Only the Smiths can come together as a family by traveling to Hell and befriending a genocidal space vehicle.
[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Rick and Morty” Season 5, Episode 5, “Amortycan Grickfitti.”]
For starters, a note on performance: Justin Roiland’s vocals, playing both halves of the title duo “Rick and Morty,” are so ingrained in the show’s foundation that it’s easy to overlook them. How does it fit both characters? Rick’s drunkenness can vary from person to person to the sound of burping, but there’s a very specific way that Roiland pushes Morty into Awkward Mode whenever confronted with something. something dangerous or unfamiliar. As someone who has had to start over and over again, I recognize the specific way Morty ended up saying “Feel free to eat grapes” to a new kid from Bruce Chutback School (Darren Criss). Combined with what he’s offering, that type of delivery says everything you need to know about Morty as a person: eager to please, often incapable of doing so, but still tries with his own particular brand of second-level fun.
In a way, honing the quintessential parts of the series’ main characters is visible throughout “Amortycan Grickfitti” (and “Rick and Morty” Season 5 so far). After going through a multi-season cycle of pushing these guys to their breaking point and trying different genre samples in different sizes, “Rick and Morty” is about time the Smiths can treat them like a family. cartoon family. Rather than being an extension of some Rick Sanchez minded scheme, there’s enough here for them to become a complete unit. “Reliability “ wise to keep them all together (at least until another version of them is fried by a quantum laser beam or consumed in a living room explosion). “Amortycan Grickfitti” breaks down kids and parents for side-by-side stories that demonstrate how each of the Smiths can succeed on their own if given the chance.
It starts out – like so many of these unadvised adventures – naive enough. Rick and Jerry depart for One Boy’s Night with all the usual pitfalls: beer, karaoke, a mystical cube that can summon molting demons through a portal that leads straight to Hell. All was going according to plan when Beth showed up (after a night of mass mating, naturally). Jerry has somehow turned the Yello song from “Ferris Bueller” into a bar-wide hit and a handful of demons are stealing their Helltinis, glorifying Jerry’s lack of consciousness.
While Jerry is just this special prank of these demons, the show has an interesting seesaw approach to how he uses the show. Rick quickly scoffed (“I love her. She loves you. Those credits don’t go away” is probably the most succinct summary of any interpersonal relationship on the show) , but “Rick and Morty” has gradually given Jerry an uncanny degree of dignity in letting him have such confidence. Even if it resulted in him crouching in a closet or taking his wooden chest as a nesting place for a flock of beavers, he achieved a certain level of self-acceptance to allow the performed both ways.
So when Jerry overhears a conversation (classic unintended bathroom oversharing) that these demons and Rick and Beth It is understandable that he is being taken advantage of by that unprotected pride. It turns out that his two children are facing a similar dilemma to Bruce as they both try their best to create their own charms to win his friendship. Feeling that a bit of the Interdimensional Cable and a Story Train callback won’t be enough to win him over, the three embark on a fun ride through Grandpa Jaguar’s space. (Summer is clamoring for it amazingly, but how much is it saying?”Keep Summer Safe” prime number anyone watching the bloodshed caused by the ship will occur.)
What started out as a space jaunt, where the Mailboxians (and Femailboxians) became training targets and other aliens were blown up for sports, became much more dire as the Space Cruiser took hold. control rights. Seeking to claim some autonomous control, the vehicle takes Summer, Morty, and Bruce on a much darker tour through the destination of a “Changeformer” resort called Space Tahoe. After destroying Autobot’s ski getaway and momentarily regaining his nominal form as a member of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, Cruiser sends the trio back home.
Fast Tangent: With “Loki” currently on a hiatus in the skies, here’s our last chance to look at the overlap (planned or intentional) between the Disney+ series and the show which a lot of people have (incorrectly) quickly confirmed it was the live-action version of. Here, as if one of the “men behind the curtain” revealed about” the finale of Part 1 of that other show, “Rick and Morty” takes Galactus, a longtime Marvel villain, and knocks him down within 20 seconds after swarming him with a cluster of planets. Want to be weird? Here’s the show that demonstrates how it’s done.
Meanwhile, Beth realizes her fault was caused by Helly Mary and upsets the demons to return to the Underworld. They take Jerry with them, leading to another case of the three’s struggle against forces that hunt their pathological need to be liked and test their trust in each other. The logic of the Day The contrast between pain and pleasure in Hell makes the whole trip worthwhile. Not long after, Rick devises an escape plan that involves exploiting sincerity to get past their captors. A bit of a fresh take on the subject, but it’s done well enough that one last dose of self-awareness slips right along with everything else in the volume.
That’s another strong point, and even though it’s going viral on Transformers and Hellraiser, this episode hasn’t gone unnoticed either. It doesn’t fall in Trap “National Day” from last week – these parodies are just a way to deal with Beth-Jerry’s motivations and show that Summer and Morty are messing with a force beyond their control. “Amortycan Grickfitti” (honestly, one of the show’s hardest episode titles to type correctly on the first try) could easily keep Space Tahoe at a single ski lodge, but the look aerial views of lifts and slopes are just one example of director Kyounghee Lim’s Goal Breaking ability. (As a “Bob’s Burgers” veteran, it’s just that an episode she directed will feature a blackboard joke. Look out for some jokes going around at that karaoke bar if you don’t see them the first time.)
For a show that sometimes gets lost in the mass of explosions or its own internal arms race to wreak more and more havoc on unsuspecting worlds, “Amortycan Grickfitti” wisely cut off some of its own coolness at the knee. This is the second volume of Anne Lane as a writer to credit and together with last season finale, she goes on to illustrate a clear grasp of how this family responds to forced introspection. This episode doesn’t confront any of the characters with alter egos, but it does give each of the Smiths a chance to see how the person they want fits into who they are. Sometimes that means confronting a demon with forks stuck in their eyes. Sometimes that means not being able to offer someone a bowl of fruit without showing your mood. What this show can do both is always an impressive juggling act, when it manages to succeed.
Rank: B +
“Rick and Morty” airs Sundays at 11:30 p.m. ET on Swimming for Adults.
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