Liam Hoofe reviews the third episode of Rick and Morty season three, ‘Pickle Rick’…
The sight of Rick transformed into a talking pickle has been a heavy part of the advertising material for Rick and Morty Season 3 but no matter how many times we’ve been exposed to it, it still hasn’t gotten old. Pickle Rick finally made his full debut in episode three of the third season this past Sunday night in one of the show’s most insane outings to date.
The episode didn’t waste any time in explaining Rick’s transformation. After months of speculation from fans, it turns out that Rick had turned himself into a pickle for the simple reason of avoiding a family therapy session. Summer, Beth and Morty, upon finding Rick in this state, decide to leave him to deal with the consequences of his mad experiment while they attend the aforementioned therapy session.
Rick then ended up getting washed down a drain and going on an insanely violent journey in a quest to get himself back home, and back to his normal state.
The episode, while being pretty darn funny, was most notable for being perhaps the show’s most violent outing yet. Several scenes, especially one where Rick killed a group of rats to build some body armour for himself, took the scene to levels of gory that we have never really seen before. Once Rick – sorry, Pickle Rick – got himself out of the sewers and into an unnamed government building it had become increasingly clear that the episode was a parody of modern action movies – most notably John Wick, with the episode’s villain being practically stolen from the first Wick movie. Fans had high hopes for Pickle Rick, which has easily become the most memed thing from this season so far, and the sequences delivered even more than we could have hoped for.
With all of this taking place, you’d think that the show’s subplot – the family therapy session – would struggle to keep up with all the insanity. As it turns out, neither did the show’s writers, and the scenes were played with a deliberately dead-pan approach, with Dr Wong, voiced excellently by Susan Sarandon, delivering straight to the point takes on all of the family’s issues. The contrast between the two scenes was excellent and move ‘Pickle Rick’ along at a brilliant pace.
One of the show’s closing scenes, where Dr Wong cut Rick down with a monologue about his behaviour was perfectly executed and felt, for the family, at least, like it had been a long time coming. Rick’s reaction to this was deliberately open-ended, likely leading to further character development from him over the course of the season.
Credit must also be given to Peter Serafinowicz and the unmistakable Danny Trejo, who provided excellent work as supporting characters. Trejo, especially, was superbly entertaining as the cliche-heavy convict ‘Jaguar’ who helped Rick out on his mission in the show’s second half.
One thing the show did miss out on was any real interaction between the two titular characters. Rick and Morty is always at its best when Rick and Morty’s exchanges are in the spotlight and this episode had a clear lack of those. The absence of Jerry throughout the episode was also notable; let’s just hope his character doesn’t continue to take a backseat as the season continues.
‘Pickle Rick’ was an all around great episode of Rick and Morty. The show’s central plot was suitably insane and the family therapy session provided a nice bit of balance to all the chaos and also furthered the character development post-Jerry and Beth’s divorce. Season 3 is three for three right now, let’s hope it can continue that next week.
What did you think of ‘Pickle Rick’? Let us know in the comments below, and let Liam know on Twitter @liamhoofe