Rick, Morty, and Summer are flying along together in the spaceship. In season one, Summer only escorted Rick and/or Morty on a few sporadic occasions, but it appears she’ll be coming along on more adventures moving forward.
The jovial time is interrupted by a distress signal, which excites Rick because wrecked spaceships contain dead aliens and free stuff…or a horrendous ambush, but he’s willing to roll the dice with his grandkids lives, highlighting that particular dynamic between Rick and the family that carries through the seasons.
At the crash site, Rick starts drawing graffiti on the ship as a red herring to distract the racist cops into thinking another alien race is responsible. Rick, Summer, and Morty each show complex levels of morality and ethics due to their differing exposure and perspectives on death, interdimensional, time, and space travel.
Upon meeting survivors, Rick and the kids are informed some being is taking everyone over. Rick points out two of them are likely already taken over, and those two immediately attack the remaining survivors, vomiting in their mouths, and assimilating them. Just as Rick cocks his gun, the hivemind greets him, and he recognizes her as Unity, his ex-girlfriend.
Though episode 2 saw Jerry and Beth following an intentionally lame subplot involving a running gag about Beth’s insecurity (and Jerry’s negative attitude) about being a vet instead of a human surgeon, their arc in episode 3 is pure gold.
Jerry finally grows a pair and searches through the garage, finding a secret hatch, all the while rubbing in Beth’s face how much her father puts everyone in danger. Jerry is through bumbling and finally takes a stand, which appears to be a first out of any dimension, and makes the Beth and Jerry scenes almost watchable, especially when paired with Rick banging an entire planet.
Unity explains to Rick she assimilated the entire race of people and brought world peace to the planet. This intrigues Rick, and the spark of their old flame inspires Rick and Unity to begin a long and increasingly complicated love affair while Unity’s other assimilations take care of the kids.
Summer is unimpressed by the enslavement of an entire race of people and questions everything while Morty enjoys the view and hamburgers. Summer gets increasingly agitated about the hivemind enslavement and starts trying to wake up the real people, despite being warned how terrible they were before assimilation.
Beth and Jerry enter the secret garage hatch to find an underground lair with an imprisoned alien. This enrages Jerry, who continues rubbing it in Beth’s face, using a variety of colorful street slang.
The alien escapes and takes the two hostage, explaining he can speak English and gives them both a stern lecture viewers have been wanting to yell at their TV’s and monitors since the start of the show.
The discussion between Rick and Unity reveals a softer side of Rick. He also points out how he returned to his family, though Unity’s reaction implies Rick may have ulterior motives.
Unity’s hivemind partner arrives and appears to be a Borg-inspired nerd stuck in the friend zone while Rick rubs in his face how much sex he’s going to continue having with Unity. Unity then gets trashed with Rick, and the intoxication begins to undo her hold on the planet’s inhabitants.
Rick and Unity continue pushing each other’s boundaries and getting crazier and crazier. At one point, Unity destroys an entire city, making Rick suddenly worry about everyone’s safety, especially his grandkids.
Freedom doesn’t work out like Summer though, and a race war quickly breaks out between the pointy nippled and flat nippled. Summer tries calming everyone down, but the race war quickly takes over the city. At the last minute, as Summer and Morty are clicking their heels for a Wizard of Oz to help them, A special forces Unity-controlled air assault team drops in to rescue the kids.
It turns out everyone was sex offenders, violent, racist, and all sorts of bad things. Rick’s relationship with Unity begins to undo the whole planet, and both Summer and Morty want to leave. Unable to convince Rick of the bad influence he’s having, the kids come home alone.
The alien finally escapes the garage hatch into the garage and leaves after the door slowly closes. Meanwhile a conversation between Rick and Unity makes Unity realize the kids were right about their relationship being toxic.
When Rick returns from the bathroom, the entire planet is empty and filled with a trail of Dear John letters. Rick walks the longest walk of shame on any planet, stopping to read the notes and slowly realizing he’s been dumped again.
This is among the most powerful scenes in Rick and Morty, rivaled only by Morty burying himself and the realization that the evil Rick was controlled by his Morty, who disappeared back into the crowd of Morty’s.
Returning home, Jerry has Beth talk to Rick about his secret hatch and alien prisoner escaping, and him being their in the first place. Jerry understands Beth is the only person he’ll listen to, and they appear to be functioning well as a team. Rick immediately agrees, as he’s too heartbroken to argue.
Rick returns to his garage and absentmindedly plays with his experiments, pulling a stone alien out, unfreezing and relaxing him before disintegrating him, doing the same to what’s presumably the alien (or aliens) being held prisoner in his body.
In these end scenes, we gain a sense of what drives Rick, and why he’s always so short-fused. Rick isn’t the only three-dimensional character built in this episode, and all interfamily relationships are explored much more deeply than in the previous season. Rick and Morty’s second season looks to be an instant classic.
Brian Penny is a former business analyst and operations manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has been featured on Cannabis Now, Hardcore Droid, Fast Company, Huffington Poast, BBC, and more.