Last night saw the much-awaited return of Adult Swim’s hit vulgar animated series, Rick and Morty, with the second episode of season 3, Rickmancing the Stone. It is an odd turn of events when the second episode of your season is the one that really kicks things off, but this is all thanks to the fact that episode one of the newest season released all the way back in April. But now, fans finally have their hands on a new episode, so I will now impart upon you, my personal thoughts on the new episode, but beware spoilers for literally the entire show so far including this new episode.
Still here? Congrats. So the episode essentially doubles up as a big opportunity for character development set in a world that is very much Mad Max inspired. With the black comedy elements of Mad Max merged with those of Rick and Morty, the show creates new humour, showcasing both in jokes for fans of both franchises as well as more gore than usual. However, this is one of those rare episodes that focuses more on the actual story than the humour, not to say that this episode wasn’t funny, but it was much more about the story of the divorce of Jerry and Beth and the impact that had on Morty, Summer and most surprisingly, Rick himself.
The trio essentially uses their adventures (this time in the aforementioned Mad Max world) to escape their emotions, by venturing into a hellscape to avoid having to confront the emotional issues they face at home. Whilst the show is no stranger to relatively deep concepts and issues, this episode felt a lot closer to the writers sacrificing comedy from trying too hard to make this about character development.
But the problem is, I enjoyed the episode. And I know a lot of other people did. Which, considering this felt like less of a Rick and Morty episode as it did a Simpsons episode. However, I can see that this was needed, they needed to address the lingering threads from the last episode, and the sooner they got it out of the way, the better, because the show can now get back to the obscene strangeness next episode, which is set to focus on our man Rick Sanchez becoming a pickle, because that’s what this show does.
This was not a bad episode, but people expect every single episode of this show to be perfect, and they will delude themselves when it isn’t. Rickmancing the Stone is one of the weaker episodes of the show, no, it isn’t terrible, but when you look at something like Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind, or even The Rickshank Redemption, it just doesn’t hold up. Does this put me off the show? Not at all. The fandom of this show is somewhat rabid, before writing this review I was worried about getting hate in the comments for my views, but really I don’t care, I like this show, just not so much this episode, it had weak jokes and a poor plot designed to carry the character development.
On the positive side, the sub plot with Morty getting the arm of a fallen warrior and going on a quest for vengeance was actually very interesting and perhaps that should have been the main plot of the episode, as the few very funny moments came from that plot and not the main story of the episode. Another standout was the character of Hemorrhage, a bucket wearing warlord that Summer falls for and eventually marries (then swiftly divorces) by the end of the episode. It doesn’t take a genius to see how the Summer/Hemorrhage marriage is a parallel to the Jerry/Beth situation and that is where this plot falls short, it’s lost the subtlety and feels like it just has to take a tell not show approach, which sucks, because moments like Jerry staring into the distance whilst the wind itself calls him a loser, are funny from their subtlety. Is this a problem with American comedy as a whole? Maybe.
To wrap this review up, I pose two questions. Is Rick and Morty going downhill and failing? Not at all. Was this a weak episode? Utterly yes. For those new to this site, we don’t give scores to things we review, we just give our personal opinions, these were mine. I really look forward to the rest of the season, I think it could be really great, just as long as episodes like this one are kept to a minimum, despite being somewhat needed.
Did you disagree with what I said? Tell me down in the comments or on Twitter @G33kP0p and we can talk it out. If you liked this and want to see more like it, but much sooner and be able to talk about it with others on an exclusive Discord server, you can support us on Patreon, which helps us to continue to make the best content we can. For more like this, keep it G33k!