Before you start hunting me down with pitchforks and torches like some monster from an old black-and-while movie just because you just read the title of this week’s episode, hold up and let me explain!
I do love Adult Swim’s rather “mature” cartoon Rick and Morty. Ever since I watched the first episode, I just had to follow the adventures of the nihilistic smartest man in all the multiverse, Rick Sanchez, and his nervous, insecure and comically named Morty Smith. And generally, I don’t really have any complaints with any of the episodes I’ve seen. There are even some jokes that still crack me up whenever I watch it, like the one where Morty experiences “true level”.
I’ve seen all three seasons and all of the episodes Cartoon Network had put out. It would have been easy to just pump out a list of my favorite Rick and Morty episodes… well, not really that easy as I would have to organize my favorite ones in order. But I wanted to challenge myself and thought about doing the opposite. Why not make a list of the episodes that I didn’t really feel all that satisfied? Yes, I always got a good laugh watching the show but there were still some that just didn’t reach the heights of excellence most of the others got.
So, with that in mind, put down your weapons and let’s look at the five Rick and Morty episodes that weren’t all that hot.
5) Raising Gazorpazorp (Season 1, Episode 7)
You see, this is why I never wanna have kids!
Raising Gazorpazorp starts out really strong, with Morty asking Rick to buy him something “cool” from an alien pawn shop. Of course, that something just had to be a sex robot! The first few minutes that focused on Morty enjoying his grandpa Rick’s “gift” had me laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. Things then settled down when Morty Jr. is born out of that copulation. There were a lot of jokes that I enjoyed, such as the female Gazorpazorp city where everything is so outlandishly stereotypically female, like giving warnings that a sector has a spider or going to trial for having bad bangs. The story of Morty trying to raise a instinctively murderous Morty Jr. while his parents judge his every decision was also really funny.
Honestly, Raising Gazorpazorp is more of a victim of its own success in my case. As I mentioned at the start, I couldn’t stop laughing during the opening minutes because of how outlandish the idea that Jerry and Beth were “okay” with Morty using a sex robot. I loved how uncomfortable it made everyone in the house felt… except for Rick, of course. Raising Gazorpazorp’s start was just so strong that, when we got to the real meat of the story, no matter how good it was, just never met the heights the intro had. Also, the ending, where Morty Jr. writes a tell-all book discussing how Morty was a bad father, sucked.
4) Look Who’s Purging Now (Season 2, Episode 9)
At least they new The Purge sucked.
There were moments of full enjoyment, like Morty getting his Purge on as well as Rick and Morty attempting to survive on a planet filled with cat-like people who go on a hellacious orgy of death and violence once a year without their flying car or futuristic weapons. However, even with all of the death and destruction, Look Who’s Purging Now just felt rather… tame to me. I guess my big problem is that all of the mayhem just wasn’t creative as it was a straight slaughter for the most part.
It certainly didn’t help that the B-story, where Jerry Smith tries to build a relationship with his surly and sarcastic teen daughter, Summer, was just a bummer. I know the show’s creators love to make Jerry out to be a loser and I usually love how they do it. This time, it just turns out Jerry wants to borrow money from Summer and he has to call a friend hotline. Honestly, I expected something more “loser-y” from Jerry and, like the violence of Look Who’s Purging Now, Jerry’s down-on-his-luck loserness felt incredibly subdued.
3) Rickmancing the Stone (Season 3, Episode 2)
Maybe I would like this more if I actually watched Mad Max… or Romancing the Stone?
This was an okay episode, with Summer slowing getting more self-destructive after Beth and Jerry’s divorce. The basic plot of Rick trying to use Morty and Summer to get a special rock with tremendous power output was in line with the way Rick thinks. The subplots of Summer falling in love with the Death Stalker’s leader and Morty gaining a super strong and sentient arm who is looking for his murderer were good ideas. However, the two stories never really gelled and they felt incredibly separate from each other and not all that interesting. I did love the closing moments, when Rick uses the rock to power the Death Stalker society so that they become incredibly soft, adapting to a millennial and super civilized lifestyle… just to steal the rock at the very end.
The weird thing is that my favorite story was actually the one concerning Beth. While Morty and Summer were on this Mad Max-esque world, Rick left Beth with three androids that look just like him and Beth’s children. It’s much like how Jerry was clueless to the simulated world in M. Night Shaym-Aliens! but much more believable. I also loved android Morty’s existential crisis at the end before Rick just powers him down.
2) Anatomy Park (Season 1, Episode 3)
I wanna go on Pirates of the Pancreas!
Anatomy Park is one of those parodies of sci-fi movies where the guy shrinks and goes into a human body. It just turns out that Rick builds a theme park within the body because… he’s Rick, I guess. Once again, this is an okay episode and I’m generally fine with it. It’s just that there wasn’t really anything that I loved about it. Morty’s exploration of Anatomy Park wasn’t a rip-roaring adventure or a rollercoaster of laughs but there were a few chuckles here and there. I still don’t understand why an amoeba-like person would even be involved with a project like Anatomy Park but that’s just the world of Rick and Morty, I guess.
I also wish the B-story, where Jerry’s parent’s come to visit the family for Christmas dinner and reveal that Jerry’s mom has a new lover while Jerry’s dad watches… in a closet while doing Superman cosplay, had a bigger payoff. The story had incredibly potential but nothing really comes off it. I mean, a giant naked hobo Santa explodes and they all get back together. It’s so unsatisfying and it’s like they really couldn’t decide how to end the story.
1) Vindicators 3: The Return of the Worldender (Season 3, Episode 4)
Where’s Vindicators 1 and 2? Oh, that’s part of the joke?
The previous four entries I’ve talked about, I still managed to get some enjoyment out of watching them. Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender is the only Rick and Morty episode that I actually dislike. Like all Rick and Morty episodes, the premise seemed to be nothing but gold. Rick and Morty team up with the Vindicators, an Avengers-styled group of superheroes to take out Worldender. Rick, in a drunken rage, manages to kill Worldender while everyone sleeps and uses the opportunity to devise Saw-esque traps to get rid of the Vindicators one by one.
I don’t have a problem with Rick being the “villain” of the episode. I honestly liked this twist in the story. I also don’t have any issues with the heroes being really selfish people under their “perfect” appearance. Character flaws makes characters interesting in my book. But Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender is my pick for the worst Rick and Morty episode because it was the only one where I didn’t even get a chuckle from any of the jokes. The only one that even came close was the one where Rick got bored and made a basketball challenge and for them to make a lesson from it. This was the only episode that lacked the Rick and Morty magic for me.
Mind you, this list is my personal opinion so, if you’re favorite is on this list, I apologi… Oh, God! Don’t pick up that pitchfork! No!
What are your least favorite Rick and Morty episodes? Let me know in the comments section below!
3 thoughts on “Episode 229: The Five Rick and Morty Episodes… That Aren’t That Great”
Wow, but I have to wildly disagree with you on at least a few of these episodes.
I should start by saying I’ve never tried Szechuan sauce, nor have I screamed in anyone’s face over anything to do with an animated series (well, there was this brief time in the 80s with Johnny Quest… let us not speak of it).
I’ll give you Gazorpazorp, although it had some pretty decent gender-based stereotype jokes that got pulled off with a really straight face. Plus the hot 80s dance moment. But it isn’t their best one.
You didn’t like Vindicators?! Not only did that have cameos by Christian Slater (“I’m into sexy drinking, not this psycho, trailer park shit”) and Logic, but it was easily one of the most depressing episodes (and look into Rick’s twisted psyche) EVER. Rick is at his pessimistic best and destroys Morty’s already-pretty-destroyed worldview and view of grandpa.
Anatomy Park, again, I love for the cameo (John Oliver of Last Week Tonight fame) as well as some good jokes (the gigantic dick over the Rocky Mountains, the great zinger to Panda Express, Rick’s unyielding view of Pirates of the Pancreas). It was also just a funny way to parody film tropes (like that back-stabbing employee or the terrible “romance” with the other adolescent).
I’ll agree with you that you’d probably dig Rickmancing the Stone more if you got Mad Max at all… like the past films or the present one “Fury Road,” so it’s kind of sentimental for me in that respect.
Anyway, cool review! I just wrote a semi-philosophical post regarding Rick and Morty, in case you’d like to check it out and give feedback. Blog on, Blogger!!
I’m okay with most of the episodes on this list, actually. The only exception is Vindicators 3. I like all the guest voices and all but I just found it unfunny and the tone was really flat throughout. It never picked up and, once the Vindicators started killing each other, everything felt predictable. And predictability is something that I never associated with Rick and Morty.
Good point! I more appreciated just how absolutely crushing the reveal was at the end… Morty was so ready for something heart-warming, but Rick just loved Noob Noob.