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The Venture Bros. episode
The Better Man
Season 4
Orig. Airdate Dec 6, 2009
Writer(s) Doc Hammer
Director Jackson Publick
Production # 4-44
previous Ep # next
Self-Medication 46 Pinstripes & Poltergeists


The Order of the Triad is forced to confront Torrid and put a stop to his plans of opening a gate to hell. But things don't go too smoothly and Dr. Orpheus is faced with another rival, the one who won his ex-wife. Meanwhile Triana wanders into her closet and learns some things about herself from The Master


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The episode begins with the Order of the Triad attempting to stop the supervillain Torrid from opening a gate to Hell. In the process, Torrid accidentally releases a demon from another world which quickly disposes of him. The Triad, despite their fears, attack the demon but are no match for it. Jefferson Twilight is killed and just as The Alchemist and Dr. Orpheus think they've lost, a mysterious stranger riding a flaming black horse flies through the gate. The stranger easily defeats the demon and brings Jefferson Twilight back to life. As he flies back through the portal Dr. Orpheus reveals that the man who saved them was none other than the OutRider, his former student and the man who stole his wife.

In the next scene, Hank asks Dean why he is putting on a suit. Dean wants to look nice for Triana Orpheus, who is outside with her father, but Hank convinces him that she isn't his girlfriend and that he should give up trying to impress her. Meanwhile, Jefferson, in an attempt to make up for being defeated, trains with cardboard monsters, though he laments that between Orpheus and the Alchemist's magical powers, he will always be the one vulnerable to magical attacks.

In the front yard of the Venture Compound, Dr. Orpheus attempts to open a portal to Hell with camping equipment. After failing, Orpheus enters a portal within his daughter's closet to seek advice from the shape-shifting Master, who appears in the form of his very attractive ex-wife. The Master encourages Orpheus to kill the OutRider. The Triad go back to the original portal to Hell to find the OutRider chasing Torrid who, after witnessing Hell, begs for the OutRider to put him out of his misery. As the OutRider is about to mercifully kill Torrid, Torrid pounces on him and says incantations that send the OutRider's soul to Hell. Orpheus, seeing that the OutRider is noble, decides he is good and is therefore determined to save his soul from Hell. The Triad enlist Billy Quizboy to perform brain surgery on the OutRider, discovering an amulet of the "Eye of Osiris" in the OutRider's brain, which allowed him to travel to and from Hell with ease. Orpheus and the Alchemist enter Hell, only to have the OutRider inform them that they cannot return without the help of someone in both worlds. Luckily, Jefferson is found to be the link they need to help escape, and is thrilled to find that he has some magical abilities after all.

Meanwhile, Triana stumbles into her closet and meets the Master, appearing as an older, neurotic, balding Dean Venture as her potential future husband. He convinces her to break things off with Dean and to go live with her mother and train to become a sorceress. Bolstered by the Master's support and realizing that she has the talent to become a sorceress, Triana goes to speak to her father about going to go live with her mother.

After the credits, Dr. Orpheus and the Triad see Triana off as she prepares to leave with the OutRider. Dean approaches Triana and tries to break off their "relationship," citing that a long-distance relationship would be too much work. Triana happily agrees and kisses him. Surprised, Dean then tries to say that they could try a long distance relationship after all, but Triana gently rebukes him with the comment that she couldn't keep him all to herself, thereby sparing Dean's feelings and apparently breaking his crush on her.

Fun Facts[edit]

  • The creature summoned from hell is reminiscent of Cthulhu, a being introduced in the short story The Call of Cthulhu from horror/weird fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Hank tells Dean to "take a bite out of crime," the catchphrase of McGruff the Crime Dog.
  • When trying to find an excuse for why they were in Triana's room, The Alchemist claims to have been looking in on Triana's CD collection. His monologue is packed with references-
    • He claims to have been "deathrock". Deathrock was a music and fashion scene from early 1980's LA which bridged the gap between punk and goth. Notable bands include Christian Death and .45 Grave.
    • He mentions having been a patron at The Batcave, which is very likely the most famous goth club of all time. Located in London, the club began as a goth-spot, but became a catch-all for goth, punk, glam, gay, New Romantic, futurist, and BDSM subcultures.
    • He also mentioned having been there "since Nik Fiend was still a doorman". Nik Fiend is the lead singer of the band Alien Sex Fiend. before getting successful playing at the club, Nik Fiend worked there. The club was only accessible by an elevator which could hold no more than 2-3 people, and required constant attention; Fiend worked as the elevator operator, functionally making him "the doorman".
  • The Master (in the guise of a middle-aged Dean) is seen using what appears to be the Vacuum Boom Broom from Tears of a Sea Cow.
  • After his nose falls off, The Alchemist refers to The Outrider as "Brundlefly", the name Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gives to himself in the film The Fly.
  • As The Outrider further deteriorates, The Alchemist offers him his "dino-damage" after his ear falls to the floor, referencing the toys made for another Jeff Goldblum movie.
  • While training, Jefferson Twilight accidentally destroys a cardboard cutout of Matthew Lesko, believing him to be a villain due to his trademark punctuation covered suit. The first cutout he destroys appears to be Dormammu, a frequent foe of Dr. Strange (who's one of the inspirations for Dr. Orpheus). Dormammu also resembles Torrid, Orpheus' guild-assigned arch.
    • It should also be noted that Dormammu is also an inspiration for Torrid, as far as costume design goes.

Continuity Errors[edit]

  • Dean is shown dressing up nice for Triana at the beginning of the episode, and Hank mentions it must be related to Triana and Orpheus on their front lawn. When we get to the scene with the front lawn, Dean is wearing his speedsuit, but later in the episode, he is once again dressed in his nice clothes. He wears his nice outfit the rest of the episode.
  • The master says " gene pool is more like a gene....septic tank. Yeah, I was cloned so much I can only make monster babies" in reference to Dean Venture. However, Dean Venture is most likely only cloned once, yet multiple "copies" were made simultaneously, rather than him being a clone of a clone of a clone, etc, as implied by The Master.

[edit] Voice Talent
Voice Talent
James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Chris McCulloch Hank Venture
Doc Hammer Dermott Ficktel
Billy Quizboy
The Outrider
Steven Rattazzi Dr. Orpheus
Dana Snyder The Alchemist
H. Jon Benjamin The Master
Lisa Hammer Triana Orpheus

Ladysmith Black Mambazo!

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