Liam Hoofe reviews the third episode of Rick and Morty season 5…
Rick and Morty season 5 has gotten off to a strong start, with two great back-to-back episodes. Episode three changes the pace somewhat, parodying a popular 1990s cartoon and sending Rick and Summer off on an amusing sidequest.
Things kick off with Morty falling instantly in love with Planetina – a character inspired by the 1990’s cartoon Captain Planet and voiced by Alison Brie. Brie is not the only Community Alum to lend her services to this episode, with former writer Rob Schrab taking writing credit for this one.
The change of writer does definitely lead to a slight change of pace from the opening two episodes of the season, both of which felt like they had the potential to be long-lasting fan favourites. This one, however, definitely felt a little bit like a mid-season throwaway. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing.
Rick’s little side-quest with Summer, which saw them go on a three-day bender around planets that were doomed, was designed to provide the episode with laughs, and for the most part, it managed that. There were plenty of amusing throwaway gags here, and it was nice to see Summer given more to do. That said, the sex/incest style jokes didn’t land quite as the show must have anticipated and the post-credits scene felt sleazy.
The constant teasing that Summer is more like Rick is a nice touch and I hope to see it explored as the show progresses. Morty has now had two independent side-adventures this season, and it looks as though this is the direction that Harmon, Roiland, and Co may be heading in the future. In fact, we’ve not had an episode dedicated entirely to Rick and Morty once yet this season.
The episode’s main storyline is fine, and it gives Morty some nice character development, especially with his mom. The idea of people trying to profit from climate change was nice but it could have benefitted from being padded out more. It felt very passing and never quite hit home in the way that it should. Brie was fine in the role, but her character really wasn’t all that interesting. In a season that has given use Nimbus, it seems unlikely we will remember her too much in the future.
One interesting development was Morty’s relationship with his Mom. While character’s ages may stay the same, Morty really feels like he is growing up and starting to branch out on his own this season, and the idea of him falling in love and having his heart broken is an interesting one. We rarely get to see much of a mother-son relationship between Morty and Beth so that was a nice touch and it’s something I hope we see more of. It also showed maturity to Morty which could shape his relationship with Rick in the years to come.
Rick and Morty opened up season Five with two fantastic episodes, so while there is no denying that episode three was fun, it definitely felt like the show slowed down a little bit here. How much you get from the main story will depend on how much mileage you can get from an obscure 90s cartoon reference. If that’s not really your scene, Rick and Summer should still keep you entertained enough for 20 minutes.