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Rick and Morty Delivers Spy Drama Susan Sarandon and a Pickle Mech

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first_img Toy Tuesday: The Schwiftiest ‘Rick & Morty’ ToysTop Movie and TV Trailers to Watch From SDCC 2019 Going in, we knew this episode would be weird. It’s called “Pickle Rick.” And all the promos for it showed that Rick has turned himself into a pickle. He’s PICKLE RIIIIIIIICK! Along with Morty, we’re all wondering why exactly he decided to turn himself into a pickle, but Rick tells his grandson to stop looking for extra layers. He transformed himself into a pickle just because he could. No other reason. Of course, given the tone season, three has established we know that’s not at all true. The rest of the family catches on pretty quickly that Rick has turned himself into a pickle to get out of family counseling.Morty notices a Rube Goldberg machine set to go off 10 minutes after the family would be gone that would inject him with (probably) anti-pickle serum. When he denies that the serum would turn him back into a human, Beth takes it to counseling, since it obviously isn’t important. That gets us to the point where the episode can really begin. Rick is stuck as a pickle, and the rest of the family is stuck in therapy. What follows is nearly half an hour of violence, gross-out humor and running from feelings.Two episodes in (three, counting the premiere back in April), a theme is emerging in this season of Rick and Morty. Where other cartoons would try to restore the status quo as soon as possible, Rick and Morty is forcing its characters to deal with the consequences of having Rick in their lives. Last week saw the kids working through their anger in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. This time, they’re going to therapy. While Morty and Summer seem game, it quickly becomes clear that Beth is avoiding counseling nearly as much as Rick is. We learn that this was recommended by the school after Morty peed himself in class and Summer was caught huffing enamel.(Via Adult Swim)The Susan Sarandon-voiced Dr. Wong (Beth: “racist name, by the way”) turns out to be very good at her job. She immediately recognizes that the kids’ problems are symptoms of larger issues at home. And wouldn’t you know it, their troubles and insecurities revolve around Rick. I appreciate that this season is going deep in exploring the consequences of having someone like Rick around. It would be easy for the season to continually rehash the family struggling with divorce, episode after episode, but the Smith/Sanchez family’s problems go beyond that. Beth keeps trying to use the therapy as discipline for her children, but the therapist isn’t letting that happen. Dr. Wong keeps bringing the conversation back around to her issues as well as Summer’s and Morty’s.Meanwhile, Pickle Rick’s life turned into an action movie. After a cat knocked him into the driveway, and a rainstorm carries him into a sewer, Rick needs to find a way to move again. He kills a cockroach and stimulates its brain to get around the sewer, and soon he moves on to rats. Rick harvests rat body parts to build an organic mech suit, brutally slaughtering every rat in the sewers. The carnage continues when he exits the sewers into an unnamed foreign embassy who’s up to some shady stuff. When they refuse to let him leave, he murders all of them with complicated traps and lasers. They even sick a prisoner named Jaguar on him, promising to release Jaguar’s daughter, if he kills the pickle. All this provides a fun, violent contrast to the real emotional problems the rest of the family is dealing with.(Via Adult Swim)Rick and Jaguar team up once they realize that Jaguar’s daughter has actually been dead the whole time. Working together, they escape via helicopter and blow up the facility. It’s a bloody, brutal and funny sequence, but it’s all in service of Rick running away from his feelings. Even when Jaguar tells Rick he hopes he gets back to his daughter; Rick brags that he has infinite daughters. He constantly reminds himself and everyone around him how expendable his family is, but he keeps going back to them anyway. Maybe he’s not entirely over the fact that he abandoned his actual daughter to a Cronenberg apocalypse.In any case, he has to go back to therapy, if only to get the anti-pickle serum. While there, Dr. Wong does some real work with him. She rightly points out that he constantly puts himself in danger to distract from the real work of maintaining a relationship with his family. Rick clearly recognizes that he needs them because he goes to such great lengths to keep them around. He just doesn’t want to put in the work of maintaining real relationships with them. Because it’s not fun or exciting, it’s just necessary. Rick is a genius. He can turn himself into a pickle and still invent elaborate ways to kill people. What he can’t (or doesn’t want to) figure out is how to connect with his family.(Via Adults Swim)Of course, it wouldn’t be Rick and Morty if it didn’t follow up half an hour of violence and hilarity with a gut punch. The counseling helped Morty and Summer, to the point where they’re eager to go back. Rick and Beth, however, are too uncomfortable exploring their issues to listen. While Rick and Summer grow ever more insistent on going back, Rick and Beth deliberately ignore them, and plan to go out for a drink later. God, that’s a depressing note to go out on. At least the post-credits scene where Jaguar saves Rick and Morty from the death piano in the opening credits was funny. For the second week in a row, Rick and Morty delivers real emotional storytelling perfectly mixed with weird, often disgusting, belly laugh-inducing comedy. Not every show can master such a delicate balance in tone. And certainly, not every show can turn such a stupid premise (PICKLE RIIIIIIICK!) into a compelling episode. God, I never want this season to end.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more

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