RICK AND MORTY – EPISODE 18: BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE SANCHEZ

Ep #: 18
Air date: Sept. 13th, 2015
Synopsis: Rick transfers his mind to a teenage clone of himself to help Morty and Summer in school. Beth and Jerry go to an alien marriage counselor.

The Smiths doesn’t do casual breakfast: Morty tells his family their lunch lady died with two holes mysteriously on her neck as the only evidence of her demise. Rick correctly deduce it as a vampire, but does little else other than accept that they exist. Summer very specifically tells her grandfather to use his scientific know-how to become a teenage version of himself so he can infiltrate the school and take out the bloodsucker. Guess how little Rick cares? Beth interjects, telling Jerry to get off his ipad and pay attention to the conversation. As usual, this leads into yet another martial spat. Rick has had enough of it and drags the two into an alien marriage counseling center, claiming they have a one hundred percent success rate.

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Once they arrive on Nuptia 4, counselor Glexo Slim Slom greets Beth and Jerry (Rick has since left, literally dumping them on the front yard.) Inside, he places a helmet onto Jerry to create a solid projection of what he views his wife as. The manifestation appears as a horribly grotesque and dangerous insect-like monster of Beth. The real Beth is not pleased; when she puts on the helmet, her interpretation of Jerry has him as a literal, cowardly worm. Clearly, they have a ways to go.

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Summer is trying to get a lead on who the vampire might be, but Morty just can’t care because the universe is too big that vampires are small fries in comparison. Out of the blue, a tinier, younger Rick appears before their eyes. Rick realizes what a grump he’s been, so he transported his mind into a younger clone of himself to help his grandkids with the vampire problem. Already Tiny Rick is less of a prick than his older self; he is filled with vim and vigor that he can genuinely be nice, going as far as befriending Summer’s crush Toby Matthews so she has a shot with him.

Glexo leads Beth, Jerry, and other couples to a large room where their Mytholog manifestations are kept. He explains that though they represent their unhealthy marriages, none of them are real and can’t be solvable, unlike the actual couples that can. After all, real couples can adapt, communicate, and work together. Unbeknown to Glexo, that is exactly what Beth and Jerry’s manifestations are doing. When Monster Beth realizes Worm Jerry is capable of flattening himself to bypass the cage separating them, she orders her milquetoast husband to jump over. Monster Beth’s got plans.

With Rick’s help, Morty and Summer finally end the vampiric nightmare plaguing their school. Who knew it was Coach Feratu all along? Rick is reluctant to go back to his old body, but fortune favors the bold: Toby wants to host a party in the Smith’s house while the parents are away and specifically asks if Rick will be there. Rick decides to keep his teenage body for one night so his grandkids can party.

Glexo panics once he discovers Beth and Jerry’s Mythologs are missing. A guard checks things out and is killed for his efforts. Monster Beth has disguised Worm Jerry to blend into the background. With the guard dead and the exit open, the Mythologs scurry out and go on a massive killing spree. Glexo put it best, “they’re codependent!” As Monster Beth wrecks havoc, occasionally ordering Worm Jerry to fight, Glexo chews out Beth and Jerry for being the worst couple he’s ever met in spite of their Mytholog selves cooperating with each other. Beth and Jerry just think this is bad couple’s therapy.

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The party is going gangbusters, Toby flirts with Summer and Morty is greeted by his crush, Jessica. Rick regales the teens with his guitar, singing a depressing song about how this isn’t the real him and that his old body is slowly dying in a vat. Nobody – not even Morty – notices his subconscious crying for help. Only Summer does.

Glexo escapes on the last ship out, abandoning Beth and Jerry to their fates. Jerry finds a small compartment to hide in and suggest Beth do the same. Beth politely tells Jerry that if that’s all he’s doing, then maybe the therapist was right. She’s going to find a way out, even if it means risking her life. Beth doesn’t get far before her Mytholog self jumps in and kidnaps her. God bless Jerry, he tries, but when his own wormy self can scare him away, it’s any wonder why Beth stays with him.

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Rick is a hit with his classmates; even the teachers like him. Mr. Goldenfold declares the rest of the day off so his students can slack around on account of Rick’s coolness. Summer approaches her grandfather and tries to convince him that he is not acting like himself. Morty is thrilled to have a Rick he can relate to, but Summer wants the cynical, nihilistic older Rick back, not this youthful wannabe who denies the pain he’s carrying due to his teenage brain preventing him from facing reality and only manifesting through his teen angst.

Jerry hits a dead end, so he tries to put up a fight with his worm self. Worm Jerry may have chased him off, but when it comes to a battle, he’s even more pathetic than his real counterpart. Jerry is so put off that Beth visualized this cowardly misfit that he demands Worm Jerry take him to his wife. Meanwhile, Monster Beth uses the helmet on Beth to create an army of Worm Jerrys, viewing his sub-servant role as a gift to utilize. Beth is incredulous at her aggressive self’s stupidity, wouldn’t it make sense to create an army of Monster Beths instead? Monster Beth counters, saying she’s the strongest, smartest creature that Jerry sees her as – more so than Beth really is – it wouldn’t make sense to create another her without sabotaging herself.

Rick and his grandkids head to the school dance where he performs a song and dance once again expressing his true feelings. Even Morty can’t ignore this one. Principal Vagina and Rick step out after, the former with grave news. As cool as Rick is, Vagina has to expel him for killing a teacher. Never mind that Coach Feratu was a vampire, he can’t have the media in a frenzy over what the public will perceive as a student murdering a teacher. Rick finds out that Summer ratted him out in an effort to save him. In anger, Rick embarrasses Summer by telling the whole school what she did before storming out.

Jerry finds Monster Beth and his wife as he plows through the Worm Jerrys with a laser gun. Beth is so impressed she starts manifesting Jerrys as handsome, muscular heroes (though when Jerry gets egotistical, Beth imagines a parade of smug, prideful Jerrys.) Either way, Jerry gains the courage to save Beth with an army of his own. Monster Beth refuses to fall, so Jerry quickly grabs the helmet and places it on one of the Handsome Jerrys. He conjures up a Goddess Beth who kills her monster self, saving the day. Jerry figures Beth would manifest a Handsome Jerry smart enough to see her as a divine entity. Jerry and Beth’s marriage may not be easily fixable, but they still love each other and for today, that’s enough. …At least until Morty graduates high school.

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Rick approaches his older body with an axe. Before he can literally kill himself, Morty and Summer step in. After a Morty-Rick face-off, the former pins him down until Summer puts on an Elliot Smith song. This is enough for Rick to regain his pain, one where he is old, decrepit, and dying of old age. Rick orders his grandkids to connect him to the machine so that he can be himself again. Sure, Young Rick living up the life is a grand scenario, but in the Rick and Morty verse, cynical, self-hating Rick is the best choice by a long shot because at least he’s not denying who he is.

The kids successfully transport Rick’s mind back into his old body. Rick thanks his grandkids, then takes the two down to his secret lab where he’s kept multiple clones of various ages. Rick realizes Operation Phoenix was a bust, so he proceeds to violently hack them up with the axe in front of his grandkids. They’re both pretty horrified, though I think Summer is more offended that Rick is naked during all this. Afterwards, Rick leaves to pick up Beth and Jerry.

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The after-credit centers on a vampire society. There, a minion informs the Vampire Master that Coach Feratu has been discovered and killed. The Master is stunned that Coach Feratu—real name Balik Alistane—didn’t bother to create a false identity that isn’t a pun based on what he is.

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