RICK AND MORTY Season 3 Episode 5 [Review]

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RICK AND MORTY Season 3, Episode 5 “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy”/ Directed by WES ARCHER & JUAN MEZA-LEON/ Written by RYAN RIDLEY / Starring JUSTIN ROILAND, CHRIS PARNELL, SPENCER GRAMMER & SARAH CHALKE/ Produced by HARMONIUS CLAPTRAP, JUSTIN ROILAND’S SOLO VANITY CARD PRODUCTIONS, STARBURNS INDUSTRIES & WILLIAMS STREET

When Beth and Jerry Smith (mostly Beth) decided to undergo a trial separation, super-scientist Rick Sanchez declared that from now on he’d only be having fantastic super-science adventures with his grandson, Morty. And occasionally his granddaughter, Summer. And even more occasionally his daughter Beth.

But not Jerry!  Never Jerry! Why? Because Jerry is terrible!

Except now Rick needs Jerry for an adventure. Because the fate of the galaxy rests on Jerry’s shoulders.

Well, okay, not really. But Morty was worried about his dad and convinced Rick to take Jerry on an adventure, so that Jerry could have at least one win after an incredibly rough year.

Unfortunately, Rick has enemies all around the galaxy. Even on idyllic resort worlds like the one he and Jerry travel to so they can get their story straight about an amazing fake adventure. Yet adventure may find them as they ride the fantastic roller-coaster known as The Whirly Dirly…

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Summer is going through the usual angst most teenage girls experience regarding their bodies. Unlike most teenage girls, Summer’s grandpa has an alien device in his garage that can be used to modify a body and give her the breasts that can win back her boyfriend.

Unfortunately for Summer, she also has a mother who refuses to listen to the advice of people who know better than her (i.e. Morty) about messing with alien technology. Or ask for help when she’s completely in over her head.

More than any episode since the third season premiere, The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy feels like a return to form for Rick and Morty. This is not to say that Season Three has been bad (far from it!) but the general tone of the episode feels more grounded than Pickle Rick and Vindicators 3: Return of Worldender. This may be due to the script being written by long-time show writer Ryan Ridley or the return of Chris Parnell as Jerry in his lengthiest performance of the season.

In any case, this episode is hilarious, featuring a perfect balance of absurdist humor and the character-driven comedy that make this show a delight. There’s a fair bit of honest deconstruction of the characters as well, with Rick and Morty both making points about how the most normal characters on the show – Jerry and Beth, respectively – are just as rotten as the amoral Rick, though in totally different respects. The direction by Wes Archer and Juan Meza-Leon is also top-notch, with a fantastic bit of surreal animation during the wormhole sequence and a stealth Attack On Titan parody.  Tell your friends!

About Matt Morrison

Matt has been writing about comics on-line since before the word "blogging" was coined. When he's not busy being the World's Finest Teen Librarian, he enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. He also writes for NoFlyingNoTights.com and MyGeekyGeekyWays.com. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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