Rick and Morty (Season 5): Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion (Episode 7) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
This week’s episode of Rick and Morty, Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion, proves that not everything this series mashes up and parodies works.
Is it me or are we getting a lot of parodies this season? Just last week we got an episode that poked fun at Independence Day and Predator, and we’ve already had other episodes geared around making fun of Captain Planet, Hellraiser, and even Blade for a hot second. Parody is never a bad thing and has sort of become this series’ bread and butter with how great it’s been at poking fun at other franchises. However, it feels like we’re getting a little too much parody and personally, I’m overdosed – especially with this episode. Although I’m sure things like this happen all the time with these parody episodes, this episode in particular feels like they drew ideas out of a hat, pulled out “mech anime” and “Scorsese-styled Italian mafia movies,” and cobbled together this story.
The story here is that on their way to the highly anticipated Boob World, Rick (voiced by Justin Roiland), Morty (also voiced by Roiland), and Summer (voiced by Spencer Grammar) come across a giant blue ferret mech, the last one that Rick needs to make a mega version. Thus, Rick completely derails their trip to Boob World, which hilariously pisses off Morty, to bring the family together and create an operation with other parallel Smith families. I may not know what mech anime this episode is specifically tackling, but it’s got to be at least making fun of Power Rangers with the multi-colored, animal zords that come together to form a Megazord.
There are some good aspects to this episode delivering some good Power Ranger riffs with Rick becoming more and more obsessed with creating a more mega Megazord and the post-credit scene that peeks behind the curtain to show what these monsters’ intentions really are. His whole battle plan of everyone losing on their own just to come together to decimate the giant bug monster was perfect and the whole sequence of everyone having their mech Ferrets come out of random locations was excellent. Morty having to get his out of a parking garage was hilarious. There are parts where I wish it was a little more ridiculously elongated, like them transforming into their suits or the Megazord coming together, but Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion is still a very enjoyable Power Ranger/mech anime parody – when it stays that way.
About halfway through the episode, Rick suddenly decides he wants to bring other Ricks into the mix who haven’t found their missing mech ferrets to create a family operation. Basically, the episode begins to riff on Scorsese mafia movies, with the inclusion of a joke from Brian DePalma’s Scarface, that includes voiceover narration from Morty and Summer that you would find in films like Casino or Goodfellas. The voiceover battle between Morty and Summer is really funny and leads to a very fitting ending with it all being spurred by these alien worms in their ears, but that’s all that’s really great about it. I like Scorsese stuff, but it doesn’t lead to anything special in this story.
All the betrayals don’t leave much of an impact, the lesson learned by Summer about being addicted to pleasing Rick feels lesser compared to other family plots we’ve seen this season, and Beth (voiced by Sarah Chalke) and Jerry (voiced by Chris Parnell) don’t do much here. I get the whole thing with Beth and Jerry here is that they aren’t that interested in being there, but that doesn’t make their appearance fun. The anime villains that also come towards the end of the episode are super unmemorable. Also, the Scorsese additions don’t really compliment the Power Ranger mech stuff well and seeing them mashed together feels more confusing than hilarious. Perhaps this combination is a riff on Scorsese commenting on Marvel movies and saying they’re not “cinema” with it combining his artistic Mafia storytelling with the colorful goofiness of Power Rangers. However, that doesn’t fully come through here and just makes for unfocused, confusing parody.
The only thing that really brings this episode back on track is the reintroduction of the incest baby Summer and Morty created a couple episodes ago. Summer’s story about her wanting to train the incest baby to be good is a sci-fi trope played with in a fun way and leads to a pretty enjoyable sequence of this baby absolutely destroying the Megazord. It literally shakes it to death like a toy and it’s a perfectly strange and entertaining way for things to come to a close.
For the rest of this season, hopefully there aren’t too many parody episodes left since it’s already over-crowded and lacks original storylines that don’t lean on poking fun at nostalgia. Season five hasn’t been this series’ strongest thus far and this episode doesn’t help the cause with its weird parody pairing that for the most part doesn’t work.