“Promortous” is a disappointingly superficial episode of Rick and Morty

Rick and Morty wake up on an alien planet, discovering that they have been the victims of alien facehuggers who have taken over their bodies. Now, desperate to escape, they fight their way out of the alien facehugger city in a rousing shoot-em-up and then have to piece together what the heck happened to them in the first place.

Okay, so… last week I said that the episode was structurally brillant, but was hobbled by the hand-holding that the writers felt like they had to throw into the script because they didn’t trust their audience to know what was going on… This week, I feel like they’ve done the exact opposite, as if to say, “Okay, we gave you something incredibly cerebral last week. This week, we’re phoning it in and going home early.”

While not a terrible episode, this one was decidedly under the Rick and Morty bar. It was a straight up parody without the usual subversion or quick left turns that defines this series. Sure, there was the Summer complication which was amusing and the attempted subversion with making the facehuggers a burgeoning civilization thanks to Summer’s influence, but overall… this was an Alien parody and never stopped being an Alien parody.

If anything, and I do hope that this is a premature feeling, I got the impression watching this episode that I got watching the last season of The Boondocks where a subversive and incendiary television series resorted to parody week after week, the show becoming an insulting shadow of its former glory.

Now, as I said… the episode wasn’t terrible. It was funny, the gags largely worked, but watching this episode, I was struck by the surface superficiality of the story. I was waiting for that classic Rick and Morty subversion that never came.

Was it acceptable… of course it was. There was genuine quality to this adventure and the jokes were mostly on point… although, I think I would have been happier if the 9/11 gag was simply shown with Rick and Morty deciding to fly around the towers instead of having it be explained to me like I didn’t realize what just happened.

Who knows… maybe Rick and Morty is realizing the childishness of some of their fans and have elected to treat them like the toddlers they act like online?

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