Since 2013, Rick and Morty has been fascinating and disgusting audiences alike. Now in its fifth season, the hijinks and arcs of the series are bigger, better, and more emotional than ever. But in case you missed it (which, I literally don’t know how that’s possible for anyone not living underneath a rock), I’ve compiled a breakdown of Episodes 1-5 in the newest season. So grab your regular old plumbus, and strap in! Or don’t; I’m not your *burp* mom. (Very obvious spoilers ahead!)
Episode 1 “Mort Dinner Rick Andre”
Ep. 1 is a great transition into Season 5. As with most of the episodes in this season, the title is a play on a famous film; My Dinner With Andre. We are greeted with a pleasantly fresh cold open, where Morty finally confesses his feelings for Jessica, thinking he’s about to die. She confides that she likes him too, and that they should watch a movie that night. The scene ends with Morty saving the day and crash landing in the ocean, which is were we find Rick’s arch nemesis; Mr. Nimbus. The episode feels classic and worn in, as do most season premieres of Rick and Morty. You’re reminded who these characters are at their core; Beth and Jerry becoming ‘sex-positive’, Morty chasing Jessica, Rick trying to get rid of his nemesis, and Summer ruining the plans at the height of the episode. It’s somewhat formulated, while still feeling new. In order to appease Mr. Nimbus (who wants to have a threesome with Beth and Jerry), Rick hosts a dinner to agree to peace terms. Of course, when trying to have alone time with Jessica, Rick employs Morty to grab wine out of an alternate dimension where time moves faster. Morty mucks things up, as he usually does, and accidentally creates a Narnia in the other dimension, who’s sole focus is to destroy Morty. They end up ruining the dinner, but Mr. Nimbus has a change of heart. He saves Rick, Morty, AND Jessica; only for Summer to come back and ruin the plan at the last second. After which, Mr. Nimbus decides to be enemies with Rick again, and has him taken to jail. Because, you know, Mr. Nimbus controls the police.
Episode 2 “Mortyplicity”
Another title citing a famous film (Multiplicity) is employed here, alluding to the main premise of the episode. Before getting to the plot details, I just have to say, this might be my favorite episode of the season. It keeps you guessing at every turn, and opens up so many narrative possibilities (but more on that with the season finale). It’s revealed that Rick has a ‘decoy program’, where clones of the Smith family go on fun, self-contained, terrestrial adventures. After getting a notification on his watch that decoys have been murdered, he shows up to the scene to find out what happened. This all ends with scenes of multiple Smith families (who we never know if they’re the real Smith family) getting murdered by so-called ‘Squids’. Rick announces to the family that they’ve created an ‘Asimov Cascade’ (because of decoys making decoys who then make decoys etc.), triggering a Clone Wars situation for all the decoys; and no one knows if they’re real. This episode is a ton of fun, and unabashedly murders Smith family after Smith family, showing us decoys that are made of metal, wooden puppets with talk boxes, and countless other iterations. After a montage of murders, we find out the ‘Squids’ are actually decoys trying to kill other decoys, dressed as squids. The end of the episode is a bloody brawl between all the different Smith families, ending with a final twist that calls back to the cold open. The last few seconds of the episode find us with yet another Smith family, coming back from a space adventure with Space Beth, just finding out that a decoy family has been killed.
Episode 3 “A Rickconvenient Mort”
In a welcome twist, Ep. 3 takes a hard narrative turn, showing us a more contemporary, emotional, and elevated Rick and Morty. Morty falls in love with a Captain Planet type superhero, a young woman named Planetina. The title is a play on the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which addressed climate change and the deterioration of Earth from humans. In another twist for the series, Morty stays at home and starts dating Planetina, after Rick and Summer decide to do an apocalypse space party crawl (since Summer gets dumped). Jerry, Beth, Morty, and Planetina play out a family conflict (Beth thinks Morty doesn’t know what he’s getting into), and Rick picks up a random alien woman (breaking their ‘No Feelings No Attachments’ rule of the space crawl). Morty murders Planetina’s ‘four children’; who are really just the four teens, who are now middle aged, that combine their rings to bring Planetina to life. After which, Morty has all the rings, and has Planetina all to himself. Without consequences, Planetina develops a hatred for humanity and the way it treats Earth, and begins causing irreversible destruction. When Morty doesn’t want to burn the world down with her, she leaves him, and thus has his first heartbreak. The scene ends with him crying on Beth’s shoulder, saying, “I really loved her.” Meanwhile, Rick still has this alien woman around (voiced by the incomparable Jennifer Coolidge), and Summer doesn’t have any time for that. She derails the apocalypse space party crawl by saving the planet they’re on, and without the danger, the alien woman isn’t very interested in Rick. The episode ends with a half-compliment from Rick to Summer: “it was pretty Rick of you to avert an apocalypse in a tantrum of cynicism just to destroy one dumb relationship.”
Episode 4 “Rickdependence Spray”
There’s no denying that this episode is profane, something we all love about Rick and Morty. The title references Independence Day, which sets the story up as a space alien disaster. After telling Beth to hurry up at the horse hospital, Morty spots a horse breeding mount. I think you know what he decides to do with that. It’s then revealed that Rick needs horse DNA to build a human-horse hybrid that will destroy the horse race, The Chuds, that live underground (at this point, accept that these things are canon). But of course, seeing as Morty hijacked the machine (literally), there’s not horse DNA, it’s Morty’s DNA. This leads to Rick creating a master race of giant sperm aliens that terrorize the town immediately. The President blames Rick for this, to which he accepts responsibility, having no idea Morty tampered with the machine. They head to the Grand Canyon with two marines and all of America’s nukes in search of the creatures (who are congregating to the Grand Canyon because it’s the biggest literal crack in America). Their helicopter gets shot down, and they become prisoners of the creatures.
After Morty confesses to how all this happened, they freeze Rick in crystallized sperm, and the ‘Sperm Queen’ has them seemingly on the ropes. One of the sperms, who Morty gave the name ‘Slippy’, saves the day and frees both Rick and Morty. In an effort to attract the creatures and shoot them off into space, Summer donates an egg to be super-enlarged on the top of the Luxor in Las Vegas. Rick and Morty follow the creatures to Vegas, where Morty confesses to the President, the Smith family murder a bunch of sperm alien creatures in an awesome action sequence, and Rick, Morty, and Slippy get captured by The Chuds. Brought to The Chuds’ king, to be executed, Rick, Morty, and Slippy seem to be done for. But The Chuds’ princess, the king’s daughter, runs into the throne room and reveals she’s having Rick’s half-Chud half-human baby. The king sets them free, along with loaning the Chud army to help defeat the creatures. In the final moments of the episode, they are able to eradicate all but one sperm, Slippy, who betrays them and fertilizes the egg. They shoot the zygote off into space, leaving that story seemingly untethered. Princess Ponietta (yes, that’s really her name) has Rick’s horse-human baby in the last few moments of the episode, only to reveal that the horse-human doesn’t need parents and will immediately become a member of Chud society. So, that’s that I guess.
Episode 5 “Amortycan Grickfitti”
Referencing the movie American Graffiti, this story revolves around Summer and Morty stealing Rick’s spaceship to impress a new kid at school. Jerry and Rick have a supposed ‘guy’s night’, which is really just Rick taking him to hang out with demons who love that Jerry’s so lame (because pain is pleasure in their culture). Beth finds out about this, and crashes the party to try and save her husband’s dignity. But she soon joins the demons, laughing about how much Jerry sucks and generally embarrassing him. Meanwhile, Summer and Morty are hosting the new kid, Bruce Chutback, to try and become popular at school. He spots the flying car, compliments how awesome it is, and the three head off into space on a joyride. The flying car, who they convinced to let them drive because Rick was ‘in danger’, reveals that it’s been recording the whole time they’ve been knocking out mailboxes and being delinquents. With the car now in control, they head to a space drive-in, where the car meets a ‘changeformer’ (think Transformer) who invites the four to his party with other changeformers.
The teens help the car disguise herself as a changeformer, but after the disguise fails, she’s rejected from the party and murders the changeformers in a fit of rage. Bruce, Summer, and Morty eject themselves from the runaway car, but are arrested by space police shortly after. Back at the lounge, Jerry is in the bathroom and overhears the demons talking about how much he sucks. Hurt, he comes out and confronts Beth and Rick, much to the annoyance of the demons (who then capture Jerry and take him with them through a Hell portal). Beth and Rick dress up as demons, and open a portal to Hell in order to save Jerry. They try to infiltrate the demon’s hideout, dressed in black leather disguises, but the demons chain them up next to Jerry. After some clever wordplay from Rick, the three are released from the chains and escape. After murdering their way out of the lair, Rick opens a portal back to Earth. Rick’s car infiltrates Summer, Bruce, and Morty’s trial, blowing up their public defender (who the car was controlling with a chip in his brain), and breaks the teens out of prison. They arrive back home just in time for the return of Rick, Beth, and Jerry, who are none the wiser to all the things they did. After all that happened, Bruce doesn’t really think any different of Morty or Summer, and decides to hang out with the cool kids at school instead.
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