RICK AND MORTY Season 2 Episode 5 [Review]

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RICK AND MORTY Season 2, Episode 5 “Get Schwifty”/ Directed by WES ARCHER & PETE MICHELS / Written by TOM KAUFFMAN, / Created by DAN HARMON & JUSTIN ROILAND / Starring JUSTIN ROILAND, CHRIS PARNELL, SPENCER GRAMMER & SARAH CHALKE / Produced by HARMONIUS CLAPTRAP, JUSTIN ROILAND’S SOLO VANITY CARD PRODUCTIONS, STARBURNS INDUSTRIES & WILLIAMS STREET

It’s not every day that a giant golden head from outer space arrives on Earth and immediately starts throwing off the tides, gravity and the magnetic poles. Every other day, maybe. But still not every day.

The good news is that action-scientist Rick Sanchez knows what’s going on, recognizing the giant head as part of a space-fairing race that feeds on the talent and showmanship of less-evolved life forms.  More, Rick knows that the head won’t leave until humanity can prove their ability to compose and perform an original hit song.

With the cataclysm having triggered an earthquake that has killed nearly every professional musician in America and no other options, The President charges Rick and Morty with crafting the necessary song. But this turns out to be an audition – not a trial!  And now to save the world, Rick and Morty must compete against four other planets as part of Planet Music – the ultimate intergalactic music-based reality show!

Meanwhile, the rest of the Smith family – having turned to religion in a time of crisis – are among those who give up worshiping the Abrahamic God in favor of bowing and praying to The Giant Golden Head From Outer Space. Because if you’re going to worship a god, shouldn’t it be the one you know objectively is capable of destroying all life on the planet? Hilarity ensues as school principal Mr. Vagina appoints himself the head of the new religion, establishes a new society based around the obedience of children and the farming of potatoes in record time and heretics (i.e. thieves, goths and people who talk at movies) are sent skyward, bound in helium balloons!

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There’s a saying that pizza is like sex – even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. The same may be said of Get Schwifty. It has many amusing moments and sight-gags, as one would expect of a Rick and Morty episode.  Yet somehow it doesn’t quite work.

Part of this may be due to the main plot conflicting with the natures of our main protagonists. It seems wholly unnatural for the iconoclastic Rick to take his sudden appointment as savior of the world as seriously as he does or for the idealistic Morty to start seeking a way to escape the planet before they get vaporized. The two are also separated for a good portion of the episode, robbing us of the usual chemistry between the two playing off of one another.

The B-plot involving the establishment of a new religion based around worshiping giant space heads misfires similarly.  Again, many of the individual gags here are uproariously funny but the base concept is inherently flawed. The events of the episode are meant to take place in the span of two days, which makes the whole affair seemed rushed.

That being said, there are a number of good jokes that almost make up for the plotting issues.  Among these are an alien species whose people resemble a deformed Kermit the Frog, a cameo by Bird Person from the season 1 finale, and Keith David’s hilarious performance as The President of the United States. Alas, this isn’t enough to save the story.

Rating 3

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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