Episode 7 of Season 4 finds us in a limbo. The preceding episodes (“Never Ricking Morty” and “Rattlestar Ricklactica”) are heavily self-referencing off-the-wall time travel adventures. The following episode (“The Vat of Acid Episode”) became their only Emmy-winning episode, and stands tall above the rest of Season 4. So when we watch “Promortyus”, it’s in-between some of the biggest mammoths of the series. That being said, this episode is a ton of fun, and brings back the levity that we sometimes miss with the super involved storylines. Let’s get into Episode 7!
The episode starts with Rick and Morty (with face-hugging aliens attached to their face), when Morty’s accidentally gets caught. He takes the opportunity to free himself and Rick from the face-huggers, realizing they don’t remember anything after touching wet alien eggs in a cave. Rick kills both face-huggers, and duct tapes them on their faces, so that they can find Rick’s car and blend in. The city they find outside the cave is surprisingly developed, and it’s revealed that Morty (and his face-hugger) was a national hero. We then find out that Rick (and his face-hugger) was a fringe radical who ran a YouTube channel against Morty’s ideals. They are then confronted by security, who offers to take Morty away to safety. He agrees, but demands that Rick come too. At the Face-Hugger Capitol, Morty finds out that this planet (Glorzo), was planning to launch a missile at earth (full of aliens eggs) with the tech found in Rick’s ship. After his face-hugger slides off, and exposes them, Morty and Rick steal the car and make a mad dash out of the capitol. On their way out, they destroy most of the city. They decide to ‘do a Pearl Harbor’ (bombing Glorzo’s main port and ships), over ‘doing a 9/11’ (bombing two large towers in the middle of the city). As they zip off, Morty yells “Should’ve been a better species!” out the window.
Riding high off guilt-free murder (and Rick making a classic edgy comment about the Saudi’s), Rick and Morty have breakfast with Beth and Jerry. Beth asks how Summer enjoyed the adventure, and the guys are shocked. Morty comes up with a lame excuse about how ‘she’s sleepy’, and they run to the car to go rescue Summer. Upon revisiting Glorzo, they cringe at the damage and destruction they’ve caused. After murdering a bunch more Glorzo citizens, they eventually get captured and taken to prison. It’s there that they meet Glorzo’s queen; Summer. Summer sits down with Rick and Morty and explains how everything happened.
When they were in the cave, looking at wet eggs, Summer was chewing on a toothpick (because that’s her thing now?). So while Rick and Morty were attacked by the face-huggers, she killed every one that tried to jump on her with the toothpick. They recognize her as their leader, and she begins to build Glorzo into the booming metropolis we first see (with the help of Rick and Morty). She appoints Morty’s face-hugger (Steve) as the leader of this new free world, and after getting jealous, Rick’s face-hugger (Bruce) decides to leave the government, leave Steve and Summer, and become a fringe radical YouTuber that exposes the government’s secrets. After the completion of the egg missile headed for Earth, Summer asks Steve if he can let her brother go now. Steve gets upset and seeks comfort from Bruce. They have a heated argument, but eventually confess their love for each other, and the scene ends with a steamy kiss between Steve and Bruce. They decide to run away together, and go back to the egg cave to take a few with them. This is where the episode begins (as Steve gets stuck to a stalactite and removed by Morty). With all the backstory out of the way, Summer says that she has a plan to get all three of them out. The scene cuts to Rick and Morty in front of the Glorzo Grand Jury, and Summer declaring that they are sentenced to death. She then clarifies that it’s death by getting in Rick’s car, and she will accompany them selflessly to make sure the punishment is carried out. In the end, they murder everyone on Glorzo by playing harmonica, and make it back home safe.
Like I prefaced, this episode doesn’t have a lot of emotional or character development, but it’s a welcome change of pace in the season. Things are consistently light and fun, and spiral into the chaos that we’ve come to expect from Rick and Morty. Rick gets in some classic edgy jabs, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while (the Pearl Harbor vs. 9/11 scene is literally hilarious). It feels like a throwback episode, but without losing the quality and narrative that they’ve built up over the years. It’s one of those episodes you’ll laugh out loud at, which is definitely not the tone of the surrounding episodes in Season 4.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a great episode, but it’s wedged in a really difficult spot. When watching sequentially, this episode is probably a 10/10 for me (since it feels so fresh in the context of Season 4). But when watching as a stand-alone, I can’t give it the same marks that I’ve given to other episodes. It’s a strong ensemble piece, but it never really branches out beyond that. For that reason, it’s clocking in at a very respectable 9/10.