In episode 4 of Rick and Morty’s second season, it becomes clear the show’s quality is going to hold up through even the most complicated of ideas. This time, more than sci-fi, the show skews television “norms,” breaking the fourth wall in multiple ways, and clearly aware of how to draw viewers in.
From the start, the Smith family suddenly has a new character, Jerry’s older brother, Uncle Steve enjoying breakfast with the family. Steve is extremely likable and clearly loves his brother, who is upset at Rick for dropping a glowing rock into the garbage. Suddenly Rick notices Steve and asks who he is.
After the family explains who Steve is, Rick doesn’t hesitate to pull out his gun and execute Steve by shooting him in the head at point blank range. The family is shocked, and Rick explains there is no “Uncle Steve” and what he killed was a telepathic parasite that uses your memories to come to life as they take over the world.
After explaining everything, Mr. Poopybutthole shows up to partner with Rick. As we’ve never seen the character before, it’s clear this is another parasite, that changes memories, even leaking into the opening credits.
Things quickly go further and further into the rabbit hole, and Rick writes down the number 6 to ensure they notice if anyone new shows up, but soon the room is filled with Frankenstein, Sleepy Gary, Photography Raptor, Mr. Beauregard, and Pencilvester.
Beth suggests looking through photos for hard evidence of who belongs and who doesn’t, suspiciously noticing Mr. Poopybutthole isn’t in any of her photos. Mr. Poopybutthole retorts by raising the suspicion level and aiming it at Beth.
Soon, everyone’s on Summer, who only has pics of her and her friends from school, because they’re not Mormon or dying. Summer’s best friend is a magic rainbow unicorn named Tinkles who lives in Neverpastbedtimeland.
When Tinkles and her friends show up, Summer is proven real, and everyone apologizes. Jerry takes the stage to assure everyone Beth and her husband Sleepy Gary are real, and Rick takes a shot at Summer.
Soon Sleepy Gary is joined by Hamurai and Amish Cyborg in trying to talk Rick down, but he blows them off as Conan O’Brien characters from the 1990’s.
The characters push and Rick finally flashes back to a barbecue similar to Tom Cruise from Cocktail (though he calls it Cuisine).
Still fighting the telepathy, Rick pulls out of the flashback to notice the living room has been turned into a Where’s Waldo page. Can you find him in the screenshot below?
Rick finds himself quickly outnumbered, and the characters begin explaining that Rick is the problem. The next flashback shows Rick freaking out about a Nintendo 3DS sale.
Jerry pulls Sleepy Gary aside after Sleepy Gary explains Frankenstein is actually Frankenstein’s monster. Jerry isn’t sure anymore if he’s real, but Sleep Gary reassures him with a vacation flashback of them falling in love and making love on a sunset river cruise.
Back in the living room, Frankenstein is looking for a way to lower the blast shields so they can escape. He attempts to pull Rick into a Vietnam flashback, but Rick resists.
Frankenstein tackles Rick and takes his gun. Rick’s restrained, and Reverse Giraffe shows up, introducing himself as having gone to college with Hamurai, saving Ghost in a Jar’s life in Vietnam, and being a shoulder for Beth to cry on.
Reverse Giraffe convinces the mob that a mad scientist with a flying car is weird, and Morty joins in with all his weird catch phrases, like:
Wubba Lubba Dub Dub
Ricky Ticky Taffy, Bitch
And that’s the waaaaaaay the news goes
Hit the sack, Jack
Oh uh, Summersault Jump
Chum Chum Schlippity dop
Grass tastes bad
No Jumpin in the sewer
Rubber baby baby bunkers
Lick lick lick my balls
Beth jumps in about his incredibly vague backstory, and Morty confronts Rick. Rick insults Morty, prompting him to take the gun. He orders a few thugs to bring Rick to the garage so he doesn’t have to execute him in front of Pencilvester.
In the garage, Morty tells Rick to lower the shield, and Rick retorts that he’s a brainwashed little turd. Morty says it isn’t easy, but Rick says he’s a whiny little piece of shit, presses his head against the gun, and tells him to pull the trigger.
Realizing he’s right, Rick accesses the hidden weapon panel behind the washer and dryer and burst into the house to start slaughtering their friends and family.
First up is Mrs. Refrigerator, who nobody has bad memories of, though she tries to convince them a roller coaster counts. Beth explains she’s too perfect, and she’s soon killed in front of everyone.
Rick and Morty check Summer, and she’s real because she’s Morty’s bitch of a sister. Next is Beth, who’s real because she was drunk and accidentally gives Summer a black eye by hitting her with the wine bottle.
The Smith family’s problems are on full display, and the family begins executing everyone. The mass killing is brutal, and Rick tries his hardest to find a bad memory of Pencilvester. He can’t kill him, so he orders Morty to do it.
Unsure if Morty is real, Summer flashes back to catching him masturbating in the kitchen. When asked why in the kitchen, Morty explains he does it everywhere, he hates her, and he was picturing her friend Grace.
The memory satisfies Summer, and they continue killing parasites back-to-back. Rick kills Mr. Beauregard, makes a joke, then pulls Ghost in a Jar out the jar and assassinates him while Sleepy Gary and Jerry comfort each other.
Beth kills Gary, and Jerry asks Beth to kill him, but she realizes he’s real after a flashback of fighting off a homeless guy in the grocery store parking lot.
When Jerry tries to kiss Beth, she backs away and says she needs time to get rid over Sleepy Gary.
Sitting at dinner, the family discusses the situation. Mr. Poopybutthole asks for a pork chop, and Beth shoots him. Turns out Mr. Poopybutthole isn’t a parasite, and cries out in pain.
He begins bleeding to death, Jerry calls 911 and snitches on his wife. Summer and Morty try to keep him alive, and Beth shakily pours a glass of wine.
In the after-credit scene, Mr. Poopybutthole is recovering in physical therapy as the family looks on. Beth wants to comfort him, but the doctor tells her he wants to be alone and is sorry she didn’t have any bad memories of him.
Brian Penny is a former business analyst and operations manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. His work has appeared on BBC, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Hardcore Droid, and Main Street.