Ep #: 9
Air date: Mar. 24th, 2014
Synopsis: Morty and his father are kidnapped by aliens from Pluto. Meanwhile Summer works for the Devil.
Morty asks if Rick can help him with his science project. Jerry interjects, saying assignments like these are generally a father/son thing. Morty is unsure until Beth sends him a secret text informing him his father is very insecure about his intelligence. Under her urgings, Morty asks Jerry to assist him instead. Rick couldn’t care what the outcome was since he was busy building a miniature robot. In a truly awful fashion, the robot has enough sentience to question its very existential when Rick casually tells him his only purpose is to bring butter. Why Rick gave a robot enough free will to angst about its inevitable fate can only be chalked up to his apathy and callous disregard for life. It’s one of the best and subtlest joke about Rick’s personality the show has punched out.
While Morty’s busy with his homework, Rick is officially free to take Summer to work. She has recently taken a part-time job at an old vintage store called Needful Things. Summer wastes little time expressing her resentment towards her grandfather. Unlike Rick, her employer is kindly. When we actually meet the man, he’s a pointy-bearded guy with a top hat and a mysteriously questionable demeanor, resembling no less than Ol’ Scratch himself. The store owner is a seller of weird and exotic materials, designed to help anyone succeed, but with a cost. He gives Mr. Goldenfold aftershave so he can woo the ladies, then tries to sell Rick a golden microscope which supposedly sees anything “beyond comprehension.” Rick doesn’t buy a word of it and straight up asks if he’s the Devil. Summer rapidly tells him to leave. Rick swipes the microscope and walks out.
Morty and Jerry decide on a solar system model, the latter suggesting a ping-pong ball for Pluto. Morty corrects his father, saying Pluto has been demoted to dwarf planet in 2006. Jerry nervously plays it off, saying he already knew that. Morty needs to go to the bathroom, but Jerry suspects he’s really going to Rick. He’s a bit off, Rick calls Morty in and asks him a rhetorical question, “Does evil exist and if so, can one detect and measure it?” Yes, Rick can, because he built a machine to study the microscope and found out it would have drained his mental levels. Jerry confronts the two, anxious to know if Morty has been using Rick behind his back, then declares Pluto can still be a planet, no matter what the scientific community has said on the matter.
Mr. Goldenfold confronts the Devil at his shop, saying the aftershave made him a hit with the ladies, but he’s now impotent. The devil devilishly tells him he paid the price. Goldenfold is in tears until Rick injects him with the cure. Rick has been using the microscope to create a scanner to figure out all the consequences to the materials the Devil has been selling. Customers walk out in droves, angering the Devil. He and Rick get into a fight until Summer steps in and defends her employer, calling Rick out on his jerk behavior. A huffy Rick storms out, then the Devil confesses he IS harboring a store of sins. Summer says it’s no worse than clothing stores originating from sweatshops or the horrors of fast food joints; she likes working in Needful Things because the Devil is respectful to her. It’s oddly heartwarming in spite of who she’s talking to.
Jerry phones NASA to give them a piece of his mind, but they aren’t budging. He and Morty are then sucked up by an UFO and taken to Pluto. The native’s ruler, King Flippy Nips, approaches Jerry to congratulate him for sticking up for their planet. He thinks Jerry is the smartest scientist on Earth and makes a point to tell his citizens about it. Jerry soaks it in, but Morty worries this will all go to his father’s head.
Needful Things is unusually successful the following day; everyone is buying in bulks, unaware or unconcerned the objects all carry curses. One of the customers tells the Devil that they’re taking the items to the store across the street to have the curses removed while keeping the awesome powers within. Just to mess with the Devil (and possibly Summer), Rick opened the Curse Purge Plus store where he uses his science to remove the horrible consequences from the Devil’s playthings.
While Jerry laps up the fame, Morty is approached by a Plutonian scientist named Scroopy Noopers. He takes Morty to a secret mining zone where he learns the horrible truth about Pluto. Turns out Pluto was a planet, but has been shrinking little by little due to the rich and influential Plutonians sucking up Plutonium to power their city. NASA reducing Pluto to dwarf planet status was a wake up call for Scroopy Noopers and his group of protestors. They need to act now before they lose their home forever. He wants Morty to tell the public that Jerry is an idiot to sway opinion to the truth.
As Summer cleans up shop, she finds one of the only remaining artifacts in Needful Things: a monkey’s paw. Humorously, she shows it off to her boss, only to discover the Devil trying to commit suicide by hanging himself. Summer uses the monkey’s paw to give herself specific sets of skills to save him. The Devil is depressed that he’s been outsmarted, but Summer encourages him to retool the store.
Summer later drops off the last of Needful Things’ objects to Rick, chewing him out for driving a man to nearly kill himself. Summer thinks Rick is also getting back at her and storms out. Rick tries to maintain his composure after, but enough hassling from customers and employees cause him to drop everything and burn the whole shop down. He announces its immediate closure claiming he’s gotten bored of it, but it’s obvious he feels guilty for embarrassing Summer.
Jerry and Morty are invited to a rich shindig where the latter tries to convince his father that Pluto is shrinking. Jerry embarrasses Morty in front of the public instead. Dejected, Morty returns to Earth where he finds an equally lonesome Rick eating dinner by himself. Not even the butter-serving robot wants to be his friend.
Flippy Nips continously sucks up to Jerry’s ego, eventually rewarding him with the highest medal for scientists. A couple of police officers arrive with a captive Scroopy Noopers. Jerry discovers to his horror that the rebellious scientist is actually Flippy Nips’ son. In a bid to keep power, The King casts his child off to Plutanamo Bay for his crimes. Jerry is shocked at his heartlessness and more so when Flippy accidentally lets slip that Pluto really IS a dwarf planet. When Jerry goes out to give a grand speech to the public, he admits Pluto isn’t a planet. The Plutonians are displeased and kicks him off-world. He at least reconciles with Morty. The latter cheers him up, saying nobody is smarter than Rick, but Jerry is smart at being his father.
Summer and the Devil reopen their store into an electronics consumer shop called N33dful.com. They are an instant success, having been bought out by Google. With the amount of money the Devil is raking in, he quickly cuts Summer off. After all, no amount of kindness would reduce him to who he truly is, Lucifer Morningstar himself!
A tearful Summer returns home and confesses to Rick that she was jealous of his relationship with Morty, though she quickly denies it. Rick attempts to make up for his own pettiness by suggesting they go out and blow off some steam. The two undergo a rigorous training session until they’ve bulked up, then proceed to use their newly gained muscles to beat the heck out of Satan as revenge.
The stinger ends with the still muscled Rick and Summer proceeding to fight other denegerates of the world.