The Invisible Hand of Fate
Original Air Date:June 15, 2008
Written by:Jackson Publick
SummaryAt long last, The Venture Bros. peels away the onion-like shrouds of time for a look back into the troubled past of America's most beloved hydrocephalic former boy genius, to reveal dark secrets that even he didn't know about. What could Pete White have been hiding from him all these years? And why is Brock in on that cover-up?
At conjectural technologies, Billy is using the toilet. Except Pete has forgotten to reload the toilet paper. Billy attempts to reach a new roll, but it's on a high shelf. He slips in some water (what I hope is water) and falls to the ground. His robotic hand starts freaking out and he is suddenly flooded with a flash of memories.
Billy: White! White, White, White- Get in here!!
Pete: [playing video games] Billy, I don't care how big it is, I don't want to see what you made in there.
Billy: [steps out of the bathroom] White I just remembered something.
Billy: Everything! It all came flooding back to me like a tidal wave. Things that happened years ago! I fell off the toilet and suddenly my hand started doing this weird st- wait. Wait a minute. You were there! You!
[Pete bashes Billy over the back of his head with a Playstation 2]
Pete: [on a cell phone] Hello, Goldilocks? This is Casper. Little Nemo has fallen out of bed.
On the set of the popular game show 'Quizboys', Pete White, a less pale Pete White with black hair, walks out and welcomes the audience. He then introduces the returning champion, Master Billy Whalen! Billy hopes to use the prize money to help pay for his college tuition at M.I.T. Billy wants to be a super-scientist like his hero, Rusty Venture!
We cut to Dr. Venture, balding with a long pony tail, watching Quizboys on a bar TV. He has been drinking. He asks the bartender for another suffering bastard before he falls off his bar stool. His wrist communicator beeps and he answers it.
Dr. Venture: N'yello!
Myra: There you are! How could you just leave like that without telling me where you're going!?
Dr. Venture: Look, you're not my mother, you're my bodyguard.
Myra: How can I guard your body if I can't be close to your body-
Dr. Venture: Oh god. Barkeep, where's that suffering bastard?!?!
[Myra continues to ramble over the commlink]
Bartender: I'm lookin' at him!
Dr. Venture: Oh, ha, ha, ha.
Back on Quizboys we're on the final question. Billy has written 'Louis XIV' on his prompter. Pete recites the final question one last time: "Who was the last king of the Plantagenet dynasty?" The boy next to Billy, Todd, has written down 'Richard III', which is correct. Pete notes that if Billy gets the answer right he will remain Quizboys champion and return the following week. Billy looks upset but when his answer is revealed on his podium 'Richard 3rd' is written there instead of 'Louis XIV'. Billy looks surprised. Todd starts to shout about how Billy cheated and that's not what he wrote down. Pete tries to hush Todd but it's too late. The audience is unhappy and the show is cut.
Sometime in the near future (in relation to the last event), in his dressing room Pete is reading a magazine with a picture of Billy on the cover with the word "CHEATER!" plastered next to his face. Pete notes that Todd is a cheater too since he was peeking at Billy's answers. Billy, meanwhile, is highly upset that his reputation is forever tarnished. He'll never quiz again.
Billy: I never asked for the answers, I didn't want to cheat! You did this to me!!
Pete: Hey, hey! Let's not make me out to be the bad guy here, huh? Us freaks have to stick together.
Billy: 'Us freaks'? Yeah, like fun. Handsome TV guy like you, you'll probably end up with a talk show out of this.
[Pete has been removing makeup from his face the entire time]
Pete: No, Billy, you see, I'm a freak too. [he takes off his wig]
Billy: [surprised for a second] Well some of us can't make our head smaller with makeup, okay?
Pete: Look, you said Rusty Venture was your hero, right?
Billy: And how!
Pete: Well I happen to be very good friends with him. I am. And he told me that he's about to start a huge new project. And he needs a new head scientist, and a new lab assistant.
Billy: But what about my schooling?
Pete: Experience is the best teacher, Billy! This is better than going to ten MITs!! The invisible hand of fate has pushed us to this point, Billy! Our destiny lies with Dr. Rusty Venture!!
Billy: You think he would have me?
Pete: I told you, I've got an in. We just need to get out to his lab and I'll take care of the rest. Now you've got all that prize money, right?
Billy: No I don't. The FCC froze my assets.
Pete: Yeah and I pissed away most of my savings on blow. But I've got a brand new set of wheels, and I think I just might know how we can earn some gas money along the way!
Apparently Pete's new wheels are Quizboy's scooter prize. They steal it and head out of the studio to their destiny!
Inside OSI a bunch of, er, scantly clad (?!) OSI agents dressed as a sailor, Indian chief, biker and two guys with helmets enter after having successfully killed a bunch of dudes. They meet Brock and Col. Gathers in the hallway.
Shore Leave: Didn't notice you guys out there in the battlefield, as usual.
Brock: That's because we're doing real spy work, Shore Leave.
Shore Leave: Oh that's right, I forgot you're too busy chasing some phantom costume terrorist organization to help us fight the real enemies of freedom! Sphinx!
OSI Agents: Yo! S.I.!
Brock: We'll prove the Guild is still around, and we'll take 'em down without you! Just you wait!!
Shore Leave: I won't hold my breath. Let's hit the showers, fellas!
[they walk away cheering Yo! S.I!]
Shore Leave: Oh, Hunter, Wayland Flowers called, he wants his Madame back! Boom!
Hunter: Oh yeah, well the Village People called, and they want you to go fucking kill yourselves you prancy bastards! Pff, place has gone to hell in a ham sandwich since they eighty-sixed the dress code.
Race Bannon: Those fellas razzing you? You want me to say something?
Hunter: No, we've got it covered, Red.
Race: [laughs] Adios, muchacos!
Another young agent runs over to them, handing them a piece of paper. Hunter happily exclaims that they've "got one".
Pete and Billy, meanwhile, in an effort to make some gas money, have entered an underground quiz contest. Billy can't believe that it's real, and Pete explains that this is as real as it gets. No lightning rounds, no bonus questions, no mercy. The other competitors mock Billy for his prior record as a cheater and note that if you're caught cheating here they they take one of your hands. Your buzzer hand. Billy is too scared, but Pete gives him a pep talk, explaining that Billy is the best quizboy he's ever known. Just then the game starts.
Host: Ladies and gentlemen, quizboys and girls, welcome to the quizdoom!! Jeopardy rules apply, answers in the form of a question, you have five seconds after buzzing, winner take all. Annnd the first question... in 1215-
Host: Billy Whalen!
Billy: What is the Magna Carta?
The crowd cheers for Billy and we get a sweet montage of Billy winning underground quiz competitions across America. Money and, uh... that's it really.
Brock and Hunter are driving through the country. They're wearing civilian clothes.
Brock: Cow's on my side. That's 6 - 2 me.
Hunter: Monster! I'll catch you yet. [yelling out the window] Show yourselves, you cowards!! This is the farm belt, let's see some action on this side!!
Brock: Cow's on my side. 7 - 2.
Hunter: Unconscionable bastard!!
Brock: Oh, oh! [pointing out Hunter's window] Cemetery! You lose all your cows!!
Hunter: [pulls the car over] Damnit, this side's cursed! Your turn to drive you lurid golem!
Pete and Billy, meanwhile, have finally reached their destination. The Venture Compound. Billy is in the middle of thanking Pete for getting him here when they are interrupted by a disturbance in front of the compound. Myra is being dragged away in handcuffs by OSI agents. She's shouting and finally loses it, pushing both of her escorts away and breaking the handcuffs. She then knocks out both of them and rushes a third one who is filling out some paperwork with Dr. Venture. The agent reacts before she reaches him, however, and hits her with a tazer. Myra falls to the ground, still mumbling about not letting Dr. Venture keep them.
Dr. Venture turns back to the door of the compound and tells HELPeR that everything is okay, and she is gone now. HELPeR beeps in agreement. He is holding two babies, one with brown hair, and one who is towheaded.
Pete: What's going on, Rust?
Dr. Venture: What the hell are you doing here?!
Pete and Billy are driving back.
Pete: 'All staffed up.' 'Try back in a few months.' 'Never much good at science anyway-' Who does he think he is?!
Billy: My life is over. I have no prospects... and my boyhood hero is a total dick!
Pete: Alright, just don't you worry, fella. The pink pilgrim's gotten you this far, I'm not gonna leave you hanging when the chips are down. In fact, I've already lined up another quiz.
They get to the quiz underground but Billy comments that the crowd looks different somehow... Pete says it's probably just because they're close to the border. He pushes Billy into the ring and the match starts. Except it's not a quiz, it's a dog. A large dog attacks Billy, and his blood splashes the wall.
Driving home, again, Pete apologizes to Billy, saying he didn't know what the match was. Billy, who has his hand and one of his eyes covered by bleeding rags, says it's time to stop. Just give him is 40% and call it a day. Sadly Pete bet all their money on the match, and technically Billy did lose. Billy notes that he was disqualified because Pete went in the ring. To get Billy's hand. Billy tells Pete to stop the scooter and he angrily gets off, yelling that he never wants to see Pete again.
Pete drives away just as another car pulls out from behind a billboard. It's Hunter and Brock's car.
Hunter: Son, you look like you could use a hand.
In the present day Pete comes back around to the Venture Compound. After Dr. Venture messes with him over the intercom a little, he lets Pete in, and we fade back to the flashback.
Billy is now at OSI. His missing hand is now robotic and one of his eyes is bruised. Oh, and they are about to engage... The Nozzle. After The Nozzle calibrates it retracts back into the wall without doing anything. Hunter and Brock enter the room.
Hunter: There's our pink-cheek, junior G-Man!
Billy: What was that thing?
Hunter: I have no idea. Standard, uh... how do you like your new body buddies?
Billy: [wiggling his fingers] Amazing, you totally fixed everything. But, um, I'm still a little confused. I mean, why me?
Brock: You fit the profile.
Hunter: Deformed, disgraced! An extra-intelligent super-freak shunned by an unforgiving world!
Billy: That sounds like a profile for, like, suicide.
Brock: Or an international super-villain. [he hands Billy a file] We've been investigating a university professor we think is secretly a major recruiter for a global underground crime syndicate.
Hunter: Drumroll! The Guild of Calamitous Intent.
Billy: [disbelief] From the old Rusty Venture TV show?
Hunter: Gaah! You see? You see?!
Brock: Well that was just a dramatiz-iz-izia...
Brock: Yeah the real Guild is still out there, operating in secret. We think. And this professor is the key. Check out his cuff links.
Billy: So what, you want me to assassinate this guy or something?
Brock: No. We want you to ace his class.
Hunter: Congratulations, lad! You're now a fully matriculated student of state university!
Billy: Oh. I- I kinda want to go to MIT.
Hunter: AND I WANTED TO BE BORN WITH BIG, BEAUTIFUL TITS! Make some lemonade with this, will ya?
Turns out that professor is none other than Hamilton G. Fantomas. Professor Hamilton G. Fantomas. Billy arrives late to his class with some chiding from Fantomas, who also notes that in light of Billy's recent exoneration he should know that the penalty for cheating in his class is severe. Just then another student, Stevie, enters the room and tells Fantomas that he's needed in the office. Fantomas leaves and tells Stevie to take over the class for him while he's gone.
However Stevie reveals himself to be something of a deformed monstrosity when he turns to face the class. The right side of his face is severely disfigured. Shocked, Billy looks at the other students, only to find that many of them have strange deformities themselves. Billy happily sings to himself and opens his text book, at which point he notices the material and quickly turns from happy to sad.
Later that night Billy enters his dorm room. There is a note taped to the computer saying that someone named Stevie couldn't take it any more. Billy briefly ponders if it's the same Stevie from his class, which is quickly answered when he opens the closet to find Stevie hanging from the coat rack, dead.
Outside in the car, Brock repairs Billy's robotic hand. Apparently Billy's new eye and hand have been gathering data without Billy ever knowing (eye is a camera, hand is storing the data). Billy is none too pleased with any of this, but Hunter says that they need him to do his duty. There are no free hands in this business.
Outside the university science department office a janitor is scraping the name 'Prof. R. Impossible' off the door. Prof. H. Fantomas sits prominently above it. Billy enters just as Fantomas is finishing up a conversation with a familiar looking woman with an unusually deep voice.
Fantomas wishes to discuss his new lab assistant vacancy, and after reading Billy's brilliant paper (which Billy does not recall writing), he wants it to go to Billy!
Fantomas: Frankly I think my class may be beneath you. And this ingenious contraption you've built! [he motions towards Billy's hand] Based on a Mike Sorayama design, is it not? He was a student of mine you know. Ahh, the brightest mind I've ever taught. Until now.
He takes off his gloves to reveal his hands are robotic, similar to Billy's, but appearing to extend all the way to his shoulders.
Fantomas: There's something you should know, William. Like you I was born different.
He removes one of his robotic arms to reveal a very skinny, sickly and short arm beneath it. He notes that he was shunned by his family, which was many generations of masked adventurers, an occupation he was unable to undertake. He instead turned to science in order to repair himself. He pulls out a case with a radioactive symbol on it, saying that since he's acquired it he's almost done with his research.
Fantomas: You see I've recently become the [pause] beneficiary of a rather generous grant from THE GUILD!! ... of collegiate investors.
Billy: [stutters in surprise] Oh. Oh, well I'd love to help you professor, but I don't know if I can handle the extra work.
Fantomas: Nonsense! The university bylaws clearly stipulate that the roommate of a suicide is automatically granted a 4.0 for the semester. You've got a free ride, Mr. Whalen, so that I may have you all to myself. The invisible hand of fate has brought us together! We freaks, if you'll pardon the crude vernacular, must work in tandem!
Back inside Brock and Hunter's car Brock is scanning Billy's hand for data. Billy tells them that he isn't sure Fantomas is who they want. Hunter says that all the intel points to him, but Billy notes that he said he was in a different guild, which is more like a business man's club or something.
Hunter: That's what they said about the Bilderberg Group, and then whammo!!! Berlin wall comes tumbling down!
Billy: No it hasn't.
Hunter: Oh it will, kiddo. Just decided at the last meeting.
Brock: You've gotta do the lab assistant gig, you're our only hope now.
Billy: What do you mean 'now'?
Brock: Well look, we didn't want to tell you this, but Stevie was our other man on the inside.
Hunter: Codename: Pussyface!
Billy: Is that why he killed himself?
Brock: Open your eyes, kid!
Hunter: Your real one!
Brock: Fantomas killed him because he was getting too close! We think.
Billy: Annnd you expect me to take his place?
[Brock and Hunter nod]
Billy: [he attempts to escape but is held back] No way, Jose!
Brock: Relax! He's not gonna kill you.
Billy: How can you be so sure?
Hunter: Because he's crazy about you! Why he loves your paper!
Billy: I never wrote my paper, I spent the night explaining dead Stevie in the closet to the campus police!
Hunter: That's why we wrote it for you!
Brock: Well, Steven Hawking did. Called in a favor.
Billy: That's cheating!!
Hunter: Cheating is what the spy business is all about, boychick. Why if we didn't keep our eyes on our neighbor's paper, the baddies get the bomb and the whole world goes kablooie! You keep thinkin' you're here on the GI bill or something, kid, but you are not here to write essays! You're not even in college! You are int he Office of Secret Intelligent, you damn, dirty, crybaby freak!!
Billy flips out at this point and elbows Brock in the crotch, then punches Hunter and escapes from the car. He runs to Fantomas' class, where the professor has apparently been waiting for him. He needs Billy to monitor an experiment he is about to undertake. Billy says he isn't sure he's qualified, and confesses that he cheated. Fantomas takes this to mean 'in life', since he, like Billy, is different and needed to do anything he could to get a leg up.
Billy: What are you doing?
Fantomas: Being born again, my friend. These mechanical husks are more than mere prosthetics. They're muscle growth accelerators! Incubators for my glorious new, normal limbs!
Billy: You're gonna grow new arms and legs?
Fantomas: Precisely my prodigiously perspicacious protege! Only the tremendous power I require to do so was always beyond my grasp. That is, until the Guild provided the atomic get-up-and-go. Now fire it up, my boy!!!
Billy pulls a level and Fantomas exclaims that he can feel it working! He demands more power. He then says he feels them becoming, dare he say is, super human! Billy cranks up the power again but sparks fly between his hand and the level. The machine appears to be overloading. Fantomas blurts out some instructions for Billy to check, but Billy says he has no idea what that is. Fantomas says he does since he wrote a paper on it, but Billy once again notes that he cheated. Fantomas is now screwed. The machine he is on appears to be pulling things into it, one of which is Billy's mechanical eye. It flies out of his head and collides with the machine, causing a huge explosion. Brock and Hunter rush in, but it's too late. Fantomas is gone.
Back at OSI Billy is handcuffed to a bench and Brock is being reamed by his commanding officer, Sergent Haine.
Brock: Don't you want to wait 'til Hunter gets here? You're gonna strain your voice yelling twice.
Sgt. Haine: Colonel Gathers has been transferred to Guam, effective 0700 this morning. Your windmill chasing days are over, Sancho Panza, you've got a new assignment!
Brock: [looks over the file Haine just gave him] Ahhh come on, this is rookie stuff!
Sgt. Haine: Dismissed, Samson!!
Brock: What about the kid?
Sgt. Haine: What, do you want to adopt him? I said take it on the arches.
[Brock stands at attention and doesn't say a word]
Sgt. Haine: Psy-ops needs guinea pigs for their memory wipe project, okay? So unlike you, he still works here.
Brock leaves the office, but Billy has disappeared. We're treated to another montage backed by acoustic guitar. Brock's car driving through the desert. He stops at a beat up trailer house, which has a frazzled and dejected Pete White sitting outside of it (in only his underpants).
Sgt. Haine puts on a ring with the same symbol as Prof. Fantomas' cuff links.
Brock takes a duffel bag out of his car and places it in front of Pete.
Outside the science lab at the university (which has a gaping hole in it), Prof. Fantomas lies smoldering on the ground. His robotic limbs are gone and his regular arms and legs appear missing as well. A student goes over to him to see if he's awake and he grabs him, killing him with his invisible arms. He smiles evilly.
Brock finishes explaining some things to Pete and drives away. Pete opens the duffel bag and pulls a sleeping Billy out of it, hugging him.
Brock looks at some directions and continues to drive. He passes the camera which pans up to show a far away shot of a familiar place. The Venture Compound.
Back in the present Billy wakes up. He's in Dr. Venture's lab. He's confused but Pete assures him that everything is okay. Billy sighs as if he has forgotten everything again, but suddenly remembers it all. He jumps up and bites Brock's neck viciously. Pete smashes him on the head with the PS2 again.
- This episode is third in the airing (and continuity) order but it was actually the first new episode written for season three. The original title of this episode was Billy Quizboy and the Invisible Hand.
- As far as Pete's call to Brock in the beginning of the episode goes, Brock is Goldilocks for obvious reasons and Pete is Casper due to his complexion (do I really need to explain that?). Billy is referred to as Little Nemo, which is a reference to the comic strip of the same name which ran from 1906 to 1913. The strip was about the dreams of a boy named Nemo, with the last panel always being Nemo waking up, most of the time after having fallen out of his bed.
- In the bar (which does not appear to be Nightin' Ales from Mid-life Chrysalis as some have speculated; also note that none of the backgrounds from season one are in use this season since the style was changed), Dr. Venture is drinking a 'suffering bastard', which in typical Dr. Venture fashion is mostly fruit juices and liqueur but does contain a decent amount of rum.
- The Plantagenet dynasty was a noble family from France which ruled the former country of Anjou (which is inside France, stick with me here, I know this is boring) and eventually England when the count of Anjou married when William, the Duke of Normandy's granddaughter. This caused a long line of kings from 1128 until 1485 when Richard III died. Louis XIV, the king Billy wrote, was king of France from 1643 until 1715.
- The OSI intro is an obvious and awesome parody of the G.I. Joe intro, which you can watch here if you desire. The OSI one is obviously a lot more violent but they share many common themes, mainly killing bad guys. I am not even going to bother describing the OSI intro/song because it's too great. Instead you should just watch it.
- Many people have pointed this out to me, so I can't give credit (because figuring out who said it first would be a pain) but the OSI opening sequence also references two infamous photos. The first is Eddie Adams' famous execution photo taken in Vietnam during the war shown when a member of Sphinx is executed in similar fashion. The second photo is a reference to this photo from the Abu Ghraib torture ordeal from a few years ago. That second photo contains some nudity, so you may not want to view it if you're at work.
- The flamboyant OSI agents are a semi-parody of the Village People, though there are six members of the Village People, missing from the OSI agents is a cowboy, police officer and navy officer, though one of the helmeted men appears to be a cop of sorts. The navy uniformed member was replaced with Shore Leave, who is a parody of the GI Joe character Shipwreck, who dressed similarly to Shore Leave though instead of a bare midriff in the cartoon show he had his shirt unbuttoned all the way. Also if you want a funnier version of that PSA, here you go. I feel the need to remove any possible learning experience you might get from this, especially after I explained the Plantagenet dynasty.
- By the way, the OSI version of Cobra (the main bad guys in GI Joe) is clearly Sphinx.
- Shore Leave also notes that (as a burn), Wayland Flowers called and wants his Madame back. Flowers was a popular puppeteer in the 70s and 80s (note that the flashbacks in this episode likely take place some time in the mid to late 80s), and Shore Leave is likely referring to Gathers as an 'old broad' character which was what Flowers' most popular puppet/character, Madame, was. That or he's possibly calling Brock a puppet, though that makes less sense.
- Towards the very end of the OSI scene we see Steve Summers (from Home Insecurity) walking through the complex. Aside from that obviously Race Bannon gets his second appearance in the series, the first one being his death at the beginning of Ice Station Impossible.
- The Magna Carta, which was signed in 1215, limited the rights of the King of England. Blah dee blah blah.
- Even more past character connections are established in this episode. Not only did Phantom Limb teach at the same University that Dr. Venture, Pete White, Brock and Baron Underbheit attended, but Mike Sorayama (the focal point of Past Tense) was a student of his. Billy also had past involvement with Brock and Hunter, though Dr. Venture did not appear to be in on any of it.
- If Professor Fantomas' getup looks familiar to you, that means you're a fan of the greatest action movie ever, Die Hard. Limb was modeled after Hans Gruber, as played by Alan Rickman:
Hans Gruber is exactly who I gave pictures of to the character designers for reference. Not for any particular thematic or pop-cultural shout-out reason, but because I dug his smug 80's Eurotrash villainous look.Quoth the Jackson Publick. Many thanks to A Sucker For Freaks in the comments for pointing out that one.
- Jackson on the game Brock and Hunter were playing on their car trip:
It's a game my mother used to play with us on long road trips when I was a kid, which I always assumed was a game everybody played on long road trips when they were kids, but I'm quickly learning nobody's heard of.
The rules are simple: Teams are determined by which side of the car you're sitting on. For each field of cows you pass on your side of the car, you get a point. But you have to be the one to identify them, saying "cows on my side!" If you pass a cemetery, you lose all your cows--but only if your opponent spots and calls the cemetery.
I guess it doesn't work for a family with more than two kids, where one is stuck sitting on the hump in the middle of the back seat, but I only had one brother.
- Hunter mentions the Bilderberg Group, which is an invite only meeting held annually and includes influential people in media, business and politics. It has been held every year since 1954. Most journalists who have been invited to the conference said that, in spite of the invite-only nature and high influence the participants have, it's much like any other business-oriented seminar. Hunter, however, notes that it's much more than this, as they apparently decided to reunite East and West Germany and apparently end the Cold War. Also if you are looking for a timeline for the episode, the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 (November 9th) so the flashbacks in this episode take place shortly before then.
- Steven Hawking, who is a famous theoretical physicist, wrote Billy's paper. Hawking is known, in the science world, for his contributions to cosmology and quantum gravity, specifically in the context of black holes. He is also probably famously known for having Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) which causes the loss of almost all neuromuscular control, leaving him unable to move or speak. He has a electronic voice synthesizer, called a DECtalk, which allows him to synthesize speech for himself in a distinct, robotic sounding voice.
- Finally the complete story of Phantom Limb is known. His origin story in fact does involve Billy (as speculated in Victor. Echo. November.), though somewhat less exciting than being a magician or having his limbs end up on the moon. Also they mention that Billy won a bunch of money on Card Sharks, when it was of course Quizboys.
People have brought up some minor discrepancies based on things Limb has said throughout the series that contradict what we saw in this episode. The major one is his conversation with Brock in Hate Floats where he mentions that his killing hands are the result of a botched experiment that made him evil. However it's somewhat clear from this episode that he was at least slightly evil prior to the experiment.
Another one is Phantom Limb mentioning eating ramen noodles and driving around in an Accord with "a ghost on the hood" since he didn't have enough money, unlike the Monarch and his trust fund. However from this episode it appears he was fairly well off, though it's easily explained if you recall him saying that his family shunned him. It's conceivable that he was reduced to the things he mentioned while putting himself through college (making the ghost on the hood of his car even more random).
- Although his name is never spoken, the man yelling at Brock at the end of the episode is named Sergent Haine as seen in the credits. In an allusion of things to come, as well as his primary reason for splitting up Hunter and Brock and giving them with benign assignments, he puts on a Guild ring when Brock leaves the room. When directly translated into English, Haine is French for 'Hatred'.
- The more astute of you may have realized that, unlike his first appearance in Showdown at Cremation Creek, Hatred was not voiced by Brendon Small. Here's what JP has to say about that:
Brendon won't be the voice of Sgt. Hatred this season because he's in L.A., we're in New York, and the character shows up a lot more episodes. Hatred grew so much in our writing discussions that we decided it was better to have one of us (in this case, me) do the voice--saves us money, we have more control over it, and re-recording isn't a transcontinental hassle. And as you say, Brendon is busier these days with his own show. He does do a guest voice this season, however, which will be coming up in a few episodes.Many thanks to Kuiosikle for pointing that out to me.
- In that same conversation Haine also tells Brock that hid 'windmill chasing days are over' and calls him Sancho Panza. Sancho Panza is the sidekick of the titular character in the novel Don Quixote. In the book, Don Quixote suffers a madness that causes him to hallucinate and believe that windmills are giants. "Chasing windmills" refers to threats that don't exist (or aren't threatening at all) and of course Brock would be the Sancho Panza to Hunter Gathers' Don Quixote. Thanks to Vivasvat Kaul for some of that note.
- The billboard seen a few times in the episode (first when Hunter and Brock's car is hiding behind it shortly after Pete and Billy part ways, and again at then end of the episode in front of Pete's trailer home) is the same one seen in Back to the Future. More specifically the version Marty sees when he travels back in time to 1955.