Ep #: 29
Airdate: Sept. 17th, 2017
Synopsis: Instead of an Interdimensional Cable special, we get an episode about Rick and Morty erasing their painful, painful memories.
Rick and Morty are on the run from an otherworldly being (who looks like the Neil Gaiman character, Dream) because they stole his Truth Tortoise. The animal is said to embed anyone who looks into its eyes with all the knowledge in existence. Morty’s been staring at the creature, so he’s understandably freaked out at a universe’s worth of knowledge.
The duo make it out safe, but Morty cannot handle the vast weight on his shoulders and wished he could remove everything that has happened so far. As ever, Rick has a nasty solution down in his lab: a helmet that can remove any memory the person wants. With vials of memories lined up on every available space on the wall, it becomes frighteningly clear that this is not an isolated request.
I’ve made a mistake saying last episode’s “The Ricklantis Mixup” was season three’s Interdimensional Cable special, it’s really this one. ”Morty’s Mind Blowers” is a series of vignettes – much like last episode – that increasingly grows frantic, painful, and expected of Rick and Morty.
Morty is shocked that he’s had so many of his thoughts removed. To bring him up to speed, Rick subjects Morty to the very first memory that he supposedly requested to be extracted.
It started when Morty saw a normal man walking on the surface of the moon during a night of stargazing. He tries to inform his family, but they don’t believe him, especially Rick who claimed to have jumped around enough dimensions of Earth to know no moon has an Ordinary Joe waltzing around like it’s his old stomping grounds. The next day, that same man – Mr. Lunis - is recruited as the school’s new guidance counselor. Morty tells Principal Vagina about him to mixed success: Vagina does drive him out of school, but only because he assumed Morty was using code to hint that the new counselor was a child molester. Unfortunately Mr. Lunis was so horrified by this accusation that he took his own life. Morty found out when he caught an ambulance at the front of his house and later went to his funeral. Morty later discovers that his telescope had a smudge that just so happened to resemble Mr. Lunis. He had inadvertently gotten a man killed.
Rick inserts a second vial into Morty. This time the two of them had been kidnapped by an alien for his personal menagerie. Morty is going crazy at the thought of being trapped forever; he desperately begs Rick to do anything to get out. Rick’s on top of it already, having sent a signal to NASA with instructions to build a spaceship that can easily teleport inside the zoo. He specifically requests two pilots to make the journey and you can see where this is going: Rick and Morty ditches them both and steal their vessel.
The third vignette has Rick and Morty meeting a Floop-Floopian named Zick-Zack. His species request the service of Great Warriors to kill them so they can enter an afterlife paradise. Rick is flattered to be chosen, but delays it until lunch. Zick-Zack tags along with the two to a restaurant where Morty praises his faith. In Earth, certain people require evidence to deduce the afterlife is real, otherwise how do you know if it’s true? Zick-Zack’s mind is blown and the faith he had for presumably his entire life has been chucked out the window in the span of a ten second conversation. Zick-Zack runs the minute Rick breaks out his gun, but he dies when a car hits him. Good news: the afterlife does exist. Bad news: it’s Hell. I don’t know why Morty even had to question the existence of the afterlife in the first place, Satan literally exists in their world.
The fourth segment may be the worse one yet: Beth is caught in a life-and-death situation with a diabolical alien. Her children have been kidnapped and she’s forced to pick only one to live. Without missing a beat, Beth chooses Summer. Rick’s timing could have been better, he arrives to save the day after that display of parental neglect. Another memory has Morty possessed by an alien worm, causing him to be an all-powerful being. Rick, Beth, and Summer bring Morty back through the power of love, causing him to slowly vomit out the worm. It’s a long and grossly painful process and the family is too impatient to wait, so they keep making cracks at Morty, prolonging the effect.
Back in the present, Morty figures out the blue vials are his specific screw ups while purple vials are mistakes his family has made. The red ones? Rick is being tight-lipped, but it’s obvious who those belong to. He inserts one of them into Morty, revealing a time where the both of them were stuck on another planet. At night, the planet’s temperature drops to below zero. In order to survive, Rick had to kill Morty’s new alien pet, Beebo, so they could crawl into its intestines for warmth. Tragically, the temperature doesn’t drop; Rick mistook this planet for another.
Morty shoves another red-colored vial into him and realizes how deep the rabbit hole goes: Morty once made fun of Rick because he mispronounced ”granted” as “granite.” It turns out that Rick had been forcefully taking a number of Morty’s memories without his say. Morty is so angry that he attacks Rick, accidentally triggering the Memory Wipe Device, erasing all of their memories in the process.
Unaware of who and where they are, Rick and Morty examine the vials and figure out that they’re memory fragments. Rick inserts a random one into Morty, revealing a time where he tricked his grandson into arousing an alien in order to gain vital information. Another one that Morty rustling Rick’s jimmies for daring to level his shelves. Rick created a machine in response that was designed to capture the perfect leverage. When Morty stepped in, he was so amazed that everything else outside of the machine felt crooked and imperfect, causing him to collapse into tears.
The memories continue on like this, each one where either Rick demeaned Morty or the latter made a mistake, however miniscule it may have been. The best one is when Morty asked Rick for a device that could let him communicate with animals. Unfortunately he discovered that squirrels secretly governed the Earth and they’re none too pleased to learn a human is now privvy to such confidental information. Second best is obviously Mr. Poopybutthole asking Morty to marry him.
The sheer lunacy of it all is enough to give Morty an existential crisis. He decides to kill himself to relieve the pain. Rick isn’t sure what’s happening, but he’s game and joins in on a suicide pact. They nearly off themselves until Summer casually strolls in. She recognizes Rick and Morty’s memory loss as a ”Scenario Four” and seeks out a nearby emergency kit containing everything she needs to fix this mess. The instructions flash by real quick, but she follows exactly what’s written: she shoots the two with a tranquilizer gun and inserts specific vials into them. She then drags them to the living room and wakes them up with ammonia salt. Rick and Morty regain consciousness during the middle of an Interdimsional Cable show, causing them to chew her out for letting them sleep in. Summer just takes it all in, knowing this isn’t the first time she’s had to save their sorry butts. Summer is the real MVP of this episode and she’s still the best character.
The after-credits has Jerry entering Rick’s garage and stumbling upon his own “Jerry Mind Blowers” helmet. In it, Morty, his friends, and family are in an ET-ish struggle where they had to avoid cops in order to send a poor little alien home. Jerry was supposed to meet up with the rest of the gang in a secret location they all decided on, but he completely forgot and left the alien locked his car where it’s been dead for days. Nice going, Jerry, you had the easiest job in the world and you screwed it up.
It’s a treat to get two episodes in a row that offers a bevy of vignettes. Rick and Morty’s central gimmick has always allowed breathing room to go crazy with whatever plot the writers wanted and “Morty’s Mind Blowers” is a veritable Round Robin for the crew. It’s not as ambitious or shocking as “The Ricklantis Mixup”, but there is comfort in more of the same after the Eyepatch Morty blow out. “Morty’s Mind Blowers” is what you’d expected: Rick at his worst, Morty trying to get by in spite of his failures, and his family prone to huge errors and equally vindicative behaviors. It’s delivered in a fun, eclectic way that keeps it entertaining, but you’re not seeing anything the show already told you plenty of times beforehand.