Internet sensation Pickle Rick has finally arrived, with his own episode of Rick and Morty. Tonight’s episode saw Rick reach new levels of inventiveness, turning himself into a pickle to avoid attending therapy with the rest of the family. The entire episode is absurdly hilarious, tying together this season’s overarching theme (how the family deals with divorce) with the insane and murderous rise of Pickle Rick.
Rick finds himself in a dire situation when Morty points out there is a syringe of what the family suspects is anti-pickle serum dangling above Pickle Rick in the garage. Obviously, Rick had the serum on a timer, ready to turn himself back into a human after the family departed to their therapy session. He didn’t plan on Beth taking the syringe with her to therapy, leaving Rick to deal with the consequences of life as a pickle.
And of course, the consequences are enormous. Pickle Rick couldn’t just chill in the garage and wait for the family’s return. He ends up in the sewers, where he beheads a cockroach, taking control of its body before battling a horde of sewer rats. In glorious Pickle Rick fashion, the rats succumb to Rick’s genius in an elaborate and excessively violent contraption that rids them of their body parts and gives Pickle Rick limbs and mobility.
Meanwhile, guest star Susan Sarandon is the family therapist, a long-winded talker who doesn’t doubt for a second the family’s reason for Rick not being present. Their session begins to revolve around Pickle Rick, much to the chagrin of Beth. It’s worth noting that as annoying as the therapist may be, she tended to make good points when it came to the bonds the family has. Beth may find it hard to tolerate Rick at times, but she admires him nonetheless.
Newly mobile Pickle Rick makes his way back up through the sewers via a toilet pipeline, but he’s found himself in an even more far-fetched and outrageous situation. It leads him to a high security prison where a pursuit takes place. Pickle Rick kills two of the 34 armed guards, and blows up even more before the presumed warden sends prisoner ‘Jaguar’ to kill Pickle Rick on the promise that his beloved will be freed.
In a surprise twist, Pickle Rick and Jaguar team up, fleeing the prison in a helicopter and lighting the building on fire. Finally, old Pickle Rick makes it back to his family, strolling into the therapy session as if nothing has happened. The therapist doesn’t even bat an eye, proceeding into a monologue about Rick’s avoidance of the therapy session stemming from his love of adventure, pointing out that he’d rather die than participate in something so mundane. Once again, she makes quite a point.
On the drive home, Rick and Beth bond over the session, taking a quick second to poke fun at the real reason they were supposed to go therapy: Morty peed his pants and Summer huffed enamel.
Beth and Jerry’s divorce took a backseat in tonight’s episode, but the family’s problems that have stemmed from it have continued to drive the series forward with its third season’s main plot. Rick & Morty continues to reach new highs, especially with its character development. The entire family is getting fleshed out marvelously, showing new sides to their personality and the motives behind their actions. The show continues to strike the perfect balance between the hilariously outrageous and the more significant themes, with ‘Pickle Rick’ being a prime example. Episodes like this are what’s making Rick & Morty keep its momentum as both an internet sensation and one of TV’s most entertaining animated shows.