Rick and Morty Season 6, Ep 9 Review
Season Six of Rick and Morty is almost over, and it is some of the best the show’s been in years. Not only is it as hilarious as ever, but it highlights the character growth the Smith family’s gone through since the show’s inception. Nowhere is this more evident than with Rick Sanchez himself. He’s learning to embrace attachments and that the people in his life matter. He’s even willingly going to therapy! He has slid back a few times, but overall, his growth has been consistent. And the season’s penultimate episode serves as a way to shut up those doubting his sincerity.
And it’s all because Morty doesn’t want to lose a certain body part.
The Silliest Knights Under the Sun. Or On the Sun
The main premise behind the episode is a chance encounter leading Morty to join a knightly order that protects the Sun and becomes their leader. At first, it seems cool: they can live on the actual Sun and never have to die unless they want to. However, this comes with the caveat that they have to remove a certain organ that most guys don’t want to lose. Yikes.
Morty wisely decides to bail, but the knights prove so annoying that he has to drive them away by scientifically proving their beliefs are full of it. However, this backfires when it’s revealed that every planet has this medieval sci-fi society, and now they all want to be in charge. A Game of Thrones war ensues, and Morty just wants them to leave him alone.
From the outset, this entire premise didn’t grab my attention. I normally love this type of story, but it’s a very silly idea about very silly people doing silly and dumb things. As the show writers put it, it’s like dumping Morty into season six of Game of Thrones without any glossary and expecting him to care. Instead, the whole thing seems silly and dumb, and we know it is. I would’ve forgotten the entire episode were it not for one, crucial factor: Rick Sanchez…is being nice.
Rick Might Actually Be Changing
This whole season of Rick and Morty has seen Rick finally start to do something about his character flaws. He acknowledges how toxic his cynical mindset is and begins consciously trying to change it. And this episode shows him continuing the change in attitude we saw last week.
While he initially mocks Morty’s interest in the knights, most of the episode sees Rick take a passive role in favor of his grandson. He makes no cynical remarks or disparaging comments; he just helps Morty like most grandparents would. The concept of Rick acting nice is so alien to Morty and to most viewers that both keep wondering, “what’s the catch, Rick? You can’t be doing this without some ‘I told you so’ moment set up.” That’s exactly what happened in the “Vat of Acid Episode“!
No, though. Rick is actually trying to be supportive of Morty. Getting called boring by Morty in the opening made him decide to roll with everything. Let Morty make his own mistakes and help out when it’s too much for him. It might be strange from Morty’s perspective, but it’s nice to see Rick sticking to his character arc.
Morty’s Member is Saved!
In the end, Morty realizes the only way to stop the pointless conflict is to sacrifice his member, or at least pretend he did. Thus, Rick helps him pull off an elaborate ruse to fool the Knights of the Sun. When that doesn’t work, though, they fake their own deaths ala Vat of Acid.
I found this callback to the “Vat of Acid Episode” to be extremely satisfying from a narrative standpoint. Before, it was a scheme of Rick’s that went wrong. Not only did he refuse to admit his mistake, he cruelly forced Morty into a scenario where his only out was the vat. In contrast, here they just fake their deaths. The Knights give up their silly practice in honor of Morty’s “sacrifice”, and despite knowing that Morty’s still alive, they decide not to do anything about it. I would too; it would make going to the bathroom so much harder.
In short, this whole episode felt incredibly silly and could be taken as a jab at how some beliefs don’t make any sense. The saving grace is that it shows Rick’s character growth isn’t a one-off thing, and that he intends to stick with it. However, with one episode left next week, we’ll see if Rick really can change. Fingers crossed.
Also, apparently Jack Black guest-starred as one of those people fighting this episode. That’s awesome!
I Give “A Rick in King Mortur’s Mort” a 3/5
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