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The Venture Bros. episode
Perchance to Dean
Season 4
Orig. Airdate Nov 1, 2009
Writer(s) Jackson Publick
Director Jackson Publick
Co-Director Jon Schnepp
Production # 4-42
previous Ep # next
Handsome Ransom 42 Return to Malice


Dean finds an aborted clone of his, who attempts to kill him, while Hank (and Dermott) run over his body.


  • Episode starts with flashback of Rusty showing his cloning lab to Brock, where he disposes of a deformed clone slug, D-19.
  • Present day, Dean is in the shower collecting hair while Hank gets grounded by Rusty for calling him names.
  • The next day, Rusty calls Dean to the panic room and gives him his own junior laboratory.
  • In an air duct the disposed clone slug from earlier in the episode is now a hunchback, crazy maniac version of Dean, except hellbent on revenge for being ignored for so long.
  • Sgt. Hatred shows Rusty some Rusty look-a-like explosive decoys.
  • UPS delivery guy delivers packages to the lab where Rusty makes a Shining reference and tells Hank he has many more chores to do and is still grounded.
  • Rusty introduces Dean to his muse; progressive rock, in record form.
  • Hank runs off with Dermott and is doing donuts in the compound lawn. Hunchback Dean is digging up a Dean corpse but has to abandon it when Hank inadvertently almost runs over Hunchback Dean.
  • Hank freaks out because he thinks he just killed Dean. Dermott advises him to go off the grid.
  • The UPS delivery guy called the sheriff because he thinks some strange stuff is going down at the compound. Apparently he does have the Shining.
  • Rusty remembers about Dean when he comes out of a full body cast. He rushes to Dean and finds him in a Floyd hole. Rusty and Sgt. Hatred dump him in a tub of ice to bring him back.
  • Dean needs to science!
  • Hunchback Dean, distraught over his plan being ruined by Hank, resolves to kill Dean.
  • Dermott tries to dissolve Hank's fingerprints with paper-mâché.
  • Dean walks in as Hunchback Dean is opening the oven where Dean had stuffed his wet hair earlier as a result of his sciencing. Hunchback Dean gives chase.
  • Outside the compound, local law enforcement decides to storm the compound after finding an open grave full of dead kids and seeing a bunch of Rustys just standing around.
  • Hank and Dermott freak out, thinking Rusty called and turned them in. They make their escape in the trolley-train thing, blowing up Rusty decoy bombs as they go and with law enforcement in pursuit.
  • Dean and Hunchback Dean fight and cause a fire.
  • Rusty and Sgt. Hatred get arrested.
  • Dean and Hunchback Dean end up on the compound lawn, fighting. Hunchback Dean suddenly imagines Rusty telling him he loves him just the way he is, and Hunchback Dean goes up to him and hugs him, except it's not really Rusty but a decoy-bomb. *Hunchback Dean blows up.
  • After credits, Rusty blames everything on Hank and tells him he'll be grounded for the rest of the year.


Hank has been grounded for being rude to his father in front of guests. Meanwhile, Dean - showing signs of a developing mustache - appears to have become the golden child of the Venture family. Rusty continues to push an interest in super-science within Dean by rewarding him with his own lab (based in the Venture compound's panic room), a chemistry set, and an introduction to his muse, which turns out to be Progressive Rock.

But all is not well in the house of Venture. A deformed "clone slug" apparently survived an abortion attempt during Brock's first days at the Compound, and has been living in the attic ever since, growing more and more resentful of the blessed existence of Hank and Dean. He is attempting to gain the affection of Dr. Venture, or at least of an apparition of him, by constructing a suit out of the skins of the various iterations of Dean that have died over the years. The slug, codenamed D-19, needs just one more piece to complete his suit (a reference to Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs, and therein based, by proxy, on actual serial killer Ed Gein).

A black UPS delivery man delivers the explosives Sergeant Hatred has ordered so that he can booby trap the Venture compound with explosive Dr. Venture decoys. When Hank sees the delivery man he asks if he can hear his thoughts (a reference to The Shining) which Dr. Venture mocks him for. Venture then realizes that he had forgotten about Dean listening to his records and rushes to his rescue with Hatred. After reviving Dean with a tub of ice water, Dean shouts that he's had a breakthrough and gets to work.

While Hank is still doing chores Dermott shows up. When he sees that one of Hank's chores is to wash the car he suggests that they should go and give the car a reason for being washed. They go out and take it for a joyride through the Venture Compound. Dermott comments that he wanted to hotwire the car, but Hank stopped him because Hank already had the keys. Meanwhile, D-19 is digging up the mass grave of dead Hank and Dean clones (where Brock has buried them all these years, greatly expanded after the slaughter in the season 3 finale) in order to get the last piece for his suit. While dragging Dean's corpse away, Hank drives up in the car and hits the already dead Dean clone. Thinking he's killed his brother he freaks out as Dermott eggs him on by telling him how horrible jail will be.

The UPS delivery man, who apparently does have the Shining, receives a premonition and calls the cops to tell them that something horrible is going to happen at the Venture Compound. The police arrive and are creeped out by the explosive Dr. Venture statues which they think are real people who have been brainwashed. They send an officer in to scout the area who finds the mass grave of dead clones so the police prepare to raid the compound.

Frustrated at his failure to secure the final piece needed to complete his "Dean suit", D-19 goes back to his room and speaks to a hallucination of his father who reminds him that there is still one Dean left...the currently alive one. D-19 goes down to the kitchen to collect a weapon and knocks out Sergeant Hatred. When Dean rushes in to check on his experiment (which he had left in the oven) D-19 attacks. Dean, believing that he accidentally created D-19 with his experiment to regrow his hair, flees and the two accidentally set Dean's lab in the panic room on fire. Sensing the fire, the automated system drops Dr. Venture towards the panic room (normally the safest place in the compound), but he manages to stop himself from falling into the flames. The sprinkler system awakens Hatred who goes to help when the police raid begins.

Hank, thinking that the police have come for him, realizes that he has to flee. After Dermott says he can't take the car, since it was the murder weapon, he decides to take the people mover from "The Buddy System". The police arrest Dr. Venture and Hatred. As Hank and Dermott flee past them in the people mover, they give chase.

Meanwhile, Dean is still running from D-19. He manages to collect his hover boots and tries to use them to flee, but D-19 grabs onto him and they rocket together into the air.

While passing a trailer park, Dermott tells Hank to stop and gets out of the people mover. He tells Hank that he can't go with him to Mexico, as he has a curfew, but he gives Hank a roll of bills. Hank continues on, the police still chasing him.

Dean and D-19 have crashed back onto the Venture Compound grounds. When D-19 goes to attack Dean again, he's stopped by the hallucination of the father who tells him that he never needed the Dean suit, he just needed a father's love. The hallucination tells D-19 to hug him and when he does, he explodes. The hallucination was actually one of the explosive Dr. Venture statues. Witnessing the explosion from the front doors, the real Dr. Venture wonders who that person (D-19) was.

After the credits, Hank is seen relaxing on the beach and sipping a drink while tropical music plays. This is quickly interrupted by Dr. Venture—it was a fantasy brought on by listening to one of Hatred's Jimmy Buffet records in the egg chair—who blames him for all the episode's troubles, including the things that Dean actually did.

Fun Facts[edit]

  • Hank is heard chanting "Attica! Attica!" early in the episode, a reference to Dog Day Afternoon and Saturday Night Fever.
  • Progressive rock albums mentioned or shown by Doctor Venture to Dean include
    • Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
    • In the Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson
    • The band Asia is named dropped, but no albums are mentioned
    • "2112" by Rush is seen on the floor
    • Fragile by Yes can be seen in the back of Dr. Venture's album collection
  • In the final scene, Hank is wearing a lighter colored version of the sombrero he got in Dia de los Dangerous!
  • When Hank asks if the delivery man was psychic, Doctor Venture snaps at him that not all black people have the shining, a reference to the titular psychic ability of the Stephen King novel and Stanley Kubrick film The Shining, which features a black psychic.
  • The aborted clone Dean's appearance is likely based on traditional depictions of Quasimodo, the deaf and dumb hunchback of Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame. He also lives in the attic of the Venture Compound, likely a reference to Quasimodo's residence in the highest bell-towers of Notre Dame, coveting what he saw below him.
  • There is a very similar Simpsons bit (from Treehouse of Horror VII) wherein a misshapen twin of Bart ("Hugo" also a reference to Huncheback of Notre Dame) lives in the Simpsons' attic. A surgically separated siamese twin, he dreams of reattaching himself to Bart.
  • Dermott claims that in his old neighborhood people used to call him, "The Wolf". This is possibly a reference to Harvey Keitel's role as a cleaner in the movie Pulp Fiction.
  • The aborted clone Dean aimed to sew a suit made of Dean's skin, a reference to Jame Gumb, the alias of Buffalo Bill, the villain of The Silence of the Lambs. In the novel and film, Buffalo Bill was sewing a "woman suit" made out of the skin of the women he had killed. The original inspiration for Jame Gumb was Ed Gein, killer and grave robber.
  • In the opening scene, a young Dr. Venture is showing the lab to a young Brock Samson. They seem to be meeting each other for the first time, but they were supposed to go to college together.
  • The Episode Title is most likely taken from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. "To sleep, perchance to dream-ay, there's the rub.", Hamlet (III, i, 65-68). This is part of Hamlet's famous soliloquy which begins "To be or not to be", and it reveals his thoughts of suicide.

[edit] Voice Talent
Voice Talent
James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Dermott's Mom
Chris McCulloch Hank Venture
Sgt. Hatred
Doc Hammer Dermott
Reggie Watts Delivery Guy