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The Venture Bros. episode
The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-glider
Season 4
Orig. Airdate September 12, 2010
Writer(s) Jackson Publick
Director Jackson Publick
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Pinstripes & Poltergeists 48 Pomp & Circuitry


The Monarch has a new toy in his arsenal, but the Henchmen are none too happy about it. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch comes up with a plan when she finds The Monarch in bed with the butter-glider.


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The episode begins with a cold open which depicts Sgt. Hatred driving a Jeep-like vehicle at high speed down a sinuous mountain road, Dean Venture in the front along side him, Dr. Thaddeus Venture lying prone in the rear, and Hank Venture shooting a tripod-mounted machine gun at the giant Floating Cocoon headquarters of The Monarch, who is in hot pursuit. Although the Venture team appears to be escaping, the audience is shown that #21 is in control of the cocoon. The cocoon comes close to the ground, the base opens, and Tim-Tom and Kevin (dressed in their "Pupa Twins" costumes) are ejected from the cocoon—riding butterfly-themed motorcycles and firing machine guns. Hank runs out of ammunition, and Hatred drives the vehicle off the cliff and down the rock-strewn hill below. Tim-Tom and Kevin, realizing they cannot take the cliff on their motorcycles, skid and lose control of their vehicles. Both men and the motorcycles fly off the cliff, falling through the air. Suddenly, the Pupa Twins shed their costumes to reveal Monarch Henchmen uniforms beneath. They use their wings to descend gently to the ground, where they see that Hatred has guided the automobile to a hospital. Hatred skids to a stop in front of the hospital's emergency room, and Hank falls to the ground. The hospital personnel try to aid Hank while Hatred picks up Dr. Venture and rushes him inside. Tim-Tom and Kevin request to continue inside, but 21 denies the action, as it is a Catholic hospital, which he considers hallowed ground.

A very minimal three-second title sequence is seen, accompanied by a musical cue. After the title sequence, the show opens with The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch attending a party for King Gorilla, who has been released from prison and is clearly in poor health (it is assumed he is suffering from stage 4 lung cancer, due to the reaction the party-goers have to the Monarchs' gift: a carton of cigarettes). When the headquarters cocoon arrives in the neighborhood, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch goes to debrief the henchmen after their first solo mission, while The Monarch stays behind to explain that nobody had told him of King Gorilla's condition. Back at the cocoon, #21 voices the anger of the henchmen at their lack of better weaponry and armor while Dr. Mrs. The Monarch tries to raise more mundane, minor issues such as using too much of the cocoon's bandwidth for personal reasons. #21 proposes a major upgrade in the henchmen's weapons and armor (complete with audio-visual presentation on the control room's giant television screen), but Dr. Mrs. The Monarch dismisses his proposal as too costly, as well as some of the items not actually existing. Just then, The Monarch flies into the control room atop his new Butter-Glider, a wedge-shaped, smoke-emitting flying device which looks like a stylized golden butterfly (similar to the Green Goblin's Goblin Glider). He boasts about its exorbitant cost, to the anger of the departing henchmen and the disgust of Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.

Back at the Venture compound, Dr. Venture lies comatose on a table in the lab, his right shoulder injured. Master Billy Quizboy and Pete White are summoned to help. They arrive in their new Conjectural Technologies motorcycle with sidecar, a high-technology vehicle which they purchased with their insurance money. Sgt. Hatred explains that Dr. Venture suddenly just became paralyzed, which is why they rushed him to the hospital. The hospital personnel ran an MRI scan of Dr. Venture, but metal inside his body caused damage to the MRI scanner and to Venture's shoulder. The hospital also refused further help due to Dr. Venture being uninsured, and Sgt. Hatred's Diners Club credit card was denied as a means of payment. White asks Billy if perhaps the cause was the metal pins Billy used to re-attach Venture's arm, but Billy quickly changes the subject. Billy suggests that they shrink down Hatred and the boys inside a submarine, and inject the craft into Venture's body to determine what is wrong with him. Billy and White argue over which motion picture trope this best represents. While the two are talking in the bar, The Monarch flies across the countryside, singing a song about how much he loves his Butter-Glider.

Hank and Dean offer the X-3, the Venture submarine. But when the group goes to the compound's indoor submarine pen, they discover the X-3 is gone. Suddenly, a SPHINX submersible rises from the water and Brock Samson exits (leading three captives).

The Venture team and Samson go the secret S.P.H.I.N.X. headquarters on the Venture compound, where they meet with Col. Hunter Gathers. Gathers initially refuses to loan the group his submersible, and instead demands that Brock mind-wipe the group. Brock refuses, saying that the Venture boys discover their secret lair every other week and the constant mind-wiping is making the boys buggy. He makes Hank and Dean demonstrate, and the boys display paraphasia (substituting words for what they intend to say; for example, "Wednesday" instead of "pink"). Gathers allows use of the S.P.H.I.N.X. sub, but Hatred demands that he lead the mission. Brock Samson reasons with him, arguing that, since Hatred is Venture's bodyguard, he should stay behind to guard Venture and everybody inside of him. Hatred agrees.

Brock, Shore Leave, and the boys enter the submarine and Billy uses Venture's hand-held shrink ray gun to get the vehicle down to size. The now-tiny sub is injected into Venture's neck. The boys and Shore Leave joke about their mission, comparing it to the electronic board game Operation (to Brock's annoyance). Billy and White bet as to whether it is a blood clot or a tumor. A series of jump cuts moves the action between several scenes. Inside the body of Dr. Venture, the submersible comes upon a large blockage in a blood vessel. Back at The Monarch's cocoon, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch discovers the Butter-Glider in bed with The Monarch. She refuses to sleep next to the machine, and The Monarch (reacting as if the Butter-Glider were a lover) accuses her of jealousy. She leaves the bedroom angrily. Brock, Hank, and Dean exit the craft to remove the blockage with laser-beam guns. They quickly discover that something metallic is beneath the fleshy blockage. Inside Venture's body, Brock and the boys discover the X-3, the skeletons of what appear to be Hank and Dean (identifiable by the clothes they are wearing) at the controls.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch has gone to the bar within the cocoon. To her surprise, she immediately is given a vodka and tonic, her cocktail of choice. She sees #21 sitting in a booth, and goes to sit with him. #21 is sitting with the skull and ghost of Henchman #24, who says he ordered the drink for her and that she is going to flirt with #21. #21 expresses his disbelief, as #24 can't interact with anything or be seen by anyone but him. Throughout the conversation #21 has with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, #24 keeps asserting that she is flirting with #21. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch says that #21's idea for improved armor and weapons is a good one, but she has to convince The Monarch first. She also expresses her disgust for the Butter-Glider. #21 offhandedly says that the henchmen are so angry, they might go on strike. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch expresses surprise, and then says that might be a good idea.

Hank and Dean conclude that someone stole the X-3 and dressed up skeletons in their clothes. Brock does not disabuse the boys of this (as he has worked through many previous episodes to prevent the boys from learning they are clones and knows that these are a missing set of clones, "the Sevens"). Brock and Shore Leave pilot the X-3 and S.P.H.I.N.X. submarine toward Venture's eye, to exit from a tear duct

Suddenly, an alarm alerts Hatred, Billy, and White to intruders. Hatred goes outside to meet them, and discovers a large group of The Monarch's henchmen, led by #21 at the entrance to the main building. He tells them that a medical emergency has triggered a rule of the Guild of Calamitous Intent that prevents any "arching" (a villainous attack). #21 removes his eye goggles, and announces that the henchmen are not operating under Guild rules. A horrified Hatred flees indoors, triggering an alarm that encloses the building's entryways and windows in steel shutters. The henchmen fire butterfly-shaped tranquilizer darts, and Hatred barely makes it inside. Hatred rushes into the laboratory, where he injects his chest with adrenalin to counteract the drugs (and possibly to alleviate an oncoming heart attack).

Meanwhile, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch has returned to the bedroom, and contacts The Monarch via her communicator. She reveals that #21 has threaten to quit and left half–cocked to kill Dr. Venture. She lies and tells The Monarch that he feels that he is not man enough to do so himself. This outrages The Monarch, who leaps on his Butter-Glider and heads for the Venture compound. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch closes her communicator, and in an aside reminds herself that she must be ruthless.

After a jump cut, the audience is shown that Henchmen 21 has captured H.E.L.P.eR., the Venture robot (newly re-assembled with parts from Dr. Venture's "walking eye"). After the jump cut, the audience is shown H.E.L.P.eR. breaking into the security system, as #21 holds the robot's own torn-off turret to his head. H.E.L.P.eR.'s actions open the steel shutters, to Hatred's shock and dismay.

Just then, The Monarch arrives on his Butter-Glider. His loathing of Dr. Venture has restored his true sense of purpose, just as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch said it would, and #21 shows obeisance to him. Hatred attempts to get Venture's comatose body into the panic room, but Billy and White refuse to allow him to do so for fear it would destroy the submersibles still inside Venture's body. The Monarch bursts into the lab aboard his Butter-Glider, and renders Billy, Hatred and White unconscious. Brock and the boys, aboard the X-3, become lost inside Venture's brain. But the X-3 accidentally crashes into a part of Venture's brain, causing his hand to rise up and slap The Monarch (even though Venture remains comatose. The Monarch assumes Venture is conscious. Another blunder by the X-3 causes Venture to sit upright. The Monarch ensnares Venture with bolas, and flies out of the laboratory window with Venture in tow.

As The Monarch laughs maniacally, Sgt. Hatred wakes and rushes out onto the balcony. He aims the shrink ray gun, switches it to "Grow," and fires. Behind the Butter-Glider, Dr. Venture's body begins to grow to enormous proportions. Suddenly several hundred feet in length, Venture's weight proves too much for the Butter-Glider to carry and the body and glider crash to earth. A stunned Monarch sits next to his smashed glider, wondering what happened. Above him, the S.P.H.I.N.X. submersible (now full-size) teeters at the edge of Dr. Venture's eye. It falls off Venture's face and onto a stunned Monarch.

After the closing credits run, a post-credits scene depicts Billy and White arguing about where the X-3 can be inside Venture's body, while Shore-Leave sits calmly to one side. Hank and Dean try to describe where they are, their paraphasia causing them to describe the things they see inaccurately. By interpreting the boys' description and using a metal detector, Billy discovers that the X-3 is lodged in Venture's prostate. White asks how it will be removed. Billy lays a medical glove, a bottle of personal lubricant, and a pornographic magazine on the table, and White expresses his dismay.

Fun Facts[edit]

  • The Butterglider is a parody of Green Goblin's glider.
  • The episode is a parody of the 1966 science fiction film Fantastic Voyage, a fact which is explicitly mentioned by Billy Quizboy and Pete White. In that film, a submersible is shrunk to microscopic size so that it can be injected into a comatose man's body. The crew of the sub are tasked with finding a blood clot in the man's brain, exiting the sub, repairing the clot, and exiting the body through the man's tear ducts.
  • Billy Quizboy and Pete White argue over whether sending a miniaturized submarine into Dr. Venture's innards is more like the movie Fantastic Voyage or the 1987 science fiction/comedy film Innerspace. In the film Innerspace, a United States Navy pilot is miniaturized inside a submarine. When spies try to seize the secret of the miniaturization process, the submarine is accidentally injected into a mild-mannered grocery store clerk, who now must outwit and out-fight the spies in a series of adventures. Griffin and Masters, Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood, 1997, p. 128. Ironically, White loses the debate. But by the episode's conclusion, the X-3's interaction with Dr. Venture's brain causes Venture to ward off one of The Monarch's attacks, similar to the plot of Innerspace. Innerspace co-starred actor Kevin McCarthy, who died the day before this episode aired.
  • The music played when the Monarch is flying alone with the Butterglider is similar, if not the same as when Superman first takes Lois Lane for a flight in the original Superman movie. This echoes a scene in Hate_Floats when The Monarch flies with Dr. Girlfriend and quotes some of the dialogue from the movie ("Can you read my mind?")
  • The title is a play on The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a French memoir and film about a man suffering from Locked-In Syndrome.


[edit] Voice Talent
Voice Talent
Patrick Warburton Brock Samson
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Chris McCulloch Hank Venture
The Monarch
Sgt. Hatred
Henchman 24
Pete White
Hunter Gathers
King Gorilla
Doc Hammer Henchman 21
Shore Leave
Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
Billy Quizboy