RICK AND MORTY – EPISODE 12: A RICKLE IN TIME

Ep #: 12
Air date: Jul. 26th, 2015
Synopsis: Rick unfreezes time after six months, but uncertainty among his grandkids causes time to split in two.

At the end of the season one finale, “Ricksy Business”, Morty and Summer convinced their grandfather Rick to freeze time before their parents marched inside to find a messy house due to an unplanned party. The entire world stopped, allowing the trio more than enough time to clean the place. However, you don’t just hand over a time crystal to a mad scientist and his two irresponsible teenage grandkids. They leave Earth frozen for six months to presumably make use of whatever freedom they had.

But even that got old. Morty is now doing some last minute cleanup before they restore time to normalcy, vacuuming his parents and keeping them healthy since they’ve been stuck outside the house for half a year. Summer bugs him, thinking with all of Morty’s past screw-ups, perhaps Grandpa Rick would rather hang out with her instead. Sorry, sweetie, but the show isn’t called “Rick and Summer.”

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Before he activates his device, Rick informs the kids that due to them spending six months outside of time, they need to stabilize. In classic Rick format, he only half-explains everything and leaves off the information on what exactly the kids need to do to prevent themselves from creating an anomaly.

Jerry and Beth storm in to find their home completely spruced up. From their perspective, they could have swore the place was a wreck seconds ago. Rick placates them through bribery, rolling a heap of money in their direction and telling them to get ice cream. The Smiths are suspicious, but Jerry can’t resist the sweet frozen goodness and Rick’s compassionate greeting to his daughter is enough to thaw Beth. The crisis is averted.

Course, this last for all but a minute before Morty and Summer screw it up. The two get into a sibling tiff, resulting in Summer pushing her brother, except it was a transparent shadow of herself doing it. The same thing happens to Morty when he pushes her, causing a transparent version of him to pop up. The universe begins to shake and the screen literally splits in two, carrying a double of the same universe. Rick retreats to his garage to confirm his theory: Morty and Summer’s uncertainties (hence why one version of themselves physically pushed the other while the other versions merely argued) combined with a six-month time gap means they now exist in a plane of possibilities and hypotheticals. The rest of the world is fine, but Rick, Morty, and Summer are caught outside of time. They can’t even escape because the entire reality is nothing but a black void surrounded by floating Schrödinger’s cats. Rick needs to fix this mess in about four hours or they’ll have a 50/50 chance of existing or not.

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Beth and Jerry’s issue is comparatively mundane: a drive home from Coldstone Creamery ends in disaster when Jerry hits a deer. He thinks they should put it out of its misery, but Beth is confident she could fix it if she was back at the horse hospital. Jerry doesn’t think she’s capable because a deer is a different animal, but that only fuels Beth’s flame. She demands Jerry put the deer in the car so she can prove him wrong.

Using time crystals, Rick tries to meld time again. It almost works, but Morty and Summer are in opposite positions from their respective realities, preventing the two worlds from properly syncing. Rick figures the unstable mind of an average teenager is what’s preventing them from fixing this mess. This is demonstrated by the two Mortys and Summers having different ways of saying the same thing. By contrast, both Ricks are near perfect sync. Fed up, Rick tells his grandkids how useless they both are, going as far to prove it scientifically.

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Beth and Jerry drag the deer to the local vet, forcing themselves into the main surgical room to prep the animal. The vet is displeased, but Beth is determined. She examines the deer and finds a bullet hole on its torso. A hunter arrives, having followed the duo. He had shot the deer before Jerry bumped it with his car and has come to claim it as his own. The vet refuses, saying she took a vow that no animals shall be harmed under her watch. Beth ignores everyone and suits up for surgery. The hunter phones his lawyer who tells Beth the deer is legally his, but she is too far gone to care. Beth is desperate to save the deer at any cost.

After Rick thoroughly lambasted his grandkids, he tells them to be like him and think in certainty. One version of Morty insults Rick under his breath, causing that Rick to lose sync with his other self and preventing time from successfully merging again. Rather then assume his grandkids threw him off-balance, Rick panicks and concludes his other self is trying to murder him. He thinks killing off one possibility instead of merging with each other will quickly fix the issue. Rick stashes the time crystal on a gun and literally tries to shoot himself. This huge uncertainly splits the realities further until it’s in fours.

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Rick tries to off himself by committing suicide, but Morty knocks him unconscious. The Smith siblings lock him in a dog crate before waking him up. Rick reassures the kids that he’ll fix this mess, so he uses the time crystal to send a voice message to himself to broker a peace. Rick then asks the kids to free him, but they refuse for their own safety, so he dismantles the cage himself. He could get out at anytime, but he wanted to be certain before he did, a lesson he thinks his grandkids aren’t getting. Before Rick could set things right, a grotesque looking creature zips in.

The creature is from the fourth dimension and an immortal time keeper. He criticizes Rick for thinking he can merge realities back together when he himself is within the reality frame, something impossible for people of the third dimension. The Fourth Dimensional Being easily solves the problem by handing them time collars which automatically syncs them up. Victory is shortlived though as the Fourth Dimensional Being plans to take all three of them to prison. Rick had stolen a time crystal from their zone while Morty and Summer are likely in compliance with him, unintended or not.

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Rick tricks the creature into looking behind, saying a guy with infinite time on his hands is most certainly going to do everything, including looking away from his targets. The Fourth Dimensional Being cannot disagree with this logic and does so, letting Rick whack him upside the head with a wrench. Rick declares for the first time that he has no idea what he is doing as he orders Morty and Summer to remove their time collars. Then he proceeds to beat up the Fourth Dimensional Being, even less sure of his actions. This causes time to split further and further until there’s no less than 30 alternate realities left hanging. Space and time is losing grip on itself and if they don’t fix it quick, they’re doomed.

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Though Beth tries to mend the deer, she can’t quite hack it. Jerry arrives with a couple of men from the Cervine Institute who can safely fly the deer to a top deer hospital past state where it’ll get the treatment needed. This passes the legality of the lawyer as long as Beth admits she couldn’t do her job. She is very unhappy about this.

Jerry drives his resentful wife home, but makes a short stop into the woods. There they reunite with the Cervice Institute who is setting up a surgical table and lights for Beth to perform surgery. Turns out there is no Cervice Institute, Jerry just got help from a couple of employees at Coldstone Creamery to pull off this stunt. He encourages Beth to finish what she started. With renewed faith, she gets right to work and successfully treats the deer.

Rick alters the collars and forces them to put them on as time literally breaks apart. Summer’s collar works, zapping her back into one, but one reality of Morty can’t put his on because the latch is broken. While the numerous other Ricks and Mortys are blaming each other because time has yet to merge, the one Morty with the broken collar slips off and drops to the empty void of time, forcing Rick to rescue him. Unfortuntely Rick can’t fix Morty’s collar because the kid dropped it. In a moment of rare sentimentality, Rick takes off his collar and gives it to Morty. With nothing to save himself with, Rick is left to die in the void of space, having sacrificed himself for his grandson. Strangely, he is alright with this. To reassure himself, Rick hopes Morty will grow up to be a better person than hi-

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Oh, hey, it’s Morty’s collar! Never mind, he’s safe! In an act that is truly a sight to behold, Rick swims to the collar as he’s praying to Jesus and God for help, fixes it, then curses God off. Even better, the other Ricks, thinking they’re equally doomed, is praying to God that Hell be merciful before he, too is merged back into one. Then he cheerfully declares there is no God and dances. If that isn’t a massive commentary on his mental issues, than I don’t know what is! With time and reality back to normal, Morty tries to retain his memory from his other selves. He is convinced that some version of Rick saved a version of him, but the old geezer denies it. Beth and Jerry arrive home at this time. In a good mood, Jerry makes fun of their goofy collars while his wife laughs on.

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The after credits conclude with the Fourth Dimensional Being meeting up with another to travel through time to find Rick and beat him up for revenge. After they leave, we find out the man they attacked isn’t Rick, but Albert Einstein. The creatures warned them not to mess with time, but out of spite, Einstein vows he will, writing down his famous formula, E = mc2.

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