Rick and Morty picks up from its April premiere with ‘Rickmancing The Stone,’ an episode that sees Rick, Morty and Summer traveling to a post apocalyptic world and joining a band of ruffians. The episode deals primarily with Beth and Jerry’s divorce that was announced in ‘The Rickshank Redemption,’ focusing on how the main characters in the series are coping with the news.
Who would’ve thought her parents getting a divorce would turn Summer into a bonafide badass? In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. The trio arrive in the post apocalyptic world where Rick is determined to get his hands on a fleck of the powerful Isotope-322. Upon their arrival in the dimension, a pursuit ensues with the ‘Death Stalkers’ chasing Rick, Morty and Summer and attempting to kill them. Rick eventually gets his hands on the isotope and is ready to leave, but Summer has ventured off, craving blood.
Usually it’s Rick who is doing much of the devious and nefarious killing in Rick and Morty, but her parent’s divorce has driven Summer to act out. She kills the leader of the Death Stalkers with little regret. The rest of the troupe that was following the trio relents, thanking Summer for killing the weak and offering to allow them to join their gang. Summer’s bloodlust invigorates her, and she tries to convince Rick and Morty to stay in this dimension. (But not before she hilariously calls out the Death Stalkers as pussies because of the fact that they will stop trying to kill her because she killed one of theirs.)
Summer would’ve been going home to deal with her angst if the Death Stalkers didn’t possess a twenty pound rock of Isotope-322. When Rick lays eyes on it, all bets are off, and he’s more than happy to stay in the dimension and join the Death Stalkers with Summer. Poor, weak Morty is thrust yet again into a world where he’d never survive without Rick and Summer to save him. Or can he actually handle himself? ‘Rickmancing the Stone’ gives Morty some unexpected strength.
Rick is determined to steal the rest of the Isotope-322 before going back home, and so he injects Morty with the muscle memory of a nearby severed arm, giving him a crazy amount of strength and the ability to fight off the Death Stalkers. Rick plans to use this as a distraction, enabling him to steal the Isotope-322 without anyone seeing. Little does he know, the severed arm’s muscle memory doesn’t just contain strength, but the person’s actual memories. Poor Morty sees himself getting dragged around this dimension at the whim of his arm, seeking vengeance on those who caused the death of his original body. It starts off against his will, but Morty eventually uses the arm as a way to vent his pent up frustration against his father for not being strong enough to fight for his mother’s love.
The Death Stalkers quickly realize Rick has stolen their god (the Isotope-322,) and he is forced to leave the dimension after being pursued by both Morty and Summer. Summer is content staying in this dimension, and she tries to get Rick to give up and receive mercy. Morty isn’t keen to go home either, knowing his arm has unfinished business that’s keeping him here. He also is less than ready to deal with the reality of his parent’s divorce in the ‘real’ world. And besides, what would his mom say if she saw him with one arm that looked like he’d been on steroids since birth?
Rick flees the dimension and has to keep up a charade with Beth that Morty and Summer are actually doing fine. He does so by creating robot versions of them, which makes for some hilarious scenes as Beth has dinner with the robots, and they ponder the meaning of life and what their existence means, how it feels to be human, etc. Rick and Morty has a lot of in your face, hilariously asinine humor, but it also shines when it takes a thought-provoking approach to the absurd.
While Rick tries to keep up appearances, Morty and Summer are back in the Death Stalker dimension causing trouble. Summer finds herself in a romance with the gang’s leader, a man with a bucket on his head named Hemorrhage. Was anyone else expecting him to look just like Jerry when he took his bucket off? Summer has a lot of issues created by her father in this episode, and if she would’ve fallen in love with someone just like him, it would’ve been funny. Nonetheless, Summer’s relationship with Hemorrhage begins to mimic that of her parents in the sense that by the end of the episode, the newlyweds are separated.
Morty goes on a revenge quest for his arm (named Armorthy…because why not?) that takes him to a castle where he eventually kills the Game of Thrones Joffrey-esque character that originally ordered Armorthy to be killed. Rick reappears to help Morty finish him off (it makes sense that Morty would have trouble killing someone to completion.) Now that Armorthy finished his business, he disappears, leaving Morty’s arm back to normal. He and Rick return to town, with Rick returning the Isotope-322 and helping the Death Stalkers put it to use to power their town.
Three weeks later, Rick has given the town many technological advances. Summer’s now married to Hemorrhage, who is enjoying the luxuries Rick has brought to the town, refusing to get off his couch and murder anyone anymore. He’d rather watch TV, leaving Summer to do all the killing for the household. Her bloodlust is something that remains through the episode, and it will be interesting to see how Rick and Morty handles her aggression and feelings of betrayal by her parents and their divorce.
With Hemorrhage leaving her unsatisfied, Summer is ready to return home. They jump through the portal (but not before Rick steals the town’s entire supply of Isotope-322 that he brought back. Typical Rick!)
Back home, Morty comes to terms with the fact that his dad is not a fighter. He embraces Beth, letting her know that if Jerry really wanted to stay, he would’ve put up more of a fight to make it happen. Summer takes Jerry’s side, visiting him at the crappy motel he’s been staying at. She gives him the skull of her first victim and tells him to never look back. With both children on different sides of the divorce, Rick and Morty will be able to play with this tension and use it to further explore more serious topics with its typical zany humor this season.
‘Rickmancing the Stone’ sees Rick and Morty‘s third season kicking off with great success. Like ‘The Rickshank Redemption‘ showed, the show is now unafraid to tackle more serious issues, namely divorce. Thankfully, Rick and Morty‘s signature whacky humor permeates the episodes, allowing the show to develop its characters with great depth.
This season, the show is doing well to give each character in Rick’s family time to grow and show who they are at their core. Granted, Rick, Morty, and Summer get most of the screen time, but the limited scenes with Beth and Jerry serve well to show who both of these characters are, their motives for the divorce, and what their goals are with their family. Luckily for their kids, despite their differences, both of them seem to just want everyone to be happy. The rest of the season may change their character’s intentions, but Rick and Morty‘s viewers sure will be pleased with how the new season is starting off.