31st Aug2015

‘Rick and Morty 2×06: The Ricks Must Be Crazy’ Review

by Gretchen Felker-Martin

“So he made a universe, and that guy is from that universe, and that guy made a universe, and that’s the universe where I was born? Where my father died? Where I couldn’t make time for his funeral because I was working…on my universe.”

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‘The Ricks Must Be Crazy’ is an object lesson in the raw insanity to be found in virtually any corner of the Rick and Morty universe. The show’s multiverse is one of the strongest in contemporary science fiction because not only does it posit its own bottomlessness, it’s unafraid to explore that same wild expanse. In this case the wild expanse in question is the pocket universe(or microverse) Rick brought into being and duped into electricity-producing slavery in order to power his car.

“Wait for the ramp, Morty,” Rick says of his dimensional capsule’s boarding ramp, waiting to make his grand re-entry to a world he created as a slave labor camp. “They love the slow ramp. It really gets their dicks hard, when they see this ramp just…slowly extending down.” The rest of his approach to the world to which he served as God is characteristically flippant, and his immunity to hypocrisy as he uses Morty’s own arguments about slavery and inhumanity in an attempt to break his rival Zeep Xanflorp(Stephen Colbert) is crisply presented. The whole episode clips along at a dense pace appropriate to the nested worlds, repeated gags, and sudden twists. The third alien down, a child of Zeep’s pet project in his own pocket universe(miniverse), stares numbly at Rick and Zeep beating one another as the full weight of his own bizarre existence crashes down on him. He is nothing. Sand on an endless beach. Suicide is the only rational answer.

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Zeep’s and Rick’s irrational rivalry after the alien’s suicide strands them in the third pocket universe(tinyverse) feels like a series of underdeveloped mini-sketches, but it’s too short to derail the episode and Roiland and Colbert have great chemistry together. Morty’s months among the tree people provides the spark for the wonderful universe-hopping escape sequence as he leaves Rick and Zeep to their devices out of disgust but finds life with the tree people infinitely worse. It turns out the natives he stopped Rick from mocking are in fact backwards idolaters who eat every third baby because they believe it makes fruit grow bigger. “You guys are the fucking worst!” Morty shouts at them in the moment before he teleports out with Rick and Zeep. “Your gods are a lie, fuck you, fuck nature, and fuck trees!”

Summer’s B-plot with Rick’s car is absolute soul-scathing horror. Told to keep Summer safe, the car slices an aggressive pediatrician into bite-sized chunks, paralyzes a terrified onlooker when Summer pleads with it not to kill anyone else, resurrects and then dissolves a responding officer’s long-dead son when asked not to physically harm anyone, and finally brokers a peace treaty between humanity and the race of telepathic spider people native to the version of Earth where Summer, Rick, and Morty went to see a Ball Fondlers movie and get some really good ice cream after Summer forbids it from using any form of aggression. That Rick and Morty come back from their adventure and immediately start in berating her for ruining ice cream because the president ordered flies mixed into it is a lovely cap on a deranged outing. The runner, though, is really and truly bizarre. There’s a scene mid-way through the dimensional chase where Rick harangues Morty in an attempt to get him to “transform into a car,” claiming he baked nanobots into his grandson’s DNA for just such an occasion.

I had even money Rick was just fucking with Morty, and then he transforms without warning into a sedan in the middle of class, killing a fellow student instantly. That’s good TV.

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