Rick and Morty Episode 2 Review (Season 4)

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Hang on there, Bro! This one’s got lot’s of action and, ya know, like, a real theme, Dog! It’s Rick and Morty S4:E2—”The Old Man and The Seat!!!

Like in the season premiere, Rick and Morty S4:E2 begins with the family eating breakfast. Anyone else notice how often that happens, btw? Just sayin’. Anyway, Rick introduces his new intern, Glootie (Taika Waititi), a small pink alien with a tattoo on his forehead that says “Do not develop my app.” Glootie pours Rick’s syrup (They’re eating pancakes, as usual) and then asks if anyone wants to develop his app. Turns out, Rick tattooed the “Do Not…” message on Glootie’s forehead specifically to keep Jerry from helping him to develop his app. Because of course that’s why the tattoo is there. [Smacks his head] Jerry. 

Meanwhile, Rick stands up and says he needs to go on a solo mission, which Summer exposes as code for Rick needing to go “number two.” She further reveals that “[Grandpa’s] a shy pooper; he has a secret pooping place.”

Summer is, of course, right, because Roiland and Co. can’t resist a good poop joke. And this episode’s full of them. Once Rick gets to his special pooping spot—a true paradise—he finds that his privacy has been violated. A broken twig on the ground reveals that some other sentient life form has found his spot.

And there’s our setup!

Now, On to the Review:

One of the best parts about Rick and Morty is that the series does a masterful job of finding a balance between crude dick and fart jokes and the high-concept jokes and themes that are threaded in between. For example, in this episode we have an A story, a B story, and a C story. 

The A story.

Rick’s determination to find and punish the being who violated his sacred pooping spot takes him from one end of the universe to the next, and even to a few other universes. He threatens gangsters and fights all out war to find Tony, the man who pooped in his secret toilet. Pretty low-brow. Except that it’s not by the time they get done with it. There’s a much more complex theme that pierces this whole episode, and we’ll get to that in a bit. 

The B story.

This one centers on Morty trying to help Jerry fix the app situation. Because of course Jerry had to help Glootie develop the app. Turns out, the app was already developed by Glootie’s alien species. And like any good alien species, they intend to use it to subjugate the Earthlings while they take all of our water. So how does the app work? Well, that takes us to the C story.

The C story.

Summer downloads the new app, which is called “Lovefinderrz.” Don’t worry, Beth slam’s Jerry’s stupid app name later in the episode. The app scans Summer’s head and instantly matches her with another user. Danny, her match, “works at Jersey Mike’s and sees 25 Phish shows a year” according to Beth, who snatches Summers phone upon this revelation. Danny bursts into the restaurant in which Summer and Beth are beginning their showdown, and he and Summer abscond. Of course, the more users go online, the more perfect matches the app finds, and all hell breaks loose. 

So what’s the alien’s big plan? Well that takes us back to Morty and Jerry in the B story, the aliens explain that their species has perfected love, so that they are free to focus on more important issues—like the scarcity of water in the universe. They’re making humans even more obsessed with love so that they can steal the water while we’re not paying attention. And that brings us to the verdict, and the theme.

Final Verdict: 5/5 Comets

That’s right, boys and girls. We have our first 5/5. Why? Because this episode is a classic example of why Rick and Morty is brilliant. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon made a 25 minute episode littered with poop and fart jokes, and still managed to convey a theme that ran between all three stories. What was that theme? Focusing attention on idiotic things that don’t matter while the important things are bringing disaster around you. 

Rick literally goes to the ends of reality, threatening to kill children and waging all out war just to keep Tony from using his private toilet (in each of his stops on this adventure, Rick completely and selfishly ignores a larger more pressing issue in his single minded pursuit) 

The app causes humans to focus so much on their phones and their relationships that they nearly lose the most precious natural resource on Earth. 

Tying up the theme.

Finally, there’s the title. Rick and Morty episode titles always play on some other title. This one, “The Old Man and the Seat” is obviously a reference to the Hemingway story. In that story, Santiago, the protagonist, works tirelessly against the odds to haul in a great fish, though there’s no way he can realistically get it back to shore on his own (a lost cause). Santiago is seemingly spending a great deal of effort on something that everyone else looks at as useless, but to him it’s of paramount importance.

The same concept is revealed in the final scene of the episode. Rick finds Tony many times, but lets him go each time because he thinks he might have found a friend (though he continually denies it). In the last scene, we learn that Tony is dead, and Rick goes to his secret spot, only to find his serenity ruined by the loss of Tony.

So yeah, it’s an episode about pooping, but it’s also about loneliness and how we get myopic in our efforts to thwart it. 

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Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

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