"Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman"
The Venture Bros. episode
"OH NO! This isn't how it looks!" "Yeah it is."
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 32
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Jackson Publick
Production code 3-31
Original air date 6 July 2008
Episode Chronology
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"The Buddy System"
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"What Goes Down Must Come Up"

Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman is the 32nd episode of The Venture Bros. and is part of Season 3. The episode's title is a reference to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and also the film Medicine Man, in which Sean Connery's character (like Quymn) lives in the tropical rainforest researching a cure for cancer.


The episode begins with Dr. Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture fleeing natives in the Amazon bearing a snake-shaped, phallic gold idol, only to be captured by a rope trap. However, he is saved from certain doom by a mysterious and attractive woman, as he blacks out. His dream forms a flashback, at a key party thrown by Dr. Jonas Venture, Sr. in the 60s, a young Colonel Horace Gentleman shows up with his wife, Ms. Quymn, and stepdaughter[1], Tara. (Jonas Venture is seen illicitly passing his keys to Ms. Quymn to ensure their pairing.) While the adults have their party, she plays a jungle adventure fantasy with Rusty and Kano in the den. Back in the present, Dr. Venture wakes up to find Tara wiping his head—Tara is now Dr. Tara Quymn, a famous scientist and adventurer in her own right. Answering Dr. Quymn's query, Rusty claims that he stole the idol to investigate alternative treatments for "his clients'" impotence, although it is obvious to both Dr. Quymn and the viewer that he is the suffering "client." As Dr. Venture recovers, she tells him of her life's work—pursuing a cure for cancer, which she believes she is close to achieving. Dr. Quymn then introduces her identical twin daughters, Nancy and Drew, as well as her crass, towering and rather masculine bodyguard Virginia (or simply "Ginnie".)

As Hank watches, Dean and Brock are seen reluctantly trying to teach an orangutan how to box, pursuing Dr. Venture's shameless scheme to enter the beast in ape boxing matches when they return home. Ginnie arrives with the others and (correctly) labels them poachers—the eco-conscious Dr. Quymn is crestfallen on seeing Rusty's doings. Rusty hastily spins the lie that he rescued the orangutan from "a cage in Thailand" to be rehabilitated for release into the wild. Hank becomes instantly infatuated with Nancy and Drew, who simultaneously become infatuated with Dean. (Rusty orders Brock to "release" the orangutan, whereupon the boxing-gloved ape leaps to pummel Hank, who has been teasing it.) As they are driving to the Quymn compound, Rusty asks Brock to help distract Quymn's bodyguard (who Rusty, with typical cluelessness, has mistaken for a man he persistently refers to as "Jimmy") so that he can seduce the desirable, if somewhat drawn, Dr. Quymn.

At the tribe's village, Dr. Quymn explains to Rusty that the tribesmen are wary of outsiders because a lumber company that supplies Ikea is trying to force them off of their ancestral lands. The tribe's leader describes how a murderous "wereodile" (were-crocodile) attacked their village the previous night and blames Dr. Venture for its appearance, because he stole the fertility idol (which, to please Dr. Quymn, he returns to them amid their jeering laughter). The two scientists enjoy an idyllic day of swimming and exploring together (Dr. Quymn, cliff diving, Dr. Venture dog-paddling), seen through a romantic haze. Back at the camp, the two teams become acquainted: Dean and Hank find that Nancy and Drew are kindred spirits—they are also teens who like to solve mysteries and go on adventures. Later that night, Ginnie warns the Quymn sisters to keep their distance from the Venture brothers—when they ask why she so dislikes men, she responds that she's "just never met a real one." Over the next day, Ginnie makes some awkward, abortive passes at Brock, perplexing him with clumsy innuendo that switches at his first (innocuous) word of response to icy rejection. The girls flirt with Dean, who is preoccupied with the mystery of the wereodile, while Hank attempts vainly to wrest the twins' attention from his brother. While Dr. Quymn is obviously happy to see her childhood friend and a potential partner for her research, Dr. Venture's feelings run deeper and he begins to fall in love with her. She leads him on a roped ascent of a rare tree to show him the fruit that is the object of her studies. An awkward kiss from Venture takes her aback—she was either unprepared for, or repressing such feelings, and retreats back to camp; the abandoned Rusty slips to dangle helpless on his tether.

Some time later, Brock returns to the camp bearing the unconscious Dr. Venture—it is made graphically apparent that Rusty's impotence has been cured. Brock announces that while scouting the jungle, he had spotted two wereodiles, and the camp assumes a high state of alert. The girls and Tara go to their huts, while the Ventures go to their tents (Ginnie intercepts a disappointed Rusty on his way to Dr. Quymn's hut). Ginnie and Brock patrol the camp and prepare for the were-o-diles' onslaught. Back in her hut, Tara is stewing over the day's developments with Dr. Venture. Another flashback to the party shows the two children playing out an innocent portrayal of love (immersed in their jungle fantasy), which is shattered just as they are about to share a first kiss in their cardboard "jungle fort" by the entrance into the room of Jonas Venture Senior and Mrs. Quymn, who, amorous and drunk, fall directly onto the children's hideout, crushing it to young Rusty's obvious horror. Tara realizes that she does in fact reciprocate Rusty's love, at least to a degree. She tells Ginnie (who shares her tent) that she may ask Rusty to stay as her assistant. Ginnie responds with anger and jealously, revealing to the audience her own romantic feelings towards the (oblivious) Dr. Quymn. Their conversation (and subsequent dialogue) reveals that Ginnie helped Tara recover from addiction and mental illness and the devastation of her abandonment by the man who fathered her twin daughters; Ginnie demands that the camp guests leave immediately. Tara is affronted at her bodyguard's impudence, evicting her from the hut, and shortly thereafter nervously enters Rusty's tent, and asks if he would like to "play in my jungle fort".

Virginia, frustrated at the turn of events, once again clumsily and half-heartedly attempts to seduce Brock, and again quits at the first obstacle (Dean's dismay that everyone else has seemingly got "jungle fever"). Dean has immersed himself in the mystery, and, overhearing snippets of conversation as clues, has grown certain that two of the ladies in the camp are the were-o-diles (although he is unsure if they are the younger or older pair), and dismayed that no one else seems to care. When he encounters Nancy and Drew in the forest, they entice him to come into their hut (now that Ginnie isn't supervising them), promising the solution to the mystery. Instead, the twins immediately attempt to seduce Dean by pinning him and undressing in front of him. Dean, who has likely never seen a female body, panics when one of them removes her (stuffed) brassiere, convinced that they are indeed the wereodiles (although the exact physical element that convinces him is not revealed, it might perhaps be body hair).

In the next cabin, Dr. Venture and Tara have begun to kiss and fondle each other, and Tara throws Dr. Venture on the bed. Before things can go any further, Ginnie, at this point furious over the situation, physically throws Dr. Venture out of the bed and begins to berate Tara over losing her head over a man who will end up leaving her hurt and abandoned, like all the others. Brock belatedly arrives, answering Dr. Venture's repeated cries for assistance, and begins to brawl with Ginnie (both seem to actually relish the brutal fight), and they knock over a lantern, while Dr. Quymn collapses, writhing. Dean and the girls arrive to this dramatic scene, and Dean begins to beat Dr. Quymn with a chair, now believing her to be the were-o-dile in the midst of transformation. Rusty expresses disgust that he almost had sex with a "wereodile" before Ginnie knocks Dean aside, shouting, "She's not a wereodile, she's an epileptic!" to which Rusty reacts with fresh revulsion. Ginnie scoops up her mistress and everyone flees the burning cabin.

Meanwhile, Hank is in a clearing, looking for the girls (he earlier found an invitation to meet them there that they had intended for Dean). Instead, he comes face to face with the wereodile, and starts running for his life. However, he is caught by a rope trap, and, as flames become visible in the jungle behind him, dangles helpless to escape either the fire or the approaching wereodile. Suddenly, the orangutan they were trying to train earlier (still dressed in boxing trunks and gloves) attacks the wereodile and beats it senseless.

The next day, the camp (and a chunk of the surrounding rain forest) has been burned to the ground. Ginnie is packing up their surviving equipment while Dean speaks amicably with Nancy and Drew, who themselves never believed the "wereodile" story but praised Hank for his supposed part in defeating it. Dean relates how Hank has been "rewarded" by the natives with a warrior circumcision. Nancy and Drew, concluding that Dean is not circumcised, are immediately turned off. Dr. Quymn angrily summons her daughters away, she and Dr. Venture seeming to be irrevocably estranged. The two teams board their respective SST jet planes (Dr. Quymn's is marked with a pink Q corresponding to the Venture Team's blue V.) Hank looks rather miserable at his recent tribal rite, whereas Dr. Venture, again a loser at the game of love, wallows in misery and self-pity as the planes rocket off in opposite directions.

After the credits, it is revealed that two of the natives were pretending to be wereodiles (with the cooperation of the whole tribe) in an attempt to get Dr. Quymn and the others to leave. Their hut is stylishly decorated with Ikea furniture. On a side note, the natives' language in this scene is English spoken with a very heavy accent.

Production notesEdit

  • One of the animation directors (Kimson Albert) has a "nickname" inserted into his credits. The nickname is an unusual line or word from the preceding episode. For "Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman" the credit reads Kimson "Go Team Boobies" Albert.

Cultural referencesEdit

  • Colonel Gentleman, upon seeing David Bowie, declares "Oh, you pretty thing!" (This is a reference to an early Bowie song "Oh! You Pretty Things") Colonel Gentlemen and Bowie can be seen embracing naked in the pool for a brief moment when his wife and Jonas Venture trip over the play fort. David Bowie's appearance is particularly salient, since he is also "The Sovereign," the eventual leader of the Guild of Calamitous Intent.
  • Colonel Gentleman, states that he owns an Aston Martin referencing Connery's Bond Movies, in which it is Bond's main car.
  • Colonel Gentleman's threat to give Mz. Quymn a "smack in her smart mouth" is reference to James Bond actor Sean Connery 's infamous interview with Barbara Walters in which the actor defended hitting women.
  • Tara Quymn's mother is modeled after the Marvel Comic's character Silver Sable.
  • Hank's exclamation, "Frith help us!" refers to the Lapine sun deity from Richard Adams' novel Watership Down.
  • The Quymn Twins are named for Nancy Drew, the popular girl detective.
  • Hank's obsession with calling the orangutan "Clyde" and saying "Bang!" is a reference to the Clint Eastwood film Every Which Way But Loose. In the film Clint has an orangutan named Clyde, and when he points his fingers at Clyde, like a gun, and says "bang!", Clyde falls over and plays dead.
  • At one point Ginny refers to Brock as "Super Cuts". Super Cuts is an American hair salon franchise, usually located in shopping malls, which offer a haircut for a low price. (Usually offering outdated styles, thus the remark about Brock's hair.) SuperCuts is also a book about dietary meals for bodybuilders.
  • While beating Dr. Quymn with a chair, suspecting her of being the wereodile, Dean shouts "The power of Christ compels you!" a line famously used in The Exorcist.
  • Dr. Quymn's jet is a clearly an SR-71 Blackbird painted white and featuring Dr. Quymn's symbol-- a large pink Q with an X through its tail.
  • Dr. Quiymn's symbol is a Q that has an X through its tail, parodying the X through the letter R in "RX ," the symbol for a medical perscription. 
  • Dr. Quymn's last name is parodic reference to the slang term "quim" (vagina) and the use of the word "womyn " in place of the word "women" to repudiate the traditional terms that define females in reference to a male norm.
  • Dr. Quymn's first name, Tara, is a reference to Lara Croft from the video game series, Tomb Raider . They both have British accents, acrobatic handstands, braids, belly shirts, and absent adventurer fathers.    
  • The episode strongly implies that Dr. Quymn is Dr. Jonas Venture's daughter and therefore Rusty's half-sister. 
  • Hank's bass guitar is stylistically similar to Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat.
  • Dean's comment on the whereabout of the twins, "curiouser and curioser", is a line from Alice in Wonderland.
  • The scene where Nancy removes her stuffed bra and alarms Dean is a reference to the movie Animal House.
  • Ginnie strongly resembles the character William Clayton as portrayed in Disney's Tarzan, who likewise was tasked with protecting a researcher (Jane) deep in a jungle, much like Ginnie's role with Tara Quymn.


Preceded by:
"The Buddy System"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
July 6, 2008
Followed by:
"What Goes Down, Must Come Up"

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