Rick and Morty season 5, episode 5 recap – “Amortycan Grickfitti” grand theft auto

July 19, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Amortycan Grickfitti” feels like a more coherent and less indulgent episode than the last few while also toying with actual serialization.

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3.5

Summary

“Amortycan Grickfitti” feels like a more coherent and less indulgent episode than the last few while also toying with actual serialization.

This recap of Rick and Morty season 5, episode 5, “Amortycan Grickfitti”, contains spoilers.


Thus far, this season of Rick and Morty has been weird. They’re all weird, obviously, that’s part of the appeal, but I mean more how utterly unconcerned the show has been with basic storytelling norms or even each episode’s individual quality. We’ve had wacky sci-fi concepts contorted to the point of absurdity, just for the sake of it, and we’ve had half-hours that have openly scraped the bottom of the barrel for easiest gross-out gags imaginable. We’ve seen the Smith family potentially be replaced wholesale by clones, and it barely even warranted a mention.

This is all part of the show’s sneaky genius. It’s also why an episode like “Amortycan Grickfitti”, which has the quirky setup and the violence but also a sense of character development, balance, and structure, feels like an anomaly when it should feel like the norm. It’s part of the show’s comedic fabric that the Smith family hold each other and their audience in pretty open contempt, but the irony is that the whole enterprise works better when they seem to care about each other just a little bit.

This is embodied in Rick and Morty season 5, episode 5 by Rick and Jerry, the former of whom is using the latter as a cheap subject of mockery for a gang of Hellraiser­-style S&M demons, which Beth is obviously furious about. Jerry being oblivious and limp is entirely his role in the show, so it makes sense, but the fact it’s really all a way for Rick to soften and show some sincerity is a smart way to use both without forcing either of them to act too out of character. Rick being woefully underprepared, rather than the smartest person in the room, also gave off a different, welcome vibe.

In many ways Morty and Summer’s subplot was business as usual – while trying to impress the cool new kid, Bruce Chutback (Darren Criss), they somehow corrupt Rick’s sentient car security system into going on a joyride that escalates from trying to get laid to trying to kill everyone with guest appearances from knockoff Transformers and a Galactus lookalike. It’s silly mayhem, obviously, but there are also hints of serialization here with Morty’s disintegrating moral compass and desensitization to violence. That’s why “Amortycan Grickfitti” feels anomalous when compared to the rest of this season – it’s a pretty standard episode that nonetheless feels like it has a relationship to the ones that have come before.

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