[WARNING – This review contains SPOILERS.]
Jerry Smith has moved out but nobody else in The Smith Family is moving on in the wake of Jerry and Beth’s separation. Except for Rick, for whom the absent of his idiot son-in-law is only one less petty annoyance to get in the way of his important scientific work. Said “important scientific work” currently consisting of retrieving samples of a rare isotope frequently found in post-apocalyptic parallel universes.
Generally Rick is indifferent to his grand-kids’ suffering or mental well-being but even Rick finds himself stunned by Morty and Summer’s reactions to the fall of civilization. Reveling in the life of a Thunderdome pit fighter – even following an experimental skin-graft that gives you one super-strong arm – hardly seems like a healthy thing for a teenage boy like Morty to be doing. And Summer adapts to the life of a wasteland-wandering scavenger a little too readily for Rick’s liking… even ignoring her increasingly close relationship with the head raider, whose idea of business professional clothing includes a bucket helm and assless chaps.
Still, these are only more petty annoyances to be tolerated until Rick can steal the green glowing rock that the scavengers carry with them as a reminder that there are no gods. It’s the biggest chunk of the isotope he seeks that Rick has ever seen. But even if Rick can steal the rock unnoticed and escape with Morty and Summer intact and relatively sane, will they ever be able to get Beyond The Blood Dome?
Those who feared a dip in quality following the outstanding Season 3 premier on April Fool’s Day can rest assured that Rick And Morty remains as delightfully twisted as ever. Some may quibble that Rick’s concern for his grandchildren’s well-being in this episode flies in the face of the revelations regarding Rick’s own inherent nihilism in the last episode. I say that it’s just a show and you should really just relax. Besides, there’s a fair to middling chance that we haven’t been watching the same Rick and Morty in every episode before now anyway…
Fan theories aside, Rickmancing The Stone is a solid episode. The various subplots balance each other well, with Morty’s new arm dragging him on a quest for revenge getting just as much screen time as Summer’s romance with the lead raider. Between that and Beth’s interaction with the robot family Rick constructs to hide the absence of himself, Morty and Summer there isn’t really a B-plot in this episode. The only real weak spot in all of this, unsurprisingly, is a brief scene near the end which tries a little too hard to work some honest sentiment into the show regarding Jerry. Thankfully the post-credit stinger swings the pendulum back the other way lest you think they’re getting too soft.