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Self-Medication

  • Original Air Date:
    November 22, 2009
  • Written by:
    Jackson Publick
  • Production Number:
    45
  • Rate This Episode:

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Jump To: Summary | Capsule | Notes
All-time score of 3.8 with 522 votes

Summary

Dr. Venture's therapy group, a collection of former Boy Adventurers (who have become failed adults), quickly fall back into their old habits when a mystery is literally dropped into their session. Meanwhile, Sgt. Hatred tries to overcome his own past when he's stuck in a movie theater crammed with kids. History is doomed to keep repeating itself if Hatred and Dr. Venture can't break their cycles.

Capsule

Dr. Venture runs frantically through the compound. A purple spotlight from the Cocoon tracks him as the Monarch laughs menacingly over the PA. He starts talking about how Dr. Venture is a failure as Dr. Venture searches for an escape. He ends up on the roof of the building, a lightning storm is in full force. He comes to a dead end, but a rain of darts from the Cocoon gives him a way to climb the wall that's blocking him. He is on top of the main 'Venture Industries' building. He slips and falls, but a robotic hand comes out of the Cocoon and fires some ropes, catching him before he hits the ground.

The hand shoots out more ropes, attaching them to each of Dr. Venture's limbs, and the Monarch makes him dance like a marionette. Dr. Venture's watch beeps.

DR. VENTURE
Oh, heh, sorry. We're gonna have to pick it up here another time.

THE MONARCH
What?

DR. VENTURE
It's Wednesday night. I have my therapy.

THE MONARCH
What the hell is he talking about?

DR. MRS. THE MONARCH
Uh, new Guild clemency clause [she holds up a document] Mental heath arch-exclusion.

THE MONARCH
Let me see that! [he reads] Oh damnit to he- AH HA! It says here you're excused only if you have a note from your doctor!

DR. VENTURE
Got one right here. [he reaches for his pocket but is unable to make it] It's, uh, it's in my pocket.

THE MONARCH
Shhh- [he manipulates Dr. Venture's arm so he can take the notes out of his pocket] Well, Venture, if I can't murder you today at least it would appear that I have finally succeeded in driving you insane.

HENCHMAN
Th-th-that's not necessarily true. People see therapists for all kinds of reasons. Man, when my wife left me I went through a pretty bad- gnaah [he is shot with a dart]

THE MONARCH
[sighs] [over the PA] Okay, henchmen, that's a wrap. Abort mayhem and fall in.

[all the henchmen sigh and head back to the Cocoon]

HENCHMAN 21
[he and Sgt. Hatred release their grips on each other] You got lucky this time, old man.

SGT. HATRED
Oh, in your dreams, fatback!

Opening credits logo.

Flashback! We see young Rusty Venture, laying on the couch. He is complaining that he only gets to hang out with grown-ups and the only time he ever leaves the house if when they go somewhere creepy. And then he gets kidnapped! Plus he isn't sure he wants to be a super scientist. Just then his father tiptoes in and sits down at the desk. Rusty is about to mention that he only does all this stuff because of his father, who he now feels weird telling this information to. Jonas assures Rusty that in here he is his doctor, not his father.

JONAS VENTURE
Now, let's get back to it, shall we? You were telling me how you're ungrateful for all the opportunities your father has given you and you blame me for all your problems.

[Rusty sighs]

We fade from that scene to present day Rusty talking to a therapy group, informing them that this is why he's not too keen on therapy. The group is revealed to be full of boy adventurers similar to Dr. Venture. We have one of the Wonderboys, who has a bit of an eating disorder. He was replaced when he turned eighteen and his way of coping was to eat. We also have Lance and Dale Hale, world famous boy detectives. They're both here because Dale is still having trouble getting over their father's death. Lance seems fine, though he does note that their father's murder is their only unsolved case. It caused them to retire in shame.

Oh hey, and Action Johnny is here. Rusty already knows him though, so we can just skip to Ro-Boy. He seems to be some kind of bizarre robot boy. He attempts to tell Dr. Venture his story but is interrupted by Action Johnny:

ACTION JOHNNY
But I just want to point out that I'm only here because Action Johnny had himself a little run-in with Johnny Law and was ordered to attend by Johnny Judge. Not my fault. Somebody else's.

PSYCHIATRIST
Interesting. Group, do you see how Johnny views his whole world as some kind of cabal of Johnnys who are conspiring to undermine him. That's what we call paranoid projection and it's a classic expression of narcissistic rage.

ACTION JOHNNY
It's a figure of speech, dude! And, uh, the judge's name actually was John. It's like the most common name in the world.

LANCE
Wrong! That would be Muhammed, Googled it!

PSYCHIATRIST
Lance, the Blackberry stays off during share time. That goes for everyone. Please turn off all cell phones, view-comms, two-way TV wrist communicators, what have you.

[everyone in the group except Wonderboy pulls out a device and shuts it off]

WONDERBOY
Beep-boop.

LANCE
What was that?

WONDERBOY
I just turned off the radio in my utility belt like he said to.

ACTION JOHNNY
You said 'beep-boop' with your mouth.

WONDERBOY
No, I didn't. Leave me alone.

At a movie theater Sgt. Hatred is complaining about the price of movies while he and the boys take their seats. Hatred notes that there are an awful lot of kids in the theater. Just then 21 and two other henchmen, wings extended, sit down in the row in front of them. Hank shouts complaints.

Back in therapy all the group participants are telling their stories:

ACTION JOHNNY
My dad's lab was like a pharmacological candy store. So I started real young. Next thing I know I'm blowing lines of voodoo powder off the back of a monkey's paw I bought in Calcutta. Now I'm all out of wishes.

DR. VENTURE
I wasn't even allowed to wear long pants until I left for college. Is it any wonder I didn't lose my virginity until I was over twenty?

LANCE
So dumbass here is so freaked out by the mess he forgets twenty years of detective training and actually picks up the shotgun with his bare hands. Well, I just instinctively reached out to stop him of course, and so that's how both of our sets of prints ended up on the murder weapon.

RO-BOY
I tried to be good, I just can't help myself sometimes. When I see a giant robot I just get so mad I wanna beat them up! And then- and then I wanna burn them. Sometimes I wanna burn the whole world.

WONDERBOY
I mean I can't even get an erection now unless I'm tied to a chair with a time bomb taped to my chest.

Back in the theater Hank continues his frustration with having his view blocked as Dean explains the premise of the film to Hatred, who apparently hasn't seen the previous two movies in the trilogy. 21 shushes him. Hatred is pretty enthralled with some of the characters, especially one Dean explains is the prince of the elven realm. Hatred is quite taken by this... white chocolate doll boy. Dean also explains that elves don't have a gender and don't age. They just stay thirteen forever. This is more than Hatred can take. He begins to sweat profusely and his eyes dart around the theater. It's full of children. He finally stands up, saying he can't take it, and leaves in a hurry.

In group therapy the psychiatrist is using a hand puppet of an 'angry native' as a way of communicating with Action Johnny. He asks Johnny what he's going to do about it. No guns, no grown-ups, and no running and hiding. Johnny isn't sure what else to do.

PSYCHIATRIST
How about just talking to him?

ACTION JOHNNY
T- talking?

PSYCHIATRIST
Yes he's an angry native, but he's also a person. Start a dialogue.

ACTION JOHNNY
Uh, okay. Um [clears throat] Uh, why you guys always chasing me with spears?

PSYCHIATRIST
[as native] You parked your giant iron thunderbird on my ancestors burial ground.

ACTION JOHNNY
I did?

PSYCHIATRIST
[as native] I'm afraid you're a trickster god who will woo my women away and fly them to your sky hut!

ACTION JOHNNY
Well I... I did not know that. I'm sorry?

PSYCHIATRIST
[as native] I accept your apology. Now hug me!

ACTION JOHNNY
I don't... I don't... [he grabs the puppet] Okay!

PSYCHIATRIST
There. See how easy that was? We all have our own inner angry natives and our minds invent a million ways to avoid confronting them directly. But if you just look them in the eye and ask them why they're chasing you with spears you just might learn something about yourself. Question?

WONDERBOY
Uh, yeah, in my line of boy adventuring I didn't really deal with angry natives.

LANCE
Yeah, us neither.

PSYCHIATRIST
So then call them whatever works for your specific genre's idiom. Inner-internation jewel thief, for instance. Inner-super villain.

LANCE
[aside to Wonderboy] Inner-jelly donut.

PSYCHIATRIST
Inner-giant robot works. Johnny, you can stop hugging the native now. [everyone laughs as Johnny lets go] By the way, you never bothered to ask the little fella his name.

ACTION JOHNNY
Ohh, ummm, uhh, what's your name?

PSYCHIATRIST
[as native] Chemical dependence! [normal voice] See what I just did there?

[everyone agrees]

PSYCHIATRIST
Okay, um, Dr. Venture. It's your turn.

DR. VENTURE
Oh, alright, but uh, do me a favor and whisper your name to me when we get to that part, okay?

PSYCHIATRIST
Ow! [he rubs his leg] Charlie horse. Okay, so- [he sputters and stumbles into Doc]

DR. VENTURE
Oh! So we're up to the hug already?

PSYCHIATRIST
[terrible gasping sounds]

DR. VENTURE
What is this, like a primal scream thing? Am I supposed to?

[they both start making odd noises until the Psychiatrist falls over, still]

DR. VENTURE
What happened? Did I just kill premature ejaculation?

Commercial.

Yep, the psychiatrist is dead. Action Johnny starts to freak out, but Dale jumps right back into what he knows best: detective work. He asks Dr. Venture to smell the tea. No poison, but there is something familiar in there. Before he can place it he noticed Ro-Boy poking the psychiatrist's crotch and asking why he won't reboot. Ro-Boy demonstrates by pulling down his own undershorts and pushing a button on his crotch. He turns off and falls over. Wonderboy notes that Ro-Boy may have made 'something' reboot. The psychiatrist's crotch appears quite, uh, active. However it turns out to be a snake, which frees itself from its victim's pants.

ACTION JOHNNY
Dudes!! That is a Vietnamese two-step viper! One bite and you're dead before you take two steps.

DALE
There's no such thing.

ACTION JOHNNY
Yeah, I'm making it up, it's right there dude! That ain't a fuckin' hologram, or a old light house chief in a rubber mask, okay?!

DALE
I mean there's no such snake, that's an urban myth.

LANCE
Bro's right. I Googled it. [he holds out his Blackberry]

DR. VENTURE
Hey, Encyclopedia Brown-noser, can you Google this thing away from me? [the snake is approaching him]

WONDERBOY
Don't panic, Rusty! I carry snake repellant in my utility belt... I used to okay panic!

DR. VENTURE
Why does it want me?! [he smells the tea again] [gasp] Snake pheromones!

Dr. Venture quickly dumps the tea on Wonderboy, who screams and begins to run around the room. The snake begins to crawl over Ro-Boy, who wakes up, sees the snake and deep fries it with his laser eyes. Everyone breathes a sign of relief. Dale commends Ro-Boy and asks Johnny if he's getting the doc's files. Johnny confesses he's just stealing prescription pads but he hands the files over to Dale as well. Lance protests Dale's detective work, saying that they're retired. Dale thinks that they owe the psychiatrist at least this much though, since he was trying to help them.

LANCE
So maybe the guy was, what, into snakes? You don't know he was murdered!

DALE
Oh no? [he picks something off the ground with tweezers] What's wrong with this picture? [he holds up a matchbook]

WONDERBOY
I wanna have sex with that bird?

DALE
Did the doctor strike you at all as a smoker?

WONDERBOY
Holy clue and a half! The murderer must have dropped it!

DALE
Exactly!

Johnny takes the matchbook, saying he knows the place. Well, looks like the boy adventurers have themselves a new adventure.

Sgt. Hatred, meanwhile, finds himself in the restroom. He locks himself in a stall and attempts to inject himself with his drug (labeled 'Nomolestol') but it's empty. He frantically searches his pockets for more but to no avail. A young boy holding a cardboard tube and with his shirt on his head proclaims himself the prince of elves to Hatred, who can only run away.

Back at our old standby, Nightin Ales. Everyone enters and Dale spots a man in SCUBA gear from the files. Easy to recognize because he's uh, wearing SCUBA gear. Johnny notes that particular henchman used to work for Dr. Z. They approach the henchman but are interrupted by a large biker.

FRANCIS
How's it goin' Johnny?

ACTION JOHNNY
Sup, Francis? You're in my way there.

FRANCIS
You've been banned, junkie! Turn around and take your little fuckin' friends with ya or I'm gonna have to get rough with you.

WONDERBOY
Hey, underpants, you mess with one boy adventurer, you mess with all of us.

[a larger group surrounds the boys]

DR. VENTURE
I think they were hoping you'd say that.

ACTION JOHNNY
Looks like you got a little, uh, herpe on your lip there. You been kissing your wife's ass? After I put herpe in there.

FRANCIS
What!?

A fight scene ensues! Judo! Groin! Squash! Torn Meniscus! Cower! Jet Kick!

At the theater the movie has ended and Hank and Dean have no idea where Sgt. Hatred is. Hank notices that he has a bunch of messages from Hatred on his watch. They watch the first one, which is Hatred in the car. He apologizes for abandoning them but he needed to go back for his meds. The second message plays, this one is him sitting in the panic room. He says that he's out of meds and OSI isn't answering his calls. The third message is similar but now Hatred is drunk and he says he called Princess Tinyfeet. The henchmen pass by them.

HANK
Hey! Uh, can we get a ride?

HENCHMAN 21
Dude! Tell me you didn't walk out before the credits were over!

The boy adventurers, now quite beaten up, are waiting outside Dr. Z's house. Johnny knocks on the door and Dr. Z answers, with Johnny saying 'trick or treat'. Dr. Z is a bit surprised by this, but tells them to hold on. He returns with a bowl of candy that had clearly been sitting on his coffee table. Wonderboy takes some of them, but Johnny slaps them out of his hand.

They push Z into the house and Johnny accuses him of sending the viper to kill their psychiatrist, but Dr. Z says that he would never strike them through a civilian proxy, and certainly not with a made up snake. Just then a woman's voice, Dr. Z's wife apparently, shouts from the kitchen, asking who is here. Dr. Z says it's just some old friends.

Mrs. Z
Are they hungry?

Hank and Dean are now back at the Venture Compound. Hatred, still locked in the panic room, tells the boys to hide somewhere because he has to go to the hangar.

HANK
What's in the hangar? More medicine? We can get it for you!

SGT. HATRED
No I'm taking the X-1 and I'm going to Thailand! [stutters] Just for a little while. Just so I can buy a beautiful brown little boy-girl to keep in my room for when the urges come.

DEAN
You can't do that!

SGT. HATRED
Sure I can! Gary Glitter told me where to get one! And- and Dean? Dean, wouldn't you like to have a beautiful brown little brother-sister?

DEAN
No! And beautiful boy-girls aren't the answer! You have to fight the bad urges!

SGT. HATRED
I can't!! Not without my meds!

DEAN
Yes you can! I know you can! Just do whatever you used to do before they gave you the medicine.

SGT. HATRED
Princess Tinyfeet!! She's what I used to do. She was the only thing that ever got me over my dirty little weakness. But she won't return my calls!

At Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Z's house Wonderboy is on his third helping of Mrs. Z's cooking. Lance makes fun of him (and his gut) but Wonderboy says he can't help it. Dr. Z compliments his wife and notes that he's actually younger than she is. Johnny says it's similar with him and Rusty, with him being older but looking younger. Dr. Venture points out that Johnny is full of chemical preservatives, which is likely the reason for that. Also that is so a weave. Dr. Z asks why exactly they flew all the way down to see him with their only evidence being a matchbook.

DR. Z
When are you boys going to grow up? Didn't you get enough of this nonsense when you were kids?

DALE
We had to do something! It was a mystery!

DR. Z
There's always a mystery! It never ends. Not until you decide when enough is enough.

WONDERBOY
You mean, just give it all up?

DR. Z
Yes! Why not? Leave it to the next ten year old boy with a jetpack and a spyglass. Take it from an old man, there is more to life. I am much happier now that I've settled down with Mrs. Z than I ever was chasing Johnny around with a laser. I only regret that it took so long for me to figure it out. We... never had children of our own you see. We married late. And though my lover's mountains are both beautiful and bountiful, I'm afraid the valley below is quite baron.

MRS. Z
I thought we could not have kids because I was your beard. [laughs]

DR. Z
[clears throat]

RO-BOY
Dr. Z? Mrs. Z. Would you like to adopt me? [everyone in the room says 'awww']

DR. VENTURE
Dr. Z is right. You know I should thank you guys. You all made me realize something important tonight. I'm not alone.

ACTION JOHNNY
Band of brothers, man.

DR. VENTURE
No! I mean, what the hell am I doing in therapy in the first place? I'm no drug addict. I don't have an eating disorder. And as much as I resented my father I never wanted to kill him.

[Lance and Dale freak out]

DR. VENTURE
And most importantly I grew up! I'm not a boy adventurer! I have my own business, and my own family. And if you'll excuse me I think it's high time I got back to them. [he leaves]

Outside the panic room Dean informs Sgt. Hatred that there's someone who wants to talk to him. It's Princess Tinyfeet! Hatred happily exits the panic room but Tinyfeet is really Hank. He signals to Dean, who shoots Hatred with a net gun, trapping him. Hank then signals to the henchmen above, who all fire their dart guns at Hatred. Hatred's screams begin to fade as he drifts off.

HANK
Thanks dude.

HENCHMAN 21
Whoo, no, thank you. I so owed him one.

Roll end credits.

Henchman 21 is in his room back on the Cocoon. He's telling 24's skull about the movie as he takes off his boots. The Monarch passes by and hears him talking, so 21 quickly throws the boot over 24 and says that he was podblogging... casting... yeah.

THE MONARCH
So how was it?

HENCHMAN 21
Hmm, it was better than the first one. I like the second one a little better.

THE MONARCH
Yeah that's what they were saying on Ain't It Cool.

HENCHMAN 21
Yeah. All in all it's a fitting end to the trilogy though.

THE MONARCH
Cool. 'Kay, well, good night then.

HENCHMAN 21
Good night, boss.

THE MONARCH
Oh, did you, uhh, remember to take care of that thing?

HENCHMAN 21
Yeah! Yeah, totally. The office was on our way to the theater. We slipped the snake right through the air vent. He's gotta be dead by now.

THE MONARCH
Then Venture's got no more excuses! Excellent!! Reload the Scary-o-nette canon! Tomorrow we arch anew!!

Notes

  • This episode features what is likely the largest amount of guest actors the show has ever seen. While there have been episodes with a larger cast (even if you exclude Soul-Bot), they all contained a number of recurring characters. In this episode we have Seth Green as Lance Hale, John Hodgman as Dale Hale, Patton Oswalt as Wonderboy and Brendon Small reprising Action Johnny. Seth Green is most recently known as the co-creator of two recent Adult Swim series', Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum. John Hodgman is a writer and comedian, but you may have seen him on The Daily Show where he is a correspondent. He's also most famously appeared in Apple's "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ad campaign as the PC. Patton Oswalt is also a comedian, but was a cast member of King of Queens and voiced the main character Remy in Ratatouille. Brendan Small we all know I'm sure! Home Movies, Metalpocalypse and so on. Right? Good.

  • Delving into the characters, the Hale Brothers are partially a parody of The Hardy Boys, two teenage brothers who star in a long-running series of children and teen books. The series started in 1927 with a number of revisions since then, so if you are under the age of 80 its likely you have read or at least heard of them. The name 'Hale brothers' is also derived from 'Hardy boys'. The saying 'hale and hearty' (which just means something is in good health) can obviously be substituted to hale and hardy and there you go. Hearty, Hardy, Hale. Got it?

    Of course it wouldn't be Venture Bros. if there wasn't some kind of demented twist added to them. The murder of Dale and Hale's father is mentioned with the brothers being the rather obvious murderers. This is based on the real-life case of Lyle and Erik Menendez who rather famously were convicted of murdering both of their parents with a shotgun back in 1987 (though the trials did not occur until a few years after) likely as a way of securing their mother and father's considerable wealth. The first Menendez trial, which was broadcast on Court TV, ended in a deadlock, but the second one found both of them guilty. Both brothers are currently still in prison where they will likely spend the rest of their lives.

  • Wonderboy appears! From the statue on Captain Sunshine's lawn (as seen in this season's Handsome Ransom) we know that prior to Hank there were at least three Wonderboys, with the third one being killed by the Monarch. This one, judging by his age and Captain Sunshine's, is likely the first one.

  • The final component of the therapy group is Ro-Boy, a, uh, robotic boy. He's based on Astro Boy, the creation of Osamu Tezuka in 1951.

  • The film Hank and Dean bring Sgt. Hatred to is likely based on one of the numerous epic chronicles such as The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. However when Dean informs him that the elves have no gender and are ageless Sgt. Hatred asks if Henry Darger wrote the film.

    Darger, who is a rather fascinating man, is most famous for his fantasy manuscript called The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion which was discovered after his death in 1973. What caused Hatred to pose his question was Darger's tendency to not distinguish between genders of many characters. Both female and male characters were often portrayed nude or partially clothed and some females had penises. Some feel Darger was unfamiliar with female anatomy, having been alone and isolated most of his life, but there could have been any number of reasons for such idiosyncrasies.

  • If you think you've see the psychiatrist before that's because you have. He also appeared in Powerless in the Face of Death leading a 'men before henchmen' therapy group that 21 and 24 participated in (among others). He's also voiced by Paul Boocock, who also does the voice of Jonas Venture Sr., Rusty's other therapist. Coincidental of course.

  • Outside Dr. Z's house when asked about his balls Dr. Venture says "Spirit is up and roving but Opportunity hasn't come back online yet" which is a reference to the Mars rovers of the same names. Launched in 2003 and reaching their destination in early 2004, Spirit and Opportunity were originally supposed to observe Mars for 90 Martian days, but ended up vastly outliving their original mission statement. On it's fifth mission extension Spirit became stuck in some soft soil in May of 2009 and could not be freed after nine months of attempts. It was then re-purposed as a stationary science platform, however the rover failed to send any signals to NASA after March of 2010 and in May of 2011 it was announced that attempts to communicate with it would cease. Opportunity, as of early 2012, is still functioning and currently en route to the Endeavour crater on the surface of Mars. Thanks to hardyworld in the comments for mentioning this factoid.

  • Sgt. Hatred reveals that Gary Glitter told him where to get a brown boy-girl from Thailand. Glitter, whose real name was Paul Francis Gadd, was a singer who rose to fame during the glam rock era of the 1970s. Most recently he is remembered for his imprisonment in 1999 when he was found to be in possession of thousands of items of child pornography. He served four months in jail.

    In 2005 Glitter was arrested and charged with molesting two under-aged girls, age 10 and 11 at his home in Vietnam. Initially he faced child rape charges, which carries the death penalty in Vietnam, but prosecutors could not find enough evidence to convict him of this. He was sentenced to three years in jail and was released in August of 2008. He returned to London when he was denied entrance to Thailand and Hong Kong (having been previously deported from Cambodia in 2002 again for suspected child abuse).

  • Since there have been some questions, Mrs. Z says that she and Dr. Z can't have children because she is his 'beard'. That's a slang term for a woman who is married to a gay man. Basically it allows both members of the couple to get the benefits of marriage but still allow them to retain the lifestyle they wish. Sort of a symbiotic relationship, if you will. This also of course implies that Dr. Zin is gay, but that isn't too much of a surprise, I suppose.

Episode Cast

James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Rusty Venture
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Christopher McCulloch Hank Venture
Sgt. Hatred
The Monarch
Ro-Boy
Dr. Z
Brendon Small Action Johnny
Doc Hammer Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
Henchman 21
John K. Hodgman Dale Hale
Seth Green Lance Hale
Mrs. Z
Patton Oswalt Wonderboy
Paul Boocock Jonas Venture Sr.
Psychiatrist

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