Rick and Morty Season 3, Episode 8: "Mind Blowers"
Warning: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Rick and Morty.
Once upon a time, there was “Rixty Minutes”. This first-season bottle episode explored Interdimensional Cable for the first time, a device that allowed the Smith family to watch television shows from alternate universes. This episode gave birth to beloved characters like Ants-In-My-Eyes Johnson, Gazorpazorpfield, and the Hamsters That Live in Butts.
After another full episode of this in the next season and a number of cameos throughout the show, “Morty’s Mind Blowers” threatens yet another episode in this vein. The opening scene shows Rick and Morty running from a mysterious being who is coming after its stolen Truth Tortoise. Morty looks directly into the tortoise’s eyes just as Rick tells him not to do that, and it begins to spill the world’s secrets into Morty’s mind.
When Morty wishes that the Truth Tortoise could simply be erased from his mind, Rick takes this as a cue and escorts him to an area under the garage, where Rick has been keeping all the memories that were too much for Morty to handle. “I call them ‘Morty’s Mind Blowers,’” Rick proclaims, “and we’ll be doing this instead of Interdimensional Cable.” After the relative seriousness and intensity of the previous episode, this changeup results in a detour from the story that is not only fun, but necessary.
Though some of these short scenes from Morty’s past are definitely more entertaining than others, all of them add something to the story that the others don’t. It starts off dark, with Rick showing Morty a time when he drove a man to suicide by accidentally framing him as a pedophile. Though it doesn’t actually get much more lighthearted than that, all of it is done in a typical Rick and Morty black comedy style.
After a couple of Mind Blowers that show Morty’s family leaving him for dead, and one where Rick slaughters a beloved animal friend for no reason, Morty pieces together that his memories are color-coded in Rick’s anthology. From here on out, the episode reaches a new level of ridiculousness that sets it apart from the filler episodes of previous seasons. Morty injects himself with several of Rick’s mistakes in order to confirm the truth about his motivations, which leads to an all-out battle where the working memories of both Rick and Morty are entirely erased.
The boys try to piece their entire lives together by watching a couple more of Morty’s archived memories, but they don’t get very far. (However, this segment does contain the best Mind Blower of the episode, in which Morty turns the entire local community of squirrels against him.) The ensuing chaos brings back plenty of painful memories for Morty, and a beautiful one-second-long cameo from a beloved gone-but-not-forgotten character from season 2.
Summer walks in on Rick and Morty forming a suicide pact in the garage and knocks them out, saving their lives without showing so much as a single emotion. In her boredom, she continues on to restore their memories and put on the Interdimensional Cable version of House Hunters, because how else could this story end?
Obviously, “Morty’s Mind Blowers” does absolutely nothing to propel the story of this season, and after it was just starting to pick up the pace last week, that might be disappointing for some people. But this sort of sketch comedy show is now essentially set in stone as a once-per-season tradition, and it’s a pretty effective way to break up the tension.
And besides, it’s nice that this show’s writers know when they need to switch things up a bit. If they were going to keep doing filler episodes (and there’s no reason they shouldn’t have), another episode full of Interdimensional Cable sketches may have gotten a bit tiring. None of the Mind Blowers leave quite as much of an impact as the “How It’s Made” video about Plumbuses, but this episode has the added advantage of creating new moments in the Rick and Morty canon, and in that respect, it’s not harming anyone.
Featured image from Rickipedia
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