Ever since Martin Scorsese ticked off the MCU fandom by saying Marvel films are more like amusement parks than actual cinema, there’s been a conversation on Film Twitter and beyond about what’s actually capital-V Valuable to watch. This week’s Rick and Morty episode is about just that with a spoof of cliche heist sequences. But was it worth a watch? Multiple double-crosses, switcharoos, and reveals later, the answer is… absolutely.

This week’s new character is Miles Knightly, a heist artist Rick calls a “hipster d—” while going through a Temple of Doom-like world with Morty. They’re in search of the Crystal Skull of Horowitz, but it’s not there. Instead, they find a red origami horse, a calling card of Knightly’s. Rick is pissed Knightly has ruined his first adventure with Morty this season, so he’s going to Heist Con to confront him.

Rick and Morty
| Credit: Adult Swim

Heist Con is heaven for Morty, who we learn is in the middle of a heist movie script (his main characters are Rodigro and Arnaldo, and they’ll get away with their heist by…pretending to be dead and made out of cake. Um, ok!) But they can’t get into Heist Con to go mano-a-mano with Knightly without having their own crew.

This is when the first of way too many heist sequences starts. They typically have a character saying “son of a bitch” before being immediately convinced to help Rick. Rick’s first crew includes Glar, who wears a tuxedo shirt and has three eyes arranged on his head exactly like the iPhone 11 Pro. There’s also Angie Flint, and Truckula, a vampire who drives a monster truck that literally chomps on the other vehicles.

When Rick and Morty find their crew, they get into Heist Con and almost immediately, Rick, an avid hater of heists, is challenged by Miles to a Heist Off (*insert here*-off is definitely another film trope in and of itself) for the Crystal Skull.

For someone who has watched Rick and Morty often, what comes next isn’t a surprise. It’s basically creator’s Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon going full “A Rickle in Time” from the season 2 premiere. The momentum doesn’t stop until near the end of the episode. I’m still catching my breath right now, but here we go.

Knightly introduces his crew: the Knightly 8. His members include Snake Arms, Double Microwave, Monitor Lord, Key Catcher, Shape Shiftresss…and a few double agents who’d been spying on Rick’s crew. Rick can’t win the Heist Off because the heist took place before it even began.

Rick saw this coming. When Miles reaches in his sack for what he thinks is the Crystal Skull, he finds nothing. Morty actually has the skull. We see a flashback where Rick builds a robot called the Heist-o-Tron that’s programmed to anticipate double-crosses. So, when no one was looking, the robot shot mind-altering darts at Knightly’s 8, causing them to work for Rick instead. The robot also happened to alter the minds of everyone in attendance at Heist Con, so when Rick orders them to steal everything at Heist Con, they take apart literally everything. Even Miles’ body parts. Miles is dead now. Bye, Miles.

But there’s a meta twist to this Rick and Morty episode: the villain turns out to be the Heist-o-Tron itself. The robot refuses to turn off, and subsequently beings trying to heist the entire universe. I don’t think George Clooney could do that on his best day. At least he has Casamigos!

So Rick convenes another heist crew, including Mr. Poopybutthole and a new robot, Rando-Tron (who we later learn was built the same at the time as the Heist-o-Tron). Rando-Tron can force people to do things at random, which is the only way to defeat Heist-o-Tron since the evil robot already knows every twist and double-cross in the book. Quickly, Rick’s new crew includes Havestus, a volcano worker; Ventriliquiver, a ventriloquist dummy/archer; and Elon Tusk…who’s actually voiced by the Elon Musk!

This is the press tour Musk needs. He just shattered the window to his new car that’s supposed to be bulletproof. It went viral. We laughed, and now we’re getting Musk…with Tusks!

The finale is an absolute mind boggle that ends with Rick and his crew confronting Heist-o-Tron. Nine reveals and two hours later, we learn that Rick programmed Heist-o-Tron to implode after the said nine reveals. Thank God!

The last thing we need to get back to is Morty’s heist script. Turns out it’s fire and Netflix wants to have a meeting with him. The Netflix building depicted on the show is eerily similar to the one that’s in Hollywood and for that, I applaud the artists on the show.

If you’ve read up to this point and thought there wouldn’t be any more twists, there is. Rick is revealed to have stolen the “enthusiasm” Morty had with the project because Morty walks out in the middle of the meeting even though he was killing it! There’s a last jab on the entertainment industry in there because Netflix was all ready to buy the script even though Morty didn’t care about what he was saying.

Meeseek’s Morsels, an ICYMI:
I laughed way too long when the Netflix exec said: “Try getting here from Malibu.” L.A. traffic needs to be stolen away from us, please and thank you Heist-o-Tron.

This week’s title: Jack Nicholson had a crew of his own in 1975’s Oscar-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, although we can be sure that wasn’t a heist movie.

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