TV REVIEW: Rick and Morty S2 E7 ‘Big Trouble in Little Sanchez’

One of the (very few) worries I have about Rick and Morty is Beth and Jerry’s relationship, in that it constantly seems to be on the edge of ending. It’s one of those things that currently isn’t too much of a problem, but it’s hard to see how Beth and Jerry can keep having the same, massive arguments, and not end up either getting divorced or finally learning, changing and being happy. The opening of this episode, in which Beth and Jerry get into yet another argument, got me anxious; were we about to see another huge dispute erupt and then get wrapped up neatly at the end of the episode? Whilst this is technically what happened, this episode went about it in such an ingenious way that I couldn’t help but forgive it for pushing this story at us again. After urging Beth and Jerry to either get divorced or shut up already, he drops them off at Nuptia 4, the galaxy’s best couples therapy retreat (it has a 100% success rate, you know). Counsellor Glaxo Slimslom (voiced absolutely perfectly by Jim Rash) guides them to a machine which creates physical representations of the way they view each other, called mythologiations. It seems Jerry seesTinyRick4 Beth as a cold, calculating, strong, smart, Xenomorph-style monster, whilst Beth sees Jerry as a slimy, cowardly, subservient worm. Oh my… The point of this exercise seems to be that couples are shown how their perceptions are clearly wrong; that “we’re not the monsters we sometimes see each other as” and that the relationships that exist in our heads are ugly, unsustainable and just don’t work. That is, until we see that Beth and Jerry’s mythologs have become codependent, working together to escape their cell and wreak havoc on the retreat. Whilst the problems with their relationship aren’t new, giving them flesh was a wonderful twist that gave a fresh new look at a familiar struggle.

Meanwhile, Rick has transplanted his consciousness into a younger clone of himself in order to attend Morty and Summer’s high school to weed out a vampire. Sadly, the vampire-hunting adventure happens entirely off screen, but what we’re treated to instead is a delightfully weird Teen Wolf-esque romp in which Tiny Rick becomes insanely popular despite everyone knowing he’s actually an older guy. Whilst this storyline is filled to the brim with cracking jokes (Tiny Rick’s acoustic song about slowly dying in a vat in a garage was hilarious, along with his ‘Let Me Out’ dance and propensity for just shouting “Tiny Rick!”), it fell a little short for me in it’s execution. The whole idea of Rick trying to stay as a teenager whilst his old body is dying relies on Summer’s statement about teenage psychology, which essentially suggests that all teens push down their darker, more depressing thoughts and build a wall around them, meaning that Tiny Rick is suppressing Regular Rick and letting him die. The problem with this, for me, is that I don’t really buy it; my teenage years were the years in which I let all the darker, more depressing thoughts out, and wallowed a little in how terrible it is to be a teenager (You should see my ‘poetry’ from that stage of my life… Jeez). TinyRick1Unless I entirely misread my secondary school chums, I’d wager they felt a similar way; all the changes you go through during your high school years often bring out a more ’emo streak’ (as Tiny Rick called it – it’s part of what makes him so rad) and I couldn’t quite see why Rick not wanting to go back into his elderly body couldn’t just be explained by him wanting to stay young. (Maybe that would be too obvious for Rick and Morty?…) The pay-off, however, was priceless; Summer forcing Tiny Rick to listen to Elliot Smith to bring out Regular Rick was sheer brilliance, and Regular Rick’s subsequent gleeful naked destruction of Project Phoenix was delightful to watch.

I think this may be the first episode in which I’ve enjoyed a Beth and Jerry sub-plot more than the main storyline. The therapy plot works because, though their anger and bitterness certainly is expressed, it’s done in a way other TinyRick2than having them constantly yelling or making snide remarks. Having the mythologs wreaking havoc that not only provides a conflict for Beth and Jerry deal to with, but also allows them to work through a lot of internal issues with their marriage. And whilst everything’s not 100% sorted by the end, Beth and Jerry have seen each other in a new light, and learned things about each other and themselves that they can use to try to improve their relationship. Also, having the Worm-Jerry present it’s bottom to Real Jerry when it gets frightened of him was just hilarious.

Overall, this was a very, very funny episode, and a solid instalment in what has so far been a fantastic series. Jim Rash was an absolute pleasure to hear, and watching a bunch of self-satisfied Jerry’s shake each others hand mid-battle was wonderful. I do hope that we’ll not see Beth and Jerry bickering for a few episodes though, as I can’t imagine how they’ll top this representation of their issues any time soon! I loves me some Rick and Morty, guys.

Rating: 4.6/5

Reviewer: Stacey Taylor (@StacebobT)

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