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whip sth into shape

Assassinanny 911

"Assassinanny 911" is an episode of the animated television series The Venture Bros., the third episode of the second season. Molotov Cocktease returns and is both an assassin and the "nanny" in "Assassinanny."

Plot

The episode starts with a flashback to Brock Samson's first day at the Office of Secret Intelligence (OSI) 21 years ago. The man responsible for training Samson to become an agent is Colonel Hunter Gathers, who strongly resembles Hunter S. Thompson, Nick Fury, and Rambo's commanding officer Col. Samuel Trautman.

In the present day, Brock calls on the mercenary Molotov Cocktease to watch over the Ventures while he carries out a field mission for OSI. Although "Mol" feels both respect and attraction for Brock, she makes no secret of her contempt for the Ventures and what she perceives as Brock's role in babysitting them. She begs Brock to abandon his duties so they can become a mercenary team, but he refuses. After Brock leaves in a black limousine, Molotov icily explains to the Ventures that she plans to whip them into shape. Hank, enchanted by the shapely assassin, looks joyous while Dean looks apprehensive and Dr. Venture nervously swallows a "diet pill."

Inside the limo, Brock is greeted by a handler who explains the upcoming mission. Brock is surprised to learn that he is to track down and kill his mentor Hunter, who has gone AWOL with $40 million of the agency's money and a head full of secret information. After Brock reluctantly accepts the mission, the handler wishes him good luck and jumps from the speeding limo, followed quickly by the driver. Brock calmly fastens his seat belt as the vehicle hurtles off a pier and into the water. He unhurriedly swims from the sunken car towards a waiting submarine.

At the compound, Cocktease teaches the Ventures survival techniques by casually firing a submachine gun at them as they awkwardly scatter.

Inside the sub, an officer with a British accent briefs Brock further on the mission while Brock finishes a meal of lobster and vintage champagne. Colonel Gathers was last traced to Macronesia after abducting a prominent plastic surgeon. When Brock, now wearing an elegant tuxedo, asks how he will reach Macronesia, the officer indicates what appears to be a torpedo.

Molotov commands the boys to spar with each other after a brief discussion of martial arts techniques. After Dean knocks Hank down with a surprise punch, Hank stabs Dean in the foot with a pencil. While Mol simultaneously praises and scolds Hank, warning alarms begin to sound. Brock, via communicator watch, tells Molotov that he forgot to mention the Native American ghosts that haunt the compound (which is, of course, built on a burial ground); Dr. Orpheus should be able to clear it up.

Brock disconnects and dons a pair of goggles as the missile-like projectile he is inside splits open with a blast. He inflates his tux into a giant sphere and splashes down in the ocean, steering himself towards a nearby island with a small propeller.

Dr. Orpheus' brief introduction to Molotov after banishing the restless spirits is cut short by jealous Hank, who tries to hurry Orpheus out the door. Venture offers her a "nightcap" of cooking sherry, which Cocktease pointedly ignores; to his dismay, however, Orpheus accepts the invitation.

Brock reaches "Hoolang Beach" and his scheduled rendezvous with a native woman working for the Government. In true James Bond style, they decide to pass the time with sex before continuing the mission.

Another flashback reveals Brock and Hunter in disguise atop a Parisian rooftop. Gathers discusses "the rules" of assassination with Brock: first and foremost, no women, no children. There are no exceptions, even for female enemy agents. Brock suddenly spots a woman on an opposing rooftop... and she is none other than Molotov, with both eyes intact.

At the compound, the boys' training regimen continues. Molotov orders Hank to swim fifty laps, which he begins enthusiastically, and tosses a knife and GRU Spetsnaz manual to Dean. She goes to her guest room, whose windows look into the pool. Dr. Venture enters and apologizes for his earlier advances. Outside, Triana Orpheus and Kim, her friend, drop by to swim. As Dean begins describing their ordeal to the girls, Hank dives to the bottom of the pool, where he looks in on Molotov and Venture. Hank sees Molotov smiling at his father, and jumps to the conclusion that they are flirting. Still underwater, Hank screams in anguish... and then grabs his throat and sinks. Dean finally notices his brother at the bottom of the pool, dives in and knocks at the window to get Molotov and Venture's attention. As Molotov administers the breath of life to Hank, he attempts to turn the situation into a tongue kiss. Revolted by his "milk breath," Cocktease stalks away. Meanwhile Dean points out that Hank's swim trunks must be haunted by the aforementioned Native American ghosts, as Hank now has a "teepee in his pants".

Back in Macronesia, Brock tries to wake the native woman. As he shakes her, he sees a message scrawled in red across her stomach: "No more secrets. -H." Brock concludes in disappointment that his mentor has indeed turned, presuming that the Girl is dead. He quietly departs; seconds later, the woman sits up and groggily asks what time it is.

As a robe-wearing Molotov heads towards the bathroom for a shower, she notices Brock's room and enters. At the same time, Hank finds her discarded clothing in the guest room. Cocktease enters a flashback of her own, which takes place shortly after Brock confronted her in Paris. In what seems to be a recurring theme in their meetings, they alternate between combat and foreplay; she ultimately leaves him pinned to a bed in a burning room after stabbing him with the needles in her boots.

Hank accidentally triggers the blade in one of Mol's boots. It jabs him in the neck and induces a hallucination in which Cocktease seductively tells him that Dr. Venture is keeping them from being together; killing his father, she coos, is "the only way." In a daze, he grabs a machete mounted on the wall and staggers down the hallway. The ensuing scene alternates between Hank's patricidal stalking of his father and Brock nearing his target.

In Macronesia, Brock enters what appears to be the ruins of an abandoned temple, in which a makeshift operating theater has been created. Hank lumbers into the laboratory, where Venture hunches over a microscope. As Brock discovers Hunter, unconscious on an operating table, Hank menacingly approaches his father. Molotov bursts into the lab to stop Hank as the surgeon begs Brock to leave Hunter in peace. After a brief pause, Hank charges and shadows on the wall show him repeatedly striking Venture's head with the machete.

The plastic surgeon reads Brock a note from Hunter stating that he was tired of the "secrets and lies." Unmoved, Brock rips back the sheet for the kill...but finds that his mentor had disappeared in order to have a sex-change operation, which protects Hunter behind the OSI's "No Women, No Children" code of conduct; after angrily slapping the plastic surgeon, he decides to be merciful. After one last check under the sheet (and a resulting shiver of revulsion), Brock leaves Hunter to start the new life he had sought.

After the credits, Brock says his farewells to Molotov as Dean and an unscathed Dr. Venture look on. As Molotov speeds away, Brock asks Venture where Hank is. Venture explains that Hank is grounded after hitting him with a papier-mâché sword, peeing his pants and passing out. From his room, Hank tearfully watches Cocktease's departure and presses his hand to the window.

Cultural references

  • This episode features numerous homages to James Bond, to whom Brock is obviously linked as a secret agent with a license to kill.
    • The beach scene in which Brock meets the native girl is from Dr. No.
    • Brock is picked up by a submarine much like Bond was in the 1967 film You Only Live Twice.
    • When Brock attempts to awaken the native girl he slept with, he mistakenly believes she is dead. This is similar to a scene in You Only Live Twice in which Bond attempts to awaken a Japanese operative he has slept with, only to discover that she was dead, mistakenly killed in his stead.
    • The music heard when Brock motors to Col. Gathers' island is reminiscent of James Bond's signature music.
  • When Brock emerges from the training pool atop the hammerhead shark, it has a diving air tank in its mouth in a reference to the end of the first Jaws film.
  • Dean and Hank's sparring outfits resemble costumes used in The Karate Kid. Dean taunting Hank with "Who da master?" and Hank's reply of "Sho'nuff!" are references to The Last Dragon.
  • The scene with Dr. Venture sneaking up on Molotov while she puts toilet paper in a briefcase is a joke on the myth about Russian toilet paper being uncomfortable.
  • While hallucinating that he must kill Dr. Venture, Hank quotes The Doors' song "The End" ("Father... Yes, son? I want to kill you... Mother, I want to..."). This song was also used prominently in Apocalypse Now which the scene also mimics.
  • The scene in which Brock repeatedly slaps the doctor, who cries out with every strike "Your mother! Your father!" culminating in "He's your mother and your father!" and a breakdown into tears is a spoof of one of the final scenes in Chinatown in which a character is forced to admit that her sister is in fact also her daughter.
  • The episode's title combines the word "assassin" (referring to Molotov) and the FOX reality series Nanny 911.
  • When Brock salutes Hunter, he said "Leave that...at Biloxi". Biloxi, Mississippi is the home of a famous army basic training camp where the Neil Simon play Biloxi Blues takes place. The "...little John-John crap..." references J.F.K. Jr.'s salute to John F. Kennedy's casket.
  • The character "Hunter" is a homage to Hunter S. Thompson, mirroring gonzo journalist's appearance, mannerisms and personality; his manner of speaking is especially "Thompsonesque" with clipped, rapid speech peppered with bizarre phrases.
  • The Ventures' compound being built on an "Indian burial ground", and the resulting inconveniences, hearkens to the familiar, and frequently satirized, horror film trope featured in movies like The Amityville Horror, The Shining and Poltergeist.
  • The flashback of Brock's training with Hunter is an allusion to the sniper scene in Leon the Professional. Hunter takes one of Leon's lines "no women, no children".

Connections to other episodes

  • The Manaconda attack is another in a series of unexpected attacks by freakish creatures hidden away in the bowels of the X-1.
  • Brock has wounded women in some of his rampages, for example the female victims in the multiplex in "Return to Spider-Skull Island" (though they were accidental).. Hunter mentions that non-fatal take-downs are tolerable.
  • Hank waking Molotov only to be choked is similar to a scene in the episode "Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!" in which Hank did the same thing with Brock, with the same results.
  • This episode serves as an explanation as to some of the romantic and troubled history between Molotov and Samson, as first alluded to frequently in "The Incredible Mr. Brisby".
  • Hank's assault on his father, who he perceives stands in his way with a sexual relationship with Molotov, is a reference to the Oedipus complex his father mentioned in "Home Insecurity". In fact, Hank even voices The Killer's Oedipal declaration from "The End" as mentioned above.

Production notes

  • The scene where Molotov cuts the "manaconda" in half, followed by babies crawling out of its corpse, is recycled material that Publick was forced to cut from the pilot episode, in which Brock would have done the same to an alligator. Publick mentioned the idea and cut sequence in the season 1 DVD commentary.
  • 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 "Assassinanny 911" the credit reads Kimson "Who Da Masta?" Albert.

Goofs

  • When Brock learns that his "target" is Hunter, a brief shot of the folder's contents is displayed. The entire image is backwards, including text.
  • When Molotov is calling Brock about the Native American ghosts, Dean's wound is shown on his right foot although Hank stabbed his left.
  • Doctor Venture seems to bleed onto the left side of his shirt, then it's only his right then both from there after.
  • The surgeon's glasses are knocked off his face when Brock slaps him, and there is a clear sound of breaking glass. When he looks up after Brock stabs the operating table, his glasses are back in place and undamaged.
  • Kim appears to know Hank in this episode (calling him "the Scooby-Doo kid"), although she doesn't seem to recognize him in the later episode "Victor. Echo. November."
    • Publick has since mentioned that the episodes were aired in a different order than written. Had the episodes aired in the order they had been written, the events of "Victor. Echo. November." would have taken place before this episode. In fact, on the Season 2 DVD, "Victor. Echo. November" comes before "Assassinanny 911".
  • When the surgeon stops Brock from killing his mentor, the sheets are already pulled and his breasts implants are visible. But, when the scene returns, the sheet is covering the implants.

Brock covers it they show himm moving it back.

  • The subtitles for Molotov's "Serpentine! Serpentine!" sequence incorrectly display "Stop and think! Stop and think!"

References

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