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Entertainment Weekly


'Rick and Morty' recap: Matthew Broderick and the Sex Dragons

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Show Details
TV Show
Cartoon Network
S4 E4

It’s been 18 years since we saw Eddie Murphy voice a donkey that falls in love with a dragon in the 2001 classic Shrek. Well, tonight Rick falls in love with a dragon, voiced by a Game of Thrones alum Liam Cunningham. Eddie Murphy‘s return to the spotlight this year in Dolemite Is My Name has been welcomed by many, but the falling-in-love-with-a-dragon subplot shouldn’t be so much.

Why was there a dragon? Morty wants a dragon as a pet. He wants it with the urgency of a kid looking at fidget spinners in 2017. Rick obliges and makes a call to his buddy, like Rick Harrison in Pawn Stars, and lets Morty sign a soul-bonding contract with this dragon named Balthromaw from the planet Draygon. Morty and Balthromaw play and fool around for a bit, but quickly Rick and the dragon begin to get to know each other.

Both Rick and the fire-breathing dragon have distinct similarities. They’re both loners with power that no one else can imagine, and nobody really understands them. Blathromaw was signed away by a wizard that we later see keeps calling the dragon a “slut.” Someone needs to get this guy into anti-harassment training immediately.

Unbeknownst to Morty, Rick and Balthromaw have a moment while guzzling booze. They begin to “soul-bond,” which is basically sex. During a “soul-bonding,” you will feel the same pain and pleasure the other half does. This will come up in a second.

Rick and Morty Episode 4 Recap
Adult Swim
Adult Swim

When Morty walks in on them, he feels betrayed that Balthromaw cheated on him with Rick. But that doesn’t stop him — and Summer, who is also joining along for this journey — from trying to save Balthromaw when the wizard comes back to get the dragon for being, again, a “slut.”

While Morty is on the hunt for Balthromaw in a world filled with sex addict dragons, Jerry is on a mission of his own. He finds a talking cat in his room, voiced by Matthew Broderick. This episode makes Broderick the second most soothing voice to play a cat, shortly following Antonio Banderas — in, again, “Shrek.”

But why is the cat even there? We don’t know until the end, and even then all we find out is that the cat is from outer space and has some traumatic baggage from his home planet. The cat tells Jerry to fly him first-class to Florida just so he can hang with people from Florida. That’s it. Seriously. The cat goes on a drug-filled cruise while Jerry just hangs out in the sand.

Anyway, Morty is in Draygon now and is witnessing the wizard hang Balthromaw. But apparently, dragons die 75 years after they are first hung, significantly lowering the stakes and allowing Rick and Morty enough time to save the day.

Final thought: The creators/writers must have known this episode was not going to be at the same level as the season’s previous offerings. When the family comes home, Rick and Summer both tell Morty with a sigh what a terrible adventure they just put themselves through. Rick then goes to save Jerry from the cat since that’s something better he can do before the season finale. Really, he says it himself.

This episode’s title: Law and Order has run so long that it’s easy for them to replay old storylines. While Rick and Morty still delivered a few witty punches here and there, this episode felt more like a potpourri of past plotlines thrown in a cup of lean (a quick shoutout to the Future reference when Rick and Balthromaw joyfly).

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