Rick and Morty 2×01 Review: “A Rickle in Time”

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“Who cares about the dumb thing you guys are talking about? The whole point of freezing time was to stop giving a fuck.”

And with that, Rick and Morty is back.

We last saw the show in “Ricksy Business,” a less extraordinary episode that nevertheless successfully prodded at one of the show’s biggest questions, forcing an answer: does Morty enjoy adventuring with Rick?

He obviously decided that yes, yes he does, and in order to be able to keep adventuring with Rick, the titular pair and Morty’s sister Summer were frozen in time to clean the house, along with a myriad of other things. Now, we come back to the show with them still frozen in time.

Oddly, after wondering whether or not he enjoys Rick at all, Morty suddenly feels possessive of him when Summer prods him with the idea that maybe she’ll take over as their grandpa’s favorite. We now see Morty far and away committed to the idea of Rick and Morty Hundred Years.

Time unfreezes, and the episode splits first traditionally and then literally. Beth and Jerry leave the house for their B-plot before the main storyline is actually torn in two by uncertainty and into a strange blackness where cats are floating all around.

“I assume they’re Schrödinger’s Cats. Actually, I assume they both are and aren’t.”

The central drama of the episode, the uncertainties that divide the trio, again both literally and figuratively, doesn’t exactly land. Summer’s and Morty’s sibling rivalry creates the initial rift, Morty’s faith in how his grandpa feels about him causes the second, and what finally brings everyone back together is confirmation that Rick would sacrifice himself to save Morty, which is quite something considering he could always likely create a new one.

Repeat viewings are essential to parsing the slight differences of the many realities at play, but the show doesn’t exactly have as much fun with the concept as it feels it should. Just for an idea of what I find lacking, imagine what Alex Hirsch over at Gravity Falls would do if his fictional universe suddenly split into 128 different realities.

What are Jerry and Beth doing, anyway?

“They’re probably living it up in some pointless, grounded story about their shitty marriage.”

Yup, sort of. It really is a test of just how much mileage they can get out of the joke of Beth being an insecure horse surgeon. Despite a few laughs (check out that visual gag of a snake getting its blood pressure taken), I could have done without the plot of Beth trying to perform surgery on a deer, only to have Jerry save the day because he’s a generous tipper at Coldstone, despite that description I wrote just now sounding kind of awesome.

So yeah, tonight’s episode left me feeling pretty wanting. Maybe “A Rickle in Time” is held back because they felt they needed to reintroduce everything after getting the Simpsons couch gag and possibly facing a wider audience. Even Rick, with his above derision of the Jerry and Beth subplot, seems to think that this was too typical an outing.

This despite the screen splitting into 128 different realities.

Let’s get this dumb universe rolling.

Score: 7/10

Joey's a 23-year-old who graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris and now lives in Minnesota's Twin Cities. He enjoys art, activism, and politics, especially when he's looking at them through a lens of popular culture. First and foremost he's obsessed with popular music, but aside from what you'd expect, he's also into comic strips, graphic novels, cartoons, and indie games made for mobile phones (his highest tile in Threes is 3,072). He'll tell you that his favorite book of all time is Goodnight Moon. He needs more people in his life who understand the joys of Achewood.