Rick and Mondays: S5E1 “Mort Dinner Rick Andre”

Morty accidentally creates a civilization dedicated to killing him.

I was genuinely worried that, after Adult Swim waited so long to renew the show and some of the episodes last season had mediocre reception, that Rick and Morty fans might have cooled towards the show. Well, if they weren’t happy about this episode, I’d be surprised. This was a quality start to the season that instantly got me psyched to see the rest. 

Not just the squidmobile.

The episode starts with Rick and Morty trying to escape from another dimension while Rick (Justin Roiland) is mortally wounded and the car is damaged. As they start to crash to Earth, Morty (also Roiland) calls his crush, Jessica (Kari Wahlgren), and tells her how he feels, something that I am pretty sure he’s done before, but apparently this time Jessica, who has been warming to Morty, actually pays attention. She asks him on a date and, reinvigorated, Morty manages to land the ship safely. Unfortunately, he lands them in the ocean, which breaks a treaty with Rick’s never-before-mentioned nemesis Mr. Nimbus (Dan Harmon). 

He’s Mr. Nimbus. He says that a lot.

Later, back at the Smith/Sanchez residence, Mr. Nimbus is coming over to renegotiate the treaty, while Rick sends Summer (Spencer Grammer) to secretly destroy the shell that gives Nimbus his power. Rick then starts the B-Plot by putting boxes of wine in a separate dimension where time moves faster in order to age it. Nimbus arrives, reveals he controls the police, and has his secretary invite a newly sex-positive Beth and Jerry (Sarah Chalke and Chris Parnell) to a threesome later. Beth and Jerry proceed to spend most of the episode deciding if they want that (spoiler: They do). Jessica arrives, but Morty gets distracted by being sent to the other dimension for wine. While there, the agrarian owner of a nearby house named Hoovy (Jim Gaffigan) helps him carry the wine and gives him advice about relationships, only for Hoovy to find out that decades passed in the few seconds while he was gone. His son murders him for abandoning his family, but Hoovy tells him it was Morty’s fault. Now, an entire society slowly builds up around killing Morty every time he comes through the door, which, to Morty, is every few minutes, but for them is decades or even centuries. After one group tries to murder him with catapults, Morty returns with Rick’s technology and destroys the entire kingdom, but accidentally leaves some of his weaponry. The Hoovians use this to develop a warrior who can survive the time dilation. He attacks, but Jessica kills him with a corkscrew, sucking her through the wormhole. Morty follows after her and finds that the entire civilization has now become robotic and that they froze Jessica in time. They capture Morty, but he manages to open the portal with Jessica. Rick sees them fighting robots and tries to save them, but it turns out this civilization is built to beat Rick’s gadgets. It looks like they’re doomed until Mr. Nimbus arrives and destroys the robots with water. Unfortunately, Jessica, having glimpsed time itself, He and Rick seem to make up, until Summer returns with the magic shell, revealing the deception. Nimbus then has Rick arrested and bangs Jerry and Beth. 

This is when they start domesticating animals, I guess.

I’ve repeatedly said that Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland somehow have mastered the art of A-plot and B-plot interplay. This episode is that same interplay done almost as well as Meeseeks and Destroy. We have multiple plots running, but by playing between the Hoovians developing a civilization around killing Morty and Rick’s attempts to negotiate a truce with Nimbus, we only see the funny or interesting parts of the stories but we also never feel cheated out of anything. It lets the show shortcut around everything that isn’t worth showing. Possibly the best sequence is watching a prince get exiled for claiming that Morty isn’t real, get manipulated by a cult leader, lead a revolt to take over the kingdom, and get immediately betrayed by the cult leader, only for Morty to emerge and kill everyone. The Cult Leader, hilariously talking about how God isn’t real and that he made lies his power, is shocked when Morty emerges, with his last words being “I was wrong! God is real!” This entire sequence takes 90 seconds. It’s literally a Cliffsnotes version of what could easily have been an entire fantasy novel and it’s basically just to make a few hilarious jokes. It’s textbook Rick and Morty, even roping in the concept that most civilizations develop out of fear of invasion rather than a desire for enriching lives.

That’s why you don’t stand where the portal is, Jeff.

JOKER’S THEORY CORNER

Why does Mr. Nimbus control the police? Well, as we see, he doesn’t “control the police” in the sense of being a powerful figure or a politician with influence, he can literally tell them to do what he wants and they do it instantly. It’s similar to Aquaman’s control of sealife. He conveys this by telling the first ones we see to “Fight,” then “F*ck,” then “Flee,” three of the four f’s of evolution (along with feeding). Well, I think it’s supposed to suggest that police are some kind of sea life. This makes sense when you remember that Atlantis is real within Rick and Morty and that Atlantis was described in Plato’s Republic as the ideal and original city-state or “polis,” the very thing from which the term “police” is derived. In other words, Police are derived from Atlantis, so police are under Nimbus’s control. Or it’s a reference to Fish Police, the short-lived CBS animated series designed to compete with the Simpsons that relied heavily upon innuendo and adult language which sometimes is said to have opened the door to shows like South Park and Family Guy. But, let’s be honest, nobody remembers that show.

Not the worst thing cops can do on your lawn, but… pretty bad.

Overall, I give this episode a

B+

on the Rick and Morty scale.

Wubba-Lubba-Dub-Dub, I need a drink. See you next week.

PREVIOUS – 41: Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri

NEXT – 43: Mortyplicity

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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