Rick and Morty fans rejoice! Everyone’s favourite Jerry is back!
That’s right, it’s Rick and Jerry time! After a two week hiatus, everyone’s favourite loser returns in a featured role that explores just how much of a loser he really is.
Pairing Rick and Jerry together for an adventure was always going to make for a great episode. These two are polar opposites: Rick is a supremely confident and overpowered super-genius and Jerry is spineless flip-flopper, whose life is completely worthless.
The episode begins by showing just how sad Jerry’s life has become since his divorce, complete with over-the-top sad music. Rick soon bursts in to kidnap Jerry for an adventure which turns out to be a fake ruse that Morty has asked Rick to undertake.
What’s amazing about this is that Rick agrees to it in the first place. Morty’s value to Rick seems to keep rising and this episode continually highlights Morty’s growing maturity and confidence. This makes him probably the only member of the family that Rick is influencing in a good way. At least at this point in time.
Rick takes Jerry to a Westworld-inspired theme park, where you can’t die due to an immortality field, so the main fun activity is killing each other. Isn’t that what all kids dream of? The idea is that this is the safest place to take Jerry and things can’t go wrong.
But of course, they do go wrong, and it isn’t long at all before Jerry betrays Rick and almost has him killed just because his feelings get a bit hurt. The reason that Rick survives is, well, firstly he’s a seriously overpowered badass, but also because Jerry flip flops again and can’t go through with it.
This does lead to the immortality field coming down, and we see one of the show’s darkest ever jokes played out when a little kid shoots his sister dead. Ouch! There’s no time to dwell on it because this is Rick and Morty, where the action and jokes are packed in one after another before you really even have time to process them.
Rick is pretty pissed off at Jerry at this point
Not badly enough to kill him (since that would upset Morty and that would be inconvenient for Rick), but he does break down just how pathetic Jerry is (“You act like prey, but you’re a predator. You use pity to lure in your victims, it’s how you survive”). Ouch again!
This is a pretty low moment for Jerry but it might also be the start of his rebirth. Maybe he’ll stop relying on pity to survive.
By the end of the episode, Jerry kind-of saves Rick again, but not before the two of them and our villain Risotto Groupon (where do they keep coming up with these brilliant names??) go through a wormhole unprotected, triggering one of the most trippy scenes I’ve ever seen on TV (not too dissimilar to some of the scenes in Mortynight Run). Only an animated show could pull something like this off and I’m so grateful that they did!
Our secondary plot shows Summer going through the pain of a teenage break up and trying to use one of Rick’s machines to enlarge her breasts. (I’d hate to think what I’d use it for). Of course, it all goes wrong and she ends up as an inside-out giant.
It’s up to Beth and Morty to save the day but, as Morty points out, Beth is just as much of an asshole as Rick, needing to prove a point instead of just doing the right thing. She tries to save Summer on her own, instead of asking Rick for help, and of course, just makes things worth. This is accentuated by a brilliant customer service gag, where three tiny creatures trick Beth into releasing them from the machine.
With a bit of Morty’s help (“Kissing Rick’s ass isn’t going to keep him around Mum, but it will help you lose everyone else”), Beth saves the day, by turning herself into the same beast as Summer to show her how much she cares.
Things turn dark when Morty decides to get revenge on Ethan for messing with Summer’s body image by Cronenberg-ing him. This is quite out of character for the normally passive Morty and it’s interesting how the show is turning him into the voice of reason this season, whilst allowing his darker instincts to come out.
Overall, another solid Rick and Morty episode, and further evidence of the positive effect that adding female writers to the show has had. We aren’t just re-doing the gags from the first two seasons, the Smith/Sanchez family dynamic has changed, and it’s fascinating to see how each of its members are being affected.
Are we heading towards reconciliation between Beth and Jerry? There’s only so much time we can spend on the divorce and its effects and we can’t wait to see where things end up going.