SUMMER SMITH

Status: Main Character
First Appearance: “Pilot”
Voice Actor: Spencer Grammer

Summer Smith’s existence owes itself to two hapless teenagers who decided not to go through with an abortion at the last minute. In spite of her origin and the surrounding family drama, Summer is a reasonably well-adjusted young woman. She’s a typical teenage girl, obsessed with social media, apathetic to the world around her, and in constant pursuit of meaningless high school popularity. At the start of the show, Summer is the least compelling of the Smith family and certainly its most cliché. That changed when she slowly became entangled in Rick and Morty’s world.

Once Summer settled in as an unofficial third member of Rick’s crew, she brought her own cards to the table. With Morty slowly getting used to Rick’s nightmarish dimensional hops, Summer is often portrayed as the fresh-faced newbie. Far from useless though, Summer survives through pragmatism. Morty tends to deal with it because he’s forced to. By contrast, Summer is pro-active and nonchalant. Sure, she, too is horrified by the things she’s seen, but Summer frequently handles them with kid gloves. She’s a go-getter who often delivers or recommends solutions to Rick and Morty’s problems rather than sit back and let something happen till the last minute. It may not always work, but Summer proves she has the chops to survive their world.

Perhaps a great deal of her resilience might have to do with the guilt of being born. When Jerry and Beth accidentally told her she wasn’t planned, she was angry. The one time they blamed her for their marriage woes, she was devastated. After all, no matter how many grotesque aliens and dangerous battles Summer faced, it can’t compare to the anguish she likely felt knowing she was the cause of her parents’ unhappy future.

SIX THINGS I WANT TO SEE IN RICK AND MORTY’S THIRD SEASON

With the recent announcement that season three will likely hit the airwaves sooner than expected and with fourteen episodes to boot, Rick and Morty’s third offering could be their best season yet. Season two ended on an especially high note when – and this is a MASSIVE spoiler – Rick gave himself up to the Galactic Federation to save his family.

What can we expect from season three? Here are some of the stuff I want to see.

Obviously, this article is going to have spoilers for the entire show, so proceed with caution.

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1. A Big, Honkin’ Jailbreak

As interesting as it would be to see Rick squandering in jail, it would be too tedious if the entire third season revolved around that plot. Rick and Morty thrives on multiple environments, crafty alien species, and deconstruction of sci-fi adventures that housing it in one location is just not the way to go.

I’m hoping for a explosive premiere where the Smiths bust him out of jail. This is after their extensive musing on whether Rick is worth the effort, of course. The Smiths would have varied reactions to this: Beth could be of two minds after realizing her father left her once again. She’ll likely be torn between saving him and leaving him to rot out of anger. Alcohol will most certainly be involved. Jerry would likely oppose the plan to free Rick. Ultimately, it’s Morty who convinces his entire family and Rick’s allies to save him. This could cause complications now that Earth is officially under the Galactic Federation’s watch. Even if they freed Rick legally, the latter has to content with the government spying on his home and that’s not schwifty.

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2. Exploration of Rick’s Past
We know Rick’s life is strewn with complication and questionable decisions. He constantly throws caution to the wind with the implication that he is above consequences. In reality they might just be his way of coping. Deep down, he’s severely depressed and suicidal. I don’t think there’s one answer – let alone an easy one – that Rick has done to earn this kind of self-loathing, but getting a sneak peek at his past would be a shoe-in for an episode or two. Importantly, why did he run from Beth? Was it to protect her from his criminal life or something inherently selfish? I don’t think it’s necessary to know every aspect of Rick’s life (got to keep a little mystery), but the show has built enough of a reputation on Rick’s behavior that we’re well into appropriate territory to start telling.

Another subtle hint is that a couple of episodes sprinkle images of a younger Rick holding a baby Morty. If this is the same Rick, then this contradicts the explanation that he only came into Beth’s life a year prior to the show. Then again, we don’t know when he left, but it’s ingrained enough into backgrounds that something is very off about it. This Morty might be crucial to Rick’s Gordian Knot of a life.

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3. The Earth’s Reaction To the Galactic Federation
The show has largely kept Rick and Morty’s adventures separated from Earth. There have been exceptions, but neither plots have ever collided. “The Wedding Squanchers” completely throws that out the window as the Galactic Federation has now registered Earth as part of their government. When the Smiths return home, they find a changed world.

With that gate opened, season three can open up new sets of stories they weren’t able to pull before. How will reoccurring Earth characters like Mr. Goldenfold or Morty’s love interest Jessica react with aliens walking their streets? Will the people of Earth embrace it or resist? The Smiths might take it better just for enduring the nonsense Rick puts them through, but the rest can only lead to chaos.

The resistance could be a factor, too. We never did find out what happened to Summer’s spy “friend” Tammy or Squanchy. Last time they were engaged in a bloody battle between the two factions. You know the rules: unless you see a corspe, they’re not dead yet! Imagine the Smiths family getting caught up in a revolution Rick’s been fighting all his life.

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4. More Summer Smith, Please

Summer had an expanded role in season two, but I can’t get enough of her. I think she’s a wonderful character who brings her own flavor into Rick and Morty’s adventure. I’m not saying she should be the third wheel to Rick and Morty’s duo – the show IS called Rick and Morty – but Summer still has the least character development or personal insight out of the main Smith family.

This isn’t to say she’s flat. Summer had to struggle being an unwanted child when her parents got pregnant at seventeen. She found out in season one, leaving her angry and guilt-ridden. Morty did cheer her up and she seem to have gotten over it, but I’d love to see her deal with it again and maybe explain her motivation. Summer’s proven she can be pragmatic in hazardous situations, imagine working her issues into the plot.

And we never did get to see her react when she found out Tammy was a spy. Food for thought.

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5. Return of Previous Characters
A previous interview with the crew promised Meeseeks’ return, but there are plenty of other one-shot wonders that has the potential for a sophomoric reunion. Mr. Poopy Butthole is a perfect example. After Beth shot him thinking he was a parasitic alien, Mr. Poopy Butthole’s been recovering with his usual brand of enthusiasm. We’ve yet to witness the aftermath of his emotional recovery other than his decision not to sue the Smiths. How on earth did a bizarre character like him even ended up as the Smiths’ family friend? He was never seen in past episodes. I guess part of this can be explained away as Rick and Morty living in an alternate universe after episode six’s “Rick Potion No. 9.” Then again, maybe that’s the joke. I mean, his name is Mr. Poopy Butthole, how serious can you take his origins?

Speaking of “Rick Potion No. 9”, will we ever see the original Smiths family that graced the first six episodes of the show? When Rick and Morty fled to a similar alternate dimension to live out their lives, they left the Smiths behind to fend for themselves in an apocalyptic Cronenberg Universe. I’d imagine that Jerry, Beth, and Summer would be radically different than the ones we know. I’m also putting up a vote for Snowball/Snuffles, Morty’s now sentient pet dog. We have to see how the dog colony’s been doing. Gearhead could return, possibly dead set on revenge for what Rick did to him back in “A Rickle in Time.” Is Morty Jr. still kicking around or did he die from his rapid alien age? Maybe a Morty Jr. Jr?

The possibilities are endless and fortunately for Rick and Morty, that is a very literal playground for the writers to play in.

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6. What Is the Deal With Eyepatch Morty?

Eyepatch Morty gets his own section because he’s the meat and potato of unanswered questions in the Rick and Morty-verse.

Rick and Morty has been content to let sleeping dogs lie; refusing to recall past episodes outside of minor clues and reoccuring secondary characters. They wanted to every episode separate and accessible, keeping the greater arcs out in favor of small, self-contained stories. I’m content with season three following the same route, but it’s high time to unlock some of the bigger secrets of the show.

Possibly the biggest mystery in the entire span of the show, Eyepatch Morty was the brains behind all the Rick killings in “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind.” We don’t know why he did it; his reveal as the mastermind was only known to the audience, occurring during the last dwindling seconds of the episode. He was last seen being carted off home alongside the thousands of Mortys with the assumption that he’s a regular Morty like any other.

Due to his ingenious and quiet nature, this Morty has the potential to be one of the most dangerous and fascinating addition to the show. It would be amazing for season three to return this plot.

These are my personal hopes and guesses. What about you guys?

JESSICA

Status: Tertiary Character
First Appearance: “Pilot”
Voice Actor: Kari Wahlgren

The object of Morty’s affection, Jessica is a beautiful redhead and…that’s about it. She doesn’t have much of a personality, largely filling the role of a popular girl that Morty just happens to like. There doesn’t seem to be any given reason outside of shallow teenage lust, but she’s the one girl constantly on Morty’s mind. Though Morty has tried to win her heart genuinely, he’s just obsessed with her enough that he unwisely asked Rick to concoct a love potion to use in “Rick Potion No.9.” This backfired horribly when Morty used the chemical during flu season, causing Jessica and the entire population of Earth to fall madly in love with Morty and trigger an apocalypse. Morty was a bit more successful in “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez” when he took her to the dance, though any upgrade on their relationship seem to be nil. Despite the repeated setbacks, Morty is determined to win her heart.

For Jessica’s part, she is kind to Morty even if she doesn’t directly acknowledge his existence. Though she willingly dated a jerk football player, all she wants is a nice, caring guy. Morty hopes to be that guy.

RICK AND MORTY – EPISODE 6: RICK POTION NO. 9

Ep #: 6
Air date: Jan. 27th, 2014
Synopsis: Morty asks Rick for a love potion he can use to win Jessica’s heart.

Morty’s high school is having a flu-awareness dance, inappropriately during flu season. Morty nervously approaches Jessica to ask her out until the school’s star football player—Brad—steps in. As Jessica’s boyfriend, he makes it clear Morty has no shot with the likes of her.

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Morty shares his woes with his father later that night. Jerry reassures him that in time, he’ll find plenty of other girls. Morty only wants Jessica though. Jerry relates, reminiscing that Beth was his “Jessica.” Rick ruins the moment, “kindly” reminding the two that it ended with Beth pregnant at seventeen. Rick breaks the ice with Morty, saying love is merely a chemical reaction that causes two people to breed. His marriage failed and he thinks the same will happen to Jerry and Beth. He tells Morty to break the cycle and dedicate his life to science. A cautious message from Rick, even if it was delivered with all the grace of a bowling ball being shot out of a T-shirt cannon. This is enough for Jerry to lose whatever confidence he has and leaves to check on his wife.

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Morty approaches Rick at his garage, just in time for the latter to request a screwdriver for his latest invention. The love = chemical talk gave Morty the stupidest idea ever: he asks Rick if he can score a love potion. This request is so beneath Rick that he doesn’t even bother. A petulant Morty refuses to help Rick with any of his projects until he gets what he wants. Caught in a stalemate, Rick pulls out a vial filled with Oxytocin, secreted from voles becaue they mate for life. Mixing the potion with Morty’s DNA, he produces a chemical that the boy can use on anyone to instantly make that person fall in love with him permanently. Morty is ecstatic, but is smart enough to ask if there’s any side effect. Rick tells him it’s fine and Morty happily runs off. Then Rick mutters under his breath that it’ll only backfire if someone has the flu. Sometimes you wonder if he times these inconveniences on purpose.

Jerry confronts Beth and worriedly asks if she still loves him. Beth responds with scathing sarcasm, partially answering with a “sort of.” Beth is called in to work due to a race track accident that would leave Devin, her co-worker, by himself to operate on the horses. Stuck in the cusp of insecurity, Jerry comes to the conclusion that Beth and Devin might strike an affair behind his back.

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At the school dance, Morty discreetly approaches Jessica, “accidentally” bumping into her and spreading the chemical on her arm. The love potion is a success, Jessica instantly ravishes Morty. Brad catches the two cuddling and breaks them off. Jessica unwittingly has the flu, coughing into Brad during the struggle, causing him to fall for Morty! Brad and Jessica get into a tug-o-war for Morty’s heart until Principal Vagina and Mr. Goldenfold takes the star player away. A desperate Brad cries for Morty in-between sneezes, spreading his germs into the air ducts and punch bowl. Morty has no idea what’s gotten into Brad, but who cares, he has Jessica!

Jerry confesses his insecurities to Summer, fearful his wife will cheat on him. Rick further encourages their separation, making no secret of his resentment towards his son-in-law. Desperate, Jerry runs out of the house to find Beth. Rick asks Summer why she isn’t at the dance. With flu season going around, Summer refuses to go out. Rick panicks, realizing Morty is doomed.

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The love potion works a little too well: Jessica gets down on all fours and demands Morty mate with her. Morty is receptive, but he’d rather they do it somewhere private. Not that he isn’t aware something weird is going on, but by the time he puts two and two together, it’s too late. The love potion has spread so quickly the entire student body mobs Morty, declaring their love for him. Rick saves his life, unaffected by the flu/love potion. Thankfully, the chemical does not work on anyone sharing Morty’s genetics. They barely make it their ship when the potion hits everyone in the school, including the teachers.

Rick whips out praying mantis DNA to counter the Oxytocin. Since the species is known for cutting off their mate’s head, he figures this will cancel out the love potion. Instead it transforms them into horrifying human-mantis hybrids…who still wants Morty.

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A severe car pile-up blocks Jerry’s path on the way to Beth’s work. The mantis DNA has spread through town and a small group of the affected attacks Jerry, demanding Morty. Determined to find his wife or so help him, Jerry picks up a dead cop’s rifle and blasts his way to the veterinarian. Meanwhile Summer has her own encounter with the creatures. She bashes one of them with a lamp and runs out the house. The Mantis love potion has now spread to the rest of the planet.

Morty watches the news, shocked his romantic evening veered WAY off course. Rick concocts another formula composed of several animals, plus a cactus and a dinosaur. Morty complains the potion makes no sense, but what does he know? He’s not a scientist.

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Unaffected by the outside world, Beth and Devin wrap up a successful surgery. Jerry’s fears are confirmed, Devin does try to seduce Beth. Fortunately, Beth does not feel that way and is actually uncomfortable with his approach. Devin is hit with the flu during the tryst, transferring his lust to her son. He, too turns into a Mantis creature, trapping Beth until she forks over Morty. Jerry rescues Beth by beating Devin to death with a crow bar.

Though they have a new potion ready for use, Rick wants to delay it a bit since he’s fascinated by the mutated madness below. Morty doesn’t share his enthusiasm and unleashes the chemical, turning everyone back to normal. There’s still seven minutes left in the episode, so their victory is shortlived. Somehow “Rick Potion No.9” tops itself and makes the situation even worse, transforming the population into terrifyingly grotesque Cronenberg creatures. On the plus side, they’re not in love with Morty anymore.

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Jerry and Beth fight the creatures side-by-side, reigniting their passion. Summer finds them, but there’s no sign of Morty or Rick. For once, Jerry tries not to pin the blame on Rick, but Beth angrily states her father has been the cause of all their problem. Their issues are resolved and it took an Apocalypse for them to deal with it.

Rick and Morty chew each other out, both with excellent points. Love Potion plots are inherently gross to begin with and unless that person learns a lesson, it’s hard to sympathize when they use what Rick accurately calls a “Roofie serum.” Rick rightfully criticizes Morty for being a little creep. In retaliation, Morty tells Rick that trying to fix the mess with disregard for safety isn’t any better. Rick is convinced enough to pull out his emergency chemical set.

And it works. The Cronenberg disaster is finally averted. Morty is impressed and willingly gives Rick the screwdriver so he can resume the work he was trying to do earlier.

Then they blow up and die.

Seconds later, the actual Rick and Morty we’ve been watching warp into the garage to witness the dead bodies of their alternate selves. Morty is in anguish. Rick explains that the universe has infinite alternate worlds. He just had to find one where a Rick and Morty cured Earth from the Cronenberg incident, then died shortly after. There, the Rick and Morty that are alive can then replace the dead ones. Rick tells Morty to grab his corpse so they can bury them and pretend everything is normal. This is the moment when I realized I would love Rick and Morty; this scene where it lampshades, deconstructs, subverts, and downright messes with typical sci-fi narratives. Traveling to meet another version of themselves have never been so demented and horrible than it is here. Knowing Rick can just swap out roles with another (even if it’s rare) with casual whimsy is a scary prospect. It makes you wonder if this is something he’s done before.

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Morty buries his alternate form’s corpse, then with a heavy heart, walks back inside. Morty is caught between depression and surreality. His parents are fighting, Summer is watching TV, and Rick nonchalantly grabs a beer. Morty sits in stunned silence, unable to grasp the weight of his life and what had just occurred. Everything around him IS normal. His school, his room, his family – all of them are the same even if it isn’t quite so. The world of Rick is not a plaything even if Rick treats it as such. And Morty has to live with that.

The stinger concludes with Jerry, Beth, and Summer in the original world content with their new life in spite of the Cronenberg mess. Beth admits she misses Rick and Morty, but confesses she is much happier without either of them. Meanwhile, in another part of town, a Cronenberg Rick and Morty warp their way to this world with the same intent as the current Rick and Morty: they messed up their town, turning all the Cronenberg people there into regular humans, forcing them to flee and make a new life for themselves.

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MR. GOLDENFOLD

Status: Tertiary Character
First Appearance: “Pilot”
Voice Actor: Brandon Johnson.

His surname sounds like a James Bond movie, but Mr. Goldenfold only wishes he could be that cool. In reality, Goldenfold is an insecure math teacher. While Jerry expresses his lack of self-esteem with a heavy sigh, Goldenfold is content to take his rage out at anyone within earshot. He has little tolerance for his students and his questionable teaching method is WAY below the average requirement for a 9th grade class. He can be passionate about his work, leaving one with the impression that he tries, even if he’s got a hair-trigger temper.

Goldenfold’s status as a minor character means he’s about as important as pocket lint, but he was the focus of the second episode “Lawnmower Dog”. Rick and Morty invades the man’s dream to subconsciously convince him to give Morty all “A”s. That way Morty can spend the rest of his time with Rick on their adventures. Goldenfold envisions himself as a heroic ace with TV character Mrs. Pancakes by his side. However, digging deeper reveals his deep-rooted lust for some of his underage students. It’s yet another pile to add to the mountain of issues this guy has.

RICK AND MORTY – EPISODE 7: RAISING GAZORPAZORP

Ep #: 7
Air date: Mar. 10th, 2014
Synopsis: Morty accidentally conceives an alien son and raises him as his own. Elsewhere, Summer tags along with Rick for an adventure.

Rick argues with the owner of an alien pawn shop while a bored Morty wanders the store. His interest spikes when his eyes gleam over a sexy robot. He nervously approaches Rick and tries to convince his grandfather to buy it as an act of goodwill for putting up with his adventures, claiming he’d like a “souvenir.” Rick sees right through Morty’s horny desires, but hashes out a deal with the alien dealer and purchases the sex doll.

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The rest of the Smith family is visibly uncomfortable with Morty’s not-so-subtle free time with “Gwendolyn.” Jerry thinks it’s unacceptable for Rick to buy his grandson a sex doll, but Beth counters that Morty is going through puberty. A panicked Morty interrupts and asks for Rick’s assistance. Thankfully, it’s not what you think: his sex doll merely transformed into a flying ball and Morty wants Rick to get to the bottom of it. Rick pins the ball down, prompting the rest of the family upstairs after hearing what they assume are inappropriate noises. To their shock, the pod squeezes a pink alien out. Rick examines the doll, revealing its true purpose as an incubating baby maker. The child is Morty’s son.

No one is sure what kind of alien the baby is, but Rick thinks it has the potential to be deadly. Rick being Rick, he’ll fix it the only way he knows how: shoot it dead. Jerry, Beth, and Summer all step in because you don’t just shoot a baby! To his credit, Morty takes full responsibility to father the child, naming him Morty Jr. An exasperated Rick takes the sex doll to his lab.

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Summer approaches Rick who has since traced the robot back to Planet Gazorpazorp. He plans to send Morty Jr. back to his homeworld. Summer asks if she can tag along, but Rick declines since he doesn’t take “chicks” on his adventures. Rick opens a portal to Gazorpazorp while Summer calls him out on his blatant misogyny. A massive alien hand swoops in from the portal and kidnaps her. Rick saves his granddaughter before she becomes the unfortunate victim of a vicious mating session. Summer wants to go home, but one of the Gazorpians destroys Rick’s portal gun, trapping the two.

Morty’s only been a teen parent for what amounts to a couple of hours and already Beth and Jerry complicate things. They may have experience in the field, but neither of them can agree on anything. They argue with each other until Morty steps in. He’s the parent, he’ll take care of Morty Jr. Cynically, Beth and Jerry both agree that Morty will ruin the kid’s life.

Rick has quickly taken over Gazorpazorp, commanding its inhabits to bring him broken sex dolls that are scattered throughout the land. He’s been using their parts to build another portal gun, though it’s slow going. Summer is flabbergasted this world only houses men and brainless ones at that. No way a species this dumb could build sex robots to impregnate and populate the planet. Rick theorizes the Gazorpians had evolved past the need for women, ridding them so only sex robots exist to keep their species going. Summer is bemused by the thought.

A giant spaceship in the shape of a head flies down and drops numerous sex dolls to the Gazorpians. They quickly mate with them until a handful transform into balls and fly back to the ship. Rick and Summer hitch a ride on one to get off-planet. Rick thinks Gazorpazorp has a hidden ruling class that dominate and maintain the species. Two of them approach the humans, revealing themselves to be female Gazorpians. While they’re civilized, the women have a particular disdain for men. They force-choke Rick for being one, only willing to spare him if he is revealed to be Summer’s slave. She plays along to save Rick’s life.

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Morty Jr. has grown enough to say his first word, “Death.” Morty is a tad concerned.

Summer and Rick are taken to the female Gazorpian home world, a paradise for women where someone is always there for you and shopping malls litter every corner. Their ruler, Ma-Sha, explains that all the women left the men during the Great Passive-Aggression, disdainful of the opposite gender’s violent ways. They send robot substitutes to continue their species. Any females born are kept in their world while men, in Ma-Sha’s own words, “go out to play.” Unfortunately, this had the side effect of embodying harmful stereotypes of their respective sex.

Rick and Summer also learn that a male Gazorpian can grow to adult size within a day, a cause for concern since one of them is inhabiting Earth. Rick brings this up, but Summer is forced to slap him when the Gazorpians notice he’s speaking out of turn, though she takes glee in doing so. Rick retaliates by letting out a massive fart that everyone within proximity hears. Offended, Summer accidentally calls him “Grandpa”, causing the Gazorpians to realize he is not her slave and that Earth is yet another in a long line of patriarchy oppression. Rick retorts that men and women are equal back home, though Summer correctly notes women are still stigmatized. The Gazorpians respond by force-choking them.

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Morty Jr., now a toddler, increasingly expresses his desire for murder by drawing gruesome pictures. Morty tries to distract him, but Morty Jr. wants to go outside and rain down upon his enemies. In a bid to keep him inside, Morty convinces his son that the air is poisonous for him. When Junior asks why, Morty flips out, scaring the child away.

Summer and Rick are taken to trial and sentenced to death. Rick apologizes to Summer for his behavior and as a final act of sincerity, compliments her new top. This gives Summer an idea: she tells the Gazorpians the top they adored on her is made by a man, therefore they should be set free. Separating genders may work for the Gazorpians, but on Earth, men and women intermingle because that’s what works for them. Ma-Sha doesn’t understand, but respects their culture and releases them.

Morty catches his now teenage son smoking in the living room. He attempts to punish him, but Morty Jr. doesn’t care. Stuck home with a severe need to kill, Junior is a box of dynamites waiting to be lit up. Father and son argue until Morty strikes the match and angrily pushes him. Morty Jr. is shocked his own father would do that, comically ignoring the massive bulk he has on his old man. Morty apologizes, but it’s not enough for Junior. Fed up with his dad, he takes his chances outside. The air isn’t poisonous after all; his life has been a lie. He runs down the street stark raving mad. Morty begs his own father for a ride so he can find his son.

Free to pursue his urges, Morty Jr. starts destroying the town. Morty and Jerry follow the trail of destruction to locate him. An enraged Morty Jr. nearly kills the two with Jerry’s car, but Morty calms him down. Rick arrives in time to finish what he started. Morty shields his son, telling Rick he’d have to shoot him first to get to his child.

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Touched by his father’s love, Morty Jr. drops everything and surveys the damage he created. Morty and his son talk it out. Junior needs to find a creative way to channel his urges somehow. Suddenly, Brad Anderson, creator of the comic strip, Marmaduke, barges in. He tells Morty Jr. that he faces violent urges everyday, so he directs it all towards his work. Morty Jr. decides to do the same. He tells his father it’s time for him to get a place of his own, but promises to call when he needs money or to do laundry.

Summer asks if Rick learned anything about women from this experience. He claims to have learned nothing. However, Rick has newfound respect for his granddaughter, enough to give her the keys to the alien ship they used to get home.

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The stinger ends with Morty Jr., now an old man, being interviewed. He’s since become a writer and his autobiography, My Horrible Father, is a New York Times bestseller. Morty is uncomfortable that his terrible parenting is public knowledge, but Beth informs him being a parent is a thankless job.

PRINCIPAL VAGINA

Status: Tertiary Character
First Appearance: “Pilot”
Voice Actor: Phil Hendrie

Principal Vagina is the head of Harry Herpson High School. An average educator, he handles his job with a relatively cool head. He’s a well-adjusted man in spite of his insecurities, crushing divorce with his ex-wife, and unfortunate last name.

Principal Vagina is an unimportant reoccurring character, but he played a big role in “Get Schwifty’s” subplot. When giant alien heads invaded Earth, they caused worldwide natural disasters as they demanded the planet to “show them what they got.” Gene took it upon himself to reject Chrisitiany and declare the Heads as their new lords. He created the religion Headism and transformed his neighborhood into a simpler, albeit horribly antiquated zone. Whoever subverted his views would be tied to balloons and cast upwards in the hopes the Giant Heads would inhale them and sneeze out newborn, “better babies.”

Eventually the townsfolk realized the Giant Heads only arrived as part of an intergalactic musical reality show and their entire approval and dismissal were not directed to their religion. Principal Vagina held onto whatever power he had, but the rest of the neighborhood reined him in. And so endeth the brief rise of Headism and whatever dignity Gene Vagina had.

RICK AND MORTY – EPISODE 1: PILOT

Ep #: 1
Air date: Dec. 2, 2013
Synopsis: Rick drags Morty out of school on an intergalactic adventure to gather Mega-Seeds.

Rick and Morty doesn’t make scruples about itself the minute the show begins. “Pilot” opens up with a drunkard Rick stumbling into Morty’s room and dragging the fourteen-year-old boy out of bed. Rick boards the two into his makeshift spaceship and bluntly informs Morty his plan to drop a bomb on Earth and start anew. To ease Morty into this, he’ll kidnap his school crush, Jessica, to enact an Adam and Eve situation. Morty is not pleased with this revelation and his protest eventually wins out. Rick lands his ship in the middle of a desert. As he stumbles out of the vehicle, he unconvincing states this was all a test. Then he passes out, leaving Morty stranded in paralyzed fear.

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Cue title sequence.

Their nightly misadventure takes a toll on Morty the next morning. He can barely keep himself awake in front of his whole family, The Smiths. Aware of Rick’s sci-fi adventures, each family member reacts differently to the elephant in the room. While she’s concerned for her son, Beth barely raises a tone against her father’s ill-treatment of Morty. Her husband, Jerry, is quickest to point Rick as the problematic source of Morty’s woes. Though it doesn’t help that Rick is condescending towards his son-in-law. Rick has been taking Morty out of school and Jerry is none too happy. Rick unabashedly justifies school as an unnecessary distraction, but whatever his excuses may be, it’s clear he has no respect for anyone’s opinion. That just leaves Morty’s older sister, Summer, who apathetically refuses to be part of this drama. Rick leaves the dining table, but not before praising Beth for making a good breakfast. No amount of family drama is enough to prevent Beth from accepting even the faintest praise from her father; she just can’t help but be suckered into Rick’s good grace.

The Smith family eating breakfast in spite of high tension amongst themselves.

After, Morty attends math class. His teacher, Mr. Goldenfold, aggressively lectures ridiculously rudimentary math lessons every 9th graders should have learned by this point. Morty is too enamored with Jessica to care. Still reeling from last night, Morty drifts off into Dreamland. He has an erotic fantasy where Jessica allows him to touch her “Little Mortys.” This causes him to tiredly fondle his own teacher who creepily doesn’t mind in spite of severe denial.

In-between classes, Rick is bullied by a greaser kid named Frank for all of twenty seconds before Rick zaps him with a freeze ray. Rick needs Morty for an important mission, but the latter is worried about missing school again. Rick pressures him into it and the two head off, leaving the still frozen Frank behind. Summer doesn’t seem to notice (probably too charmed by his bad boy attitude) as she approaches and flirts with him. She barely gets a sentence in before he shatters into a thousand pieces, much to her horror.

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At St. Equis Hospital, Beth works as a horse heart surgeon. Jerry arrives, free for lunch, and casually invites his wife to join. She’s less than pleased at his intrusion and even less so when he thinks little of her job. Beth thinks her work is far more important than it actually is while Jerry wastes no time with passive-aggressive retorts. There are hints that Beth is aware of her predicament. Circumstances several years back prevented her from being the famous surgeon (for humans) she’s always dreamed of. Her ego and resentment means she won’t let Jerry win though. Their martial issues will be a running subplot through Rick and Morty; their current dilemma is kid’s stuff compared to some of the debates they get into later. Rather than rehash old arguments, Jerry discreetly brings up a retirement home pamphlet, saying Rick should be put in one. Beth stubbornly refuses.

Using his portal gun, Rick takes Morty to Dimension 35-C. Rick and Morty shines in the animation department. The titular characters’ numerous planet-hopping and alternate dimension malarkey means the animators can meticulously craft bizarre species and settings. For example, Dimension 35-C looks like a world Dr. Suess could have built.

Dimension 35-C houses the fabled Mega-Trees, host of the Mega-Fruit of which Rick needs its Mega-Seeds to use for his science projects. Morty is suffering severe anxiety from the place, but Rick tries to calm him down, saying he has enough personal experience to know everything will be alright. Until a giant alien beast sneak up from behind, prompting Rick to panic and yell at Morty to run the hell away, having absolutely no clue what that thing is.

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Rick and Morty eventually reach the Mega-Trees, located below the steep cliff they’re on. Rick gives Morty a pair of boots that can adjust gravity to let them walk off the side with ease. Morty bites off more than he can chew when he falls over, having forgotten to turn the boots on. Then Rick has the good sense to instruct Morty on what he was suppose to do with remarkable callousness.

Meanwhile, Jerry and Beth argue over Rick. Beth defends her father, saying he’s only just recently come back into her life and she won’t screw that up. Jerry is concerned Rick is distracting Morty from school, though Beth points out the boy has always been struggling with his subjects long before then. What has changed is that for once, Morty has a friend to call his own. Jerry is about to turn over a new leaf, but a phone call from the unfortunately named Principal Vagina threatens to challenge that.

With both legs broken, Morty angrily calls Rick out and declares this as the final straw. Rick can only shrug; he did try to warn him. Without a word, Rick uses his portal gun and zips off elsewhere. The next few seconds is an uncomfortably humorous moment as Morty twitches in agonizing pain. Rick returns with a serum to cure Morty’s legs, bringing him back to his old self. Morty is impressed enough to willingly climb up and get the Mega-Seeds for him. Rick explains that he traveled to a future dimension where medicine is so advanced Broken Leg Serum is in every drug store in the corner. Everyone there is young and immortal, meaning Rick’s old, haggard appearance made him something of a celebrity. He leisured around in fame and hot women, unaware til the last minute that his portal gun ran out of juice in the process. They’re stuck in Dimension 35-C. That means they have to go through interdimensional customs to get home. Problem is, the Mega-Seeds are considered illegal contraband, so he tells Morty to do him a real solid: shove those seeds (and they’re big seeds) waaaay up his butt hole. Rick can’t do it because he’s done it so many times, leaving Morty to nervously accept the task.

Morty is in pain, but Rick has the cure.

Principal Vagina informs Morty’s parents that he’s totaled a measly seven hours of school since the start of semester. It’s a cause for worry, but a triumphant validation for Jerry. Nearby, Summer is grieving for Frank.

Rick and Morty arrive in an interdimensional gateway, run by the Galactic Federation. Rick isn’t fond of bureaucracy, so the sooner they leave, the better. One of the guards asks Morty for a random check up to test their machine for any jerk who shoved stuff up their butts. Rick panics and the two make a run for it, guards hot on their trail. In a fit of animation beauty, the background is littered with unique and downright gross alien designs that make up a suitable part of the show. They reach a portal gate where Rick needs time to punch in the proper coordinates. He gives Morty one of the security rifles to shoot the guards with. Morty has hang ups killing someone until Rick tells him they’re just robots. Morty blasts one on the leg, causing him to slowly bleed to death. It’s shown in all its horrific glory, too. The dying guard is comforted by his fellow officer who desperately yells for someone to contact his loved ones. Only after does Rick bother to clarify: he calls anyone associated with the government “robots” due to his severe mistrust. Score another traumatic memory for Morty.

A screencap from the Rick and Morty episode

Rick operates the portal in time, sending them home and careening into the school cafeteria. Jessica is noticeably impressed at Morty’s dramatic entrance. Before Morty can flirt back, Rick carries him away. Jerry and Beth arrive at the same time and accuses Rick for taking their grandson away. Rick tries to defend himself, but no one’s buying.

Back home, the Smiths are packing Rick’s belongings so he can be shipped off to a retirement house. Even Beth refuses to defend his actions this time. Morty tries to step in, but to no avail. Jerry has to tell his only son that he has a disability and skipping school elevates the issue. It’s a lot for the kid to take in, but Rick saves the day when he bombards Morty with complicated scientific questions for him to answer. To everyone’s surprise, Morty nails them. Rick says Morty is actually gifted—too smart for school even—and is why he keeps the boy around as his assistant. Neither parents want to taint Morty’s luck, so they compromise: Morty can hang out with Rick as long as he goes to school. Rick agrees and the parents leave.

Morty is shocked that he had the touch all along, but Rick drops an unfortunate bombshell: Morty is only smart due to the effects of the Mega-Seeds still up his butt. The Mega-Seeds will eventually dissolve inside, removing his intelligence. Instead he’s going to spend the next 72 hours with barely functioning motor skills and disrupted brain power. Starting now. As Morty topples over, writhing yet again in pain, Rick confesses to his tricks. He needed Jerry and Beth to get off his back, so he took advantage of a fortunate situation. Rick vows to collect more Mega-Seeds and happily chants of more adventures to come, whether Morty likes it or not.

RICK SANCHEZ

Status: Main Character

First Appearance: “Pilot”

Voice Actor: Justin Roiland

To say Rick Sanchez has a complicated life would be an understatement. On the surface, Rick is a cantankerous old scientist and possibly the smartest human being on Earth. He’s able to invent and craft – both useful and meaningless – with ease, travel through time and space like it’s nothing, and survive countless dangers. Nothing seems to tie him down, allowing him free rein throughout the multiverse to pursue whatever madness he feels like getting into that day.

Rick is a crude man who has little morals for the things he does. He walked out on his daughter Beth and his then wife, only to arrive years later for unknown reasons. He belittles his son-in-law and drags his grandson, Morty, into traumatic situations without any concern for his safety. He considers mundane, everyday needs like school and love to be utterly pointless. He wanders into interdimensional portals and exotic alien planets, only to leave them worse off than before (intentional or not.) Rick heavily distrusts the government and at one point, actively fought them. Everyone he meets, including alternate counterparts of himself, are not spared from his apathy and biting sarcasm. Rick has seen and done far worse than the average human for seemingly no purpose. No matter how much his family chews him out on this, it isn’t enough to deter him. He comes and goes as he pleases, following his own defined code.

Internally, Rick’s drunkard behavior is but a facade. He didn’t get far into his life without hiding a few skeletons. Rick is deeply depressed on the inside, numbing his pain through booze, drugs, and death-seeking adventures. There are hints he’s guilty for the pain he has caused, so he excuses his addiction and bluntness to push his family away. His past is shrouded in mystery, left unrevealed as Rick does not wish to dwell on further grievances. His boorish attitude is a cover for the help he desperately wants, but there are days when he wishes he could just end it all.

A fortunate silver lining exists the more he spends time with The Smiths. Rick is fiercely protective of his family when he senses something genuinely upsetting them. Despite dragging his grandson against his will and exposing him to deadly situations no child should go through, Rick will go out of his way to shield Morty from outside threats or sincerely cheer him up when the kid is down. In return, Morty serves as his moral guidance. Rick cares more than he wants to admit, but that may be what saves him in the end.

RICK AND MORTY – EPISODE 2: LAWNMOWER DOG

Ep #: 2
Air date: Dec. 9, 2013
Synopsis: Rick and Morty enter Mr. Goldenfold’s mind to convince him to give Morty perfect grades, but complication arise the deeper they dream. Meanwhile, The Smiths deal with the family dog’s increasing super intelligence.

Morty’s dog, Snuffles, treads into the living room and pees on the carpet right in front of Jerry. Morty tries to defend his pet, but Jerry retaliates by shoving the dog’s head to the stain. Rick arrives to drag the kid away, but not before Jerry begs him to invent a machine to smarten up Snuffles. Jerry’s request might as well be foot rot to Rick, but he needs Morty, so he quickly whips up a helmet that enhances Snuffle’s intelligence. The dog performs tricks at the drop of a hat and uses the toilet instead, rendering Jerry and Summer awestruck.

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Morty compliments Rick on his latest invention, but the old crank dismisses it and introduces Morty to a special device. The tool can send the user into anyone’s dreams once they place it on both the user and dreamer’s ear, kind of like the movie Inception. Rick plans to enter the brain of Morty’s math teacher, Mr. Goldenfold, to convince him to give Morty passing grades. That way, Morty can spend the better portion of his life going on trauma-inducing adventures with Rick. Morty complains that for all the time Rick spent cultivating this idea, he could have just helped the teen with his homework. He’s got a point, but Rick doesn’t care.

Rick and Morty sneak into Mr. Goldenfold’s house while he’s napping. Using the Inception Tool, Rick and Morty pass out and enter his dreams. Taking place inside an airplane, Rick and Morty catches Dream Goldenfold flirting with a stewardess version of a TV character he watches, Mrs. Pancakes. To motivate the man, Rick tapes soda bottles to his chest and claims he’s going to blow up the plane unless the teacher gives Morty “A”s. Goldenfold heroically reacts, chucking deadly Wheat Thins before busting out a pair of machine guns. Rick didn’t anticipate him as an active dreamer, putting them at a disadvantage. They can’t afford to die in Goldenfold’s dreams because their real life counterparts will also die. It’s a convenient piece of information Rick just so happens to relay while bullets are flying in their general direction.

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Meanwhile, Jerry is trying to impress Beth with the new and improved Snuffles. Beth doesn’t take, knowing full well something bad is going to come out of this. Indeed, Snuffles struggles to garble out a sentence to Jerry and Summer. They don’t understand what he’s saying, but they’re impressed anyway. Snuffles realizes the helmet’s limitation, so he ventures into the kitchen to open a drawer of batteries and wires.

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In order to stop Goldenfold’s madcap shooting, Rick takes Mrs. Pancakes hostage. This is enough for Goldenfold to lose his mind. Everyone on board flies off into a panic because his subconscious is. One of the passengers kicks the airplane door open, sucking Rick and Morty out into the open air. They spot Mrs. Pancakes with a parachute, so they make their way over and hitch a ride. Their safety is shortlived: Goldenfold is below with a trap. The convoluted contraption is designed to pluck Mrs. Pancakes to safety while leaving Rick and Morty vulnerable to a vat of lava. They need more time to plan an escape, so Rick has the bright idea to use the Inception Tool on Mrs. Pancakes. Going by dream logic, her’s will be a hundred times slower.

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The duo end up in a sex dungeon filled with imaginary creatures, ruled by Mrs. Pancakes. Morty proceeds to ask her for help, but Rick stops him. Dream worlds make it harder to convince people, so they have to ease their way in; Mrs. Pancakes has to think she came up with the idea herself. His explanation seem to be a partial excuse since he readily undresses and runs off to indulge himself.

Morty navigates the exotic room until he bumps into a hot human woman…who turns out to be his sister, Summer, in skimpy lingerie. It seems Goldenfold’s fantasy is so skewed he regularly dreams of Summer in uncompromising situations. Summer tries to seduce her brother and grandpa (the latter decked in S&M gear), earning disgust from both. Their sexual hang up is frowned upon by the others. A centaur guard tries to apprehend them, but Rick knocks him cold and uses the Inception Tool on him.

Morty and Rick are sent to a creepy boiler room. Chills run down their spine when a leathery faced man greets them with all the presence of a hot iron brand. This is Scary Terry, the “legally safe knock-off of an 80s horror character with miniature swords for hands instead of knives.”

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Snuffles approaches Jerry and Summer, now with a mechanic hand and a speech translator. Able to speak freely, he declares he wants to be understood. Jerry is just a smidge uncomfortable. He’s starting to understand his wife’s concerns, so he goes over to detach the machine from Snuffles. Summer stops him, pontifacting the immorality of removing one’s sentience. Like it or not, Snuffles is on equal footing with the family. He joins them as they watch a documentary on the evolution of dogs. There he learns the harsh truth that humans played a huge part in taming the creatures to be their subordinates. Snuffles is not happy to hear about this, further compounded by Summer and Jerry’s—especially the latter—condescending treatment of him.

Scary Terry pursues Rick and Morty with glee. To hammer the point, a creepy song echoes through the wall, sung by a little girl. What was presumably just background music turns out to be real when Rick finds and knocks the creepy kid unconscious and uses the Inception Tool on her. They just end up back in the same boiler room. Worse, Scary Terry can hop into other dreams willingly!

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Summer wakes up in the middle of the night to find Snuffles in her room. He’s now riding on a giant machine he has built for himself. With great restraint, he asks Summer where his testicles are, a loaded question if there ever was one. Summer tries to calm him down, but fails. He decries the name “Snuffles” since he views it as his slave name. He demands to be called something more dignified: Snowball. Her parents try to pry Summer away, but another dog Snowball endowed with free will blocks their path.

Rick and Morty end up in a beaten down neighborhood, but no matter where they go, Scary Terry is one step ahead. Running doesn’t seem to work, so Rick suggest they hide. Morty is reluctant, but agrees. After all, if they could hide, it’s not like Scary Terry would be telling this to anyone. Surprisingly, hiding works and the two keep it up until Scary Terry tires himself out.

The rest of the Smith family is jailed while Snowball commendeers their house. He has since recruited a number of dogs, each gifted with intelligence and their own machines to create weapons for world domination. The Smiths try to apologize, but Jerry keeps screwing it up with his patronizing attitude, only furthering Snowball’s vengeance.

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Rick and Morty follow Scary Terry home. Turns out, Scary Terry is just a normal guy who murders people in their dreams because it’s a common job among his species. When he isn’t working, he’s a devoted husband and father. However, Scary Terry had a rough day, so he takes it out on his wife. The two argue for a bit before he apologizes and the couple make up. Once they’re asleep, Rick and Morty sneak into their bedroom and uses the Inception Tool in his ear. Morty fearfully ponders what a nightmarish creature’s dreams could be: a hellish dimension? A parade of corpses? No, it’s something far scarier: High School. And Young Terry doesn’t have any pants on! And his teacher is a jerk and everyone makes fun of him! Rick and Morty back him up, pair of pants included. Scary Terry is touched and wakes up with serenely. This is such a great twist. A lesser show would have milked the pop culture by shoving as many unnecessary references as possible. Rick and Morty does not do this; there’s no quick Leonardo DiCaprio cameo or that infamous “BWAAAAH!” musical cue seen in the trailers. Scary Terry isn’t a carbon copy of Freddy Krueger, but a person with internal conflicts who, by all rights, is just an Average Joe. That’s the joke. “Lawnmower Dog” is consistently good because it uses the plot as a groundwork for the rest of the episode, letting their own brand of humor carry it.

Having conquered his inner demon, Scary Terry repays the two by killing the other dreamers, culminating in him blowing up Dream Goldenfold. This impact startles the real teacher awake. He triumphantly declares Morty is going to get perfect grades, rationalizing it as his idea the whole time. Mission accomplished.

Rick and Morty fly home, only to find Snowball is running the place. They rescues their family and decide to split. Jerry stubornly refuses to and like the moron that he is, marches up to Snowball and pees on their weapon cases, claiming it as his property. Jerry ends up with a face of his own urine when Snowball shoves him down in retaliation. However, Snowball spares Morty because he was the only one to show him kindness.

The dogs take over the planet until humankind is no longer the dominant species. Morty doesn’t mind at all. He spends the next year living luxuriously in a giant manor with two hot women and a servant who attends his every need. Rick smashes his way in and crushes Morty’s idealized existence: this is all a dream. When everyone had gone to sleep, he had used the Inception Tool on Snowball. Morty isn’t happy about this, but is ready to make amends. Rick gives Morty kidney failure.

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Morty is being tended to while Rick (poorly disguised as one of the dogs) continously urges Snowball to save him. One of the dogs inform Snowball he needs to stop spending outrageous medical prices or he’ll lose his kingdom. Snowball doesn’t care, he would trade it all to save his friend. His comrade warns him the humans would never do the same, but Snowball is adamant that they are not human. Snowball has an epiphany. He wakes up with a big decision in hand.

Gathering a selection of dogs, Snowball plans to leave Earth and create a new society elsewhere, free from human taint. Before he departs, Snowball informs Morty that he can call him “Snuffles” if he chooses to. Morty wonders how a society of dogs will function. Rick casually answers that it’d probably make a decent 11-minute cartoon, itself a reference to Justin Roiland’s short, Dog World.

Starting with “Lawnmower Dog”, every Rick and Morty episode has a ending stinger, usually a separate scene with callbacks to the main episode. This stinger involves a trip back to Scary Terry’s high school with a pleasant outcome. No one is making fun of him; his new teacher is a kindhearted hippie; and he and Rick chill in the back, smoking weed.