The Smiths are enjoying a nice family dinner, when Uncle Steve has an exciting announcement to make. He’s so thankful to his younger brother, Jerry, and his family taking him in during his time of need that he’s taking everybody on a big, expensive vacation!
It seems too good to be true… because it is. And there is no Uncle Steve.
Well, technically there is an “Uncle Steve”. What’s left of his moldering corpse is soon bleeding out on the dining room floor shortly after Rick comes in with a hangover and a laser pistol. It seems that someone didn’t wash their hands properly after the last family outing into space. As a result, telepathic parasites have been tracked into the house and – in their typical fashion – have started pretending to be beloved friends and family members, in an effort to remain unnoticed until they can take over the world!
Luckily, Rick is on the case. And owing to his paranoia about various enemies trying to get to him or various projects trying to escape his lab, Rick set up the entirety of the Smith house to transform into a giant quarantine zone. Now all that remains is for Rick to whittle down the teaming masses of “special guest stars” that keep popping up wanting to remember good times, as if their lives were one big massive sit-com clip-show. He just has to remember that there’s only six of them – Rick, Morty, Jerry, Beth, Summer and Mister Poopy Butthole. And Raptor Photographer. And Frankenstein. And the butler, Mr. Beauregard. And Beth’s other husband, Sleepy Gary.
Yep. Just the ten of them…
As one might guess from the title of Total Rikall, this episode of Rick and Morty is built around that old sci-fi standard of false memories. Curiously, the actual plot bares a closer resemblance to The Thing From Another World than Total Recall, with a group of increasingly paranoid humans trying to find the shape-shifting aliens in their midst. And yet there’s no direct references to either film or their remakes, so the concept stands on its own.
Despite most of the episode’s humor being based around random absurd character concepts and the occasional throwaway reference (Mr. Beauregard The Butler being a pretty clear parody of Mr. Belvedere), the story does keep moving at a brisk pace. None of the wacky friends are given a chance to overstay their welcome. And in a novel touch that shows some of the increasing character development that this season promised, it is Morty, not Rick, who discovers the secret of how to tell the parasites from the real people in the end.