Hey guys! I was out of town and missed last week’s episode of Rick and Morty. Let me catch up with a delayed hot take on “The Ricklantis Mixup”: OH SHIT EVIL MORTY! OH SHIT!
Phew, glad I got that off my chest. I feel better. Now onto Sunday’s episode, “Morty’s Mind Blowers”!
Just like the penultimate episode of any given Game of Thrones season is a goddamn bloodbath, the eighth episode of any given Rick and Morty season is a clip show. In the first two seasons, the very special episode was based around the concept of Interdimensional Cable. The characters would veg out in front of the TV and enjoy strange, wondrous programming hacked from across space and time by Rick. This time around, the clips all come from Morty’s memories. And Rick doesn’t “hack” them so much as “steal” them.
Apparently, after particularly painful, emotionally scarring adventures (note to self, never look a Truth Tortoise in the eyes), Morty will have a breakdown and Rick will resolve it… by removing the offending memory and storing it in a secret chamber full of other stolen memories. Apparently there are a LOT of adventures we haven’t witnessed, and a lot of times Morty has been taken to the chamber for his own good. Some of the memories are instances where Morty makes a mistake he can’t live with. But then there are other stolen memories that Rick chose to remove from Morty because they made him look bad. Times when he lost a game of checkers to Morty, or thinks the idiom is to take something for “granite” rather than “granted” and Morty laughs at him.
If Morty is ruled by guilt, then Rick is ruled by pride. Of course, there is a third type of stolen memory filed away: times when the rest of the family does something that Morty can’t or shouldn’t have to live with, like when Beth is given the opportunity to save one of her kids from an alien and she choses Summer without hesitation… just before Rick shows up and saves them all. These brief glimpses pad out the narrative, almost like a bonus season’s worth of psychological trauma hidden inside a single episode.
But perhaps the biggest reveal of the night is left for Summer. Remember way back in season 1 when Morty’s older sister seemed like a vapid teen girl cliché, all angst and boy troubles and click click clicking away on her phone? This season has seen her progress to a calmly competent lieutenant. Morty may still be Rick’s go-to side kick, but when the shit hits the fan — and in this case that entails both Rick and Morty with full-blown amnesia forming a suicide pact because, out of context, those terrible memories are even more fucked up — then Summer is the one who steps in and sets things right. In this case she realizes that this Morty’s Mind Blowers escapade has gone terribly awry, and in fact constitutes a “Scenario Four.” So she follows the secret instructions for that scenario, left in a box on the wall. She knocks out Rick and Morty, reinstitutes their base memories, and then puts them in front of the TV so they’ll awaken while watching — yup, you guessed it — an interdimensional cable marathon. FULL CIRCLE!
Yup, Summer saves the day, and neither Rick nor Morty will remember it. How many other times has that happened in the past, do you think?
Oh, and there was one other reveal of note. Turns out, in another forgotten adventure, Rick and Morty were forced to abandon their reality once again — this time because Morty fucked with the wrong squirrels. So if you’re keeping score at home, that makes at least two times they’ve had to move to a new dimension and fit into nearly identical lives, if this clip follows the same rules as the time they had to abandon the Cronenberg reality. And as Rick notes, they can only do that a few times. Are there other instances we haven’t seen? How long have they been with this version of Beth, Jerry and Summer? Will that memory even have any bearing on the continuity, or was the squirrel situation somehow resolved off-screen?
You know what? Fuck it. It doesn’t matter. Fucking squirrels.