“Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular” leans on Keith David and killer turkeys in a funny if not exactly lasting outing.
This recap of Rick and Morty season 5, episode 6, “Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular”, contains spoilers.
Some people have a voice that you just never get tired of hearing, and Keith David is one of them. His President of the United States only showed up a couple of episodes ago, but it’s a pleasure to see him here again in “Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular”, even if the timing feels a bit off. His authoritative tones make a good counter to Rick’s snidey jibes, and he lends some gravitas to what is yet another episode of Rick and Morty that revolves around the central conceit of “how far can we take this really dumb idea?”
The dumb idea this time involves turkey super-soldiers, since why not? Turkeys are no more ridiculous than any other kind of super-soldier, really, and they’re funnier than most. Plus, there’s nothing edgy or risqué about turkeys, so we don’t have to endure the kind of gags that the episode about Morty’s giant sentient sperm relied on. What it comes down to, really, is a petty macho contest between Rick and Keith David that just happens to include turkeys to excuse a lot of violence and gags. You can’t argue with that.
Well, I suppose you can, actually, but there isn’t much point. It’s the back and forth patter where Rick and Morty season 5, episode 6 excels, but it uses a lot of American history and iconography for some really funny and at times scathing jokes at the country’s expense. No former President is safe, no deeply ingrained cultural value is excluded from mockery, no national symbol is left standing. It will probably annoy some viewers, actually, which is always a good thing. That’s how you know a comedy is doing what it’s supposed to.
The overabundance of rapid-fire snark might be off-putting for some, too, and after last week’s promisingly character-focused outing it feels like a bit of a step back to just be relying purely on sight and sound again. I didn’t mind, in the case of “Rick and Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular”, since we’re not playing in the shallowest end of lowest-common-denominator gross-out claptrap, but it’s still disappointing and prevents the episode from really lingering in the memory. Keith David is really great in it, and as ever you can’t help but admire how thoroughly bonkers things end up getting. Season 5 might not be delivering all-time-great Rick and Morty adventures, but at such a miserable period in human history, sometimes you just have to be thankful for something to chuckle at. And Keith David, obviously.