Rick and Morty: Get Schwifty
August 23, 2015 9:58 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Rick and Morty manage to save the day. A new religion is born.
posted by Catblack (40 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If they're not going to give Keith David a consistent recurring character to voice, I'm glad they're at least giving him multiple parts (Reverse Giraffe and now the President). I could listen to him spout Harmon-ian nonsense basically any time.

That said... This was the first episode of this season I didn't love. I couldn't exactly say what it was missing. I laughed plenty but there was some element of "beyond over the top insanity" that was kind of missing? I dunno. I saw someone say it was basically a perfectly fine Futurama episode and that's how I feel about it. Everyone's allowed an off week.

Side note: Was that... Dan Harmon doing Ice-T (and also his father Q)? He was listed in the credits as being in this episode as a voice, but I couldn't quite 100% tell if that was him and don't think anyone else was.
posted by sparkletone at 2:46 AM on August 24, 2015 [4 favorites]

Doesn't Harmon voice Birdman?

This episode should have gotten Rick's band that's shown on Birdman's wall back together for a show.
posted by Catblack at 7:40 AM on August 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nothing special about this episode. My expectations are so high for this show that perhaps I'm grading on a harsh curve.
posted by about_time at 7:51 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Wow, tough crowd. I think this episode represented a major character evolution for Rick. I'm not at all convinced that Rick of even a few episodes ago would have stuck around to save the planet, revealing himself to the US government in the process. I think this new presidential connection opens up a lot of narrative possibilities for the show, AND it was the second episode in a row where Morty has risen to the occasion to save Rick's bacon. Plus it had Bird Person! And Tammy, who's still with Bird Person against all the odds!

I agree it wasn't an entire mindfuck like the rest of this season has been, but I think it was super solid anyway and I think it's going to have Consequences.
posted by town of cats at 8:04 AM on August 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

This was the first episode of this season I didn't love.

Wow, I watched this episode and thought "there's too much to love about (or at least quote from) the show."

I think it was super solid anyway and I think it's going to have Consequences.

For more than just Rick, too. Morty realized that Rick isn't really a lazy, selfish asshole, thanks to the ever-insightful Bird Person, and he realized there are some times to just not give a fuck. Plus, Beth and Jerry realized they loved each-other for each-other, and turned aside Summer's transformation into an ace student and devoted daughter because it came about through a crazy potato-related religion.

Also, we saw the end of a galactic music contest. That, alone, is something worth noting. (But then again, with an infinite number of planets, there are an infinite number of music-based reality shows ending all the time. To quote Bill Nye making fun of Neil deGrasse Tyson: "like oh, wow." It's cool though, Bill and Neil are best buds.)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:29 AM on August 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

I agree it wasn't an entire mindfuck like the rest of this season has been, but I think it was super solid anyway and I think it's going to have Consequences.

The first part of this is exactly how I feel. I tried hard not to come off like I was super let down or anything. I had a great time watching and wouldn't skip this one in a rewatch (there hasn't been an episode I can think of that I'd skip yet, not even close). "An entire mindfuck" is a good way of expressing the missing quality that I was trying to get at.

As for consequences... I'm curious about that. There's been some stuff said in interviews about how much/how little they feel like they can evolve the characters. Seeing them start to poke at that a little bit could be really interesting for a show that gleefully throws continuity out the window all the time in any number of ways.
posted by sparkletone at 8:52 AM on August 24, 2015

I really want to see "Water-T and the rise of the Numbericons" !!!
posted by Pendragon at 10:33 AM on August 24, 2015 [7 favorites]

Harmon does a fun' serviceable Ice-T impression but I wasn't sure it belonged in the episode when it first came up. It did see like a Futurama celebrity cameo but without the celebrity (or celebrity celebrity-impersonator Rich Little) until he came back, and we saw that his interference in the plot intersected with a moment of tremendous growth in his own personal story. And then came his homecoming in the postcredits tag and the line, "Magnesium J, Hydrogen F... Father" leading into the war between letters and numbers.

It was my hardest laugh of the weekend and felt particularly of Rick and Morty.
posted by elr at 2:04 PM on August 24, 2015

I recognize that the entire point of the Schwifty song was that it was terrible, but after the genius of Goodbye, Moonmen and Summer and Tinkles in Never Past Bedtime Land, I'm a little bit let down that this episode didn't give me an earworm to be singing all week.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:01 PM on August 24, 2015

This episode felt too much like a generic mid-2000s adult swim show. Rick and morty felt like celebrity cameos, or something. Way too much of it felt like it could have been verbatim an aqua teen episode from the better portion of the run of that show.

I didn't hate it, but it just feels... stagnation-y?

It just didn't feel as smart, idk. The entire ice-t thing felt like a generic adult swim joke(and he practically turned in to frylock!)

To be clear, i don't hate it. I guess i'm just spoiled by how good this show has been, and how solidly they handled the last episode when it appeared it was going to veer in to mediocrity then turned it on its head. This sort of just... cruised.

And elements of it, like the president smashing morty's phone and stuff just felt... so rote, idk. It had borderline simpsons vibes or something.

It just barely felt like rick and morty to me. It wasn't bad, it just didn't have the vibe? I feel like that applies to all the characters except for rick and morty too. The entire Summer sidestory with the rest of the family felt super off. Like dumb idiot homer vs classic homer, or something.

I'm happy to see that other people weren't super blown away by it, i guess. I really like the futurama comparison.
posted by emptythought at 2:07 AM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

This was a solid B episode for Rick and Morty.

Which still makes it better than 99% of contemporary television.
posted by SansPoint at 7:22 AM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

I get the Futurama comparison, highlighted this week by the appearance of frequent guest voice Phil Hendrie (My spirit!) and a vaguely Simpsons-esque second act twisty thing. All that just to end up with a tennis court? It was a solid episode but, yeah, expectations are super high, especially during broadcast, I think, because you're only getting a weekly dose of this singular ... drug experience that's unavailable anywhere else, so when it doesn't quite get you there, that's disappointing. It speaks volumes to the quality of Rick and Morty that comparing it to two of the greatest animated series of all time is considered a slight.

I loved the Headist excommunication-by-balloon, something about the repeated visual had me howling.
posted by Lorin at 8:12 AM on August 25, 2015

Take off your pants and your panties!
Shit on the floor!
Time to get Schwifty in here!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:29 AM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

The episode didn't quite gel for me, but I appreciated that they went to the expense of hiring Kurtwood Smith to reprise his role from Under Siege 2: Dark Territory.
posted by Iridic at 10:00 AM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Moar Keith David please.
posted by trunk muffins at 10:06 AM on August 25, 2015

Catblack, the failure to end the episode description with "METAFILTER, SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT" is going on your permanent record.

I concur it could have used a little more R&M-flavored batshit crazy (rather than more generic BSC), though Tammy saying that this human eats bird cock (or maybe cloaca?) was wonderfully foul.
posted by phearlez at 10:49 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Almost forgot - and as a fan of the movie and the music, the use of the theme from the Flash Gordon movie when Birdperson finds Morty made me smile.
posted by phearlez at 10:54 AM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

I think the episode did have a bit of darkness to it. I mean, Rick doesn't actually have a ray which changes people into snakes, so he basically straight-up murdered two Secret Service agents and that general (although the last one was probably self-defense).
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:59 AM on August 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Also The-Dream perished in an earthquake. That's pretty dark.
posted by Iridic at 11:30 AM on August 25, 2015

Also some serious Moses reference with the snake made me laugh and laugh.
posted by bq at 2:26 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

“I think it’s a example of Adult Swim and how it runs. There’s a lot less cooks in the kitchen over there,” explains Roiland.

posted by phearlez at 2:49 PM on August 25, 2015

Tammy saying that this human eats bird cock (or maybe cloaca?) was wonderfully foul.

Morty's totally disgusted reaction to that line was my favorite thing about that joke.
posted by sparkletone at 2:56 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeahhh... the premises of this episode seemed tired and done-to-death to me (intergalactic reality show, dumb townsfolk founding a misguided religion, president at odds with war-hungry general, protagonists writing a hit song even though they should not have any talent). None of the tropes were really subverted at all. The Ice-T gag at the end was the only thing that seemed remotely fresh and interesting. This episode made me a little less excited about the show as a whole and it even made me feel a twinge of embarrassment for spending time watching it.

I kinda wish the show would do away with the B-plots that aren't focused on Rick and Morty. I think they almost always detract from the episode.
posted by painquale at 4:06 PM on August 25, 2015

I kinda wish the show would do away with the B-plots that aren't focused on Rick and Morty. I think they almost always detract from the episode.

Could not disagree more. I can't think of one that surpassed the primary storylines but many have been very funny. If nothing else what would the cronenbergs episode be without that B line?
posted by phearlez at 4:17 PM on August 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

I can't think of one that surpassed the primary storylines...

[hits button]

Mr. Meeseeks, please dispute the above premise.
posted by Iridic at 4:54 PM on August 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

Iridic Mr. Meeseeks, please dispute the above premise.

Caaaaaan dooooooo!

S2E2: The entire Jerryboree plot is as captivating, if not moreso, than the A story of the after-effects of saving Fart's life.
posted by SansPoint at 5:36 PM on August 25, 2015 [10 favorites]

I think I don't mind the B-plots that are based on sci-fi stuff that Rick causes. Meeseeks and the Jerryborree are fine. But then you have the ones completely divorced from Rick's actions, like Jerry hitting the deer, or the Titanic-themed getaway. Those feel almost exactly like episodes of Family Guy to me. The religion-based plot in this episode felt more like one of those (and it was really untrue to Summer's character, I thought).
posted by painquale at 6:35 PM on August 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

None of the tropes were really subverted at all.

I don't agree with the no B plots point, but this gets as close to my issue as I've seen.

Usually this show sets up tired family guy type of played straight tropes and then twists them, but not in the way you'd expect either. It's not a futurama sort of twist which is basically "but parody" or "but zany" it's always holy shit what the fuck or explores some weird angle you never thought of.

That extra 25% is what makes Rick and morty noteworthy. And it was just like, uninstalled.
posted by emptythought at 6:39 PM on August 25, 2015

Well, Mr Poopybutthole is a hard act to follow.
posted by trunk muffins at 6:52 PM on August 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

The actual Ice-T seems supportive of his depiction in this episode.
posted by sparkletone at 1:34 AM on August 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

@Loren, thanks for that link about the commentary --- How did I miss that there are R&M comic book? With fantastic reviews.
posted by about_time at 8:30 AM on August 27, 2015

also from the commentary: the origin of Rick and Morty, aka The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharty (warning: extremely NSFW)
posted by numaner at 9:03 AM on August 27, 2015

Side note: Was that... Dan Harmon doing Ice-T

Yep, I think so - there's a wonderful episode of Harmontown in which Harmon DMs a game of D&D in character as Ice T. Players include Mitch Hurtwitz from off of Arrested Development. Here's the relevant section on YouTube.

Quite a few gags in Rick & Morty, and in the last series of Community, seem to begin life as drunken improvised nonsense on Harmontown.

"Magnesium J, Hydrogen F... Father"

Line of the series so far, I reckon.
posted by jack_mo at 6:38 AM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

So I enjoyed this episode, but did think it was different and a little bit less interesting than the other episodes of season 2 and the first few episodes of season 1. My (idiosyncratic) reason for this is that I've got this idea about how (and I apologize that I have not yet found non-clumsy language for this) Rick and Morty is about exploring maximalist nihilism.

What do I mean by this? Typically when one thinks of nihilism, one thinks of an empty universe, or I guess more accurately the lack of a universe. The Rick and Morty cosmos, though, is meaningless not because of any lack, but instead because there is too much universe for meaning to be possible. The last part of season 1, and season 2 so far, has been in large part about exploring different types of multiplicity, and how radical multiplicity can empty out meaning as much as radical lack does.

So first we're shown Rick Cronenberging a universe, moving to an adjacent universe, and arguing that Cronenberging one universe is no big deal. It's no big deal personally (so long as you don't yourself get Cronenberged) because you can move to a similar adjacent universe. And it's no big deal in multiversal terms, because, well, everything that can happen will happen, right?

After that, once the Council of Ricks stuff started, we had our idea of the members of the family from universe-1 as individually meaningful taken away, because we can no longer relate to any of them as individuals. Instead, they all must be thought of as a cloud of characters from every universe, an infinite array of variations on the idea of Rick-ness and Morty-ness and Summer-ness and so forth. The loss or replacement of an individual member of this cloud (for example, the likely Jerry-swap in the Jerryboree episode) doesn't matter. In terms of the cloud of characters, an individual instantiation of the "Jerry" idea or the "Rick" idea or whatever is meaningless.

Then we get the splitscreen episode, which explores meaningless multiplicity from a slightly different angle — the different characters in the different parts of the splitscreen are all the same individual instantiation of those characters, but because the timeline is fractured, those individual instantiations experience the world in different ways. We're not dealing with universe-1 Morty, universe-2 Morty, and so forth — it's still universe-1 Morty, but universe-1 Morty is internally multiple, experiencing the world in 64 (or do they get up to 128?) different ways.

Then we get the Unity episode, which well I don't need to get fancy about how this one is about the meaningless of the individual in a maximally full multiverse. It's not at all surprising, though, that Unity would be into Rick — he's one of the few single-minded entities who understands (and, in his bleak way, accepts) the meaningless of the distinct individual, which well is sort of the bar you have to cross to be able to successfully have a relationship with a hivemind.

This episode, though, didn't seem to be about that. It seemed to be instead about the idea of Rick (and Ice/Water T) becoming attached to particular individuals and learning to care for them on that level. I find that idea boring. Instead of Rick learning to love in conventional ways, what I'm hoping for is some sort of, I don't know, dialectical reversal wherein universe-1 Rick transcends his alienation from the multiverse and his feeling sick about life as a whole not through retreating to an ethos of care for one's friends and family — which is unsatisfying, because the multiverse that the show sets up makes that ethos ridiculous on an ontological level — but instead through finding some mode of relating to the world that's even more alien to the individual experience than his current way of being.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:51 PM on August 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


But in addition to all of that, something about the timing in this episode just seemed off the entire time. The jokes/plot were generally delivered too quickly and not given enough time to set in. Everything just seemed rushed in comparison to previous episodes - which is also really strange as I would say this was a very content light episode.

It managed to take up a lot of space with nothing.
posted by mayonnaises at 1:08 AM on August 29, 2015

It managed to take up a lot of space with nothing.

I'll note in passing that this sentence also describes what Morty's learning about the cosmos.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:12 AM on August 29, 2015

Maybe not the most meaningful episode (though honestly not what i'm looking for)

But the "my story begins at the dawn of time" and "don't be gross tammy" threads were both hilarious. Lots of great laugh out loud lines here. Stupid funny.
posted by French Fry at 9:24 AM on September 10, 2015

Get me Pharrell, Randy Newman, Billy Corgan, and... The Dream...

That the inclusion of Billy Corgan in that list can be a throwaway joke for maybe 10% of the audience who would come close to laughing as hard at that as I did reminds me of why I trust Dan Harmon.

That said, this was certainly a "pizza episode." (In interviews about making Community, Harmon talks about fretting over every episode, and someone, Dino I think, assuring him that not every episode has to be a five-star meal. Some can be "just pizza" and that's fine. Everybody likes pizza.)
posted by Navelgazer at 8:05 PM on December 29, 2015

Just up to this episode. There have been too many musical numbers in this show. I hate all musical numbers in all shows. That is all.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:21 PM on February 9, 2016

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