Guess what, after that lacklustre second episode I turned myself into a pickle! I’m pickle Josef!!
All memes aside, this is the third episode and it’s one that was hyped up months in advance. Even if you were trying to avoid trailers or news, there’s a chance you probably heard about pickle Rick. All the marketing and hype sets this up to be an exciting and very funny episode, but does it hit all the notes? Let’s find out.
Episode 3 begins with a very quick introduction to the fact that Rick is now a pickle. It becomes very clear to Morty that he’s done this in order to get himself out of some family therapy. While I like to see progression in this sense, I like it even more that Rick is doing his best to get out of it. However I’d like to think he’s doing this to be clever and not support the system, but this episode brings the possibility that emotions are his driving force. This season we’ve seen Rick’s motives change from wasting time and being cool, to worrying and caring about people. I think this has come at the loss of Bird Person in season 2, something I didn’t think about until now.
While Rick is indeed very unemotional in his day to day life, he still had friends and had a life experience with them all. Now he’s killed off the Counil of Ricks and the federation so he’s left to be the sci-fi grandpa of the family. Anyway moving onto the current episode, in his pickle form he is swept away into the sewers by rain. It’s here where he begins a violent spree to work his way up the food chain. By killing a multitude of creatures he forms himself a small mech suit based on rat organs. The scenes are coloured very nice but it does get pretty damn gory so make sure your grandparents aren’t in the room.
While all of this bloodshed is going down, the rest of the family is attempting to make breakthroughs at therapy. Beth seems to have changed personality without Jerry around, she’s becoming like Rick. During the session she’s rude and quick to dismiss the ideas of the therapy, thinking that the fault lies in her children rather than her fathers influence on him. I understand that a lot of people won’t like these scenes as they take away from what could be more jokes. However I feel the need to address the state of all the characters, while the show has always been sci-fi nonsense there is some continuity in characters and universe.
The episode continues with some more violence as Rick takes down some secret agents using his intelligence and mad skills. I prefer this level of violence where he’s being clever and awesome rather than slaughtering rats. There’s a scene where he uses some Spartan Laser like weapon against a dude called Jaguar. A man who was imprisoned and is looking for his daughter, this is the randomness that gets me excited. There’s not a lot of dialogue jokes here as most of the comedy comes out of the action and how insane it is. I don’t mind it too much but it makes the episode feel a little empty here and there, almost like you’re just watching an action drama.
The episode comes to a conclusion with Rick making his way to the family therapy, still in his pickle form. He comes in with the dry uninterested look that you expect him to have. Unfortunately for him the therapist challenges him very quickly about his self destructive behaviour. She’s the first character to do so on such a level, bringing to light how he uses intelligence as an excuse for his reckless behaviour. It’s a quiet and thoughtful scene that the audience can see some truth in. However Rick and Beth both dismiss the ideas on the drive home, joking about getting a drink. Meanwhile Morty and Summer are in the back with blank expressions, it was helping them come to terms with their world. Beth has become more like her father, saying she’s too smart for it and blaming the kids for the problems in the family.
The episode ends just after this in what feels like a really short episode, the pickle Rick scenes all felt dark and explosive. I would have hoped for something lighter toned to get me laughing but in the end we were just watching an action show. While I also like the family therapy scenes I’m sad there wasn’t much going on with them and besides the end scene, everything felt out of place. This is a serviceable episode at best for Rick and Morty standards and doesn’t hit as many high notes as I would have liked.
Pickle Rick scores a 7/10 for me