Morty was supposed to have an ordinary day at school. Of course that was before Rick needed something.
It was a simple mission, Rick insisted. They’d be done and back in twenty minutes. Twenty-two minutes, tops.
Just the usual Rick And Morty adventure. No complications.
After that, Morty would be free to investigate the rumors that his crush, Jessica, had left her boyfriend and was looking for someone completely different than the tall, handsome, popular, athletic type for her new love interest.
Six days later, Rick and Morty were still trying to get back to Earth, having saved some space people from some other space people who were involved in some kind of space conflict. They had nothing to show for it except for a trophy and a case of post-traumatic stress disorder so severe it messed-up the normally unflappable Rick.
Thus did Rick declare, “We need a vacation.”
Vacation, in this case, meaning a trip to the best day spa in all the various alternate realities Rick knows. One with a revolutionary new treatment that removes all the toxins from you. Body and soul.
Unfortunately, between Morty’s insecurity and Rick’s egotism there’s a LOT of toxins that have to go somewhere. So as a newly confident Morty and kinder, gentler Rick return home, something brews within the toxin containment vat at the spa…
The dichotomy between good and evil and an exploration of just what those concepts mean is one of the oldest and most well-explored tropes in science-fiction. Thankfully, Rest and Ricklaxation goes beyond rehashing stories like the Star Trek: The Original Series episode The Enemy Within. Writer Tom Kauffman puts enough of a twist on the concept to give it new life and there’s a lot of comedy to be mined from the entirely different personality conflicts that rise up between the more well-adjusted Rick and Morty.
The only real problem with this episode is that while the plot manages to feel unique despite a classic premise, a lot of the humor feels redundant. Many of the same gags came up in Season Two’s Big Trouble In Little Sanchez with the spineless Jerry Worm and Gigeresque Beth created from their own personal images of each other. It’s still a good episode, but it lacks the unique edge other episodes this season have possessed.