Rick and Morty: Never Ricking Morty
May 4, 2020 8:17 AM - Season 4, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Choo Choo, broh. Catch this train broh.

It's Rick And Morty, on a train (Zack Handlen for TV/AV Club; rating: B+)
About a third of the way into “Never Ricking Morty,” Rick and Morty kill a man collecting ticket stubs. The dude is jacked, but he deals with sudden explosive decompression about as well as anyone, in that he gets sucked out a hole into space. The instant his head leaves the train, the episode cuts to the same man in front of a VR game at Blips And Chitz. He disconnects from the machine and goes to sit with his family, not entirely sure what’s going on; the woman at the table, who calls him “Dad,” is frustrated when he acts confused, suggesting we’re seeing just a moment in a longer, infinitely more depressing low-key family drama. Then the man starts bleeding at the waist. He screams as the two halves of his body separate, and we cut back to the train to see that the ticket-taker has been bisected, his top half floating in space, his lower half bleeding over the carpet.

Maybe five, six minutes later, after a bunch of other crazy shit happens, we see the ticket taker’s head floating in the void, eyes bulging, and the episode goes back to the Blips And Chitz world, where the top half of his torso is spinning around spraying blood inside the building. A goony alien couple is watching a news report about the incident on TV, and the male of the couple explains that he’s part of a religion that believes their entire universe was created inside the mind of the man who’s spraying blood. The male says he doesn’t have sex so that they can make sure reality holds together; the female says that’s hot; they start to make out, just as the ticket taker’s brain finally fries, and “reality” is destroyed.

So yeah, it’s going to be one of those kinds of episodes. The kind that takes what could’ve been the premise for a full episode, or a novel, or hell, a whole TV series, and uses it as a one-off gag.
Rick and Morty Season 4 Episode 6 Explained (Alec Bojalad for Den of Geek)

‘Rick and Morty’s Story-Train.com Doesn’t Exist for a Good Reason (Kayla Cobb for Decider)
True to Dan Harmon’s love of fake commercials, the ending bumper for “Never Ricking Morty” is an advertisement for the Story Train toy. But despite the commercial’s insistence that viewers feed the beast that is capitalism, http://www.Story-Train.com doesn’t exist. It’s a dead link, and it’s been confusing fans ever since the episode’s premiere.

As much fun as it would be to own your own Story Train it will likely never happen. Why? Because thoughtlessly buying merchandise was never the point of the episode. Mocking the very success of Rick and Morty itself was.
posted by filthy light thief (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I get the feeling that Dan Harmon is regretting his commitment to make 70 episodes.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:42 AM on May 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

omg Christopher Meloni is on this one!
posted by miss-lapin at 10:56 AM on May 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Plus Paul Giamatti as Story Lord, and Clancy Brown. And I could have sworn there were more notable voices. IMDb's episode page doesn't have credits up yet, and the Fandom episode page is pretty thin, too.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on May 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Such wow, very meta. It even has a literal story circle. But it still has a great payoff with Jesus (and a surprisingly straightforward presentation of same, even with the cum gutters), and both the Bechdel Test and the Notorious RBG. I'm happy, although a bit disappointed that they didn't actually put up something in the www.story-train.com URL.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:13 PM on May 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also, I'm wondering if maybe part of the point of the episode is to lampshade some of the more obvious (and maybe tempting to Roiland and Harmon, because of fan demand) potential plots that they could exploit, like the Game of Thrones-like scene with Evil Morty.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:28 PM on May 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

I think there was a lot of jokes on how the show plays to marketability, broad appeal and relatability, some less subtle than others.

And in case you missed it: fart on tap.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:23 AM on May 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

But despite the commercial’s insistence that viewers feed the beast that is capitalism, http://www.Story-Train.com doesn’t exist. It’s a dead link, and it’s been confusing fans ever since the episode’s premiere.

I didn't catch up on this episode until Thursday night, and by then, www.story-train.com redirected straight to www.rickandmorty.com.

I enjoyed this one. Was it a touch too far up its own ass? Well, yeah, it's Rick & Morty. Did it throw away interesting ideas for the sake of one-off jokes? Sure, it's Rick & Morty? Was it ten pounds of idea in a five-pound bag? See previous comment.
posted by Etrigan at 12:44 PM on May 8, 2020 [1 favorite]

a++ would meta again
posted by lalochezia at 7:43 PM on May 11, 2020

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