‘Rick and Jerry episode!’ Jerry has been somewhat under-served this season, as the focus has been primarily on the rest of the family and their reaction to the divorce – thank goodness that we’ve finally brought Jerry back into play, then, as he is frequently one of the show’s best characters, and Rick and Jerry always make a quality pairing. It’s just a shame that, despite some of the more creative elements, ‘The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy’ feels a little underwhelming, and a bit too familiar to traditional sitcoms.
The episode kicks off with Rick dragging Jerry out of bed, claiming that he needs him for an adventure. The two wind up in a city surrounded by an immortality field, meaning that nobody within the perimeter can die, and Jerry quickly clocks onto the fact that it is a pity adventure (all the more heart-breaking, Morty asked Rick to take him for fear that Jerry would kill himself).
Jerry takes a trip to the bathroom, where he is recruited for a top-secret mission. There is a ride, the titular Whirly Dirly, with one section of track that heads outside of the field. Rick has many enemies, and they want to use the Whirly Dirly to finally kill him. Jerry agrees to the plan, but gets cold feet, and the resulting ride crash leaves the two at odds with each other. The two eventually deal with their animus about Jerry’s marriage to Beth and make it back to Earth.
I’m always up for more Jerry (of whom there has been a massive lack this season)
Meanwhile, in a subplot, Summer has been broken up with. In order to win her boyfriend back, she tries to grow her breasts with one of Rick’s devices, but winds up a giant woman. Beth decides to try and cure her without Rick’s help, turning her inside out. A call to customer service sees her release three tiny aliens, before Morty finally snaps at her and her similar temperament to her father. They find Summer, with Beth converting herself too, as Morty gets revenge on Summer’s boyfriend, converting him into a mutated mess.
Some of the interesting Rick and Morty elements are here, but the episode itself fails to really thrill. It again deals with the family’s drama, but you could guess (as I did) most of the key plot developments within a few minutes. The character development means that we can properly engage with some of the emotional beats in a strong way, but it’s a shame the episode treads such a familiar path with them. From the moment the assassination plot was revealed, for example, it was obviously Jerry was going to realise that it was wrong and chicken out.
This episode didn’t straight out deliver the Rick and Jerry goodness that it promised
It’s not that I hated this episode, but it felt predictable in a way that Rick and Morty shouldn’t. I’m always up for more Jerry (of whom there has been a massive lack this season) and I’d like to see more of him, but this episode didn’t straight out deliver the Rick and Jerry goodness that it promised, and I’m disappointed with that.
‘There’s no time for pants!’ – Rick tries to get Jerry to join him on an adventure, as he drags him out of bed.
‘Is that a hoof collage?’ – Beth is finding interesting ways to deal with the divorce.
‘I mean, I’ve wondered about having a vagina.’ – Jerry makes a stray observation that will haunt him throughout the episode.
‘I can’t stand the deafening silent wails of his wilted soul – I guess I’ll hire him or marry him.’ – Rick has a brutal analysis of how Jerry uses his pathetic nature to get through life.
They don’t have any lines at all, but I have to award this to the two characters who provide the episode’s darkest moment. In the middle of the immortality field, two children play games of shooting each other in the head. Cue the bleak moment when, as the field goes down, one of those shots becomes a killing shot. And then, the episode just carries on, without another word said – few shows manage throwaway darkness as Rick and Morty does.
The three customer support aliens sit around under a bridge, toasting their freedom. They see the mutated boyfriend, and discuss how he could be fixed, before they remind themselves that they promised not to talk about work. Before retirement sets in, however, one is carried off by a bird. It’s a nice little scene – doesn’t add too much, though.