Rick and Morty S6E4 – Night Family

Last week, we had an episode about what happens when someone is split in two and falls in love with herself – this week, we follow it up with a story about people who are split in two and don’t much like their other halves at all. Rick creates a ‘Night Person’ from his subconscious who can do ab crunches for him while he’s asleep, and soon the whole family wants them – but the night people quickly become disillusioned with doing the family’s chores, and ‘Night Summer’ leads a takeover which ends with the two families struggling for control.

Night Family dapples in the tropes and visible language of horror – it feels most like a riff on Us, though it never quite becomes a direct parody – but wrings humor from juxtaposing the creepiness of the Night Family with the fact that, well, their demands are pretty minor and reasonable when you get right down to it. All they want is for the family to rinse their dishes after dinner, something Rick will absolutely not agree to.

In short, this is a ‘Rick makes unnecessary trouble for himself/everyone else’ plot mixed with a a bit of a ‘Rick gets in a deadly battle of egos over something trivial’ plot, both of which are well-trod ground for the show at this point, but are handled well here. The spooky visuals are neat, and the action setpieces of the show’s second half are wonderfully intricate, as the characters are alternately knocked out and woken up and any particular body can switch allegiances on a dime. This is probably the slightest episode of the season so far, but it’s fun; given that we’re now in midseason where they tend to drop the weakest episodes, that’s a good sign.

  • For the second week in a row, Jerry is the voice of reason (and the only person who doesn’t just use their Night Person as a slave.) He still has his moments of dumbth, but the guy’s really matured.
  • Beth’s sheep-counting app is just so delightfully stupid.
  • Rick being forced to improvise with materials is always a hoot – we’ve had forest science, toxic science and magic science, now we get garbage science.
  • We see neighbor Gene again (technically, we’re meeting this one for the first time.) Rick and Morty usually doesn’t have much of a sense of the neighborhood surrounding the house, and this is one of the rare episodes where the nearby streets and city become a significant setting for the action.
  • This is the fourth episode in a row where the plot revolves around multiple versions of the same person or people, each time via a different premise, and three of those without the benefit of portal travel. I’m not complaining, because I absolutely eat this stuff up.

Next week: Rick and Jerry episode!