Rick and Morty recap: Taika Waititi and the poop bandit
Through the first two episodes of the season, Rick Sanchez (voiced by creator Justin Roiland) is clearly going through a bit of a late-life crisis. Written by creators Dan Harmon and Roiland, episode 2 “The Old Man and the Seat” puts Morty in the driver seat, while Rick takes a much-needed break from his adventures … and goes to take a poop. What better way to reflect on why everyone’s still so dimwitted around him than on the toilet?
But first, there’s a new character in the fold: Glootie, voiced by Jojo Rabbit and Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi. If you heard Waititi’s soft, bouncy voice as Korg in Ragnarok, he’s doing a very similar thing here. We first see the four-eyed Glootie (with skin like Pokemon‘s Ditto. Did I mention he’s already a Funko!) at the Smith family dinner table. They’ve run out of syrup, but don’t worry, Rick’s got an intern alien (likely unpaid with college credit) who not only has the syrup handy but has a tattoo on his head that says “Do Not Develop My App.” Um, what’s with the tat? Well, Glootie will ask if you want to develop an app with him every chance he gets. The answer, like with most Silicon Valley wannabes, should be no.
Just like with the death crystals in the season premiere, the dangerous temptation is set. Much of Rick and Morty is a remix of the classic Adam and Eve story, except the apple, in this case, is always changing, and Jerry and Morty will likely fall for it ten times out of ten.
Rick has had enough of Jerry and scurries onto his ship to take a poop in a secret location. Our only clue is that Rick calls his trip to the commode a solo project that isn’t directed by Ron Howard.
Meanwhile, Jerry is talking with Glootie about developing this app. Will they get a WeWork together and serve kombucha in their office? Stay tuned, because Jerry wants to get in 50/50. Someone get me a Shark Tank episode with Jerry, STAT.
Quicker than it should be, their app, hideously titled LoveFinderrz, is up and ready. Jerry and Glootie are already kicking back in tracksuits and popping champagne like they own the Dallas Mavericks. But Morty, who just recently fell into the death crystals spell, can smell something similar happening with his dad. It’s Morty’s responsibility to bring Jerry back from the brink without Rick’s help, so we’ll see how much he’s learned. Morty senses something sinister about this app and, pulling his best Joe Pesci impression, shakes down Glootie, demanding to be taken to the mothership since the app’s server is probably up there.
This whole time, Rick has gone to a paradise-like planet, with a glossy sky similar to the world of Annihilation with its shimmer. This planet has a special toilet: Rick’s toilet.
But someone’s used Rick’s toilet and that ticks him off. Rick’s about to go John Wick on whoever dared to defile his sanctuary. Rick sees what looks like a branch that doesn’t belong on this planet, and his handy portal gun identifies where it’s coming from. Rick lets out a primal scream and then finds a horse with antlers that look like eggplants (bear with us here). He turns the antlers on this horse, which opens its belly and unlocks a door in a tree.
Rick is sent down into the depths of a fully furnished bunker he’s built for himself on this planet, where a database pulls up that a sandwich delivered from a frog planet can be traced from that branch. Rick makes a pit stop to this frog planet, which has a frog diner owned by a fly. One of the sneakily funny moments of the episode is when Rick has the fly call one of his sons, and the fly laughs because he has 800,000 sons. Well, Rick thought of that too, so he kidnapped 470,000 of his sons.
Meanwhile, Summer and Beth are at lunch at the local food court when Summer mentions there being a new dating app. Apparently, the only reason why she was at this lunch spot was to meet a boy named Danny, who has green hair that looks like wet grass in the morning and happens to be a frisbee golfer.
This app, of course, is Jerry and Glootie’s. Quickly, everyone in the food court is dropping everything, ditching their babies and their jobs because this app is telling them to meet their true love. Turns out this is all the doing of an alien species called the Monogratrons. Rick and Morty manage to get up to the mothership where their leader has this episode’s first Philosophy 101 speeches.
“Your love’s value is defined by scarcity,” he says. “You are highly trained to seek it and you have no idea how to maintain it. If you have bothered to master love, you would have known it is as abundant as water. You know what isn’t? Water, that s— runs out.”
The Monogratrons have mastered the art of “superior intimacy” and planted Glootie on Earth so they could steal our water while we scurry off every five minutes with someone we’re supposedly in love with. And the point of this plotline, I think, is that love isn’t as unique as a single snowflake. Like we see with Summer as she goes through four lovers from this app, it’s more like a snowball that builds and builds if you stay in the moment with the person you like in front of you. This harkens back to the lesson in episode 1. Morty struggled to stay in the present and only thought about how his life would end up, and often those decisions were made at the expense of what was in front of him.
While Jerry and Morty are captured by Glootie and the blowfish, Rick’s lesson of the day is also bittersweet. Rick tracks down the poop bandit, a Steve Buscemi-looking alien named Tony who ordered a sandwich from a robot currently fighting in the robot wars.
“Using your toilet was nice though. I’m a bit of a shy pooper,” Tony tells him.
Rick is pissed (he drops a butt bomb that poops out a middle finger at Tony), but he lets him live. Before they go their separate ways, Tony drops some knowledge, which brings us the second Philosophy 101 lesson.
“You need the same thing I need. You need someone to give you permission to live,” Tony says. “You know what shy pooping is? It’s a pointless bid for control. You want to take the one part of life that you truly think is yours and protect it from a universe that takes whatever it wants.”
This checks out. In the season premiere, Rick likely let Morty nearly kill all of humanity because he was too busy seething because he now needs to ask Beth and Jerry for permission so Morty can go with him on his adventures. Even though Rick has a portal gun and can travel to every single universe, Rick no longer has any agency in the Smith family. His power grip is loosening.
Back on the mothership, Rick and Jerry eventually convince Glootie to set them free after Jerry tries the app on Glootie and it shows him he doesn’t have a match. “I thought your species perfected relationships,” Jerry says. The Monogratrons end up putting an ad wall on the dating app, and everyone and their mother deletes it.
This week’s episode title: “The Old Man and the Seat” likely refers to the Robert Redford film “The Old Man & The Gun” that came out in 2018. In the film, Forrest Tucker (Redford) goes on a heist spree at the age of 70 while he reflects on his younger self and what final statement he’s making. It’s a bit of a meta-commentary of Redford himself, whose early career was known for crime and Western films like 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Rick is going through a Tucker moment himself. Both characters want to grasp at a sense of glory that may not be there anymore, but they sure won’t stop to find out.
Meeseek’s Morsels, an ICYMI:
- There are several framed pictures up in the office space where Jerry and Glootie make the app. One is of the Titanic, and one is a quote that says “life is rough.”
- Other ideas for Jerry’s app include “Ooh-La-Love Cupid,” “Meetlovers,” and “WhoGotzDaLuv”
- The robots in the robot war have the word “Deliver” on their chests, but they now have also added an “-ance.”
- Rick is listening to A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie song “Called My S—“ in his underground bunker on the paradise planet.
- Beth finding out her match on the dating app is Ted Danson is honestly not a surprise.