The rick and morty The writer’s room has had a bit of an incest fixation lately, with a disturbing episode last season where Morty and Summer accidentally have a baby, and most recently when Beth falls for her own clone.
In “Final DeSmithation,” there’s a really funny incest joke throughout the episode that manages to tap into a lot of comedy without being rude about it. The Smith family’s Panda Express trip turns sour after they open their fortune cookies, as Jerry’s fortune doesn’t contain a generic platitude, but an unsettling prediction – that he will have sex with his own mother.
Of course, Jerry is scared; while the family finds his discomfort hilarious, Jerry worries that the fortune will somehow come true – strange things have happened to the Smith family. As the kids torment their increasingly paranoid father, photo-shopping his mother’s head over sexy lingerie shoots (the Smiths, it seems, are unnervingly desensitized), Beth warns Jerry not to let his fortune cookie ruin their trip to the zoo.
As Space Beth is about to drive the family to the zoo, Rick steps in to tell the family that his probability detector is picking up something about Jerry, so he should stay behind while Rick examines him. Turns out Rick is lying – he’s actually doing Jerry a favor for once (Rick’s hatred for Jerry has certainly waned over the past few seasons).
When Rick points the probability detector at Jerry, the readings warn that the fortune might in fact be coming true. It’s the start of a solo Rick and Jerry adventure, and the two return to Panda Express, Rick assuming someone with the power to control fate is trying to get his attention.
After a fun and visually spectacular gunfight with the employees of Panda Express, who moonlight as meth dealers, Rick is directed to the source of the mysterious fortune cookies, a company called “Fortune 500”, which turns out to be one of those massive companies. conferences where blank-eyed motivational speakers skim through LinkedIn lingo — the only thing missing are cryptocurrency pyramid schemes and NFTs.
The contractor running the operation is a very nosy caricature of Gwyneth Paltrow named “Jennith Padrow-Chunt” who believes she can manifest her own destiny. And she actually can, because her precise fortune cookies have the power to alter the very fabric of reality – all those meaningless fortunes are fabricated to increase the value of the real ones. And those who haven’t yet fulfilled their destiny can’t die, which means Jerry is temporarily immortal – until he does the deed with his mother.
Rick is inspired by the power she holds and wants to take it for himself; even the smartest man in the universe can’t control fate. And it turns out that the source of that divine power is an alien with stomach issues who feeds on chaos and digests it into fate, his poo being the source of all the fortune cookies in the world.
Said alien is taken in by a hillbilly caretaker, who has deliberately planted ominous fortunes in the cookies in hopes of luring a rescuer, so he can free and, uh, marry the creature – a quick one-liner involves even that a rogue fortune sparked the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s not a good plan – you’d think the guy would just print a fortune that would explicitly turn fate in his favor, but it leads to this hilarious situation, where Jennith Padrow-Chunt brought Jerry’s mom to the factory, so he can fulfill his twisted destiny.
This leads to another creative fight scene, in which Rick’s “Inspector Gadget” props take on a group of grunts with fortune cookie superpowers, with Rick finding a way to use their powers to his advantage. Like the best of rick and morty fights, it’s less about tension, and more about Rick finding increasingly deranged ways to slaughter his enemies.
While confronting Jennith Padrow-Chunt, Rick realizes that the annoying entrepreneur is immortal, her destiny still not fulfilled. She wants to become the most successful businesswoman in the world, a hilariously boring way to use the power of fate. Rick helps her fulfill her destiny in seconds, hacking into Goldman-Sachs and buying it out. But Padrow-Chunt isn’t done – she eats a bunch of random fortune cookies and turns into one. Akira-esque mutant.
During the battle, the creature is unleashed (and instantly kills its keeper), while a ball of chaos explodes in a vortex, sucking up all the cookies, as well as Padrow-Chunt. Rick’s priority is to save the creature with the magic stomach lining, but Jerry’s fortunes become eerily close to reality, as the vortex strips Jerry’s underwear and pulls him towards the lubricated crotch of his mother.
Therefore, Rick must choose between retaining the power to control fate or saving Jerry from his terrible and terrible fate. And Rick actually chooses to save his son-in-law – if that’s not proof that Rick has developed a healthy dose of empathy, I don’t know what is; the old Rick would have gladly replaced Jerry with a variant, having gotten rid of the old “dirty” version.
As a result, Jerry is freed from the terrible prediction of the fortune cookie, and Rick has lost an incredible opportunity. As the adventure ends and the two return home, Jerry calls Rick his friend, which sends Rick into a blinding rage. It turns out that Rick had eaten a fortune cookie while predicting he would make a new friend – he was immortal until Jerry said those innocent words. Plus, Jerry squandered the world’s last fortune cookie on a simple thank you note.
Rick’s patience is finally broken and he slaps Jerry across the face – Jerry doesn’t respond angrily, but quietly crying, which seems to really upset Rick. He apologizes, Jerry accepts, and the two return to the house, having grown closer.
It’s a hilarious exchange that pretty much sums up the dynamic between the two – Jerry may be wayward, boring, and pathetic, but Rick can’t stay mad at someone so daft. “Final DeSmithation” turned out to be another great episode (Season 6 has yet to disappoint), taking a break from lore-building to focus on character and goofy adventures.
Rick and Jerry make a great comedic duo, with Jerry still maintaining the innocence that Morty lost long ago.
If you enjoyed reading, check out my recap of the previous episode here