Written By Aaron Sarnecky
RICK AND MORTY, ‘A RICKLE IN TIME’ PLOT SUMMARY:
Following where the Season 1 finale left off, Rick, Morty (both voiced by Justin Roiland), and Summer (Spencer Grammer) are fixing things up before they unfreeze time (to avoid getting in trouble for trashing the house). However, after Rick unfreezes time, Morty and Summer inadvertently cause reality to literally split in two.
I should probably say right off the bat that I’m doing a couple of new things by reviewing this show. The first is that I’m reviewing a season premiere instead of a series premiere, and the second is that I’m reviewing an existing show that I had never seen before. But that doesn’t mean I hadn’t heard of Rick and Morty. I’ve heard and read people heap a lot of praise onto it, saying that it’s the best adult cartoon on right now, and even just the best show on TV, period. So I was pretty curious to see if these claims were legitimate. Adult animation is kind of odd, because even though the cartoons are supposed to be mature, a lot of them end up coming off as very immature. Furthermore, many often resort to shock humor and just seem like fodder for stoners.
So how does Rick and Morty stack up compared to the others? Honestly, it’s very well thought out and pretty sophisticated, at least for a comedy. The animation itself is nothing to write home about, except for some of the creature designs, but the plot gives you the sense that a lot of effort was put into it. This episode deals with branching realities caused by Morty and Summer’s uncertainty about things. It’s partially tied into Schrödinger’s Cat, multiple versions of which humorously float around in the void the uncertainty sends Rick, Morty, and Summer into. Meanwhile, Morty and Summer’s parents, Beth (Sarah Chalke) and Jerry (Chris Parnell) try to resuscitate a deer they accidently hit with their car.
Both storylines definitely have their moments. The deer plotline is something you would expect to see in a cartoon, with the events becoming zanier as time goes on. It definitely grew on me, and it’s nice that Beth and Jerry are active players in the episode’s plot. Of course, the uncertain realities are definitely the highlight of the episode. It was all caused by Morty and Summer, but it’s really their grandpa Rick’s time to shine. He starts off as the calm one in the situation, but as things get out of hand, he understandably goes off his metaphorical rocker. It’s quite amusing to see him interact with alternate versions of himself, even worrying what his other selves are thinking. It should also be noted that Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele have guest roles in this episode, which are pretty entertaining.
As I mentioned, it’s apparent that a lot of time was put into the episode, as the situations had to be drawn by the animators multiple times to show the differences between realities. Some of them are simple, like the characters doing things a few seconds later than in another reality. Others, however, involve the characters having swapped lines, swapped positions, and even swapped body language. If there is any downside to this, it’s that the mind can only keep of track of so much at once, so some of this will definitely missed by viewers.
Since this is a science fiction plot, there are some questions I am still left with, specifically how the branching realities affect Beth and Jerry. Rick mentions how briefly, but I’m still confused. Perhaps the realities were the same for Beth and Jerry because they weren’t uncertain about anything. I also wish the episode had a “Previously On…” segment, given that it picks up from last season’s finale. I didn’t even know that until I looked it up.
Despite these minor complaints, I’m pretty impressed with what I saw, especially when it comes to creativity. I admittedly didn’t laugh out loud that much, but laughter is often a social reflex and I was watching this alone. And I still found many things funny, so I’ll definitely watch Rick and Morty again sometime in the future.
RATING: 8 OUT OF 10 (GREAT)
RICK AND MORTY AIRS SUNDAYS AT 11:30PM ON ADULT SWIM