Hot off the heels of the emotional Episode 2 (“The Old Man and the Seat”), “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty” is a very welcome shift in tone. With plenty of Ocean’s Eleven jabs and comments at the expense of heist fans, Episode 3 delivers on a fun and fresh adventure. So, let’s break down this episode! *Obviously there’s spoilers, duh.*
Having arrived at an ancient temple, Rick and Morty put on their ‘booby-suits’ and prepare to rob the temple of its riches (a la Indiana Jones). Once inside, they discover that the tomb has already been raided, and the treasure is gone (a crystal that Rick needs to split tachyons). Left behind is a small origami swan, the calling card for ‘heist artist’ Miles Knightley. Rick then declares that the adventure is ruined and they are going to chase down Miles. They leave the crypt, and arrive at ‘Heist Con’ (a heist artist’s Comic Con). It’s Miles’ convention where fans of his heists or heists in general, can see panels, perform interactive heists, and feel like a super spy. Rick tries to portal his way in, but ends up electrocuting Morty in the process. The woman at the ticket booth says they need a crew to get in. Rick then grabs Morty, and does a ‘heist-style’ montage of putting his crew together. This crew includes Glar, Angie Flint, and Truckula. They arrive at the convention, ready to pull off a heist, but Rick explains he just needed them to get in. He confronts Miles in the main panel room, in front of a huge crowd. Miles challenges Rick to a ‘Heist-Off’ of the Crystal Skull of Horowitz, to which Rick accepts. Miles then reveals that ‘Knightley’s Nine’ includes Glar, Angie Flint, and Truckula. He also reveals that they’ve already heisted the crystal skull. Rick then reveals that he chose those three because of their likelihood to betray him, using a machine called HeistaTron. Another flashback montage occurs, showing that Rick swapped out the crystal skull from Miles’ bag (using mind control on Glar, Angie, and Truckula). Rick pulls out the real crystal skull, while Miles reaches into his bag (which Rick filled with poop).
After Miles has been heisted, Rick tells HeistaTron to shut down. Having gained sentience, it refuses, and tries to infect Rick and Morty with its mind control darts. Morty is hit, but Rick is not, and he escapes with Morty (giving him a serum to stop the mind control) from the Heist Con. Rick and Morty retreat back to their home, with Rick’s new plan being to create a ‘RandoTron’ to cancel out HeistaTron’s inevitable plans. Rick does another crew assembly montage, but this time he recruits Ventriloquiver, Hephaestus, Professor Mr. Poopybutthole, and Elon Tusk (voiced by the actual Elon Musk). Rick reveals he’s chosen the crew at random, and that they will all be taking orders from RandoTron. After an astrological observation from Ventriloquiver, Rick realizes that they’ve already been heisted, and that the sky is a recorded sky on playback. HeistaTron is now powerful enough to heist entire planets, which is what happened to Earth. In a big final battle, Rick confronts HeistaTron (who actually turns out to be RandoTron), and reveals that he’ll explode after nine reveals. In the final moments of the episode, HeistaTron is defeated, and the crew is returned to their realities safely, but not before Morty announces he has a pitch meeting at Netflix for a heist movie he’s written. In the end, Morty gets half way through his pitch before realizing how stupid heists are, and retreats to the car. He finishes by saying, “We can just go on adventures, I don’t care about heists anymore.” To which a final montage reveals that Rick ‘heisted’ Morty’s passion for anything except adventures with him.
There’s one reason why this episode was so unique; it delivered a fun story on the surface, with character development implications underneath. We find out that Rick manipulated Morty into not caring about his heist script and Netflix meeting, so that Rick could keep him on adventures. It’s subtle, and it’s a nice nod to what comes down the pipe later in the season and into Season 5. We’re beginning to see the small cracks in Rick and Morty’s relationship, and finding out that Rick is more insecure than we ever thought. He’s manipulating his grandson so that he doesn’t have to go on adventures alone. This episode was packed to the brim with pop culture references (I mean hello? The real Elon Musk voiced a version of himself with elephant tusks), razor sharp wit, and direct callbacks to all of our favorite heist films.
This might be a hot take, but there’s something so endearing about this episode to me. I’ve watched it at least 20 times now, and it’s still funny somehow. There’s real emotional subtext here that maps out what Rick and Morty’s relationship will look like in the future, and how unsustainable it is; and that subtext is hidden under a twist-after-twist-after-twist storyline that will keep you guessing. This episode reminds us all just how far ahead of the game Rick can be, and how his own insecurities and emotional attachments are beginning to become an issue with his lifestyle.