Rick and Morty (Season 5): Amortycan Grickfitti Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of Rick and Morty, Amortycan Grickfitti, Rick (voiced by Justin Roiland) and Jerry (voiced by Chris Parnell) go to hell and back on a guy’s night while Morty (also voiced by Roiland) and Summer (voiced by Spencer Grammar) try to impress the new kid.
Well, it finally happened. After five seasons and dozens of adventures across time and space, we finally get a Rick and Jerry adventure. Now, with these two never seeing eye to eye, there are definitely some suspicions about why Rick would all of a sudden want to spend time with Jerry. However, as per usual with Rick, there’s an angle. It seems like a debt in hell has made Rick have to spend his Friday nights with Jerry to please these entities that resemble the cenobites from Hellraiser. When it came to the previews for this season, this was the episode a lot of fans called out and highly anticipated mainly because it was parodying Hellraiser. It’s been quite some time since Pinhead and the cenobites have gotten some real love and this episode provides Hellraiser fans with a lot of fun nods.
Just from a design standpoint, the demons from hell perfectly match the insane body horror fitting for this series and that could only come out of the mind of Clive Barker. Their stretched skin and exposed innards certainly make them tough to look at and it’s great how this episode pokes fun at the oddly playful names they have. The whole exchange Rick and Beth (voiced by Sarah Chalke) have with a “Hanger Head” demon is funny and highlights a main element of these demons that sets this plot with Jerry up and hilariously makes fun of the cenobites in a great way. For those that have never seen a Hellraiser movie, the cenobites transitioned to being sadistic torturers in the third installment and Bloodline that gained pleasure from mercilessly eviscerating people and this episode pretty much makes that its main comedic punching bag – along with Jerry.
Since pretty much the start of the series, fans, including myself, have pretty much said that Jerry’s best comedic quality is how undeniably lame he is. This episode is like Roiland and Dan Harmon read all those comments and designed an episode that used that as its driving force. With these demons gaining pleasure from pain, the cringe and lameness that Jerry offers is like sweet nectar for them and ends up being the perfect way for Rick to repay this unknown debt. Although the joke of these demons going through this cycle of deriving pleasure from pain runs its course a little early because of how overdone it is, it does lead to some great moments. Every time these demons laugh at Jerry it’s a funny, subtle way of them just acknowledging he sucks and the way that Beth and Rick silently agree is perfect. It’s even funnier to see Rick and Beth have to dress like these demons, which is basically like sci-fi S&M, to get Jerry back when things go awry.
This episode, like most this season, also comes with some solid character growth. Look, even though this episode is basically meant to point out how Jerry sucks, you actually kind of feel bad for him. Just as things are going right for him in one of Rick’s sci-fi adventures, he quickly finds out that it’s just meant to make him look dumb. He barely even has Beth and Rick on his side, but that quickly changes when Rick is forced to be honest and caring towards Jerry. Sure, it’s just an effort to get something going in order to take down the demons, but it’s another moment where Rick is forced to be real with his family. Although I’ve been pretty annoyed that last season’s finale has been pretty much ignored in this season, it is great that Rick feeling like a loser last season has caused some meaningful change.
While all this is happening, Morty and Summer attempt to impress a “too cool” new kid named Bruce Chutback (voiced by Darren Criss) by taking him on an adventure with an old friend. It’s rare that Summer and Morty are on the same page, so it’s interesting that they’re both looking to repair their reputations together through this new kid. However, their lameness that they definitely inherited from make their initial attempts fail and they end up relying on the help of an old friend – the A.I. in Rick’s ship. Remember the whole “Keep Summer Safe” bit a while back? Well, that voice is back and is fully in the driver’s seat. It’s amazing when you can tell something has Rick’s fingerprints all over it when it starts acting like him. Just as the ship seemingly goes offline to let Summer and Morty take Bruce on a night of debauchery, it immediately turns it into blackmail to take the group on her own kind of space adventure. From taking down a giant space entity resembling Galactus to almost losing her “virginity” to Transformer knockoffs only to end up decimating them all, it’s basically like Rick is on this adventure too.
Throughout this season, both Morty and Summer have shown themselves to be making choices that align with Rick’s thinking and it’s interesting how they react to another opportunity to be like their uncle Rick. Since the ship’s actions land the trio in jail, the ship gives Morty and Summer an easy way out – just pin everything on Bruce and they go free. I think most people, especially Rick, would just let Bruce burn for this and given how Summer and Morty have acted this season I would’ve bet the same thing. However, they don’t and it’s a nice moment for these two to not just give into temptation and pull a classic Rick maneuver. It still shows that although they’re acting a little more like Rick each episode, they still have their own beliefs and ways to handle things.
Amortycan Grickfitti is another great episode this season that delivers some great laughs and solid character moments as Rick and Jerry go on their own adventure that brings some great Hellraiser nods and Summer and Morty try to take a new kid in school on a space adventure that takes a wild turn.