It’s been hours since I finished watching this week’s episode of Rick and Morty and my mind is still settling. Oh look, there goes my hippocampus, whirling past the brainstem for the forty-third time, holding up its middle finger.
I should have been prepared, it’s not as if the show is typically grounded, but I wasn’t. I’d spent months wondering at the adventures Pickle Rick might get into during his tenure as a briny, shrivelled cucumber, but I couldn’t have imagined.
It opens, as most episodes of Rick and Morty do, with the insanity already dialed up. Rick is a pickle right out of the gate. Morty has questions, and for good reason, Rick rarely does anything that isn’t part of some larger plan. The rest of the family joins the titular characters in the garage and it becomes evident that Rick has turned himself into a vegetable in order to get out of family counseling.
You might ask yourself why Rick didn’t just jaunt off to another dimension, making himself scarce at the preordained time, if he didn’t want to go to therapy. The answer, dear viewer, is the same for Rick as it is for all the rest of us, where would be the fun in that?
Rick’s plan is simple, or as simple as a Rick plan can be. Just above his slender green frame, he’s rigged a needle filled with a serum that will turn him human once again. The string is near scissors, rigged to a timer, set to go off just after the family leaves the house.
The timer goes off, the scissors cut the string, and gravity does the rest… or, it would have gone that way, but Beth takes the needle, takes the kids, and leaves Rick to his own devices.
"You should just stay here and figure out how to stop being a pickle."
Words that will haunt me for the remainder of my days.
Rick does figure out how to stop being a pickle in what amounts to one of the most experimental and enthralling half-hour’s of television I’ve ever seen.
There are cats, flash floods, roaches, rats, and foreign dignitaries, all of whom fall beneath the iron mind of Rick Sanchez on his quest to become human once again.
Rick is backed into a corner, you might say he’s literally in a pickle, and that’s when he’s at his best. You haven’t seen genius and cunning like this since Rick took down the galactic government.
Somehow, Harmon and Roiland found a way to up the stakes for Rick, even when they are smaller, both figuratively and literally.
This is the Rick Sanchez we’ve come to love, the Rick who will burn the world around him, and everyone in it, just for a little excitement.
Rick, don’t ever change.
Rick and Morty Season Three is streaming on Adult Swim.