One thing I do love about Rick and Morty is that, in spite of its faults, it is certainly never predictable. I never what will be in the next episode, nor does the start of an episode give me any hint about where we’ll finish. ‘One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty’ takes on the heist movie and really skewers it, although that single-minded focus is possibly more to the episode’s detriment.
Rick and Morty head off on a grave-robbing adventure, only to discover that they’ve been outflanked by notorious heist artist Miles Nightly (Justin Theroux). Fuelled by revenge and a palpable dislike of heists, Rick takes Morty to HeistCon to confront his new nemesis, assembling a crew and building a heisting robot called Heistron to help defeat Nightly. But after things go south and the universe is about to fall victim to Heistron’s desires to keep building an ever-bigger crew, Rick decides to battle his creation with planning’s worst enemy – total randomness.
We have heist upon heist, with layers of double-cross upon double-cross, culminating a huge showdown in which Rick and his Heistron battle over who pulled the best double-cross
‘One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty’ deals with heist films, and Rick’s utter hatred of how convoluted they are. We have heist upon heist, with layers of double-cross upon double-cross, culminating a huge showdown in which Rick and his Heistron battle over who pulled the best double-cross. I don’t massively enjoy the genre, so seeing all of its clichés lampooned in a very Rick and Morty way (particular kudos to the Heistron’s mental manipulation when recruiting a crew: “you son of a bitch, I’m in”) was great fun. I don’t often mention the music, but the sci-fi/heist score in this episode is fantastic. And, of course, only Rick and Morty could make the pay-off for a very elaborate heist sequence be Rick pooing in a bag, and have it work perfectly.
However, I couldn’t help but find this episode to be the weakest of the series thus far, and that’s possibly because the plot didn’t leave much room for gags. The plot escalates extremely quickly and manages to pack in a lot, but I found that the strongest section of the episode was the first, before the escape from HeistCon. The closing couple of minutes, which seem almost tangential until you realise their importance to the rest of the episode, are also great, and play into the wider theme of this series – a manipulative Rick, trying to get what he wants in a universe he no longer fully controls.
I very much enjoyed Rick’s dismissal of a crowd: “your boos mean nothing to me – I’ve seen what makes you cheer”
As is par for the course in Rick and Morty, there are some fantastic quotes in this episode (I very much enjoyed Rick’s dismissal of a crowd: ‘your boos mean nothing to me – I’ve seen what makes you cheer’). Paying homage to the show’s past, we’ve also got an extended part for fan-favourite Mr Poopybutthole (now an esteemed professor of Afro-Caribbean women’s studies, which makes for a couple of good scenes). We also get some huge additions to the supporting cast, including – in the episode’s most bizarre guest spot – Elon Musk as a tusked parallel universe version of himself called Elon Tusk.
I’m not going to dispute the cleverness of ‘One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty’, but the cleverness almost gets in the way of everything else here. There are good lines, but it’s not consistently funny, and the best bits are the character moments that come almost in spite of the plot. This was still brilliant TV (and I thought that it worked a lot better on re-watch), but it wasn’t brilliant Rick and Morty.
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