The episode starts off with Rick and Morty running through an MC Escher-esque room pursued by the Dream from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (yeah, I didn’t see that coming either…). All the while Rick warns Morty not to look into the eyes of the golden Truth Tortoise he is carrying. Morty, being Morty, fails to heed this advice looking in the Tortoise’s eyes, suddenly learning ‘everything’. In a fit of anxiety, he throws the Tortoise down a trans-dimensional portal which ends up destroying the room and leaving Sandman screaming in despair.
The scene cuts to Rick lazily flicking through their inter-dimensional cable channels when a skittish Morty walks in, saying that he “can’t go on” with the Truth Tortoise’s infinite knowledge swirling in his head. He contemplates how much easier it would be if Rick could erase his memory of the event, which Rick suggests at the exact same time.
What’s going on, Rick?
Rick takes Morty through a secret trapdoor in the garage, leading to a room filled with vials, dubbed ‘Morty’s Mind-Blowers’. Rick explains that in each vial is a memory of a time where Morty had his mind ‘blown’. Morty, stunned by the revelation, tries to get answers out of Rick only for the latter to stick a helmet on his head and plug one of the vials in.
‘Moonspiracy’ (the first time Morty had his mind blown) starts off with Morty stargazing out on the driveway, until he sees an odd looking man on the moon, grinning at him maliciously. Morty tells his family about the event, but no-one believes him. The next day, the same man (known as Mr. Lunas) appears at his school. Fearing what Lunas might be up to, Morty goes straight to the principal and tells him that Lunas is from the moon. Believing Morty’s ‘from the moon’ story to be code for ‘pedophile’, the principal fires Lunas.
Morty later discovers that Lunas has killed himself and that not only was the man not from the moon, he was also a decorated soldier. Remember how Summer thought that Lunas was just a smudge on Morty’s telescope? Turns out that she was right and that Lunas just happened to look like the smudge, meaning that Morty drove an innocent man to suicide!
Morty finally comes to and barely has time to voice his concerns before Rick replays another mind-blower.
This mind-blower shows Rick and Morty trapped in a menagerie by an alien species collector. Morty begins to freak out almost immediately before Rick begins to rig the TV in their cage to transmit a signal to NASA. It isn’t long before two pilots, completely unaware of Rick’s plan, teleport into the menagerie and are left behind when Rick steals the spacecraft.
Morty tries to ask another question about the memories, only for Rick (who seems way too into this…) to replay another memory.
‘The Whole Enchilada’
This mind-blower shows Rick and Morty in a mall parking lot discussing machines that can make urine drinkable (because why not?) before an alien named Zikzak suddenly appears, asking Rick to kill him. According to Rick, Zikzak’s race (the Floop-Floopians) have an ‘orgasmic’ and fulfilling afterlife awaiting them, but in order achieve this state they must be killed by a ‘great warrior’. Rick decides to have some lunch before fulfilling Zikzak’s wish. Upon finishing his enchilada, he leaves for the bathroom, leaving the hapless alien with Morty.
Cue another Morty mess-up…
Morty questions Zikzak, envious that his race have concrete proof of an afterlife, only to find that that is not the case. Like every other civilization, the Floop-Floopians have only their belief in an afterlife but almost no evidence and certainly none who has questioned the beliefs. Morty’s words cause Zikzak to experience a panic attack, causing him to run out the door and be killed by a hit and run driver. Since he did not die in a fight against a great warrior as his beliefs intended, Zikzak’s spirit is dragged down into the earth by screeching wraiths.
Morty wakes up and debates the reasons for Rick taking his memories away and that he should learn from his ‘mistakes’. Rick vehemently argues against keeping the memories in Morty’s mind (calling them ‘free-form anthologies’) and plays two more memories, this time from the red vials. Morty quickly realises that these memories aren’t as traumatic as the aqua ones and aside from a few miscalculations done by Rick, they aren’t particularly traumatic. Unless it wasn’t Morty who wanted them to be removed. The former realizes that not only has Rick been removing his traumatic memories, he’s also been removing memories of Rick making mistakes, which greatly angers Morty and causes him to lash out.
Rick tries to remove Morty’s memory once more (seriously, Rick?!) but Morty deflects the laser at Rick, leading to the two of them losing their memories completely.
When Rick and Morty come to, Rick deduces that the vials around the room are somehow memory related and plugs one of them into Morty’s helmet.
This intense memory shows Rick and Morty interrogating a Jabba the Hutt-esque villain, with the fate of Earth at stake. Realizing that they aren’t getting anywhere, Rick tells Morty to grip and squeeze two fleshy sacs hanging from the alien’s chin, provoking loud squeals from the creature. After a few seconds of this, the creature strikes a deal with the duo, half the codes now and the other half when Morty finishes. Yeah, turns out Morty wasn’t torturing the alien, he was giving him a handjob. Gross…
Morty concludes that he and Rick are are partners of some kind, but is clueless as to what it is they partner up for. As he continues his way through the viles we are lead through an assortment of disturbing memories: the time Morty killed eight people via a light-switch, when he caused every red-head woman on Earth to collide with their garage, being eaten and crapped out by a slime monster, having to move dimensions because Morty stumbled upon a squirrel conspiracy, having his hand cut off in an alien poker match all the way to the time they had to bury Santa Clause in the desert.
These memories traumatize Morty so much that he comes to the conclusion that both he and Rick need to die. Rick agrees and the two are seconds away from enacting a suicide pact before Summer comes in and asks if they are going through the Morty Mind-Blowers again. An amnesiac Rick and Morty ask what that is. Realizing that the two of them have lost their memory, Summer declares it to be a ‘Scenario Four’ and promptly shoots the two of them with a tranquilizer gun before planting a memory device on their heads and dragging them back into the house, leaving everything the way it was.
REVIEW: After the somber bureaucratic tones of the last episode, ‘Morty’s Mind-Blowers’ was a breath of fresh, comical air. One of the biggest plot holes of the show has always been how someone as timid as Morty has been able to endure the psychological hardships of his adventures, so the Mind-Blowers explains this nicely.
It would have been nice to see a little more background on the memories, but in the end, it wouldn’t be Rick and Morty without illogical explanation.
I give this episode 4/5 Mind-Blowers