"Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty" is the fourth episode of the fourth season of Rick and Morty. It is the 35th episode of the series overall. It premiered on December 8, 2019. It was written by Jeff Loveness and directed by Anthony Chun.
Rick reluctantly gives in to Morty's wishes to get a pet dragon, then things get weird. Jerry befriends a talking cat and they go to Florida.
After the events of an adventure where Rick and Morty are seeking out a purple cube (which results in the death of their assistant Chachi), Morty reminds Rick that he was promised a dragon. When Rick tries to brush it off, Morty brings up how he agreed to help with the adventure in exchange for one. Irritated by his constant demands, Rick sprays Morty with a gas which inadvertently knocks them both out and causes the Space Cruiser to start veering out of control as they head back towards Earth. After crashing, Rick wakes up in the hospital to Beth reiterating Rick's promise to Morty.
After Morty receives his dragon, Jerry pulls Rick aside and inquires about a talking cat he found in the house; Rick mentions that he has no idea about it before leaving. Accepting it, Jerry asks the cat several times why it can talk but the cat tells Jerry not to worry about it; to go with the flow and not ask too many questions. And that they go to Florida.
After Morty flies around with Balthromaw for a while, they land for a break. While Morty puts on the pretense that what they have is a partnership of equality, Balthromaw only wants to laze around, which Morty roundaboutly shuts down.
The dragon retreats to a newly dug cavern underneath the Smith family yard; while Rick is watching TV with Summer, they both notice and poke fun at how dejected Morty is with a dragon. After Rick is nearly killed by the dozing dragon's flame breath, he goes to kill it; after he ambushes Balthromaw, Rick takes a close look at the treasure that he is guarding and is amazed by some of the contents. He decides to not kill Balthromaw and they go off and cause havoc at a nearby zoo. Enjoying the other's company, Rick and Balthromaw perform a "Soul Bond" ritual, connecting their souls together.
While this happens, both Morty and Summer witness this, causing Morty to lash out in anger. This breach of the contract summons the Wizard and, pronouncing Balthromaw a slut dragon for having bonded to multiple riders, whips the dragon (which Rick can feel due to their bond) and takes the dragon away to sentence it. Rick, Morty, and Summer than travel to the dragon world to save Balthromaw and undo their soul bonding.
Meanwhile, with Jerry and the cat, they had a nice time with a bunch of party-goers playing volleyball on the beach until one discovers some cat poop barely covered in sand. The cat quickly blames it on Jerry, causing the party-goers to chase Jerry away and the cat goes with the party-goers onto a nearby party yacht. After the cat is later thrown off the boat, it swims back to Jerry.
While they attempt to free the dragon, Rick, Morty, and Summer learn that the bonding is permanent and nothing can be done; the four are then forced to flee into hiding. While laying low, they and Balthromaw encounter several other outcast/slut dragons including Debrah, Michael and the Shadow Jacker. They eventually join forces via a massive soul-bond ritual and are able to fly back to the lair of the Wizard; the combined energy of the Smiths and the slut dragons kill the Wizard and frees Balthromaw, Rick, Morty and the other dragons. Since the Wizard is dead, the bond between Balthromaw and Rick is broken.
After returning home, Rick immediately leaves with the excuse that Jerry needs to be picked up from the airport with the talking cat and severs ties with the dragon. And Morty eventually dismisses Balthromaw as well, sending him away with disgust.
After traveling for a while, Rick makes a stop in the desert so they can supposedly stretch their legs and is able to trap the cat inside an energy box. Rick tells the confused cat that he will do a mind scan on it to discover why he can talk, despite the latter’s repeated claims of being from space. Rick calls the cat out on the lie and looks through his vision goggles to discover the history. Subsequently, Rick is aghast by what he sees, looks away horrified. Seeing Rick act this way, Jerry wishes to see for himself but Rick tries in vain to stop him. Jerry ends up repeatedly vomiting in the sand before crawling backward away from the cat. The cat wants to amend things, but Rick banishes it in the desert; as the latter tries to plea with them; Rick and Jerry mutually scream at the cat to go away.
- “He was in my home... where I keep photos of my parents!”
Rick offers to erase Jerry's memories, the latter refuses, believing someone needed to remember. Despite this, Rick erases Jerry's memory anyway to spare him the mental anguish and torture.
The post-credits scene shows Balthromaw carrying his plunder through the street and scaring off a motorist who tried to proposition him. The cat soon arrives and the two decide to stick together, becoming friends who have been rejected by humans.
Cast and characters
- Several Orcs
- Members of the Dragonarchy
- The Wizard
- The title is a pun on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, an America crime drama television series.
- Coincidentally, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is about sex crimes.
- To dragons, soul bonding equivalent to sex.
- Jeff Loveness can be seen in the end credits
- In the trailer for Season 4, Rick says "And that's the end of the Morty gets a dragon experiment", while in the episode he substitutes the word "experiment" with "episode".
- Rick and Morty crash into Malta in the opening scene. Malta has a dragon on its flag.
- In this episode is shown the largest amount of real-world animals of the entire series
- One of the dragons calls Summer a "man with a ponytail", which could be a reference to a discovery made by fans that Summer's character design is essentially Jerry with a ponytail and orange hair.
- The way Rick erases Jerry's memories is similar to how he does Morty’s, which was seen in "Morty's Mind Blowers".
- Rick and Morty’s graves are seen in the backyard, they last appeared "The Rickshank Rickdemption".
- The crack in the ground around the house from "Ricksy Business" is still visible.
- When Jerry mentions the Talking Cat to Rick, Rick mentions when Jerry went to Pluto in "Something Ricked This Way Comes".
- In celebration of Season 4, Pocket Mortys' weekly updates will coincide with new episodes, including new avatars for players to collect. With the release of this episode came: Dragon Rider Summer as an avatar, plus Dragon Rider Morty and Archmage Morty to catch.
- In the commercial for the update, Archmage Morty was named Wizard Morty.
- The dragon warns Rick that his "lessers will hunt him down" and that he is "one of a dying breed." This is a reference to how Rick's are continuously in danger and are constantly dying.
- The episode's titles is a dragon pun with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
- Chachi might be a reference to the character Chachi in “Happy Days”, played by Scott Baio.
- When Summer describes the show she's watching, Ass, she says it's like the TV show Bones.
- When Morty repeatedly states that he wants his dragon, it might be a callback to the episode "Bart Gets an Elephant" on The Simpsons, where Bart wants an elephant.
- The dragon book Morty receives from the Wizard is similar to the book in The NeverEnding Story.
- The scene of the dragon lying on top a pile of treasure is inspired by the dragon Smaug and its lust for gold in the book The Hobbit.
- Rick magically bonding with the Dragons is similar to the film Dragonheart. Even the Dragon getting hurt which results in Rick getting hurt is similar to the film.
- The dragon hoarded memorabilia:
- One of the dragon's treasures is a Tesla car.
- It has also stolen the Venus de Milo statue.
- And a a Banksy painting can be seen behind the Tesla car.
- "Hi-C Ecto Cooler" was a fruit drink released in 1989, in light of "Ghostbusters II".
- A Pop Vinyl Figure of Dan Harmon can be seen in the treasure pile.
- He had a "Duckman" lunchbox.
- A copy of "Action Comics #1", first appearance of "Superman".
- "Small Soldiers Spin Pops" was a line of lollipops released in 1998 with the film "Small Soldiers".
- A small red and yellow cassette tape similar to the "For Sara" cassette from Over the Garden Wall.
- VR goggles, possibly a nod to the fact that Rick and Morty has a VR game, "Virtual Rickality".
- The self-titled album "Future", by the rapper "Future", was picked up and mentioned by Rick.
- In the scene in Florida when a woman finds a cat poop in the sand, one of the men looks like an adult "Ash Ketchum" from the original series of Pokémon.
- Another beach goer looks like an adult version of "Tommy Pickles" from Rugrats.
- The song playing to Rick and the dragon's montage is called "Mask Off" by "Future", from the self-titled album mentioned earlier.
- Rick sent Morty a gif of the artist "Taylor Swift".
- Summer threatens Rick to follow the dragon by saying she will tweet and he will be canceled, referring to "cancel culture" by tweeting about an artist or show.
- Rick calls the Wizard "Dandriff the Gray", a nod to "Gandalf the Grey" from Lord of the Rings.
- The backpack and gun Rick uses in the Dragon World resembles and most likely references the Proton Pack from "Ghostbusters".
- Rick inflating a group of Orcs to round balloons is similar to when "Harry Potter" inflated his aunt in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
- Morty mentions "Dungeons & Dragons", a fantasy tabletop RPG.
- The Dragonarchy’s enforcer dragons have holes in their bodies and probably are dead, a reference to the wight dragon resurrected by the Night King in Game of Thrones.
- The talking alien cat is a reference to the 1978 film, The Cat from Outer Space.
- The Power of 12 Feet which the wizard uses might also be a reference to the cat from the film, The Cat from Outer Space having 12 feet.
- The blue enforcer dragon has dreadlocks like The Predators from the Predator franchise.
View a full transcript of this episode here.
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