“The Never Ricking Morty” Rick and Morty S4 E6

Rick and Morty’s once-a-season vignette shows – now as firmly established a tradition as Treehouse of Horror or the Bob’s Burgers Thanksgiving episodes – could have just kept been Interdimensional Cable forever, but instead they kept the loose concept of having a bunch of vignettes once a season and keep trying new things with it.  The first two shows were improvised randomness on the part of the writers that was later animated.  The third focused on mini-stories that could have been removed from the episode and worked as short Rick and Morty stories on their own.  And today’s episode blended vignettes with main story until it’s not clear what, if anything, is real. It’s less solid than Morty’s Mind-Blowers, but less purely nonsensical than a minute of rambling about fake doors.

It also feels like the writers room playing directly to…the writer’s room, but in an aspirational way where it really wants you to understand the story circle and the other concepts it invokes.  They’re in-jokes, but they’re in-jokes that invite you to be part of the ‘in’, if you want.  Or you can just laugh at Rick having a pill that gives him two butt-cracks.  It’s the full Rick and Morty spectrum.

  • Morty’s Bechdel-test-passing story illustrates how a lot of men writing women can’t really conceptualize them as people outside of being “women” … and so it ended up being all about periods, because you can’t write about women without having a specifically woman-coded topic.  This felt conscious, but they got it across without being explicit, which was pretty deft.  (Compare to Raising Gazorpazorp, which was  the same thing without the awareness.)
  • We’ve now had three episodes this season that were about Rick being irritated by the conventions of a genre (heist movies, fantasy magic, story-telling episodes.)  I think that’s enough for a while.
  • Story-train.com punks everybody by not being a real site.
  • I would watch the hell out of a full musical episode.
  • Is this the first animated show to mention COVID-19?  I guess that depends on whether South Park has airing new episodes. I’m not checking.  Anyway, that moment will now live forever in reruns specifically dating this episode to 2020…I hope.
  • “Just the stub.”