Rick and Morty are back! Back again! (Tell a Friend)
After the randomness of the unexpected April Fools Day airing of Episode 1, we’ve had to wait another four frustrating months to get to the second episode, titled Rickmancing the Stone. (This must be some sort of record between the airing of the 1st and 2nd episodes of a show).
But that wait is over and we can now bask in the excellence of new and regular episodes of Rick and Morty. Whilst it may not be as brilliant and mind-blowing as the first episode of Season 3 (check out our review right here), it’s still packed full of the fast-paced and witty humour that we love so so much.
As promised, this season is going down an even darker road than before. With Beth and Jerry’s divorce now coming into fruition, Rickmancing the Stone is really all about how the different family members are dealing with it.
So what are our favourite characters up to at the start(ish) of season 3?
Jerry, as usual, is acting like a total loser, and even though he turns up at the house to get the last of his things and say one final goodbye, no one has the time of day for him, except for Morty’s quick few words. And just to confirm how low things have gotten for Jerry, the wind passes by and subtly whispers ‘loser’ at him.
We see the same thing happen again at the very end of the episode, right after a stray coyote chooses to chew up his unemployment check (why does the world hate Jerry so much?). Is this the beginning of a storyline or just a one-off gag? Because it could be the start of something really interesting…
Summer deals with the divorce by completely ignoring Jerry and begging Rick to take them literally anywhere else. Which turns out to be some post-apocalyptic world based on Mad Max, where she can get her anger out by ruthlessly murdering the leader of a group of oddly dressed thugs.
Their new leader, Haemorrhage, (another brilliant Rick and Morty character name), complete with leather g-string and a bucket on his head, asks her, Rick and Morty to join them, and she even ends up dating him (after getting past his unusual moustache).
Later down the road, they end up arguing like a typical married couple after the adventure and excitement of their initial romance has died down, giving Summer some insight into the difficulties that had arisen in her parents’ relationship. She eventually tracks Jerry down and reconciles with him, advising him to keep looking forward in life, just like she’s learnt to.
Morty tries to keep his emotions bottled up, and is his usual whiny and worried self, trying to get Summer to come back home and Rick to stop being, you know, his horrible self.
After Rick uses Morty as a distraction by injecting his left arm with the muscle mass and memories of a dead arm, he gets him to fight in a Thunderdome! Sorry, Battledome! (save it for the semantic dome, E.B. White!).
Morty’s new arm has a mind of its own, and though Morty is at first mortified by the murder and destruction of ‘Armothy,’ he eventually gives into the mayhem in order to release the anger at his father that has been brewing inside him.
Morty is ashamed and embarrassed by Jerry’s weakness and doesn’t want to be a ‘loser’ just like him. At the end of the episode, Morty tells Beth that Jerry didn’t bother to even fight for her, and so maybe she should just let him go.
Beth is clearly having a hard time trying to work out if she’s done the right thing or not. Since Rick, Summer and Morty are gone for so long, Rick creates robot versions of everyone to fill in for them so Beth doesn’t get suspicious. Each robot hilariously talks in Rick-speak and Beth interprets their generic kindness as being meaningful and emotional.
Right before the robots leave, the Morty version begins to achieve sentience, and wants to break free from his programming and express his desires and emotions. Eventually his programming overrides him but not before uttering some odd phrases and sounds. Beth, in her detachment (lots and lots of booze), somehow manages to overlook this, and yet we’re still not sure what path she and Jerry will end up taking.
For Rick, this episode doesn’t teach us too many things about him. As usual, he acts in complete self-interest, happy to destroy the society they are visiting in order to gain precious materials, and is willing to ditch Summer and Morty when things start to get tough.
But underneath all of that, we see that he really does care about his family, as he returns to save both kids, whilst allowing their emotional arcs the time they need to play out.
Rick goes to the effort of protecting Beth from knowing the effects the divorce is having on Rick and Summer, and gently encourages her to stick to the path she’s chosen. He sees Jerry as the weak link in the family and believes that Beth deserves better. Of course, that doesn’t mean Beth will end up listening to him.
Overall, Rickmancing the Stone is another strong episode of Rick and Morty, dealing with some important emotional issues in weird and wacky ways. As manipulative as Rick is, he will always take care of his family, even when that means helping Morty finish killing the final member of Armothy’s revenge quest (see Morty, now we’re both accountable).
As Morty and Summer continue to take darker turns, will Rick step in before it’s too late? Or will he just let things run their course whilst eschewing his responsibility as the supposed adult in the room? We’ll find out week by week as we enjoy Rick and Morty’s darkest season yet!