Rick and Morty
Season 2, Episode 2 – “Mortynight Run”
Air Date – August 2, 2015
There’s no show that dishes out difficult life lessons quite like Rick and Morty. The naive and innocent Morty has to navigate a deranged universe under the care of his equally deranged grandfather Rick, but the lessons he learns are often shockingly swift and brutal. “Mortynight Run” involves Morty befriending an extra-dimensional fugitive (voiced by none other than Jemaine Clement) after saving him from an assassination attempt, but of course he soon discovers that his new friend might have been imprisoned/targeted for a reason. It’s a fairly predictable storyline, but for a show like Rick and Morty, “predictable” usually means a lot of death, destruction, and another traumatic childhood experience for Morty.
Morty is upset at Rick for selling a special gun to an assassin named Krombopulos Michael in exchange for Fleurbos, a token currency used to play games at an intergalactic arcade called Blips and Chitz. Annoyed at Rick’s indifference towards his unscrupulous activities, Morty decides to take matters into his own hands. After catching up and accidentally killing Kombopulos Michael, he frees a higher-dimensional being that appears as a sentient gaseous cloud. It adopts the name Fart (of course), has a penchant for musical numbers, and is able to communicate with telepathy. At first, it seems that Fart is being wanted/targeted for his ability to rearrange atoms at will (e.g., pooping gold), but the episode eventually reveals a much more diabolical twist. He’s a scout, and when he goes back to his home dimension, he intends on returning to wipe out all carbon-based life. Morty, of course, can’t allow him to do that.
Jerry, meanwhile, doesn’t have a particularly complex storyline, but it’s a hilarious diversion that contrasts Jerry’s benign cowardice against Morty’s courage. After going unnoticed in Rick’s space ship, he’s dropped off at Jerryboree, a Jerry-daycare service that a Rick from another universe started to keep various Jerrys occupied and safe. No Jerry has survived more than five minutes alone out in the universe, so Jerryboree allows all the Ricks and Mortys go on their adventures unimpeded. Jerry’s at first a little peeved and unsettled seeing all the different versions of himself in a facility devoted specifically to keep them out of harm (and Rick’s hair), but he’s quickly distracted by simple amusements such as ball pits and reassuring words from an alien in a Beth costume.
The show’s usual twisted sci-fi and attention to detail really shines here, with Jerrys who have been abandoned and Beth’s new husband from a universe where Jerry’s dead. He leaves the facility to try to make his way back home, but is quickly overwhelmed and retreats back to the safety and comfort of Jerryboree. His story ends with a moment that is both absurd and oddly touching (a common sight for Rick and Morty), where he rejoins the other Jerrys to tackle a more manageable problem: trying to fix the audio on an entertainment system. Of course, there are half a dozen entertainment systems in a circle, each with a handful of Jerrys working to solve the problem(s).
The universe is a complicated, scary place for someone as kind and innocent as Morty, and the show wastes no time in subjecting him to some of the worst that the universe has to offer. Rick and Morty show skews incredibly dark most of the time, punctuated only occasionally with small victories and touching moments. “Mortynight Run” doesn’t offer much as far as happy endings, but succeeds on the creativity and hilarity of its deranged, lovingly-crafted world.
- I have such a soft spot for sad sack comedy, and as far as I’m concerned, Jerry’s quickly catching up to the undisputed champion, Parks and Recreation’s Garry “Jerry/Larry/Terry” Gergich.
- This episode included a bunch of throwback references, including Gazorpazorp, Mr. Meseeks, and Gearhead.
- The form Rick fills out at Jerryboree has a list of reasons for drop off: earth under siege, threatened to tell Beth, unwanted stowaway, annoying me (Rick checks the last two).
- At Blips and Chitz, Rick and Morty try their hand at Roy, a game that simulates an entire human life of a person named Roy.
- Rick has some fun and inventive uses for portals this episode, using one to slice a bug in half, and then another set of portals to flood the room and then flush it out, bad guys and all.
- “Two things I wanna make clear to everyone in this room. Never betray me, and it’s time to go.”