"Assisted Suicide"
The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 14
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Doc Hammer
Production code 449
Original air date October 17, 2010
Episode Chronology
← Previous
"Bright Lights, Dean City"
Next →
"The Silent Partners"
List of The Venture Bros. episodes

Assisted Suicide is the fourteenth episode of Season 4 and the overall fifty-third episode of The Venture Bros.


The episode begins with several characters (including Brock, Sgt. Hatred, Shore Leave, Hank, Dean, and Dr. Orpheus) playing touch football. The game is interrupted when Brock senses someone is in his car. It turns out to be Dr. Venture's apparent attempt at suicide (albeit a poor one as he tried to asphyxiate himself in a fully electric car). In quick succession, he tries to kill himself with a road flare, shaving creme, Brock's combat knife, and Dr. Orpheus' tie.

After being taken into the compound and examined by Dr. Orpheus, it is determined that Dr. Venture is not truly suicidal but in fact possessed. Preparations are quickly made for an exorcism. Orpheus casts a spell of binding which effectively puts Dr. Venture in a locked-in state. It is revealed that the Monarch has entered Dr. Venture's mind via a device not approved by the Guild. The Monarch's disembodied psyche has set up shop in the "Master Control Room" of Venture's brain, and is driving his suicidal urges.

With the help of the greatest treasure Dr. Venture values (his old head shot, various awards, money, newspaper clippings of his childhood adventures, a shoebox of old love letters, and a signed photo of Loni Anderson. Notably his children are not what he values most), Dr. Orpheus enters into Dr. Venture's mind, where he meets the personification of the two greatest forces in the human psyche: Eros (who manifests as Billy Quizboy with typical Cupid wings, arrows, and diaper) and Thanatos (who manifests as Pete White, dressed as a Victorian-era undertaker, though with the character's usual dash of purple). Together, they cross the levels of Dr. Venture's mind, passing by the Id (which manifests as Rusty in his childhood, presiding over a harem of every woman he ever desired, and wearing Roman garb and a golden crown of laurels); Ego (which manifests as a dejected middle-aged Rusty who futilely works on a puppet of himself like Geppetto); and Superego (a burly manifestation of Rusty as he wishes to see himself: physically imposing, with a full head of hair, no glasses and confidence evocative of his father). Meanwhile, the Monarch's tamperings inside Dr. Venture opens the floodgates of Venture's horrific past, revealing more of his traumatic childhood.

Meanwhile, Henchman #21 and Dr. Mrs the Monarch bond while watching over The Monarch's physical body (unable to forcibly remove him from Dr. Venture's mind at the risk of "turning him into a vegetable"). When the Murderous Moppets show up for a routine safety inspection, Dr. Mrs the Monarch and Henchman #21 cover the Monarch's condition from the Moppets, to avoid Guild repercussions, since these kinds of mental attacks aren't allowed. To avoid the repercussions they fake a fetishistic threesome, causing the Moppets to quickly leave in disgust. As they await the Monarch's return to consciousness, they get drunk on wine, having engaging conversations about their mutual likes and desires, and then 21 and Dr Mrs The Monarch share a drunken kiss.

Finally the Monarch, after Dr. Orpheus confronts him with the horrible memories of all Hank and Dean's deceased clones, flees from Dr. Venture's mind.

Awakened and released from the control of the Monarch, Rusty goes outside to see mild chaos as Hatred and Brock argue over how to deal with Dean (who had sat on an anthill and was now nearly stripped and being hosed down). Dr. Venture declares that his children are "his problem" and not the responsibility of the two feuding bodyguards.

The episode concludes with a brief conversation between Dr. Venture and Hank where he relates a story of how he was humiliated yet again at the hands of both his father and the original Team Venture: During his 16th birthday party, furnished by Jonas Venture Sr. with easy women and probably some actual prostitutes, Col. Gentleman pulled down Rusty's pants to let Action Man shoot his genitals with a shrink ray. He implies it was this, among numerous other incidents caused by his father and his associates, that are responsible for turning him into the person he is today.

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • "A thousand billion" is a trillion not a quadrillion. A quadrillion is a million billions.
  • During the football game Shore Leave refers to Dr. Orpheus as "Professor Snape".
  • As Orpheus begins Dr. Venture's exorcism, various characters are shown to be prepared for extreme projectile vomiting, in a nod to the infamous scene from The Exorcist. Also Orpheus mentions "This isn't a 'Gallagher 2' performance" referring to Ron Gallagher, Leo Gallagher's younger brother.
  • Rusty's mind being shown as a white corridor with multiple doors is a reference to The Matrix Reloaded.
  • When the doors of the mind open, Orpheus remarks "The Doors of Perception" have flung open. This references the 1954 book by Aldous Huxley recounting Huxley's experience with hallucinogens; the title was taken from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, a poem by William Blake. It is also the book that gave The Doors their name.
  • When 21 asks Dr. Mrs. the Monarch if she thinks the Monarch will "bring back a pissed off Billy Mahoney", he's referencing the movie Flatliners.
  • 21 and Dr. Mrs the Monarch discuss their love of the original Star Trek, particularly the episode "The Corbomite Maneuver".
  • 21 recites part of Roy Batty's final speech from the movie "Blade Runner."
  • 21 laments over what he could have better spent his money on instead of his new costume; the leather jacket Patrick Swayze wore in the movie Roadhouse.
  • 21 mentions the "Donkey Kong kill screen" as one of the things he has seen. This is a reference to the 22nd level of the arcade classic, Donkey Kong. Due to a bug in the programming, a player only has about 7 seconds before time runs out, thus making the level impossible to complete via traditional means.
  • Dr. Mrs. The Monarch & 21's bonding and drinking over the Monarch's comatose body is reminiscent of scenes from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
  • Ego is seen trying to fix a puppet of Rusty Venture, a reference to Geppetto from Pinocchio, but also a reference to Rusty himself.
  • When the Monarch is returning to a stable heart condition 21 suggests to sing him something familiar and asks Dr. Mrs. The Monarch what "their song is" to which she replies that they don't write songs like Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
  • 21 then continues to guess what is their romantic song which include Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh, and two Human League songs (Keep Feeling) Fascination and Don't You Want Me all of which Dr. Mrs. The Monarch says not even close, although she mentioned that The Monarch always sings a certain song by Human League.
  • -- The above may be because the version of "Don't You Want Me" that 21 sings isn't anywhere close to the actual song (he's using the same words, but rhythm and melody are way, way off).
  • Eros (Billy Quizboy) makes fun of Thanatos' (Pete White) purple prose regarding death, saying that he acts like he's in a Creed video around death.
  • Dr Orpheus is called Count Freud, a triple reference to Count Dracula, Sigmund Freud, and the SCTV character Count Floyd.

Connections to Previous EpisodesEdit

  • Hatred makes references to his "OSI days", effectively confirming that he is one and the same as the 'Sgt. Haine' who appears in The Invisible Hand of Fate.
  • The episode carries on a theme of Dr. Venture caring more for himself than his kids, in this case physically proving it when Doctor Orpheus tries to enter his mind. A similar event occurred in the episode Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!
  • When 21 lists the things he has seen he says "I've seen a giant penny roll over a guy dressed like a rainbow" he is referring to the death of Wonder Boy, as claimed by Captain Sunshine in "Handsome Ransom".The giant penny can be seen on display in Captain Sunshine's Sanctum Solarium with a likeness of The Monarch on the front in place of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Many of the Hank and Dean clone zombies directly reference the deaths of the various clone-pairs shown throughout the series (most notably "Powerless in the Face of Death") such as a Hank clone wearing a Batman costume and donning a broken umbrella.
  • Brock ridicules Hanks suggestions by saying "He's possessed, Hank, he's not giving birth to a monster baby", although the last time Hank thought Dr Venture was pregnant, Jonas Venture Jr came out of his body.

Production NotesEdit

  • This episode was written as the second episode of the half-season but was pushed back to the sixth.