Ep #: 17
Air date: Aug 30th, 2015
Synopsis: Rick and Morty shrink to microscopic portion to fix Rick’s spaceship. Summer learns there’s more to her grandfather’s vehicle than she anticipated.
Rick and his grandkids have a grand ol’ time at the movies in an alternate Earth, one that is similar to their world with the exception of the giant telepathic spiders roaming the land. It also has the best ice cream ever. However, the good times are predictably short when Rick’s spaceship refuse to start. Something is messing up the Microverse Battery that charges the car. Rick takes Morty and shrinks them down so they can explore it from the inside and figure out a solution, but not before telling his ship to protect Summer at all cost. Little does Summer know what a loaded command that is.
A bored Summer keeps herself busy on her phone until an intimidating looking man approaches her. Scared, she tries to ignore him, but he mistakes her fear for snobbery and calls her out on it. The ship retaliates, protecting Summer…by slicing the man into tiny square cubes with a laser. Summer is naturally terrified, more so when another man protest that the dead man was his daughter’s pediatrician. The ship nearly kills him as well until Summer tells it not to. The ship responds by merely shooting his spine so that he cannot walk anymore. As the man waddles in horrified agony, Summer is in tears, realizing how far the ship will go to keep her safe.
Inside the battery, Rick finds the electrons needed to boost it isn’t activated because somebody is slacking off. Morty is shocked to discover an entire civilization lives in his battery. Rick has created a temporal time hole where life eventually grew, hence the name “Microverse” Battery. He then introduced the people to a machine called the Goober Steps under the guise that it will power their electronics, but secretly also charge Rick’s battery (and his phone.) Morty thinks is basically slavery, but Rick declares they have enough free will that it doesn’t count. Morty reacts with visible disgust.
The tiny beings have celebrated Rick as an alien savior since he gave them the Goober Steps. When they received word of his revisit, they quickly assemble the annual Ricksgiving celebration. After the meet and greet, Rick asks the President why his people have stopped using the Goober Steps. Their most brilliant scientist, Zeep Xanflorp has developed an efficient, better way to generate power, making the Goober Steps obsolete. With gritted teeth and controlled rage, Rick asks to meet the man behind the method.
Zeep serves as something of a parallel to Rick; if he isn’t quite as apathetic as the latter, then he’s just as arrogant, having little time for distractions when science can be done. He doesn’t care that Rick is visiting, but with the president’s urging, Zeep reluctantly shows Rick and Morty the new power source: a miniature verse that he created (unimaginatively called the Miniverse.) Zeep tries to shoo them away, saying he has no time for idle play, but the president naively mentions that time flows much slower in the Miniverse than in their world. With no way out, Zeep zaps the duo into the Miniverse to present his ideas.
There another world exists with even smaller aliens. Like Rick, Zeep created a device – a Floobo Crank – that the Miniverse aliens use which in turn powers up Zeep’s home planet. Rick is furious, saying this is an act of slavery, but Zeep defends himself. Morty drags his grandfather for some alone time and criticizes him for his hypocrisy. Rick takes it the wrong way (of course), blind with rage as he decides to seek out the Miniverse’s head scientist and expose Zeep’s plans. That way, Zeep will be forced to recognize his own hypocrisy and reuse the Goober Steps once more.
Rick’s spaceship has gained the attention of the police. It’s ready to fight back, but cannot with Summer denying it the satisfaction of murder. The spaceship gets creative, resulting in one of the most gut-wrenching scenes in the entire show. It scans the police officers until it finds one who recently lost a child. It gestates a pod where a little boy pops out from. He’s the splitting image of the drowned boy, enough that the officer drops down in tears, apologetic for not saving his son in time. The child politely tells the cop to leave the spaceship alone, then melts into goo. Rick’s ship sends out a firm warning that every cop has loved ones it can recreate and take away. This is enough to scare the group and buy the ship some time.
Eventually the police join the armed forces to figure out a way to combat Rick’s spaceship. The spaceship can’t do much as long as Summer keeps it reined in, so they’re sitting ducks for the time.
While Zeep is soaking up the praise from the Miniverse denizens, Rick asks its leader if they have a miniature universe that they’ve created for an energy source. The President quickly shuts them up, surprised that he knew about it, given it’s a secret. Rick, Morty, and Zeep are later given a tour by the Miniverse’s head scientist as he recreates the same idea that Zeep and Rick had. Zeep suddenly realizes his world is a lie and that Rick used him as he did the Miniverse. With that in mind, Zeep and Rick get into a fist fight. The Miniverse scientist figures out his entire world is a fabrication as well. He suffers a severe existential crisis and commits suicide with his vehicle, trapping Rick, Morty, and Zeep in the middle of the jungle.
The three have since inhabited caves opposite of each other (Rick and Morty on one end, Zeep the other.) The two scientists have spent their time crafting whatever they could out of sticks and stones to retaliate against each other. Morty eventually has had enough of their pettiness; taking only a bow and arrow, he leaves.
Months pass since they’ve been stranded. Rick and Zeep have created mechs out of wood, using it to hunt for food and beat each other up. Their mechs don’t last and they don’t get a chance to kill one another when natives from the forest surround them. Morty has since became a tribal member, living their ways. He invites Rick and Zeep deep into the woods to worship their spirit tree, Koo-Alla. Morty is about to explain the function of the tree, but then he desperately pulls a 180 and tells Rick he hates being in the tribe – he wants to go home. He demands Rick and Zeep work together and figure out a way. When they refuse, Morty sics the entire tribe at them, forcing their hands.
Their teamwork pays off and they warp back to the main scientific headquarters of the Miniverse. Zeep plays friendly long enough to get a headstart and leave Rick and Morty in the dust. Rick catches on quick and the duo pursue Zeep. At the same time, the army gives Summer ten seconds to step out of the vehicle or they’ll hit her with everything they got. As the countdown begins, Rick and Morty outrun Zeep and smashes the Miniverse. Zeep still has a trick up his sleeve, commandeering a flying motorcycle. Rick tells Morty to turn into a car, confusing the daylights out of the kid. Rick had planted a chip inside Morty ages ago that can transform him into a car when prompt; unfortunately Morty cannot pull it off. It’s fine, Rick got a taxi. They outsmart Zeep, forcing him to crash into a Ricksgiving parade float, leaving Rick free to destroy the Microverse.
Meanwhile, the government butts in before the army can attack Summer and the spaceship so they can sign a peace agreement between them and the telepathic spiders. Turns out the spaceship had brokered a peace during the chaos. This is enough for the governor to command the army to stand down and leave Rick’s spaceship alone. The vehicle has fulfilled its mission: protect Summer.
Rick and Morty board their ship, but not before Zeep gets one last fight. Tired and haggard, the two men fight in the rain until Rick comes out the victor. Rick then restores Morty and himself back to normal. There Summer has waited for them, stone-gazed and heavily scarred from the experience. Morty isn’t sure the battery will work since Zeep knows the truth, but to his shock, the spaceship’s battery is fully functional again. After all, Zeep had an ultimanum: either get the people to use the Goober Steps again or risk having their entire verse destroyed.
The three eventually get their ice cream, but Rick is grossed out when he spots flies in them. By government decree ice cream is now made so any species can have them, no matter how many legs they have. Rick blames Summer, causing the girl to snap and scream in retaliation. Morty tiredly deals with it.
The after-credit involves Morty in the middle of class suddenly transforming into a car after he hears a chirp when one unlocks a vehicle. As the students stare in shock, Morty silently and depressingly accepts his sudden transformation.