This article contains spoilers for Rick and Morty season 3!
Following the events of season 3’s first and second episodes, Morty and his sister Summer have come to terms with the fact that their parents are
finally divorcing and have agreed to join their mother and Rick in seeing a family therapist and coprophogia doctor (look it up) to “cope” with the fallout.
Yeah, because the kids who join a misanthropic, mad-scientist on dangerous, inter-dimensional adventures are worried about their parents divorcing right?
But on the scheduled day, Morty comes into the garage to find that his grandfather has not only opted to avoid going to the appointment, but has also turned himself into a pickle.
Yes, you read correctly. Rick Sanchez, the homicidal genius capable of destabilizing universal governments, has turned himself into a freakin’ gherkin. Why do you ask?
That’s exactly what Rick’s gobsmacked family want to know, with Morty believing his grandfather’s actions are motivated by not wanting to go to the therapy session (a little bit OTT, Rick?). But before the be-pickled Rick can plead his case Beth promptly storms off and leaves him to his own devices taking what might be Rick’s pickle-reversal serum with her.
Rick, being practically paralyzed in his pickle form (save for his ability to speak), is quickly attacked by a cat which leads to him being sent down the sewers, without a single gadget to get him out. What will our intrepid
hero pickle do now?!
The scene immediately cuts to the office of Doctor Wong (voiced by actress Susan Sarandon) just as Morty’s maths teacher Mr. Goldenfold is leaving a coprophogia recovery session (seriously, just look it up). Beth, Morty and Summer are left at the mercy of Wong’s boring and fruitless questions. We’ve all had a shrink like that, no?
Cut back to Pickle Rick, who is currently being shark-circled by some cockroaches. After a particularly grisly head-biting scene, we learn that Rick, through tongue-on-brain contact (okay, ew…) can manipulate the corpses of dead animals (seriously, EW!) to carry himself around. It’s not long until Rick gathers some ‘old’ animal limbs that he ends up building himself an Iron Man-like armour (okay Adult Swim seriously pushing it here…) which he uses to engage a horde of angry rats. Cue epic fight scene.
Thanks to some exacto knife blades and mini-nail guns sewn to his rat limbs, Pickle Rick jumps, hack, slashes, dodges, and weaves his way through his foes, leaving a trail of slaughtered vermin in his wake. After hacking the last rat to bits, Rick calls it quits and leaves via jetpack (Rat-Pack?) through a pipe above him…
…Only to end up in a heavily guarded governmental building. Turns out the owners of the building aren’t too keen on visitors and Pickle Rick must fight his way out of the building, channeling some hardcore John Wick vibes as he cuts down Russian gunmen with everything from battery lasers, pencil-riddled pitfalls, to rigged trophies. He eventually makes it out and back home to his normal life after befriending his would-be assassin and earning a new nickname.
REVIEW: This episode is looking to be one of the best Rick and Morty episodes yet. Although we got none of the series trademark dimension hopping adventures this episode, Pickle Rick still supplied this installment with plenty of silliness and WTF moments.
The fight scenes (though a tad-overused) were very stylish and have since come close to topping my list of favourite animated fight scenes. And as a die-hard John Wick fan, I have to give a hat-tip to the film’s second act, a brilliantly-executed parody of the aforementioned action film.
And of course, another acknowledgment goes to Susan Sarandon in her guest role as Dr. Wong, who’s monotonous questioning conveyed a brilliant social critique on therapy and reminded us of how boring it can be. Sarandon’s role is not the first time a celebrity has appeared on the show, with Nathan Fillion, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver (to name a few) having appeared in previous episodes.
Rating: 4/5 Pickle Ricks
You can watch the full episode on Netflix.