The theme of Rick & Morty’s third season is turning out to be the consequences of Rick Sanchez’ interdimensional adventures on his family. So far this season, we’ve seen Morty and Summer vent frustrations about their parents’ divorce in a Mad Max-style post-apocalypse, Rick proving he’d rather die as a rat/pickle hybrid than go to therapy with his family, and Morty watching Rick drunkenly dismantle more of his heroes in front of his eyes. This week, the pendulem of chaos swings back to Jerry – now living in a bachelor apartment and crying over a microwave – as Rick picks him up for a RICK AND JERRY EPISOOOOODE! Let’s dive in!
The most fragile being in the universe
Rick drags Jerry out of bed with no pants to go on a pity adventure that would make Morty feel better about Jerry and Beth’s divorce. Jerry sees right through Rick’s attempt right before they end up at a family resort covered in an immortality field. Think of the venting of The Purge mixed with the high-class access of WestWorld and you might just be able to accept little children being shot in the face. “The perfect place to bring the most fragile being in the universe,” Jerry says of himself, hoping Rick will correct him.
Back on Earth, Summer is feeling down about her looks after her boyfriend Ethan dumps her for a girl with bigger breasts, and Beth is too buried in a collage of horse hooves to care about it. Summer runs to the garage to use the Morphizer-XE to go up a few cup sizes, but winds up busting through the garage when her body grows too large. “Boob-yah” shouldn’t be as funny as it is.
The first Whirly and the third Dirly
Just as Jerry’s beginning to enjoy himself, he’s sucked through the hand dryer by the assistant manager Rezoto Groupon, who offers Jerry the chance to kill Rick: there’s a little space at the top of a roller coaster called the Whirly Dirly that the immortality field doesn’t reach, and if Jerry can get Rick up there, Groupon would take him out. All the energy is sucked out of the room when he puts on a party hat to deliver a Nuzzy Guzzy Fresh & Fluzzy Special, but Jerry convinces Rick to take a ride on the Whirly Dirly. Before the ride starts, Rick admits to Jerry that he sabotaged he and Beth’s marriage, which leads Jerry to have a change of heart and a kickass fight on the Whirly Dirly that destroys the immortality field and strands Rick and Jerry in the wilderness. The sting of the scene is one of the children running around gets shot, but doesn’t come back. Rough.
Back on Earth, Beth is trying to prove that she doesn’t need Rick by thinking she can turn a now building-sized Summer back to normal, despite Morty insisting that they just call Rick. Beth winds up turning Summer’s skin inside out, turning her into a giant sack of meat not unlike the Massive Titan from Attack On Titan. Morty tried to get a break from “Rick shit” but his mom’s overconfidence dragged him into yet another adventure. Their neighbor Gene never stood a chance.
“Your s’more is burning”
Rick mangles a wild creature to take he and Jerry to a galactic cruise ship to get back to Earth. Before they board, Rick is inserted with a mind dampener since he’s the most dangerous being in the universe and Jerry briefly enjoys having domain over a Rick who wants “cookies and a 90-minute cut of Avatar.” Groupon manages to find them and almost kills Rick, but entering a wormhole causes the three to meld minds in a sequence that’s trippy even by Rick & Morty standards. Rick kills Groupon anyway, and he and Jerry make it back to Earth.
Summer manages to run away from the garage, and after an argument about whether or not calling your daughter hot is wrong or not, Morty and Beth track her to the woods where Ethan was supposed to take her. Beth uses the machine to grow large and inside-out and teach Summer a lesson about body positivity that also doubles as a monster fight in the middle of the woods. Only a show like Rick & Morty could make a moment like that touching. Taking yet another page out of Rick’s book, Morty permanently disfigures Ethan for messing with his sister’s emotions. Rick and Jerry swear to keep their respective secrets (Jerry tried to kill Rick, Rick sabotaged their marriage). The family (minus Jerry) reunites after their long days and Jerry slinks back to his apartment.
The whole family is getting in on Rick’s adventures this season, and it’s affecting each of them in different ways. Morty slowly but surely embracing his inner Rick by revenge growing Ethan is in tune with all of the crap Morty had to fix last week; Summer is getting used to Rick’s crazy inventions to the point she sort of knows how to use them; Beth has accepted that she wants her father’s approval and her attempts to prove that she doesn’t need him are making her more like him; Jerry and Rick bonded on that cruiser, but neither will ever admit it to the family. As far as the show’s initial mix of high concept sci-fi craziness mixed with a deconstruction of the archetypal science adventures story, “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy” reaches classic Rick & Morty heights that even Pickle Rick couldn’t quite hit.