While flying through space, Rick and Morty collide with an interstellar insect which smears on the windshield; when Rick attempts to clean it, the windshield becomes even more smeared, and Rick decides to search for washer fluid on a nearby planet. Upon arriving, Rick discovers that the citizens of the planet sustain their peaceful way of life by engaging in open warfare on one night every year; upon discovering that the aforementioned night (which the citizens call "The Festival") is that very evening, Rick pleasantly proposes to Morty that they stay and observe the murderous rite.
They succeed in finding wiper fluid, and they depart as the sun sets, flying low over the surface of the planet as the Festival begins. Rick's enthusiasm for the Festival is quickly crushed by a particularly gruesome death, which sprays copious amounts of blood onto his windshield. As he vomits out his window, thoroughly disgusted by the sight, Morty sees a girl in trouble and demands of Rick that they save her; when Rick objects, Morty blackmails him into complying. Upon landing (on top of one of the girl's attackers), Rick enthusiastically begins shooting everybody who comes near them. Morty suggests that the girl, Arthricia, wait out the Festival in their ship, and Rick sarcastically agrees.
At the Smith house, Jerry and Summer get into an argument over Jerry's pointless conversation, and Jerry leaves the room while being heckled by Summer.
Arthricia asks Morty to stop asking her questions about The Festival, leading to an awkward silence. The girl suddenly screams that she has forgotten about her grandmother; the group travels to a ramshackle farmhouse, where, despite his misgivings, Rick follows Arthricia inside. She then double-crosses them: she overpowers Rick, steals his gun and shoots him with it, finally coercing Morty to surrender the ship. Apologizing to him, she flies away into the night, struggling with the controls. Moving inside the cabin, now on fire, Morty finds Rick wounded on the floor, and helps him out of the shack. A group of people advance on them; when Rick disintegrates one of them, however, they surrender and give him their weapons.
Summer and Jerry begin to renew their argument, but before they can do so, the "space phone" Rick gave them rings, and Summer retrieves it from its somewhat forgotten place between the sofa cushions. Hiding out in a shack with Morty and in the process of creating a chemical solution to heal his wound, Rick gives them the details of their situation and, between dispatching people bursting into the cabin and Jerry asking if the person on the phone is Taddy Mason, he dictates a number to Summer. After killing the last intruder with a spoon (the only thing Morty threw to Rick when he asked for help) and berating Morty for throwing him "the one thing that can never kill anything", Rick tells Summer to find a red box over his workbench, take it outside, and enter the aforementioned number into the box.
To set up a beacon for what Rick identifies only as a "package", Rick and Morty head toward a lighthouse, intending to assemble the beacon on the observation platform. However, the owner of the lighthouse consents only on the condition that one of them listens to a story of his. While Rick heads to the top of the lighthouse, Morty agrees to listen to the story, which he discovers is not only a movie script but is aboslutly atrocious. To pass the time, he decides to eat one of the two candy bars given to them by the person who gave them the wiper fluid.
Summer and Jerry go to the garage, where Summer retrieves the red box and places it on the floor, berating Jerry for his insistence on resolving his issue as she inputs the numbers into the box. Upon the completion of the sequence, the box pops open, forming a launchpad for a large, silvery orb with a smaller red dot on its side. As Jerry continues trying to restore his dignity, the orb hurls itself through the ceiling into the sky, leading Summer to muse, "Oh...he might have said to take it outside."
On the observation deck, Rick finishes assembling the receiver, while down in the main room, the owner finishes reading to Morty, whose patience is wearing thin. After repeatedly asking Morty for his honest opinion, Morty says he has a problem with the way the story begins with a flash back teaser, and the owner, suddenly offended, responds by ordering them to leave. Morty becomes confused and the owner claims that he shared something personal with him and he, "took a giant shit on it". Morty becomes offended by the attacks against his character and tells the owner that they just asked to set up a beacon. The owner tells Morty that they no longer can do so because Morty is a, "shitty person and insecure" and mounts the stairs. Upon reaching the top, he tells Rick to leave claiming that Morty is a, "shitty person". Morty quickly defends himself by claiming that he, "sat through" the entire screen play, further infuriating the owner. Fed up with the owners insecurities, Morty reveals that he hated the entire story. Rick reminds Morty that they're guests, Morty retorts that he tried to behave himself but the owner dragged his anger out. When the owner tries to shut the receiver down himself, Morty stops him, claiming that he's not a bad person just because the owner is insecure about his writing and pushes him down the flight of stairs in a fit of rage, killing him and leaving Rick astonished.
Jerry again tries to reconnect with Summer by recalling memories of the past, but the conversation devolves into a plea for money by Jerry. Summer leaves him in the garage by himself, and a piece of the shattered roof falls on his head, just after he utters "...Guess this is what rock bottom feels like"..
Leaving the lighthouse, a horde of rioters confronts them, including the man who gave them the wiper fluid and candy bars. Before a fight can break out, however, the orb-like probe lands between Rick and Morty and assembles suits of weaponized flying armor onto their bodies. Rick immediately begins to slaughter the mob. At first, Morty is hesitant, but he soon finds his, "inner rage" and slaughters the entire mob (as his suit plays "Feels Good" by Tony! Toni! Toné!). Rick congratulates Morty on finding the ability to purge and they looking for their ship. Rick succeeds in finding it, crashed into the side of a building, but turns around to find Morty once again slaughtering every person in sight, even those who are hiding; even once every one has been killed, Morty continues firing round after round into long-dead bodies even as Rick gently ushers him back toward the ship.
Reaching the ship, they find Arthricia crawling on the ground nearby. As they train their weapons on her, she explains her true intentions: to use the ship to murder the arrogant rich people who force the peasants to fight to the death. Morty, drunk with rage, insists on killing Arthricia on the spot, but Rick tells Morty to calm down. Morty then threatens to kill Rick, at which point Rick tasers Morty to get him under control and asks Arthricia where the rich people are.
At a mansion outside of town, the planet's wealthy make a dinner toast to another successful year of The Festival, which has been going on for thousands of years. Moments later, the sound of "Feels Good" floats through the air, and Arthricia, now wearing Morty's power suit, and Rick, with Morty tied to his back, break down the door. Rick tells the rich people that he has nothing against them, but that Arthricia is deeply offended by their forcing the peasants to kill each other while suffering no consequence themselves. He further explains that Arthricia's suit of power armor is a way of fairly apportioning power among them. Arthricia then begins to exact her revenge, slaughtering the rich people and inviting Rick to join in the bloodbath. Rick initially refuses, saying the killing has become "gratuitous", but eventually joins in after being asked a second time. After killing all the rich people, Rick and Arthricia ecstatically dance to "Feels Good".
As the sun rises in the morning, Morty finally wakes at the ship. After being encouraged by Rick, Morty goes over to talk to Arthricia, who spurns him by saying that she has a boyfriend.
As Rick and Morty are preparing to leave, the townsfolk discuss building a new society from the ground up, and Rick suggests using food to barter. After Rick and Morty leave, the discussion about food escalates into a bloody brawl. One of the townsfolk stops the brawl and explains a plan for stopping the violence, which stabilizes the basic concept of The Festival within the society.
On their way back to Earth, Morty reflects on his rage-fueled rampage with shame. Rick assures him that none of his actions were his fault and that the cause of his violent rage was due to eating the candy bar, which contained Purgenol, a chemical that amplifies a person's violent tendencies. Rick convinces Morty that, despite what happened the previous night, nothing about who he was has changed. As Rick throws his candy bar in the back seat, the candy bar's wrapper faces up, revealing a sticker that reads "Now Purgenol-Free".
In the post-credits scene, Beth asks Jerry why their phone bill is $700 and inquires as to what "Teddy Mason, L.L.C." stands for. Soon, a Teddy Mason commercial plays on the television, which explains that it is a dial-a-friend pay service with a callback option. Beth soaks in this information while Jerry tries in desperation to shut off their television. After he finally unplugs the T.V., Beth bluntly tells Jerry to "get a job".
- Rick Sanchez
- Morty Smith
- Jerry Smith
- Summer Smith
- General Store Owner
- Lighthouse Keeper
- Purge Planet Ruler
- 1 unnamed alien bug
- Lighthouse Chief
- General Star
- Purge Planet Ruler
- Almost all Purge Planet residents
- Originally, The Wedding Squanchers was supposed to be a two-parter episode, but there was too much plot to cover in two 30 minute episodes, so they had to make the season 2 finale a cliffhanger, which would continue into a story arc in Season 3. So, in the place of the empty time slot for the first episode, this episode was written by Dan Harmon in less than a day as a filler episode.
- This is the second episode where Morty has a love interest that isn't Jessica. The first episode was Anatomy Park, where he had a romantic interest in Annie.
- The plot of this episode is a parody of the 2013 horror film The Purge. The film was mentioned by Summer and Jerry
- "Festival" is the name of the purge event in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Return of the Archons".
- The classical music played briefly before the elite caste is attacked is the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64.
- The title of this episode is a reference to Look Who's Talking Now.
- The plot of the episode is very similar to Philip J. Farmer's Venus on the Half-Shell, as the protagonist ends up in a planet named Shaltoon, dominated by cat-like humanoids with questionable moral values.
- Rick starts playing on a Nintendo 3DS while hovering in the clouds to wait out the purge with Morty and Arthricia.
- The episode also seems to parody The Hunger Games, taking the basic plot of a single girl overthrowing the entire ruling class, and to poke fun at the premise that killing the ruling class would solve the problems of such a society.
- The scene where Rick and Morty gain high-tech battle suits is a reference to Iron Man.
- The scene in which the home of the elite is shown, the house is an exact copy of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
View a full transcript of this episode here.
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