Jerry gets moon shoes and Morty gets mixed up in a snake race war. Because why not.

Somebody give Morty a dog already. In this week’s Christmas-themed episode of Rick and Morty, Morty stokes the flames of a snake race war because he feels bad about a dead snake he originally encounters in space. So just like in the last episode, he goes out of his way to “make things right” for an animal he barely knows. A hero in our eyes, but he also starts a Terminator-like armageddon. So there’s that.

The episode starts with a little mood setting. Jerry is putting up the Christmas lights at the house when he pulls his best Santa from The Santa Clause and falls off the roof. Before he falls, Rick makes Jerry lighter than air so he can bounce (imagine he’s wearing moon shoes). “I wasn’t born into the god business, I f—— earned it,” Rick tells Jerry. Sure, Rick. We’ve heard this a million times before.

And this repetition is par for the course for the last couple episodes of Rick and Morty. The snake war we’ll talk about in a second feels similar to the robot war we got earlier this season, and Jerry getting a bone thrown at him so he can do something during the episode feels like the same old dance, without any of the emotional weight from seasons past when his trying relationship with Beth was actually at stake.

Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty Episode Recap (Screengrab)Adult Swim
| Credit: Adult Swim

The episode’s main storyline gets a jumpstart when Rick gets a flat tire in space. Rick cautions Morty not to go with him out to space, but Morty does it anyway. Rick goes on to compare space to Saturday Night Live. “You see it so many times you dream of being in it.” Which, yes, true, but honestly with Sandra Bullock (2013’s Gravity) and Brad Pitt (this year’s Ad Astra) nearly dying every other second in space, I’ll take a seat on Weekend Update over a shuttle any day.

And wouldn’t you know it, shortly after Morty leaves the ship he gets a good ole bite from a space snake, because if a snake can be on a plane, there can be snakes in space. We tragically did not get a Snakes on a Space Station sequel featuring Samuel L. Jackson, but I digress.

Morty is dying, so Rick goes to the snake alien’s planet to try to find the anti-venom. This was a life-saving decision by Rick, but Morty gets to see what’s actually happening on this snake planet. There’s a race war going on, and 19 billion snakes are going to die very soon if something isn’t done to save them.

So, of course, Morty wants to do something. Even though the snake alien they found is now dead, Morty finds a snake at a pet store back on Earth and drops it into the snake planet without Rick noticing.

Thus begins the Terminator storyline. Journalist snakes are confounded by this new snake. The snake government begins testing the foreigner, and then a detective snake recruits a snake professor to take a look at the snake. The snake divides the nation: some believe the snake will seed new life onto the planet and others say it will destroy them.

Side note: The snake is kept under captivity in a snake living room that looks a lot like Davey Wayne’s in Hollywood. Let’s give that prison a five-star Yelp review immediately.

Jump to Summer hanging out with her friends, jamming to snake jazz, which is a new kind of music Rick and Morty happen to find on this snake planet. While Summer is upstairs, Morty is visited by snakes from the snake universe, who have discovered time travel to try to kill the person who dropped this alien snake on their planet. A two-foot-tall terminator is sent to protect them, but Beth smashes it to death. End Terminator storyline.

Quickly, speaking of Beth — and Summer for that matter — where did the writing go for them? Most of the season has seen little to no progress with both of those characters. It’s been more of a playground for Rick and Morty to explore storylines from 1980s blockbuster movies, which is okay, but we have come to expect a bit better.

The latter half of the episode is the typical Rick and Morty clean-up. Rick and Morty go to this snake planet in 1985 and drop a book that teaches them how to time travel so it looks like they were never involved. This works somewhat. But snakes are now invading earth, and it’s gotten so bad that 4th dimension time headquarters gets an alert. An alien voiced by Keegan Michael-Key time travels to when the first snake started learning to use tools and kills it. The snakes are gone. Problem solved. Somewhere in this, we see a Snake Lincoln and a Snake Adolf Hitler.

As to what happened to Jerry? He slips up while trying to play a game of pick-up basketball and ends up flying into space. Trying to figure out a way to come down, he clamps onto the belly of an airplane flown by pilots who happen to be high on MDMA. Jerry causes the plane to crash in time to set up the Christmas lights while Rick, Morty, Beth, and Summer are finishing their snake battle.

Episodes title: I don’t know much about Battlestar Galactica beside a famous phrase you’ll see on an Etsy pillow that Jim Halpert says to Dwight in The Office. Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica, baby.

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