Ep #: 23
Air date: Jul. 31st, 2017
Synopsis: Rick, Morty, and Summer end up in a Mad Max-like dimension. There the kids stay to cope with their parents’ divorce while Rick has his eyes on a powerful rock.
Another adventure with Rick almost turns south, but this time he had nothing to do with it. Morty chews out Summer for her recklessness instead. She doesn’t seem to care and that further extends to her father, Jerry, who is dropping by to say his farewells. Morty assure his dad that the family will visit while Summer chooses to ignore him in favor of another adventure with Rick. Morty follows after to keep an eye on the two. Since Beth doesn’t even bother with a good-bye, Jerry is now truly on his own.
Rick, Morty, and Summer end up in a post-apocalyptic desert dimension ala Mad Max. They’re in the middle of a shoot out with a group of cannibal scavengers on their way to Isotopes 322, a mineral that contains vast energy. The trio outrun the scavengers so Rick can pocket the flake. They’re not out of the woodwork yet as their opponents catches up. Summer takes Morty’s shotgun and shoots the leader’s vehicle, sending both the car and the driver flying. Heavily injured, he begs Summer to kill him. Without hesitation, she complies. Even Rick is stunned by his granddaughter’s sudden leap into the dark side.
The rest of the scavengers approach the three and request that they join their tribe, having proven themselves by killing their weakest member. Rick is about to pass up until he notices the scavengers carrying a big hunk of the isotope; an act of desecration for them as it proves God does not exist in this hellish realm. Rick asks his grandkids if they want to forge a new life in the Mad Max Dimension. Summer is game, leaving Morty the only reluctant one of the batch.
While Summer runs off with her new buddies, Rick lays out his plans to Morty to steal the scavenger’s isotope. Morty’s more concerned for his sister, knowing the divorce is having a bad effect on her. Rick isn’t budging, so Morty hurriedly tells him to steal the stupid rock so they can all go home. Rick needs a distraction, so he sends Morty to the Thunderdo- I mean, the Blood Dome where he can duke it out with a bunch of scavengers. Rick extracts a severed arm into Morty, transforming his puny little stick arm into a gigantic muscular limb. It seems to know what it’s doing, possessing a mind of its own as it drags Morty to the Blood Dome to kill anyone who dares to challenge him. The Arm creams the competition despite Morty’s protest, but he quickly takes to it when he realizes how cathartic it is. Speaking of wanton violence, Summer bonds with one of the scavengers named Hemorrhage as they shoot nearby mutated humans who were affected by, as Hemorrhage calls it, “the boom-booms.”
Rick successfully steals the isotope, but the scavengers discover the stolen rock in his bag. Morty and Summer try to convince Rick to give up the rock (the scavengers will actually show mercy if he does), but he refuses. When it becomes clear neither Morty or Summer wants to go home, he uses the portal gun to exit stage left himself. Beth approaches her father after, second guessing her divorce. To convince her otherwise, he rigs up Morty and Summer robots to cheer her up and tell her the divorce was a good thing. It really is, but Rick isn’t doing it to be altruistic. The Kid-Bots end with Beth reduced to tears, much to a disgruntled Rick.
After Morty wins another round in the Blood Dome, his arm points to one of the scavengers. The Arm remembers back when they were alive, forced to watch their family burn by that guy. The Arm murders him, but not before the scavenger informs them and Morty that he was just following orders; the true leader lives in a castle. Summer in the meantime falls for Hemorrhage and in spite of his god awful mustache, the two make out.
Morty and the Arm fight their way through the castle, but before the Arm can kill its ruler, Morty asks if he could have a moment with them. He doesn’t want to lose his new friend because he’s bonded with it and their constant murdering was a good way to deal with both their baggage. The Arm convinces him that it’s time to move on and that whatever issue Morty has, he needs to face it someday. Morty tearfully agrees and lets the Arm choke the ruler. When the ruler dies, the Arm departs from Morty. Rick’s been there the whole time, waiting until they finished so he can take the kids home for Beth’s sake. Also the ruler isn’t quite dead, so Rick helps Morty finish the job because he thinks he’s doing Morty a favor. Yeesh!
Rick and Morty reunite with Summer and the scavengers, offering the isotope in peace. Better, Rick tells the tribe that it can work as a power source; with it, they can become the most advanced tribe in the world. Hemorrhage asks Rick if he can show them how it functions and with home still an emotional mess, Rick is more than happy to prolong his stay. Three weeks later, the scavengers live in a thriving neighborhood. Summer has since married Hemorrhage, but has to put up with her husband’s laziness and the mundane blandness of suburban life. The Mad Max world is longer a crutch to escape the pain she’s feeling, so Summer returns to her dimension with Rick and Morty. There Morty comforts his mother while Summer visits her father. She offers Jerry the first mutant skull she killed as a reminder not to look back. Father and daughter hug and the healing process begins.
In what is probably one of the weirdest after credits of this show, Jerry is visited by an aggressive wolf. He tries to ward it away with food, but it seemingly wants his unemployment check. The wolf chews up the check, spits it out, and walks off. That was something.
“Rickmancing the Stone” is a sedated Rick and Morty episode. Nothing in the plot reveals anything truly stunning or unpredictable; it’s standard affair for the cast. The only change is a logical one: Summer’s sudden aggression and apathy. With her parents divorced, Summer reacts by escaping her pain, thriving in the Mad Max Dimension where law is barely a concept. There she can freely unleash her anger through a high body count without consequences. It’s extremely similar to how Rick often deals with his woes: amorally in denial that there even is a problem to begin with. Regrettably, this seems to be a reoccurring theme with the family. The end of the episode shows that Summer need not repeat what Rick does though: she attempts to reconnect with her father and keep her loved ones close.
Morty’s frustration is understandable, he’s the only one who tries to get his wayward family to deal with the sudden change in their lives. He, too succumbs to escapist fantasy, but he’s also the one quickest to recover. “Rickmancing the Stone” is hardly what I consider phenomenal, but it’s very necessary for the characters’ growth.