Episode: The Venture Bros. 4.09 – “The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider”
Original Air Date: September 12, 2010
Screencaps from The Mantis-Eye Experiment.
The new season (mid-season?) of The Venture Bros. begins with the return of an old friend and the debut of The Monarch’s sweet new ride.
Quick and Dirty: The Plot
Dr. Venture is severely wounded due to Sergeant Hatred being an idiot and a completely incompetent bodyguard. Henchman #21 runs his first solo command. The Monarch and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch attend a “Welcome Home” party for one of the neighborhood super-villains, King Gorilla. Dean is still a sniveling baby. Henchman #21 has a lot of Star Wars action figures. The Monarch has found a new means of insect-themed personal conveyance: the “Butter-Glider.” Also, Hank and Dean are shrunk and sent on a mission to save their father — little do they know that they’ll have an interesting rendezvous in the process.
The mid-season premiere of The Venture Bros. is a mash-up of pop culture references ranging from House, M.D. and The Magic School Bus to the iconic magic carpet ride in Disney’s Aladdin (1992). In true premiere fashion, “The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider” opens to a scene of chaos — the Venture boys and Sergeant Hatred are fleeing The Monarch’s cocoon with a prone Dr. Venture, taking refuge in a nearby hospital while seeking medical attention.
For those fans aching for Brock to return to a regular role on the show and itching to see Sergeant Hatred’s loud, incompetent presence out of the picture, the mid-season premiere is tantamount to Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer taking personal requests; Billy Quizboy and Pete White shrink a team of individuals to go inside Dr. Venture and discover the cause of his partial paralysis and lack of consciousness, and Sergeant Hatred is left to guard the super-scientist’s body from the outside while Brock accompanies Shore Leave and the boys on a voyage into his former employer’s bloodstream.
As if that weren’t enough, members of “Team Brock” have the distinct privilege of watching The Monarch and his henchmen take out Sergeant Hatred, effectively silencing him for the remainder of the episode. Whether the emasculation of Brock’s bodyguard replacement is the show’s creators’ response to the increasing, well, hatred fans display towards Sgt. Hatred, an unintentional or subconscious punishment for the character’s past transgressions, or a coincidental turn of events that unintentionally brings joy to members of “Team Brock” is unclear, but regardless of the motivation the end result remains the same: pure awesomeness.
In fact, “The Diving Bell vs. The Butter-Glider” is an episode that is so ridiculous it’s “awesome.” Think about it: The Monarch is obsessed with an inanimate, butterfly-shaped glider, Dr. Venture doesn’t say a single word during the entire episode, Sergeant Hatred is emasculated and silenced, Brock takes the boys on a journey inside the human body, and the episode’s plot exemplifies the very best of Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick’s ability to weave together a series of seemingly unrelated events into a sequence of serendipitous occurrences that coalesce into an episode that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Of course, I know that what Venture Bros. fans really want are the lyrics to The Monarch’s Butter-Glider song, so instead of pontificating further on the mid-season premiere, I’ve included the lyrics to what I like to call “Butter-Gliding”:
On your metal wings, astride.
With your glistening extra parts, you glide.
It’s just you and I up here.
Santa got it wrong with his eight reindeer.
No more hiding things that are wonderful.
I’m butter-crying to be heard over petty jealousy.
Let’s make love, butter-glider.
Let’s find a way to grind.
And all our hot butter babies will fly to the moon.
The Venture Bros. episode 4.10, “Pomp & Circuitry,” aired on Adult Swim on Sept. 19th. The next episode will air at 11:30 pm (EST) on Adult Swim on Sunday, Sept. 26th.
Best Quote: [Hank to Sgt. Hatred] “I’m out of gun food!”
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars