What Goes Down, Must Come Up
Original Air Date:July 13, 2008
Written by:Jackson Publick
SummaryAll basements are kinda spooky, but the Ventures are about to learn the hard way that beneath the foundations of the Venture Compound lie deep, dark secrets... great and small. Only the one-two punch of magic and technology can save Doc, Brock -- and perhaps the planet -- from certain doom as the boys recruit The order of the Triad and Pete White to get to the bottom of a thirty year old mystery.
We start off in a strange land... some kind of weird desert or something, perhaps? A lone figure is speaking to himself, possibly due to his own madness.
Dr. Entmann: Thirty years, that's how long it's been, Dr. Venture. Do you remember that day? 'State of the art' you said, and 'Oyg, nothing's going to happen'. And at the first sign of trouble? You abandon your best friend. Strand me in this fucking hellhole! What, it would have killed you to call?!
In front of him in the darkness a massive door takes shape and opens. Dr. Entmann looks fairly shocked.
Roll opening logo splash.
In a garage at the Venture compound:
Dr. Venture: Thaaat's it, just like that. Easy, pull back a bit, you're right on top of me!
Brock: Can't help it. It's- it's stiff, Doc. Maybe I should lube this thing up before we take it down there.
Dr. Venture: It'll be fine, it's not built for speed, it's built for deep penetration. [starts to snicker]
Brock: Alright, that's it! You promised no penetration jokes.
Dr. Venture: Oh, come on! Look at that thing. How can I resist? It's practically a monument to my father's repression.
Brock has been piloting a large drilling tank, uh, thing. You know the classic cartoon type with a huge drill on the front. Dr. Venture waves Brock forward but steps into some sort of trap door, falling far below. Brock, who has been driving blind, asks Dr. Venture how much more he can go forward before driving the drill into the same hole Dr. Venture just fell into.
Brock gets out of the tank and peers down the hole, asking if Doc (who can't hear him) is okay or not. After no response verbally or over his watch Brock eyes a locked door and heads towards it.
Dr. Venture, meanwhile, is trapped in some sort of crazy sewer thing. He attempts to relay instructions to Brock, but of course his watch is offline so instead he sadly trudges through the sludge.
Brock, meanwhile, finds a door down int he basement, hitting a huge blue button to open the door. From the inside a tiny man sees the door open and lunges at Brock's foot with a sewing needle, yelling "Die Dr. Venture!" and stabbing Brock through his shoes. Brock yells in pain and kicks the tiny Dr. Entmann across the room. He leans on a switch as he rubs his foot and the lights turn on and the door closes.
He walks over to half of a tin can and picks it up, revealing a cowering scientist only two or three inches tall. He's wearing a strange bullhorn helmet contraption. After realizing that Brock is not Dr. Venture he explains to him that the door closing is a bad thing. They're in an underground fallout shelter and Brock just set the timer for forty years. Another forty years. And where is Jonas anyway?
In Dr. O's study Hank and Dean are inquiring as to the whereabouts of their father and Brock, neither of whom are responding to their wrist watch signals.
Dr. Orpheus: And you're certain they haven't simply... stepped out? They have been known to engage in impromptu 'daring due' from time to time.
Hank: Without us? Can you think of even one place on earth they wouldn't drag us along to? Look at this [he pulls down his shirt collar] That is a giant centipede scar.
Dean: Besides, the X-1's still in the hangar. And we had plans today.
Hank: Family plans. There was even talk of French toast. But there was none to be had.
Dr. Orpheus ponders the situation for a moment before deciding to assemble the Order of the Triad. He pulls out two action figures; one of Al and one of Jefferson. Hank and Dean look confused and a little repulsed. Dr. O utters a spell in his dramatic fashion as smoke rises from beneath his desk. He eventually turns to ice, or something.
Hank: He wrote a little poem. To his dollies.
Brock, in the meantime, has taken to smashing the wall with a large wrench in hopes of escaping. Dr. Entmann is somewhat shocked that Jonas has been dead for so long, and laments how much time has passed.
Dr. Entmann: So, that's really how people wear their hair now? Men?
Brock: Look you're so freakin' clever how'd you get your little ass stuck in here the first time?
Dr. Entmann: Ahh, well, as with all juicy science fiction tales, this one starts with an accident. We were testing the system, something went horribly wrong and Jonas abandoned the project. End of story. Would have been nice if he'd at least taken a last look around! Maybe see if he forgot nothing? Best friend.
Brock: Jeeze, no wonder you wanted to kill him.
Dr. Entmann: I'm really not a violent man by nature. But thirty years fending off giant army ants- it makes anyone a little jumpy.
Brock: I can imagine.
Dr. Entmann: No! You really can't. And just when you've killed the last of them, and you think it's okay to feel safe again, that's when the real horror begins. That's when you realize you're all alone. And there's no one left to talk to.
Brock: You could talk to the ants?
Dr. Entmann: No, no, you don't actually talk to them. That would be silly. They wouldn't have anything to say anyway other then "Heey, let's eat! And have sex with this us-sized guy."
In his house Al sits alone watching TV when Dr. O projects himself into the room.
In what appears to be London, Jefferson is hunting a blackula. One of his eyes is glowing weirdly.
Jefferson: Where this sucka at? Can't hide from the bloodeye, baby. I'm on ya.
Dr. Orpheus: Order of the Triad, assemble!
Jefferson: Damnit, Orpheus, I almost had that blood sucker! Damnit, now I've got the blue balls in my bloodeye!
Dr. Orpheus: My apologies, old friend, but the Order of the Triad is in nee- what are you doing in- is- is this London?!
Jefferson: Hey man I gotta go where the blacktion is.
The Alchemist: What the hell are you talking about? This is my apartment!
Dr. Orpheus: Not you, I was talking to Jefferson.
Jefferson: I am Jefferson.
Dr. Orpheus: No, now I'm talking to Al. You are ordered to stay close in case of a Triad emergency!
Jefferson: [pause] You talkin' to me?
The Alchemist: [groans] Will you learn how to double-project already? It gets confusing!
Dr. Orpheus: I- yes- but- yes, but you hold- mmm hmmm. Yes, I understand.
The Alchemist: Tell him I said hi at least.
Jefferson: Two, you don't order me to do anything, you're not my mamma; she was taken by marauding blackulas when I was ten.
Dr. Orpheus: And I'm sorry for you loss.
Jefferson: Three. There is never a Triad emergency.
Dr. Orpheus: Well there's no need to be petulant about it.
The Alchemist: Give him hell, JT!
Jefferson: And four, this ain't London.
The camera zooms out to reveal that Jefferson is actually in an attraction at a carnival called 'Jack the Ripper's Haunted London'.
Back at Dr. O's office Hank and Dean are poking around with Dr. O's stuff when the Triad teleports in. Al and Jefferson are excited about the new action figures.
Dr. Orpheus: Actually Hasbro passed. These I made myself.
Jefferson: Hmm, nice work. Little on the creepy side, but- you sculpted these yourself?
Dr. Orpheus: Oh, heavens no. I merely repainted an old Mego doll of the Falcon.
The Alchemist: Would you rather be Spock with a bald spot? I'll trade you.
Meanwhile Dr. Venture remains trapped in the sewer below the compound. Just then he hears someone run out from one of the many connecting pipes and into another one. He looks behind him as it happens again. Confused he turns only to find the mysterious figure is in front of him!
Back in the garage the Triad is inspecting the huge drill. None of them can find anything of particular interest. Hank suggests that perhaps they went into the basement. Dr. O is somewhat annoyed that the boys didn't check down there in the first place, but Hank and Dean are quick to point out how spooky the basement is. Nobody is amused by this at all.
Down in the chamber which appears to house some sort of huge computer Brock and Entmann continue their conversation. Entmann explains that he became so tiny as the result of attempting to reverse another accident that caused him to become fifteen feet tall. They spent a lot of time researching the cure and 'took it a little too far'.
The Triad, meanwhile, walk down the same staircase Brock walked down earlier. They discuss the boys and their, uh, overactive imaginations and finally decide they still need to find Brock and Dr. Venture.
Dr. Orpheus: Let us try to get psychic lock on them. I will shine the light of Thalos!
The Alchemist: I'll cast a spell of unveiling!
Jefferson: I'll, um, check for blackulas. [he looks around] Nope, no blackulas.
Brock, meanwhile, continues to search the room and converse with Entmann. Brock notes that Entmann reminds him of someone from Marvel comics... small guy... maybe in the Avengers... size of an ant... Entmann attempts some guesses but confesses he mostly read Archie comics.
Outside the Triad join hands (after Al commenting on how dry Jefferson's hands are) to figure out what's up with Brock and Doc. Dr. O senses that they are safe for the moment, but also confused and nervous about what's around them. And there's something else... a presence. The Triad members begin to see horrible visions interspersed with a weird pixely woman. They all freak out and run back to the garage. Hank tells them that he told them so.
Jefferson was so scared that he pissed himself.
Jefferson: Yeah, I'm gonna need- hey, you got any pants? Like, extra pants?
Dr. Orpheus: I fear this is even beyond our combined powers. I must seek guidance from the Master! Wait here please.
The Alchemist: Oh come on! We're supposed to be a team! How come we never get to see this all-knowing guy with you?
Jefferson: Yeah tell the truth, you're embarrassed of us, aren't you? It's because he's gay, isn't it?
Dr. Orpheus: No, it's because you soiled yourself. And he's gay.
[Dr. O disappears]
Jefferson: Not digging this Charlie's Angels crap.
The Alchemist: Well they at least had an intercom. What do we get?!
Dr. Venture, in the meantime, is still running around the sewers. He stumbles upon a utility phone and picks it up asking for the police and then Batman. A phone rings in the room Brock and Entmann are in. Brock picks up.
Brock: Wait a minute, where are you?
Dr. Venture: I- I don't know some kind of sewer or something. Now come down here and get me!
Brock: I can't, I'm... trapped, Doc.
Dr. Venture: Look, we can talk about your psychological problems later. Take a Valium and get over yourself! You need to get me out of here! I'm... not alone, Brock.
Brock: What, who's with you?
Dr. Venture: I don't know, he just keeps saying he's the 'firestarter'. Hold on he's coming back. [the crazy guy runs by again] Sir- man he's quick.
Brock: Well ask him which way is out.
Dr. Venture: [sighs] I tried. He won't stand still for two seconds. He's probably spaced up on yellow jackets from the look of him. I am trapped in a sewer with a confessed arsonist, Brock!! HELP ME!!
Just then a crazy voice echos through the sewer. Dr. Venture turns around to see a woman in front of him and three men with t-shirts and blazers holding a chainsaw, pipe and bolt cutters.
Dr. Venture is being transported in some kind of crazy future monorail with his five new friends. The three well-dressed men are wearing Rusty Venture t-shirts. They ask him if he's Rusty, to which he replies that he is. This upsets them however, because if he's Rusty how come they've never seen him before? They all refer to each other as 'Rusty' when they converse. Dr. Venture explains that he lives 'up there'.
Well-Dressed Man #1: But it is forbidden to go above!
Dr. Venture: Well sure, let's make that rule right now. The upstairs areas are strictly off limits to you people. But, just this once, if you show me how to get back, and you keep to the kitchen area, I'll allow you to come up for a while! As a reward!
Well-Dressed Man #1: What do you think, Rusty?
Little Girl: We should let father decide.
Up in the same kitchen-area, Dr. O explains that the Master more or less told him to call tech support. Not in so many words of course, but whatever works, works. Jefferson, who is now wearing Dean's pajama bottoms instead of his soiled jeans, asks if that's how he got his number. Dr. O notes that he got that from a leaflet slipped under his windshield.
In a crazy surveillance room with a ton of TV monitors:
Pete: Oh yeah, anywhere in the compound. Just let the ever-popular Pete White's magic fingers do the walking and if they're here, this'll find 'em!
Hank: [gasps] This explains why pop finds me so fast every time I run away to live in the abandoned zoo!
Dean: I didn't even know we had a room like this.
Pete: Your loss. Rusty and I hang out in here all the time. Oh, you know what's fun? When Brock has a lady-friend over you can switch it to night vision and you can- nevermind [he pushes away a box of tissues sitting next to him and turns back to the monitors] Oop, speak of the devil!
Hank & Dean: Hey Brock!
Pete: It's a tape, fellas. He can't see you. Okay, he went in there, so I'll just pull up the video from that room and- huh? I can't access those cameras. Boys, look around and see if you can find any, uh, cables or anything unplugged down there, will ya?
Hank and Dean crawl around for a bit and find an unplugged cord hanging next to a large socket labeled 'MUTHER', the same word seen in the room Brock and Entmann are trapped in.
Speaking of said room, Brock and Entmann are currently discussing the strength of an ant, which Entmann claims is a myth since ants weigh nothing anyway, so one hundred times their own weight is still nothing. Just then MUTHER comes online and demands to speak to Dr. Venture. In the surveillance room Pete says it's cute that Doc named his hard drive 'mother' which is an incorrect response to MUTHER. Entmann, meanwhile, warns Brock to not let her see them, but it's too late.
Brock: What! What is that thing?
Dr. Entmann: MUTHER! She's the super-computer Jonas built to run this place. Sentient, controlling super-bitch ruined my life!! Computer!!
MUTHER: Incorrect response. Where is Dr. Venture?
Dr. Entmann: You're sure he's dead, right?
Dr. Entmann: Shivers!
Dr. O brings some snacks for Pete, Hank and Dean only to see MUTHER's pixelated face on the screen, remembering her from earlier. MUTHER threatens to deploy the full Ven-tech nuclear arsenal if Dr. Venture is not produced her her.
The Alchemist: We're gone two minutes to heat up some pizza rolls and we come back to world war three?!
Hank & Dean: He started it!
Pete: Okay, okay, look. It's not as bad as it sounds.
[a modem connection sound is heard]
The Alchemist: That's ah- well that sounds pretty awful to me!
Pete: Come on, old phone lines, antique reel to reel mainframe? We got plenty of time here. Now everybody think.
[Hank and Dean immediately begin rubbing their chins. Nobody else moves.]
Dr. Venture, meanwhile, is brought in front of a crowd of people dressed like 80's (and perhaps some early 90's) pop singers. One of the well-dressed men explains to another man dressed as a general that they fear this outsider has brought 'contamination' with him. The general decides they should hear what father has to say. He takes a card from the well-dressed man and walks over to what appears to be a learning bed as the crowd chants hygiene tips. He inserts the card and Venture Industries logo appears on a screen, followed by Jonas Venture himself.
Jonas: Ohh, hello, Rusty!
Crowd: Hello, father.
Dr. Venture: What?!
Jonas: You're looking well! Enjoying your new life below ground?
Crowd: Yes, father.
Jonas: Ha, ha! Good! Because today I'd like to talk to you about personal hygiene.
[The crowd mumbles approvingly]
Jonas: As humanity's last hope, the burden of preserving the American way of life in a post-nuclear world is upon you! [the tape skips] -controls fly aways but it looks, and smells- [skips]
[everyone in the crowd is pretending to comb their hair]
Jonas: -two smooth, even strokes each day will mitigate the odors caused by micro-organisms which feed upon the- [skips]
[the crowd is now pretending to put on deodorant]
Dr. Venture: You have got to be kidding me.
Jonas: [holding a banana and looking at it reluctantly] Difficult for me to discuss... but as you get older... you may experience certain... urges-
[the tape stops as Dr. Venture pulls out the card]
[the crowd protests]
Dr. Venture: Okay, show's over! I don't go rifling through your old home movies, do I?
Well-Dressed Man #3: He- he tuned father out?
Dr. Venture: Yes, I killed your god. Ooooo! Now I will take his place! And new dad says it's time to get me the hell out of here!!
General: Contamination. Contamination!!
The entire crowd rushes Dr. Venture as he sinks into a sea of 80's music video guys.
In the surveillance room everyone is still thinking. Hank finally comes up with something.
Hank: Okay, okay. I think I've got something. Maybe it's all... just a dream?
Jefferson: Orpheus, you the one who dragged us into this BS, so how do you want to go out? Sitting in a peep-booth waiting for some Atari bitch to tell you game over, or do you wanna finish what you started?!
Dr. Orpheus: I- what do you mean?
Jefferson: I mean we already know where they're at, so let's go get 'em!
Dr. Orpheus: Yes! Let's!
The Alchemist: Yeah, yeah. Player three buying in.
All Three: The Order of the Triad, go!
Meanwhile Brock and Entmann continue to freak out about MUTHER. Entmann explains that MUTHER and Jonas had a bit of a disagreement when it came how to run the shelter. Jonas thought that the survivors might be too distraught to function as a society and wanted to pump small amounts of mood enhancing drugs into the ventilation system. MUTHER disagreed. Entmann explains her punishment was similar to parents who make their child smoke an entire pack of cigarettes when they catch them smoking.
We go to a flashback of the compound on that fateful day. The Action Man is driving one of those crazy monorail buses and a group of Rusty Venture fans are sitting in the back as he explains everything about the shelter. Just then a large amount of red gas is pumped into the shelter, causing everyone to freak the fuck out.
The Action Man stops his bus and another two stop behind him. Those are being piloted by Col. Gentleman and Kano. The Action Man begins to hallucinate that there are bugs crawling all over him and begins to fire his pistols wildly into the air. Children all around are screaming and throwing up. Kano shakes his head wildly and Col. Gentleman appears to see himself and a man dressed as a rat (or possibly a possum) engaged in illicit activities in the monorail. He begins clawing at the walls, causing his fingers to bleed. A wave of hallucinated blood rushes into the room they're in.
Just then Jonas Venture shows up wearing a gas mask and informs the team what happened. He rallies Team Venture and they escape in the giant drill tank thingy, leaving all the children (and anyone else who may have been down there) behind.
Back in the present the Triad is going to take the digging tank down to save the day. Dr. O suggests that they cast a spell of protection on it first, but Jefferson refuses, citing his last incident with magic and his current state of wearing Spider-Man pants. He starts up the tank, noting that he used to be a tank commander in the Marines. Dr. O says that he didn't know Jefferson served, and Jefferson says that the things Dr. O doesn't know about him could fill 'one big ass book'. Maybe he'll think twice about leaving him behind before visiting the Master, eh? Eh?
Dr. Venture, meanwhile, is back in the sewers and running for his life. He comes to a missile silo and, having nowhere else to go, begins to climb the missile. None of the underground guys follow him, but instead continue to shout and watch what he's doing.
In the main control room MUTHER notes that the room has been breached just as the tank burrows through the room's ceiling. Brock grabs Entmann and Dr. O tells him to quickly get into the tank. Upon noticing Entmann in Brock's hands Dr. O asks 'Did you sculpt him yourself?'
Dr. Venture, in the meantime, has climbed to the very top of the nuke.
Dr. Venture: Back, all of you, or so help me! [he holds out the card]
Well-Dressed Man #3: No!! Give us back the word!
Dr. Venture: Oh, you want this? I've got like a million of them upstairs! If you played nice I would have shared, but nooooooo.
Just then the silo hatch about him opens and the missile launches. Dr. Venture holds on for dear life as the general shouts for father to make them clean again. As the missile's engines pass the platform they are all standing on it is filled with white light and we are left to ponder their fate.
From inside the ROCC room the boys and Pete watch the missile take off. Pete is holding a cardboard sign which says 'John 3:16'. The boys, successful in their mission to find their father, celebrate with a go team Venture as Pete calmly says that Rusty probably wanted it this way. Brock and the Triad arrive at this moment with Dr. O noting that it's one for them and five billion for the apocalypse.
Suddenly the missile stops and falls over. The top cracks off and a large amount of brown fluid flows out of it, carrying Rusty on it. He coughs horribly before finally coming to a stop.
Dr. Venture: Awww, sh-
Roll closing credits.
Back in the garage Dr. Venture is bolting a metal plate in place over the hole recently created by the drill. Pete is with him.
Dr. Venture: They'd been using it as a bathroom. Thought if they sent all their waste into the sky 'father' would make it clean. Lunatics.
Pete: So who were all those crazies?
Dr. Venture: Honorary gold members of the Rusty Venture fan club. Which explains why they had the canny survival skills to live down there for so long. Yeah, one day back in 1978 my father thought the kids from the local orphanage could use some cheering up. So we took them on a little field trip! To see his brand new, state of the art fallout shelter.
Pete: And their only contact with the outside world for like thirty years was... an old scope-atone of your dad?
Dr. Venture: Not entirely. Somehow they were able to get VH1 Classics on that thing too. I don't know, cable wires got crossed somewhere.
Pete: So what about MUTHER?
In the control room:
MUTHER: Where is Dr. Venture?
Brock: Don't worry, I found him. He's right here. And, uh, he wants to talk to you too.
[Entmann puts the card into the learning bed which has been moved into this room]
Jonas: Oh, hello, Rusty!
MUTHER: No, Dr. Venture, it's MUTHER.
Jonas: You're looking well! Enjoying your new life below ground?
MUTHER: No, Dr. Venture, we have much to talk about.
Jonas: Ha, ha, good! Because today I'd like to talk to you about personal hygiene!
MUTHER: Oh, okay.
- The working title for this episode was The Ant Farm.
- Dr. Orpheus notes that his Jefferson Twilight action figure is actually just a repainted Mego of the Falcon. Mego was a company most famous for their line of action figures in the 70s and early 80s, notably many super heroes from DC and Marvel Comics were made into action figures. The Falcon, meanwhile, is mainstream comic's first African-American superhero (and the second black one after Black Panther) so it would make sense for Dr. O to use his figure as a template for Jefferson.
- If you're wondering what was up with the crazy dude in the flag shirt running around the sewers, that's actually a parody of the video for Firestarter by The Prodigy. Even the sound-alike guitar riff is present in the show. The man running around is of course Keith Flint, the dancer and later vocalist of British electronic/electropunk/rave/hardcore etc etc band The Prodigy.
- Oddly enough the comic book character that Entmann reminds Brock of is, oddly enough, Ant-Man.
- The group of three dudes and the girl to show up is a reference to this Art of Noise music video. The girl's 'hey' right before the commercial is similar to the version used in the song and the three men are carrying the same items.
- In fact, I am just going to cover most of the fallout shelter crew right here. Of course Dr. Venture noted that they only got VH1 Classic, so most of the inhabitants of the shelter were dressed as such. The guy with the crazy all-white getup and a pointy hat was dressed as David Bowie in his Ashes to Ashes video, there was also a guy dressed as Michael Jackson from Triller. Another is out of the Video Killed The Radio Star video by The Buggles. There is also a person dressed as General Boy from Jocko Homo by Devo, someone dressed as Doctor Fink (best known as a member of The Revolution, Prince's backing band in the 80s) and someone from ther Duran Duran video for Wild Boys. Many thanks to Ginger and 'That Guy! From the Internet!' in the comments and everyone else who mentioned these (I mainly used her email and his post though).
- MUTHER is a fairly classic reference to insane overbearing super-computer. She doesn't really reference a specific character but is similar to ones such as HAL 9000 from 2001 (who is probably the definitive one). She also shares her name with the main computer on the Nostromo in Alien, though that computer's name is spelled 'Mother' and is not an acronym. MUTHER is also notable because unlike many super-computers she actually has a representative face, though it's decidedly dated now since she was likely designed in the 70s (if Entmann was locked down there 30 years ago it would place the shutdown of the shelter in 1978, meaning MUTHER was probably conceived in the early or mid-70s). This is also why Jefferson refers to her as 'Atari bitch'.
On a related note, it's highly likely that M.U.T.H.E.R., much like G.U.A.R.D.O., doesn't actually stand for anything. Unless you feel like making something up of course.
- Once again we are given more insight into how Jonas Venture, Sr. was not exactly the greatest of role models. While his fallout shelter was certainly a novel idea, the fact that he abandoned it and everyone who happened to be in it (aside from his own friends), which included a large number of children, because of MUTHER really makes you think. Not only that but it's clear that MUTHER was disabled some time between the event and the present day (probably closer to the event) so one has to wonder why Jonas never decided to go back down there on a retrieval mission of some sort.
- WILHELM SCREAM ALERT - When Dr. Venture first comes to the nuke and jumps to grab a wire one of the underground citizens falls off the platform giving off the famous scream as his last utterance.
- As the nuke goes off Pete is holding a cardboard sign which says 'John 3:16' which is a reference to the verse often being cited during end of the world movies (often by hobos). For those curious the actual verse is as follows:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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