Season five of Rick and Morty started so strongly and then, so quickly that I think I’m suffering from whiplash, turned into the worst season of the show so far with episodes leaning too far into straight parody and gross out humor for the sake of gross-out humor to the point that Family Guy would be proud, but if there’s anything I can be thankful for — which is appropriate as this is a three month early Thanksgiving episode — it’s that the series has brought us the most Keith David as the President of the United States we’ve ever had and I’m happy for that.
It’s odd because, of all of the enemies that this series has thrown in Rick’s path from Tammy to Evil Morty to Rick’s own self-destructive nature, the President is the only character I would consider Rick’s equal… The President is the only character on the show who can take Rick and know what he’s going to do. Personally, I think it’s fascinating because Rick is obviously smarter than the President… the president’s power, though, is that he’s just sick of Rick’s crap and has seen it a million times.
“Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular” is, by season five standards, better than what we’ve been given lately. It’s basically the story of how Rick tries to get a presidential pardon by disguising himself as a turkey and the president isn’t having it (because he’s sick of Rick’s crap) and seeks to thwart Rick’s plan. Of course, everything goes sideways and soon, there’s an all out war.
There’s nothing in this episode that is laugh out loud and, to be honest, I found myself siding with the president over Rick because I completely understand his frustration and his mission to stop Rick and show him he can’t have everything he wants. Indeed, it’s rather satisfying that Rick has to basically earn his pardon rather than steal it at the end, so I guess you can say that the President won.
Keith David is, incidentally, one of my favorite voice actors and I just love it when he shows up on Rick and Morty or Final Space in a part that is just… you know… fun.
As I said, this is an average episode which, on a season five scale, is actually an accomplishment for a show in this steep of a decline. Nothing gut bustlingly funny about it, but it does have fun with the premise, features a character I like, and actually does say something about how the USA uses and then discards soldiers I just wish it had done more with that statement than the after credits scene.