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The Venture Bros. episode
Bright Lights, Dean City
Season 4
Orig. Airdate October 10, 2010
Writer(s) Jackson Publick
Director Jackson Publick
Production # 4-53
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Everybody Comes to Hank's 52 Assisted Suicide


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Phantom Limb meets with his fellow Revenge Society members and explains how they can get revenge on all of their enemies: Jonas Venture, Girl Hitler, the Monarch, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, Henchman 21, the Guild, and the Sovereign. Professor Impossible admits it seems a little killy, and they argue about their group name. When Baron Ünderbheit tries to vote, they warn him he can't until he proves his loyalty, and he promptly kills his manservant. Shocked, they admit that his signing the loyalty form would have been sufficient. There's a knock on the door, and Ünderbheit and Phantom Limb hide as Dean brings in the coffee.

Some time earlier, Dean arrives in New York City and writes about his internship with Impossible Industries. Professor Impossible promotes Dean, as everyone else has resigned, and makes sure the boy can't see the Revenge Society members. Dean then moves into a rent-controlled apartment, but is surprised to find his father visiting. Rusty explains that he's decided to write a musical based on his childhood. Dean tries to go to sleep while Rusty starts typing his notes.

Phantom Limb makes a commercial for the Revenge Society, and tells them they need to consider the basic powers they need for their new recruits. When they discuss elementals, Professor Impossible shows them Cody, who he has locked up in a generator. Phantom Limb is impressed at how evil he is.

Dean calls to tell them he's on his lunch break, and discovers Rusty is waiting for him. Rusty explains he needs Dean to do some industrial espionage: photocopying of the script for his new musical, Rust! Professor Impossible tries to eavesdrop, but only hears him mention industrial espionage. They figure that Rusty is onto them, and Phantom Limb says it's the perfect time to get revenge.

Rusty hails a cab and tells Dean that he'll be staying in town for a couple more weeks. Dean is unable to tell him he doesn't want him there. The cab leaves, and Rusty is unaware that Ünderbheit is driving. Phantom Limb announces their revenge on the taxi TV, but Rusty is too occupied listening to his Walkman to notice. Professor Impossible activates the sleep gas dispenser, but has inadvertently put it in the front seat. Ünderbheit passes out and the cab goes out of control, but resident superhero Brown Widow rescues the cab. Rusty gets out and walks away, while Professor Impossible apologizes for being inexperienced as a super villain. Dean comes in and sees Phantom Limb and Ünderbheit, and realizes that he's in a lair of evil. He fights valiantly but they knock him out.

Dean wakes up in the Impossible-car, and Professor Impossible explains that his secret project is providing second-chance employment for ex-convicts. He promotes Dean to Head of Human Resources and drops him off at his apartment. When he enters his apartment, Rusty asks him where his copies are.

The next day, Dean gets all of the applicants organized. Mr. Polygamy and a growing Indian prove less than successful. However, Fat Chance and Ladyhawk Johnson are much more likely candidates. A psycho bear covered in blood with a knife, and Brick Frog, less so.

At the end of the day, Dean goes back to his apartment and finds that Rusty has left his tie on the door. However, when Dean goes in, he confirms that his father did it by accident while planning to put his musical on roller skates as a gimmick to hook the foreign investors. When Dean discovers that Rusty has blocked the bathroom, he becomes furious.

At Impossible Industries, Ünderbheit finds a copy of the script that Dean has left behind.

While Rusty works on his ballad, Dean goes out on the fire escape. Brown Widow arrives and tries to console him, and realizes he wants to do something that doesn't involve superscience. However, he's distracted when he hears Rusty's song. Dean tries to tell his father his true feelings but can't make himself heard, so he leaves. Brown Widow joins in on the song and Rusty realizes he's found just the person to portray him on stage. The phone rings and Fat Chances calls, pretending to be a theater producer who wants to finance his musical. He tells Rusty to meet him at Impossible Plaza, and Rusty takes a cab driven by Ünderbheit.

Rusty enters the building and Professor Impossible turns off the power. Dean is trying to type his resignation letter, but the computer shuts down and he goes to check it out. Meanwhile, the Revenge Society members close in on Rusty. However, Fat Chance trips on Phantom Limb and falls on Rusty, sucking him into his duodenum portal.

Dean finds Cody and releases him. Cody runs screaming through the building and Dean goes after him, trying to put out the fires. Meanwhile, Ünderbheit tries to pull Rusty out of Fat Chance's duodenum. Professor Impossible shields his teammates as Cody runs by, and they leave the building. As they go, Rusty's script burns in the fire.

Later, Dean returns to the compound and admits to Hank that he may have pulled his dreams from the ashes. Suddenly a handsome, virile Dr. Venture emerges from a glowing portal... and hauls their Rusty Venture out with him. Alternate reality Rusty complains that his counterpart tried to kill him and take over his life because he has more hair, more money, and a hit musical on Broadway.

Fun Facts[edit]

  • Phantom Limb cites the Pupae Twins as sleeper agents. Whether this is fact or a temporary lapse in sanity is yet to be seen.
  • When Dr. Venture sees Dean's apartment he asks if he was waiting for Jacob Riis to take his picture. Jacob Riis is a famous photographer, muckraker, and social reformist known for capturing the squalor of New York and the plight of its citizens in the early 1900's
  • Previously seen villains waiting to be interviewed by the Revenge Society include the man dressed as some sort of small mammal in a red jerkin, Brainulo, Curse, Mommy Longlegs, Power Plug, Vain Gloria, and the simian wearing robes with the omega symbol.
  • Fat Chance admits to having pulled half a Roman legion from his duodenum; these may be the same legionaries Scott Hall enlisted in Any Which Way But Zeus.
  • Fat Chance bears some similarity to the Flash supporting character Chunk.
  • When Fat Chance calls Rusty about the boy adventurer musical, he uses the name "Frank Big Time." "Frank" was the name of the main character of Tom Waits's theatrical tour "Big Time," where, in parallel to the episode, the story centers on a egotistical fool thinking he's going to hit the "Big Time."
  • Ladyhawk Johnson and Lyndon Bee are a strange mashup of former US president Lyndon B. Johnson; his wife, Lady Bird Johnson; and the plot of the 1985 movie Ladyhawke.
  • Brown Widow is possibly a reference to The Arachnid, a character from Kevin Karsten's fan-made Venture Bros. animatic, "Lam-Pooned." Like Brown Widow, The Arachnid is a Spiderman parody whose features are more "anatomically correct," such as eight eyes and a web that shoots from his backside.
  • This episode takes place at the same time as Everybody Comes to Hank's and tells the span of the month from Dean's point of view.

Voice Talent[edit]

Voice Talent
James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Phantom Limb
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Chris McCulloch Hank Venture
Fat Chance
Mr. Polygamy
Lyndon Bee
Bill Hader Professor Impossible
Alien Villain
T. Ryder Smith Baron Underbheit
Mia Barron Ladyhawk Johnson
and Nathan Fillion as Brown Widow