture clones. Dean continues to experiment as Dr. Venture watches him approvingly.
D-19, however, is not happy. He is back in the attic and yelling and knocking things over. He finally collapses onto his bed, sobbing. Hallucination Dr. Venture shows up again, saying that even though Hank ruined D-19's plan it really takes more than just a sweater vest to be Dean. Besides he doesn't wear those any more anyway. The real Dean wouldn't give up so easily. D-19 says that there isn't any more material for his suit, but Dr. Venture notes that there's probably another Dean around still. You know, maybe in the panic room?
DR. VENTURE HALLUCINATION
Do you want to be Dean or just Dean's uglier, unhygienic older brother?
DR. VENTURE HALLUCINATION
And I can only have one favorite son, so it wouldn't very well do to have two Deans walking around, now would it?
B- but I can't! Tha- tha- that would be wrooong!
DR. VENTURE HALLUCINATION
What's wrong is that fourteenth stringer getting everything you were always meant to have. And Dean. May I call you Dean?
DR. VENTURE HALLUCINATION
This one's even a little bigger than the others were.
Down in the lab Dean walks carrying a petri dish on a tray. As he leaves Hank and Dermott pop up from the staircase. Dean puts his tray into the oven and sets his watch. Meanwhile int he lab:
Shh! Dude, don't be a puss! We gotta burn your fingerprints off so Interpol can't track you. [he shoves Hank's hand into a beaker, Hank screams] Own your pain, dude! Go into your cave, like in Fight Club!
I DIDN'T SEE FIGHT CLUB!!
Yeah I saw it in the theater, twice. Totally snuck in too. My mom dropped me off at the mall to see some Elmo in Grouchland bullcrap. Ditched that noise. [Hank pulls his hand out and Dermott sniffs the beaker] What the f- is this like paiper mache goo? Doesn't your dad have like hydrochloric acid or something layin' around?
Who am I, Bill Nye the science guy? I don't know what any of this stuff is! That's Dean's bag. [gets sad] Was Dean's bag. Aww, I wish Dean was here. Oh mother of mercy what have I done?!
[slaps Hank] Keep it together! Alright we're gonna have to do this commando style.
You want me to... take off my underwear? [Dermott pulls out a butterfly knife] Coolness.
[drops the knife attempting to twirl it] It slipped! Stupid hands are all sweaty!
In the kitchen Sgt. Hatred is sifting through the fridge when he notices the floor is all muddy. He starts to yell but is bashed on the head with a rolling pin by D-19. In the other room Dean's alarm goes off. He rushes into the kitchen as D-19, now holding a knife, opens the oven, the contents of which are smoking.
What the?! Who are you!?
Oh no!! I've created a monster!! [into his watch] Sergent Hatred, help, help, come quick!!
Hatred, of course, doesn't answer as he is out cold on the floor. Dean runs out of the kitchen, D-19 chasing after him. They run up the stairs and Dean gets into his room before D-19 can catch up. Dean dives into his closet.
Back up above everything the sheriff and the delivery guy are still scoping out the compound. Through his binoculars the sheriff sees all of the exploding Dr. Ventures and notes that it is looking pretty strange. All just standing there with their shaved heads and same clothes. Weird, weird, weird. A cop with riot gear on hops the compound fence back to the outside and informs them that he found an open grave. Bodies everywhere, most of them kids. The sheriff has heard enough and instructs them to hit the lights. Over a loudspeaker he broadcasts for everyone to come out of the compound quietly. Dr. Venture wakes up, pissed, and Hank and Dermott of course assume the cops are here for them.
Dude, you dad called the cops! We gotta bullet right now!
Don't you guys have a plane?
Yeah but I don't know how to fly it!
And my pilot's license is only rated for a single engine craft. So we're gonna need wheels.
My dad's car! We just washed it!
That's the murder weapon, dingus! Why don't we just hop on your brother's corpse and toboggan down to the county jail while we're at it!
Speaking of, Dean is still hiding in the closet, though D-19 finds him. Dean flies out of it wearing his hover boots, and pleads with D-19 to go away, saying he's sorry he tried to play god. D-19 tackles him but they land on one of the beds which dumps them into the panic room. They knock over Dean's science stuff which causes a fire.
Ah ha! Fire bad! You fear fire!
What are you talking about?
The chase resumes, and the sprinklers in the compound turn on. Dr. Venture is also dumped into the panic room, only the fire is now concentrated at the bottom of the shaft that leads to the room. He quickly stops himself from sliding into it by jamming his limbs into the walls of the slide. Sgt. Hatred wakes up thanks to the sprinklers and yells fire.
Outside the sheriff gets a report that there's a fire and claims they're going full Waco. He sends in the SWAT team. One of the agents stops in front of a Dr. Venture decoy and tells him to get down on the ground. Most of the rest storm the compound.
Sgt. Hatred contacts Dr. Venture to inform him of the fire, of which Doc is obviously already aware. Hatred is about to say something else when he notices the cops. He is briefly happy that they've somehow arrived so quickly, but then is hit in the chest with a tear gas cannister.
Outside the agent is still fighting with the unmoving decoy.
Inside both Sgt. Hatred and Dr. Venture have been arrested and Hatred's computer confiscated. Hatred assures the sheriff that any 'questionable' images on there are 100% computer generated. The sheriff gets a call from outside. It's the same agent who was yelling at the decoy.
Outside Hank and Dermott are wildly driving Dr. Venture's transport train from day camp around. They swerve to avoid the agent but when trying to avoid a decoy they last cart hits it, causing an explosion. The last cart detaches and flies into the air as agents leave the main compound to chase after Hank and Dermott who have now escaped the perimeter.
Dean ad D-19 are now on the roof of the main building. Dean is still freaked out and says that he's only doing science because his dad made him. D-19 says the same and tackles Dean once again. Dean's boots go off and they are both propelled into the air.
What in the hell is that?
Probably the comet these poor fools think they're gonna fly away to heaven on!
Dermott and Hank continue their escape until Dermott tells Hank to pull over by a trailer park. It's his house. Time to go! Curfew and all. He sends Hank off with some inspiration words and a roll of cash, instructing him to buy some fireworks and Spanish fly. Sirens blare behind them and Hank quickly drives away.
Dean, meanwhile, lies in a crater he's made. D-19 is about to attack him again but is stopped by Dr. Venture.
Son, that's enough.
You didn't need to hurt that poor other Dean to get what you want.
I- I don't?
No, son! Because all you ever really wanted was a father's love. And you don't need to look like him to get it.
Of course not! Aside from some basic hygiene issues you're perfect just the way you are! Now c'mere! [holds out his arms] Give your old man a hug.
[D-19 hugs him happily and starts to cry]
Thaaat's it, let it all out. Don't be shy now, hug away!
D-19 hugs Dr. Venture really tightly before they both explode. Back on the steps of the main compound building Dr. Venture and Sgt. Hatred are watching.
Who the hell was that?!
Roll end credits.
Hank is apparently sitting on a beach in Mexico. He sips a drink just as his father yells his name. Turns out he's actually sitting in The Egg, listening to music.
Hank! What the hell do you think you're doing?! Are you kidding!? Are you kidding!? [he hits Hank over and over] You set fire to your brother's lab, you try to run away in my people mover, and you call the police on me, and you think that entitles you to listen to records?! What world are you living in where you think there's even a chance you won't be grounded for the rest of the year!!
You don't take a man's Jimmy Buffett records without asking, either!
- The title of this episode is a parody of a famous line from the very famous "To be, or not to be" soliloquy from Shakespeare's Hamlet with the real phrase being 'perchance to dream'. It has also been used for a number of things throughout the years including an episode of The Twilight Zone and an episode of Batman: The Animated Series.
- Early in the episode when Hank and Dr. Venture are arguing Hank can be heard shouting 'Attica!' which is a reference to the film Dog Day Afternoon in which the same words are cried in response to police brutality. The chant itself is in reference to the Attica Prison riot in 1971 which at least partially occurred because the prisoners of Attica wanted better living conditions (at the time they were granted a single shower a week and one roll of toilet paper per month). Thanks wikipedia.
- References to 'The Shining' refer to the Stephen King novel and subsequent Stanley Kubrick film of the same name. The term 'the shining' refers to the psychic abilities of the main character's son, Danny, and the cook of hotel the story takes place in. The delivery guy in this episode seems at loosely based on the cook character, Dick Hallorann (portrayed by Scatman Crothers in the film).
- Progressive rock of course plays a big part in this episode. Bands mentioned by name are Asia, Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd and an album cover seen in one scene appears to reference Rush.
The Yes album that gets the most screentime doesn't appear to be based on any specific album, but rather is a sort of generic representation of a Yes album cover. The closest thing it comes to is Yesterdays. However an album probably representing Fragile can be seen in Dr. Venture's collection.
Briefly shown and mentioned by name, Pink Floyd's most popular album The Dark Side of the Moon with the now iconic prism cover art.
Dean also asks about 'the album with the face' which is In the Court of the Crimson King, King Crimson's debut album. This is of course why Dr. Venture tells Dean he's not ready to 'step into the court of the crimson king'.
- Roger Dean is also mentioned by name, and also as Dean's namesake. Dean (Roger) is most famous for his fantasy landscape paintings that adorned a large number of album covers starting in the 60s. Yes is actually the band he supplied with the most covers over the years, with the most recent one being their 2005 live box set The World Is Live. He's also painted albums for Asia, Greenslade, Steve Howe and even designed the cover art for Tetris Worlds and Tetris Splash.
- Dean's progressive rock trip bears some similarities to the films 2001 (another Kubrick film) and Heavy Metal.
- D-19 himself is sort of a standard reference to an evil twin or hideous clone. Potentially D-19 has some similarities to Kaine, a failed attempt at cloning Peter Parker (Spider-Man), though he also shares a lot of physical characteristics with Quasimodo from Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Finally, he's also possibly slightly inspired by Edward Scissorhands, though mainly the shots of his room and how he lives in an attic similar to in the film.
- The people mover Hank and Dermott make their escape on is the same one from The Buddy System. This is also where Dean's beatdown of Dermott (mentioned by Hank early in the episode) occurred.
- If you're interested Dr. Venture's list contains actual text, some of which can be read when he holds it up. Some of the items, among other things, are 'be a better son', 'get a haircut', 'take out the trash' and 'get rent check from Orpheus'. Dr. Venture's handwriting is kind of poor.
Jackson provided the full list later on in a comment on his blog:
1. CLEAN OUT THE PANIC ROOM
2. APOLOGIZE TO YOUR FATHER
3. LAUNDER JACKET!
4. SHINE ITALIAN LEATHER ANKLE BOOTS
5. WASH THE CAR
6. APOLOGIZE TO YOUR FATHER
7. CLEAN RAIN GUTTERS
8. BE A BETTER SON
9. GET A HAIRCUT
10. TAKE OUT THE TRASH
11. FIND THE REMOTE CONTROL
12. BE NICE TO YOUR BROTHER
13. MOP OUT THE SEPTIC TANK
14. REPLACE THE BOX OF MILANOS
15. THAT YOU DEVOURED
16. WITHOUT ASKING
17. MAIL MY NETFLIX BACK
18. MOW THE LAWN
19. GET RENT CHECK FROM ORPHEUS
20. APOLOGIZE TO YOUR FATHER
- Dermott mentions sneaking into Fight Club, which is interesting since that movie was released 10 years ago, so Dermott would have been six or seven. However he does say his mother actually took him to see The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. In a potential bout of truth, those two films did actually release within two weeks of each other, so his story is actually feasible.
- Before storming the compound the sheriff says that they've 'gone full Waco on us' which is a reference to the Waco siege in 1993. In particular the sheriff says that once the fire starts, which is how the Waco siege ended. The Venture Compound has been mentioned in the same breath as Waco before, back in season one's Tag Sale, You're It! by Triana.
A few moments later when the sheriff and delivery guy see Dean and D-19 fly over them the delivery guy thinks that they're the comet 'these poor fools think they're gonna fly away to heaven on', which is a reference to another infamous cult, Heaven's Gate. Basically any story you've heard of a mass suicide in relation to a comet is inspired by these guys.
- The hat Hank is wearing at the end of the episode (even though it's in a fantasy) is the same one he wore in Dia de los Dangerous!.