The latest episode of Rick and Morty was called “Morty’s Mind Blowers” and it’s another classic. This show has not slowed down in its third season. Memory manipulation as a sci-fi trope is very old, in the realm of The Twilight Zone and more recently with the referenced Men in Black franchise. Interestingly, that movie series rarely dealt with the ramifications of memory loss or changing someone’s life.
There are a lot of layers to this episode, but immediately Rick wastes no time breaking the fourth wall and informing us that it’ll be a “clip” show. But just like Community, also from Dan Harmon, this show has no old clips. Instead it’s all about recontextualizing what we expect versus what we actually know. The way Morty slowly realized the truth of Rick’s conceited way of hiding the memories was fantastic, and it made the quick twist later even better.
In a way, Rick’s terrible reaction to incorrectly using “taking it for granite” instead of “granted” was shockingly in character. The memories seemed to be a combination of horrible Morty memories, Rick looking foolish, and the mysterious unknown. It was a sad joy that although Summer saved their lives, they couldn’t help but throw angry, gendered insults at her. Everyone’s growing in their own way, and Summer’s apathetic competence is one of them.
Many references abounded, and some were intentionally obscure. I think it’s great how risky the show is still willing to be about this sort of thing, when it was yet another giant dump of continuity. The show sometimes makes little mistakes, but it pays attention to continuity very tightly.
It’s funny how memory influences us, screwing with our perspectives and desires. Rick is a genius, but he has a fragile ego. He can’t bear Morty seeing him screw up, at least not in the little ways, the tiny embarrassing ones. Yet he’ll scream profanities and be pleased.
Rick and Morty kept things contained this time by expanding the past, what we already knew, and unlike the “Interdimensional Cable” episode, which was a bunch of hit or miss improv jokes, this was carefully planned out and filtered. It wasn’t harrowing or mind blowing, but it was superbly entertaining. This didn’t teach us anything shocking or that new about the gang, but it was another great episode.
And the capper with Jerry is another great “Sad Jerry Tale” that I hope is going somewhere, but if not, it’s still very funny.
What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below!