Hey There, Mystery Person
Trying to vote on a comment, eh? You need an account to do that! You should totally get one! You'll get your own username and can participate in community stuff. It's awesome! Already have an account? Log in above!

The Original Venture Bros. News & Information Site

The Devil's Grip

  • Original Air Date:
    July 21, 2013
  • Written by:
    Doc Hammer
  • Production Number:
    506
  • Rate This Episode:

    • Worst. Episode. Ever.
    • It Was Pretty Crappy
    • An Okay Episode
    • Pretty Good Episode
    • Great Episode!
    • Amazing Episode!!
All-time score of 4.2 with 139 votes

Summary

Dr. Venture is missing and presumed dead. Sgt. Hatred sends Hank and Dean to live with their godfathers to keep them out of harm's way while he forges an unlikely alliance with Henchman 21 to wreak vengeance.

Capsule & Notes

We start off in the desert, which Dean is waking up in. In his pajamas. With a note pinned to his shirt. The note is from Sgt. Hatred, to both Hank and Dean.

Episode Notes

Tangier is a city in Morocco (nothern coast of Afrifa) that lies on the western entrance of the Straight of Gibraltar and has a population of around 850,000. Boca Raton is a city in southern Florida with a population of about 84,000.

We see Sgt. Hatred from earlier, writing the note to the boys. In the present Col. Gentleman arrives in his jeep at Dean's location and welcomes him to Tangier. We then see Hank, sitting on a bed somewhere and reading the same note. He finishes up just as the Action Man comes out of the bathroom. He greets Hank and tosses him a plaid blazer, telling him to put it on.

ACTION MAN
Oh, and, welcome to Boca Raton! [chuckles] Son!

Opening logo.

Still in Boca we see the Action Man putting a shoe box in a hole. A small Team Venture helmet is attached to it. It's Dr. Entmann. Action Man notes that Entmann was the first member of Team Venture to go. Hank apologizes. Action Man reads something from a note. It's a poem about Entmann. Action Man relays that Entmann give him good advice when he was a huge guy and when he was a tiny little guy he could swim laps in a bowl of water. Then one day Entmann was apparently walking under Action Man's rocking chair. Action Man sat down and rocked back, crushing Entmann. Fin.

Action Man opens his fly and pees on Entmann's coffin. Hank is repulsed at first, until Action Man tells him that it's Venture tradition. Since Hank is the youngest he instead has to 'fertilize the ground' which represents new life. Which means take a poop in the guy's grave. Another tradition, I guess?

In Tangier Dean is learning the ways of Morocco. Bread that looks like a napkin and water that he can't drink. He's also convinced that Doc is probably okay and he can go home. Just then a man sitting at the bar angrily picks a fight with Colonel Gentleman. Gentleman sends Dean away to "pick a song on the jukebox". The other man comments that Dean seems a little young, even for Gentleman. Colonel Gentleman then comments that he's only going to use the thumb for this fight. The left one. Right one's too powerful. Swiftly the Colonel pulls a sword from his cane and slices off the man's arm. As the man is crawling away in agony, Gentleman slices his thumb off the dismembered arm and walks over to the cowering man.

COL. GENTLEMAN
I didn't specify my thumb.

Gary is camping in a forest somewhere, probably. He hears something moving and shouts to whoever it is that he'll shoot them. Sgt. Hatred comes out from behind a tree, telling Gary not to shoot him with his stick, which is what he's holding. Hatred tells Gary that he needs his help. Also he found him because they're still on the Venture Compound property. Easy enough.

Anyway, Hatred informs Gary that the Monarch has Doc since Doc crashed the party at Don Hell's. Regardless, he asks Gary if he can help him out with this. Gary agrees and then cocks his stick.

SGT. HATRED
Did you just cock your stick?

21
Yeah, whatever- I just- so what.

Episode Notes

The Monarch's list is what you'd expect. He also actually does a bunch of these later in the episode (spoilers!), so you have to hand it to him for making a list and sticking to it. Shows initiative and organizational skills.

Speaking of the Monarch, he's currently champing at the bit to start torturing Dr. Venture even though Dr. Girlfriend has to patch him up first. He's thinking of what they can do to Doc though. He suggests a rat that will eat his face, but no, no animals. Too much hassle. How about flaying him. With an ice knife? He keeps shouting at her from another room but she's not ready yet. Plus he's so excited and needs to calm down. He looks over his list and adds 'ice knife' as the fifteenth item. Also 'broken glass in ears, question mark'. Sounds like this may not be fun for Doc.

In the back room somewhere Dr. Mrs. is tending to Doc's wounds. It's against Guild regulations to torture someone with an unattended injury. Doc doesn't buy her story. He's been here before. Those who capture him never actually do anything to him. He instead suggests that she pops his hip back in (it's dislocated) and lets him be on his way in return for a tax-free donation. Dr. Mrs. isn't having any of this though.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
You are gonna cry in agony if my husband tickles you. You will plead for your life if he gives you a backrub. You will try to escape just so he can catch you.

DR. VENTURE
Whyyy would I do that?

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
Because if you don't I will straight up just slit your throat. [She holds up some SCISSORS]

DR. VENTURE
Huh. No. No, you wouldn't do that.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
[She uses the SCISSORS to cut his PANTS off] Don't underestimate a woman in love, Dr. Venture. [Pause] So, you allergic to epinephrine?

DR. VENTURE
No, I'm not allergic to any anesthetics. And I'm not allergic to hand lotion, if you, uhh, want to give me a happy ending.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
[Throws away her NEEDLE] Naah.

Episode Notes

The medical terminology is slightly off here. Dr. Girlfriend asks Doc if he's allergic to epinephrine, which is actually adrenaline, and not an anesthetic. However epinephrine is often added to local anesthetics (bupivacaine and lidocaine most commonly) to slow absorption of the anesthetic, increasing the time it's in effect. Having an allergy to epinephrine itself would be extremely unlikely since it's virtually identical to the adrenaline produced by the adrenal gland.

She pops Dr. Venture's leg back into place, causing him to scream in pain very loudly.

THE MONARCH
Don't start without me!!

Back in Boca, Action Man is going some things with Hank. What could they be up to? Rodney approaches a woman named Rose who is sitting on a couch by herself. The briefly converse before Action Man reveals that his son is "hooked on rock 'n' roll". The devil's music! Hank walks over to them:

HANK
Hey, old man, I was just playing my bass at a volume that's unreasonable! Can you give me some money to buy records with clear warning labels!

ACTION MAN
Oh, Rose, you gotta help me straighten him out.

HANK
You ain't never gonna stop me from overly sexualized dancing and dressing like an indigent! [Throws up what he possibly thinks are devil horns] Loud rock music!

ROSE
The devil has a grip on you! You gotta fight him, sweetie! You have to fight him with showtunes!

HANK
Showtunes? If I play them backwards will they make me want to try reefer cigarette marijuanas?

ROSE
Oh, heavens no!

ACTION MAN
They will make you wanna solve problems in song!

ROSE
And with dancing!

HANK
Gosh! I think I'd like to get hooked on showtunes now! I've been so wrong about everything! You're the best father in the world!

ACTION MAN
Aww, shucks, son. I couldn't have done it without Rose, here.

HANK
You sure do make a great team. Hey, pop, maybe she'd like to have dinner with us!

Rose, naturally, agrees.

In Tangier, Col. Gentleman is instructing Dean on how to catalog appearances by Salem the cat on Sabrina The Teenage Witch based on if he was a puppet or an actual cat. Then once he's done with that he can take dictation for I, Gentleman, the third installment of his autobiographical thrillology!

Episode Notes

The tshirt 21 finds here is the same one sold by the season five Shirt Club.

21 and Sgt. Hatred are in 21's old quarters in the Cocoon. 21 notes that everything is just how he remembers it. 21 sees that the Monarch and Dr. Mrs. got him a best henchman t-shirt from the Calamity Conference. Sgt. Hatred seems annoyed by the shirt. Boo-hoo, he tattooed a 'V' on his face and still has to pay for his own food.

21
Why do you do it?

SGT. HATRED What, bodyguard? It's all the same. Sergent Hatred, Uncle Vatred. Same old war horse, fighting for what he cares about.

21
What do you care about?

SGT. HATRED
Fighting! Just point me at a cause and I'll do the rest!

21
I can't believe we're so similar! How come we never got close?

SGT. HATRED
Because I don't trust ya. And 'cause you're a dork.

Hatred opens 21's locker, looking for weapons, to see a bunch of toys. I mean, display cabinet for collectibles. However his old henchman suit is in there too.

21
Yeah, that's my old one. It might still smell like soup.

SGT. HATRED
That's horrible! What is that?

21
Soup.

Back at the Monarch's place he and Dr. Girlfriend are all decked out and ready to go. They go over some things, mostly to make the Monarch seem more scary to Dr. Venture before going in.

Episode Notes

The Monarch's outfit here seems to be inspired by that of Ming the Merciless from the Flash Gordon series (comics, television and film).

They walk into the torture room where Doc is tied up and blindfolded. The Monarch greets him, sinisterly, but Doc only has a "Who's there?!" to spare.

THE MONARCH
Awww, why did you blindfold him?! I'm all dressed up!!

Commercial.

Still at Casa de Monarch, a huge bell is being lowered from the ceiling. The Monarch comments that in the east they know how to make torture truly an art. Enter: the bell. It lowers over Dr. Venture. The Monarch plans to ring it.

THE MONARCH
The bell! When rung at full peel the vibrations pierce the body like sharp knives that pull up the muscles and burst the veins! The bones twist and crack in relative silence to the cries of the bell!! [He laughs]

Episode Notes

Here we see Flying Squid and Auntie Matter. Back in "Return To Malice" Dr. Girlfriend and Dr. Venture have a conversation where she mentions that the neighbors are Flying Squid and Auntie Matter. She refers to Auntie Matter as a 'spinster who shapeshifts' so it's not clear if she and Flying Squid are together or just hanging out on a nice summer day with baby squid. Or that could just be a regular squid. It's hard to tell sometimes.

Flying Squid also complains about the Mike Oldfield album, which likely refers to Oldfield's Tubular Bells. The first one is probably the most famous, as it was also used as the theme in The Exorcist.

Outside his house we hear the bell ring multiple times. Down the street Flying Squid complains that he's paying a lot of money to live in a gated community only to have some jerk crank a Mike Oldfield album. The bell is very loud.

Inside Dr. Venture seems to be fine. I guess spending an entire childhood in a supersonic jet has some benefits after all. Doc seems chipper about it until Dr. Mrs. clears her throat. Doc then unconvincingly cries in pain about his burst kidneys and 'begs' the Monarch not to burst them further. Yeah. The Monarch marks down on his list that the bell sucks. Three exclamation points.

We're now seeing a flashback of the original Team Venture. Colonel Gentleman, Action Man and Humongoloid have just beaten some of Brainulo's judo lizards. They inform him that Jonas and Otto have realigned the missile by now. Brainulo, however, has some new opponents for them to fight.

ACTION MAN
We won't fight each other, Brainulo!

BRAINULO Each other? Aww, I wish I'd thought of that! Well it really seems obvious now, doesn't it?

COL. GENTLEMAN
It's all but a cliche, you idiot. How did you miss that?

BRAINULO
I don't know- BUT! I did come up with something more sinister! Prepare yourself to fight your crushes! Triple Threat and Jazz!

They briefly discuss the situation (nobody for Humongoloid) before we hear Dean's voice. Col. Gentleman has been dictating this to him. There's a ring at the door. It's Kiki! Gentleman informs Dean that he has to 'have it out' with Kiki. The 'amber tramp' has been playing him for a fool.

Back in Boca Action Man is explaining to Hank that he's been trying to get with Rose for like forty years. It's an obsession of his. So, he's pretty much going to give Hank whatever he wants if he can help that along. Hank requests fifty dollars cash, a Stingray bass and a ride home. Hank's not a big fan of living in Boca Raton. Action Man agrees to all three, because all he wants is time with Rose. To prove he's serious, he swears on the only thing holy to him.

Episode Notes

Henchman 86 in this scene is actually a rarely seen returning Monarch henchman. His most notable appearance was in the cold open "Return To Malice" as Henchman 87. During a conversation with the previous Henchman 86, 21 demoted him to 87, inadvertently promoting 87 to the current Henchman 86.

In the Cocoon, Sgt. Hatred is creeping around in 21's old costume. Henchman 86 sees him, and happily greets him. He complains that the moppets are running everything and it's sucked since he left. Sgt. Hatred turns around and does his best (terrible) 21 impression, though 86 notices the bottom of the 'V' tattoo on Hatred's face and asks what it is. Hatred only comes up with "ice- icicles" before 21 coldcocks 86 from behind. Hatred immediately gets mushy, happy that 21 has done something to help him out. He goes to hug him, but there's no time for that right now. Though Hatred seems to be pretty excited by this new development of 21 being an ally.

They both run in opposite ways, Hatred to the cell blocks, 21 to the bridge. On 86's dropped communicator on the floor we see that Tim-Tom has been listening the whole time.

Episode Notes

If you're curious, you can watch the Marathon Man drill scene that inspired the Monarch.

Doc, meanwhile, is still being 'tortured'. He's now got his mouth held open by some sort of dentistry contraption and the Monarch is about to use his dentist drill on him, Marathon Man style, as promised by item eight on his list. The Monarch notes that he's going to drill a new, freshly cut nerve, not one attached to a tooth with a cavity. However before he gets the drill into Doc's mouth he backs away, smelling something foul. Is it fear? No, it's the shrimp with garlic butter Doc ate last night. Well, this probably isn't happening. Gross.

Back in Tangier, Col. Gentleman and Kiki are having the promised fight. Kiki leaves in anger as Col. Gentleman shouts at him. Gentleman sits down sadly. After a short silence Dean tells the Colonel that he arranged the first two chapters of the book and added a new one for his lists.

COL. GENTLEMAN
Yes. Yes! Let's get back to my lists.

DEAN
If you want to talk about this-

COL. GENTLEMAN
Colonel Gentleman's list of things not to do. Number one: get involved with a person a third your age. You hear me, Dean?

DEAN
Uhh, I can safely promise that I won't get involved with a six year old.

COL. GENTLEMAN
Number two: retire to a country where your sexual preference is a capital offense. Number three: stay past your welcome. This place used to be a paradise! That pretty peacock Yves Saint Laurent lived right there. Bowles, Capote, Forbes, Kerouac, Ginsberg- ahh Ginsberg. That eager little puppy. I miss him. They're all gone, Dean, and here I am.

DEAN
Should I be writing this down?

COL. GENTLEMAN
Yes! But not for my memoirs, for me. So I can look at my life. What am I doing here?

Episode Notes

Colonel Gentleman mentions a number of famous Tangier residents here. Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer who died in 2008 at the age of 71. Paul Bowles was a composer and author who lived in Tangier for 52 years until his death in 1999. Truman Capote was an author who often visited Tangier until his death in 1984. Malcom Forbes was the publisher of Forbes magazine (which was founded by his father) and owned property in Tangier until his death in 1990. Jack Kerouac was an American novelist and poet who, along with Allen Ginsberg would visit William S. Burroughs in Tangier. Burroughs (not mentioned by Gentleman here) lived in Tangier from 1954 until 1958, which is when he wrote Naked Lunch. Kerouac died in 1969 and Ginsberg in 1997.

Hatred, in the meantime, is creeping around the prison cells, looking for Doc. He's not there, of course. However Kevin is, with two henchmen. Hatred demands to know where Doc is, and Kevin informs him that he's currently being tortured by the Monarch and 21. Kevin tells him that 21 played him. Hatred, very confused, thinks it's a lie. The henchmen advance on him, Kevin tells them to show him out via the garbage chute, as is appropriate. He gets dumped out the bottom of the Cocoon, sans henchman suit.

SGT. HATRED
Show me the garbage chute, will ya? [Shouting] You're the garbage here! Bunch of lying- garbage people!!

He runs to his jeep.

21 barges into the bridge. It's empty. Except for Tim-Tom, who is in the Monarch's chair. He calls for security to apprehend 21. Tim-Tom reveals that he was tipped off by Hatred, so 21 should probably just turn himself in and they can talk with the Monarch about he and Hatred's plan. 21 says they should instead talk about how Tim-Tom and Kevin are taking over the Cocoon.

TIM-TOM
He'll never believe you.

21
Oh, he'll believe his best henchman over a lying murderer! I know it was you guys.

A group of henchmen walk to 'arrest' 21.

21
Wait! The moppets have broken our most sacred law! They killed Henchman 24! Hench has killed hench!

21 chants it a few times and eventually all the other henchmen join in. They instead advance on a protesting Tim-Tom, who continues to insist that 21 is a liar and a traitor. The henchmen don't listen to Tim-Tom at all.

Meanwhile the Monarch is continuing his failed torture attempts on Doc. He's got him tied to a table saw (with the saw aimed directly for the crotch) but he can't get the plug to reach the socket (and he can't find the extension cord). Frustrated, he suddenly gives up. Not just on this method but all the torture.

DR. VENTURE
What are you doing?

THE MONARCH
I'm untying you and letting you go.

DR. VENTURE
About time Team Venture rescued me.

THE MONARCH
Nobody came to rescue you. Nobody even answered my ransom calls.

DR. VENTURE
Well, maybe if you hold me longer... I- I'm sure somebody's working out a rescue plan.

THE MONARCH
Forget it! We lose. We're wash-ups. Losers. You know my best henchman left me?

DR. VENTURE
Yeah. He's been hanging around my place. That wouldn't have happened if Brock was still around.

THE MONARCH
Just be happy you don't have dwarfs trying to take over your life.

DR. VENTURE
Psh! You haven't met my brother, apparently.

THE MONARCH
Oh yeah, he's really doing well, huh? [He sits down next to DR. VENTURE] Yeah, although my wife, she was just tapped for the Council of 13, so... my old number two will be my boss.

DR. VENTURE
That's nothing. My new bodyguard is my old arch-enemy.

THE MONARCH
Yeah, that's messed up. [Sighs] I guess you should just go home. Do you even call it a home? Is it just a box full of memories?

DR. VENTURE
Alright. Um, can I get a ride?

THE MONARCH
Oh no, I can't. I gotta tell the wife you escaped and- ah, you understand.

DR. VENTURE
Yeah, no. So, uh, should I just...

THE MONARCH
Yeah, let yourself out. Break a couple things. Just make it look good.

DR. VENTURE
God. I like being tortured more than this here. This is. Ugh.

He leaves.

Episode Notes

In case it wasn't obvious, Rose is Triple Threat. Action Man admits to chasing her for 40 years, which would qualify her, plus their glasses/mask kind of matches. Both are also wearing the same rose pin, which seems to be the biggest tell.

By the way, a 'triple threat' is a term often used to refer to someone who can dance, act and sing, explaining Rose's love of showtunes. Thanks to Rob Clough in the comments for mentioning that tidbit.

Meanwhile Rose is explaining why she and Rodney can't be together. She, Hank and Action Man are having dinner together. She says that Rodney is a womanizer and a junkie and she can't abide by that. Action Man explains that he was with his wife until the day she died and he was a super soldier, not a junkie. He was on the 'junk juice' for the good of his country. Rose doesn't believe him.

Suddenly Hank snaps awake. He realizes that Rose is Billy's mom! That's a coincidence. Rose says that she hasn't seen her 'little waterbaby' in years. Since he moved in with a man and thought that Rose might disapprove of his... lifestyle choice. She doesn't even know where he lives! Hank says that Billy is his neighbor, and then suggests that everyone visit him back home. Rose and Rodney and Billy and his new bass can have a nice reunion. Rose agrees!

Doc is walking home, looking pretty sad. He tries to hitchhike but a car just drives past him. Something on the road is casting a red light. It's the hover-tank. Sgt. Hatred is broadcasting angrily over the loudspeaker. A reckoning is coming!

In his house the Monarch is looking at the photo of him and Dr. Venture from when they were kids (last seen in "SPHNX Rising"). He seems to be kind of sad. Just then Dr. Mrs. The Monarch barges in and informs him that Dr. Venture has escaped. The Monarch confesses that he let him escape.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
What, are you okay? Why did you let him go?

THE MONARCH
Because I broke him!! I broke his will!! I broke his spirit! Oh, my lovely naive little girl, how easy it is to break a bone! But to break a man's heart? That takes genius! Physical torture? Wounds heal! But mental torture, those wounds only grow and fester! I HAVE CRUSHED DR. VENTURE!! [Laughs]

Dr. Mrs. proclaims her love for the Monarch and they initiate coitus before 21 interrupts them a second later. He's home. Just then outside we hear Sgt. Hatred on the intercom of his hover-tank. He's shouting at the Cocoon and wants 21 to come out. The hover-tank fires a missile at the Cocoon.

SGT. HATRED
Oh, oh that is a missile. Oh my- that is on all kinds of fire! It's headed for the house and it is on fire! Gary, I still hate ya but you gotta get out of there! You gotta evacuate!

The Coccoon crashes into the Monarch's house, knocking a chunk off it and catching it on fire as well before crashin into the ground itself.

SGT. HATRED
Oh the humanity! [pause] I'm just gonna go now and, uh, pick this up another time.

Episode Notes

Sgt. Hatred shouting 'oh the humanity' along with the image of the Cocoon crashing is a reference to the Hindenburg disaster which you can watch on YouTube if you're so inclined. "Oh the humanity" is a reference to the same words spoken by radio reporter Herbert Morrison who witnessed and described the disaster as it was happening.

In the rubble that was once the Monarch residence it looks like the Monarch and Dr. Mrs. are okay. 21 is also fine.

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
What the fuck was that?

THE MONARCH
Our Cocoon.

21
That. Sucked.

THE MONARCH
Who the fuck is Gary?

Roll end credits.

Somewhere in... New Jersey maybe? The Monarch, Dr. Mrs. and 21 stand outside a very beat up house. It's the Monarch's childhood home, which they're all going to live in, I guess.

Episode Notes

The Monarch's childhood house is modeled after Krueger Mansion, which is located in Newark, New Jersey. I don't actually know if it's in New Jersey in the series, though the Monarch does mention in "Dia de los Dangerous!" that the plane crash that killed his parents happened in New Jersey.

Thanks to Publius in the comments for mentioning this.

In the meantime at the Venture Compound we're having a funeral for Dr. Entmann. Action Man, Col. Gentleman and Rose are there, along with Pete and Billy, Sgt. Hatred, Doc and the boys. Hatred is complaining about 21 double-crossing him, still. Billy is explaining to Pete that he didn't say he was gay, just that he didn't deny it. Rose greets Pete, saying that he's even more handsome than Billy described. Col. Gentleman invites Action Man (and Rose) to come live with him in his building in the West Village (Manhattan, NY). Action Man agrees.

Hank finally confronts Dean about how he's been acting for a while now. Dean finally fesses up, telling Hank that they're both clones.

DEAN
Our whole lives, it's a lie. We're not really Hank and Dean anymore. We died like thirteen times, and now we're copies of ourselves. We're clones. Clones.

HANK
[Thinks] Dean... that. Is. Awesome!

DEAN
You- you're not upset?

HANK
About what? That I'm like some kinda super cool, probably magic Highlander cyborg clone? Ah, no. Hey, just one more reason it's great to be a Venture!

Dean is surprised at first but then smiles.

Over at the funeral, Doc, Gentleman and Action Man are peeing on Entmann's new grave. The finish and call for Dean. He's the youngest.

HANK
Oh! You're gonna love this!

Speculation

Somewhat of a deal has been made over the fact that the Jonas Venture status has six fingers here. It's not known if this is intentional or accidental, or if it's just meant to imply he's pointing towards season six. Then of course there's also the option that something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps Jonas Venture was secretly an alien all along? Maybe. Maybe. But probably not.

Episode Cast

James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Chris McCulloch Hank Venture
Sgt. Hatred
Action Man
Col. Gentleman
The Monarch
Pete White
Tim-Tom
Brainulo
Humongoloid
Henchman 86
Kiki
Thug
Doc Hammer 21
Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
Billy Quizboy
Rose
Kevin
Bill Hader Flying Squid

Screencaps

Episodes By Season