Morty finds true love, but can’t bring himself to follow where she’s going in an episode that’s unusual for Rick and Morty in several respects.
It’s rare for Rick and Morty to do a straight-up parody of a specific character to this degree; I can’t really think of another major example in the show’s history. Even in cases where one is used for inspiration, it’s more of a jumping-off point for general tropes; you didn’t need to know all that much about Leland Gaunt to get the deal with Mr. Needful. But here we get a direct parody of Captain Planet and the Planeteers, as Morty meets the peppy environmental superhero Planetina and instantly falls for her.
Morty frees Planetina from the exploitative grip of the Tina-Teers, but when she’s finally empowered to go as far as she wants to go in protecting the Earth, he’s horrified, and rejects her. There’s no joke at the end of the episode – it just ends sad, with both Morty and Planetina heartbroken and Beth comforting Morty.
Meanwhile, Summer and Rick take an apocalyptic road trip to go do drugs and eat ass, and Summer saves a planet out of spite.
- Other ways in which this episode breaks from the norm: a science-fiction thing happens which has nothing to do with Rick, and Rick and Morty have separate storylines, two more things this episode has in common with Something Ricked This Way Comes.
- This episode was written by Rob Schrab, someone I know from way back in the nineties as the creator of Scud: The Disposable Assassin and that Dungeons and Dragons skit that used to air on Dr. Demento all the time.
- It’s a little weird for Morty to be so bothered by casual mass killing at this point; he’s done it himself multiple times for much more trivial reasons (including just two weeks ago) plus, I mean… he hangs out with Rick. Maybe he’s just the kind of guy who can’t stand to admit imperfections in a woman he’s idealizing.
- Honestly, you look at the news and Planetina kind of has a point here.