Rick and Morty (Season 5): Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular (Episode 6)
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of Rick and Morty, Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular, Rick (voiced by Justin Roiland) reunites with his favorite frenemy, The President of the United States (voiced by Keith David), for some strange Thanksgiving shenanigans.
A holiday special for Rick and Morty is never like most. Just thinking back to last season and that Christmas-themed episode with like a ton of snakes, this series never just wants to have a normal holiday special. Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular is a testament to this as it’s a Thanksgiving special, a rarity in itself, that comes with some wild Rick decisions, an uncovering of American History secrets, and a vast supply of movie references.
Any episode that sees Rick and The President going toe to toe simply can’t be bad. They’re so childish with each other with how they want the upper hand. The whole sequence of them divulging their plans and explaining how they know the other person’s plan is a perfect example of their feud. Their fighting always leads to some pure ridiculousness, but this time it takes it to a weird place. The lore of Rick and Morty can always be established at random times, but the notion that Rick apparently transforms himself into a turkey every year so that he can get pardoned by The President is probably one of the most random and hilarious things he’s done. Anyone missing Pickle Rick gets a new obsession this week since we watch a lot of people including Rick, Morty (also voiced by Roiland), The President, and many others get transformed into turkeys.
The process of turkey transformation is unbelievably grotesque but has some hilarious results. The visual of big, gun-toting marines turning into turkeys and watching Rick fight as a turkey is hilarious. It’s so ridiculous that even The President turns himself into a turkey because he’s so mad that Rick has outsmarted him again. Also, I love how Rick gets so panicked when he sees The President as a turkey because it wasn’t a part of the plan. It’s something that only this series can pull off and they do a great job constantly upping the ante to unveil some weird American secrets.
Apparently, in an effort to cure FDR of his polio, there were experiments performed on him to mix his DNA with a spider in order to give him “more legs.” I mean, he is still alive, but now he’s an experiment gone wrong that devours all the unchosen turkeys in a dark and dreary cave. That’s not even the highpoint of the crazy secrets uncovered. In an effort to take down a turkey transformed back into a turkified President and the army of mutant turkeys it spawns, The President introduces Rick and Morty to warring beings from another planet that came to Earth to fight but ended up becoming allies against turkeys. At first, it’s kind of tough to tell what exactly these two entities are meant to represent, but it’s not too long until they’re easily recognizable as a nod to Predator.
Their mouths kind of resemble the Predator’s when its unmasked and the way they kill so covertly gives off the iconic sci-fi killer’s vibes. Also, they directly reference the Predator when talking about their weapons. It’s one of the many movie references found in this episode. The opening of Rick and Morty stealing the Constitution for a treasure map is a clear parody of National Treasure and there are plenty of nods to Independence Day. At the heart of this episode, it’s really about seeing the President and Rick come together instead of fight.
Although most of the episode is barely about Thanksgiving, there is one moment that feels right at home with the holiday. Amongst all the chaos, the Sanchez’s get to have a Thanksgiving dinner with The President full of slight arguing and resolution. Even though they’ve been at each other’s throats for quite a while, The President and Rick find common ground against the turkeys over a decent Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a nice moment that leads to some glorious mutant turkey slaughter.
Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular is as grand and unique as its name implies and brings the feud between Rick and The President to new heights. Who knew a Rick and Morty Thanksgiving special with a turkey obsession would end up being the funniest, wildest, and strongest episode, this season, so far?