When your father-in-law drags you naked, kicking, and screaming out of your ramshackle apartment in the middle of the night, it’s natural to think it can’t be for any good reason. Jerry Smith assumes he’s being murdered, and he meekly gives in. But this is Rick and Morty, where things often don’t make any sense. Rick explains that when Morty gets emotional, it impedes his work, so Morty asked Rick to take Jerry out to give him “a win” in a “Rick and Jerry adventure.”
Rick takes Jerry to a “super fancy” resort that’s covered in an immortality field (remember the domed place we spotted in the Season 3 trailer?). “That’s the gimmick.” That’s also exactly how Rick gets that weird, blood-stained circle on his shirt. He and a “friend” kill each other almost immediately when Rick and Jerry first arrive, but it’s all in good fun. There’s even a couple little alien children running around shooting each other in the head. Dark AF.
Death Is Meaningless in an Endless Universe
Rick and Jerry actually “die” several times over this episode, but the immortality field reverses any damage, including decapitation and other extremes. But it hardly matters because Rick and Jerry spend the first half of their “adventure” just drinking at the bar.
But when Jerry gets shredded by an extreme bathroom hand dryer in reverse, he’s recruited by a group of aliens that want to kill Rick. Why? Because he’s the arms dealer that supplied their enemies.
The only chance to kill Rick in this place is in the tiny section of the titular “Whirly Dirly” roller coaster that dips outside the immortality field. The impending brawl aboard the coaster spurs Rick and Jerry to confess and accept their mutual negative feelings towards one another. Did Rick sabotage Jerry and Beth’s relationships? Yep. Is Jerry actively trying to get Rick killed? Sort of. But can you really blame either of them?
Rick spends most of the episode straddling a line between genuine honesty and just trying to have a good time. There’s plenty of both to go around.
Is Rick Getting Nicer?
It’s surprising that Rick would even consider doing Morty the favor of taking Jerry out in the first place, especially considering his disdain for Jerry. Insanely enough, the actual Rick takes Jerry on this adventure (and not some crazy doppelganger robot). The fact that Rick would do this favor for Morty confirms what was implicit in the “Vindicators” episode last week: somehow this jerk of a grandfather loves Morty.
But it’s not all tender, loving moments.
Remember when Rick called Season 3 the “darkest year” of their adventures yet? Well when Rick and Jerry get into a scrap with the would-be assassins on the Whirly Dirly, they wind up destroying both the coaster and the immortality field surrounding the resort. Remember the two little kids, giggling and murdering one another on repeat? When the field goes down, the first thing we see is one child murdering its sibling … for good.
Yeah, Rick and Jerry make it back, but not before a final battle with the leader that wanted to kill Rick. Somehow, they all wind up experiencing a trippy sequence that fuses their souls with all of time and space. It’s as bewildering and acid-trippy as it sounds.
But there are literally bigger things happening back on Earth.
Summer’s Dealing With Some Big Issues
In the B-plot, Morty does his best to just have a normal day. But after Summer’s dumped for a girl with a bigger bust, she tries to use one of Rick’s machines to increase the size of her own. Nothing goes well. Morty, of all people, makes intelligent and informed decisions; He immediately wants to call Rick to fix things. Beth just stubbornly wants to handle herself, impress her father, and get her own “win.” (When we first see her this episode, she’s assembling a “sculpture” out of horse hooves and spare horse parts she stole from work.) It’s a delight to see Morty call her out on her bullshit.
Beth, in typical fashion, rushes into decisions without thinking critically about her own situation. When an option on the machine says “Reverse” she immediately commits to it, assuming it will “reverse” the damage. But Morty knows Rick and this insane world better, and it literally “reverses” Summer’s skin which causes her to run away.
It’s also Morty that figures out where Summer might go: to crash the camping trip her ex is on with his new girlfriend. There, Beth has Morty blow up and reverse her too. Here, Rick and Morty becomes Honey, I Blew Up the Kid … but also, Attack on Titan?
Ultimately, things go back to the status quo, with Jerry locked outside and the rest of his family safely, and happily, inside their house.
After all of this craziness, even Rick’s going to need a bit of a rest in next week’s “Rest and Ricklaxation.”
Rick and Morty Season 3 continues Sundays on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.