It’s time to go deep on “Get Schwifty.” Rick and Morty is no stranger to aggressively profound moments, ones which make its viewers sit back and think, “Woah, dude.” A new video from the minds at Wisecrack posits that Season 2’s “Get Schwifty” goes further through the philosophical portal than usual.
“[‘Get Schwifty’] could be read as a scathing indictment of religion, about the arbitrary nature of faith and its ceremonies. Like, on ‘Ascension Day’ the Headists send ‘unwantables’ to the gods, which bears a striking resemblance to the crucifixion of Christ,” the video explains. “Instead, what is presented is something much more complex.”
For those in need of a refresher on “Get Schwifty” — since the episode premiered August 25, 2015 — here’s a quick reminder of what went down: A race of giant head-like aliens called Cromulons invaded the Earth, demanding of the planet, “Show me what you got!” at the risk of annihilation. Rick and Morty — knowledgeable as they are — were recruited by the U.S. government to create a hit song to appease the Cromulons and win an American Idol-type reality show against other planets, putting the Earth’s fate in the hands of a genius drunkard and his floppy grandson.
But that’s the A-plot. The B-plot of “Get Schwifty” is where the Wisecrack video places its focus. That’s where the real mind-blowing shit occurs.
“Our first reaction was, like many people, to just see the episode as a big joke at organized religion’s expense,” Alec Opperman, a member of Wisecrack’s content team, told Inverse in an email. “One of our writers suggested we explore logical fallacies in “Get Schwifty,” and everything followed from there.”
The video, “The Philosophy of Get Schwifty (Rick and Morty),” poses that the episode’s B-plot (Jerry, Beth, and Summer joining a religious cult, dubbed “Headism,” that worships the giant heads) is actually taking aim at the belief structures behind religion, not religion itself.
Obviously, Rick and Morty is more than happy to fuck with religion. No one’s ever accused Rick of being devoted to anything other than booze, science, and his grandson. But, while Rick’s not really into that whole organized religion thing, the writers of Rick and Morty certainly seem to be into philosophy.
Two common logical fallacies are explored in the video: correlation vs. causation. Statistics states that “correlation does not imply causation,” meaning a correlation between two things does not imply that one causes the other. In the case of “Get Schwifty,” this rule means that just because the Cromulons react in time to the Headists’s activities does not mean it’s in reaction to those activities.
After outlining the main problem philosophy has with religion in general, the video dives into more complicated logical fallacies, such as when Principal Vagina falls privy to the Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy, which is Latin for: “With this, therefore because of this.”
“People don’t just fall into silly beliefs out of pure irrationality,” the video says. “Rather, they over-rationalize their thinking to the point of absurdity,” and that’s where some of the world’s greatest oddities come from. Confirmation bias is very much a thing that influences everything in our lives from the news we consume to the belief systems we’re willing to think about and follow, such as Headism.
“We started with the idea of ‘post hoc fallacies,’ and then found the episode had a really rich depiction of how people come to believe in nonsense,” Opperman said. “It’s not something unique to religion, we’re all prone to things like confirmation bias and logical fallacies. Rick and Morty teases us with this idea in the snake gag. The viewer had been assuming Rick could turn people into snakes, only to learn it was a sleight of hand. This parallels the logical leap that the Headists make in assuming the giant heads are responding to their prayers.”
The, like, depth of all this is a lot to handle, Morty. And while it’s easy to get lost in the groovy beats of “Get Schwifty” and view Rick and Morty on a surface level, it’s clearly worthwhile to dig a little deeper sometimes.
Rick and Morty Season 3, as we’re getting tired of saying, does not currently have a premiere date set.