When a lunch lady turns up dead with two holes in her neck, it’s clear who is responsible – a vampire. Of course super-scientist Rick Sanchez isn’t inclined toward dealing with something as insignificant as a vampire haunting his grandchildren’s school. And he certainly wouldn’t do something as silly as putting his consciousness into a younger cloned body just so that he could explore the school incognito and ferret out the vampire.
Now, putting himself into a younger cloned body so that he could throw wild parties, hang out with the cool kids and have some fun adventures with his grandchildren? THAT he’ll totally do! Yet Summer can’t help but wonder, even as Tiny Rick drags herself and Morty along with him on the road to popularity… is this new Rick the real Rick? Or is their grandfather’s real self still locked inside the 80-year-old body taking up space in a giant fish-tank in the garage?
Meanwhile, Beth and Jerry have been sent away on a vacation to the planet Nuptia Four – home of the galaxy’s most successful couples’ counseling institute. Utilizing advanced technology, the counselors of Nuptia Four craft holograms based upon the couples’ mental images of one another. Through watching these holograms fight, the couples learn empathy and to see one another as something besides frightening monsters.
There’s just one problem. Beth and Jerry’s hologramatic avatars are completely co-dependent to the point of being symbiotic. They are also murderous.
And now they’re on the loose…
Big Trouble in Little Sanchez neatly avoids all the cliches I had feared we might have to cope with upon first hearing of this episode’s concept. The ‘older man has his youth restored’ trope has been played out numerous times in various animated series and science-fiction comedies. Thankfully Alex Ruben’s script avoids all the obvious jokes and goes out of its way to subvert our expectations.
Case In Point: Rather than keeping Rick’s status as an old man in a teen’s body a secret, everyone is open and honest about it. There’s none of the usual wacky sitcom shenanigans you expect when an adult masquerades as a teen. Ironically, Rick’s body swap proves completely unnecessary because nobody cares about Rick’s scientific breakthrough, the revelation that vampires exist or that vampires use such crappy aliases as Coach Feratu or Dr. Acula! The subplot involving Beth and Jerry’s adventure is similarly subversive and equally amusing.