"Pickle Rick" is the third episode of the third season of Rick and Morty. It is the 24th episode of the series overall. It premiered on August 6, 2017. It was written by Jessica Gao and directed by Anthony Chun. The episode is rated TV-14 LV.
Rick turns himself into a pickle while the rest of the family goes to therapy. Now Rick has to figure out how to stop being a pickle.
Morty is preparing himself for a school-advised therapy session in the bathroom when he hears Rick's voice. He follows the voice to the garage to find that Rick has turned himself into a pickle "because he could." Beth and Summer appear and notice Rick's pickle status as well. Morty suspects that Rick did this to avoid going to the therapy session, noticing a dangling syringe rigged to inject Rick the moment the others leave. Rick denies the idea of getting out of going and claims the syringe to be irrelevant. In response, Beth removes the syringe, puts it in her purse, and leaves with her children.
Now alone on the table, Rick starts making random sounds when a cat named Izzy appears. Rick tells the cat to back off stating that he has seen Youtube videos with cats attacking pickles because cats are afraid of snakes and think pickles are snakes. The cat knocks Rick over, pushing him outside of the garage and exposing Rick to the sun. Rick grudgingly states how dying in a pickle-form from the heat is the mega-genius equivalent of dying on the toilet. Fortunately, a timely rain shower saves him from that fate.
However, the resulting rush of water flushes Rick into the sewer drain forcing him to survive in the sewers. Rick creates a bit of pickle juice and lures a cockroach towards him. The cockroach is killed by Rick with a bite to the head and he removes part of the cockroach's head. Rick uses the brain of the cockroach to propel himself forward.
At the counseling office, we learn that the therapy session has been advised by the school, for Summer huffing pottery enamel and Morty wetting his pants in class, both believed to be signs of protesting their parents' divorce. Mr. Goldenfold runs into them on his way out: he was in for eating poop and asks the others if they're in for the same. Beth, Summer, and Morty are greeted by Dr. Wong, the therapist, and their therapy session begins. Beth talks about how Rick couldn't attend and how he is a genius. Morty blurts out that Rick turned himself into a pickle. Dr. Wong uses this idea to start a discussion about why Rick turned himself into a pickle.
Rick is seen cutting a sewer grate using a makeshift exo-suit of decapitated roaches. As he is pondering his next move (to a sewer line), a sewer rat appears and tries to attack Rick. Rick uses an elaborate trap to decapitate the unwary rodent. Rick then taunts the other rats that arrived and puts the dead rat's head on top of another contraption, creating a rat version of an exo-suit. The sewer bars break open with the rats pouring in and Rick begins to kill every rat in sight with various small items, including screws and box-cutters.
Inside the counseling office, Beth talks about how Rick is important. Summer replies back and says how Rick lied and turned himself into a pickle avoid the counseling session. Beth yells that Rick did not. Dr. Wong notices how the use of science is a common form of communication for the family and discusses this. Dr. Wong asks what could be inside the syringe with them replying it's a liquid that can change Rick back into a human. Beth disagrees and gets angry. She flips out and delivers f-bombs to both Dr. Wong and the siblings.
Rick has just killed the largest and toughest rat and enters the sewer pipe using rockets. He lands out of a toilet and exultantly yells, "PICKLE RIIICK!" He leaves the men's bathroom and begins to search for an exit. He stumbles upon an elevator and moves some nearby objects to allow himself to parkour towards the elevator door button.
Rick is approached by some agents who speak Russian and begin shooting Rick. Rick runs into a room and starts building weapons with office supplies. Rick taunts the Agency Director of the building while killing all the agents using traps bombs and a laser gun. The Agency Director uses a last resort method and calls upon a captured fighter named Jaguar to kill Rick.
Back in therapy, Dr. Wong asks what is in the syringe with Beth replying that Dr. Wong should say it, while the siblings say it is anti-pickle serum. Dr. Wong talks about the serum with Beth cutting her off. Beth talks about how the session is supposed to be about the siblings being angry that she divorced Jerry. Morty starts to notice interesting features of the therapy room, particularly how there is a book displaying people eating feces. Dr. Wong says she isn't going to take sides and states that Beth admires Rick. Beth blatantly says it is better than making other peoples' problems, which Dr. Wong questions if that is the reason she looks up to him.
Rick and Jaguar begin fighting, leading to them both becoming wounded and treating their injuries, leading to them both talking about their motives. Rick proceeds to destroy all the cameras while fighting Jaguar. The Agency Director receives a call from Rick, saying "Jaguar couldn't make it", with Rick remarking that he'll hunt down the Agency Director. The Agency Director offers 100 million dollars in bonds but Rick demands it be given to Jaguar's daughter when she's set free. The Agency Director says she's dead, and Rick refuses to reason with the Agency Director, who then kills the two remaining guards and flees to the roof to get to a helicopter.
The helicopter flies away with Jaguar steering it and Rick, using a cigarette, creates an explosion that kills the Agency Director. Jaguar and Rick talk about their families, to which Jaguar ends by leaving. Jaguar is seen in a comic style flash ending.
The family is seen using simple sentences to describe what they currently want: Summer and Morty admit that Summer's sniffing enamel and Morty's desk wetting have nothing to do with the divorce: one is just for getting high and the other is a mere accident.
Rick appears, badly injured, and joins them, asking Beth for the serum that will, indeed, turn him back into a human. Rick says he turned himself into a pickle because he doesn't respect therapy, and therefore, didn't want to go, claiming therapy is for boring people and he does not need it. Dr. Wong agrees that going to therapy, or rather taking the time to repair relationships with your family, is boring, but boring in the way that brushing your teeth or going to the bathroom is not an adventure: there's no way to do it in a way that you can die, it is just about putting in work, and that perhaps some people would rather die than put in the work. Rick has no retort to this, and the session ends.
On the ride home, Rick apologizes to Beth for lying to her and Beth responds by injecting him with the syringe, finally turning him back into a human. Rick and Beth plan to go get a drink after dropping the siblings off while ignoring Summer and Morty asking if they'll ever go back to therapy.
In the post-credits scene, Rick and Morty are tied up on a giant piano and are about to be killed by Concerto. Rick says how he is sorry for getting Morty into this situation and believes that they will definitely die. Unpredictably, Jaguar appears, kills Concerto, and leaves. Morty asks who that was and Rick replies, "That Morty, is why you don't go to therapy".
Cast and characters
- Katarina (Confirmed fate)
- Several Roaches
- Many Rats
- Rat Boss
- Many unnamed agents
- Pavel Bartek
- Three unnamed people
- In celebration of season 3, Pocket Mortys' weekly updates will coincide with new episodes, including new avatars for players to collect. With the release of this episode came: Pickle Rick, Sunday Best Summer, Rat Suit Pickle Rick, Concerto, and Jaguar as avatars, and Pickle Morty, Sunday Best Morty, Cucumber Morty, Pickled Morty, and Concerto Morty to catch.
- This is the first episode where Rick's actual form has minor significance in the episode, only being seen near the very end. Although he himself did in fact have a major role in the episode, just in pickle form.
- Rick wears a seatbelt for the first time in the entire series when he gets in Beth's car.
- Summer's reason for undergoing family therapy was huffing pottery enamel glaze from pottery glass, an action completely unrelated to family issues. She wants to just be accepted as someone who can get high. Morty's reason is also unrelated to family issues, where he peed his desk at school.
- Rick is regarded as Solen'ya: The Pickle Man. The Russian word "соле́нья" literally means "salted foods" and works only in the plural form, also sounding much like a female name, thus making it actually an awkward choice for the nickname even though it nods to John Wick who is called Baba Yaga.
- Beth believes that Dr. Wong has a pickle obsession.
- The key card which the Agency Director uses has 'ключ' printed in large letters, which literally means 'key' in Russian.
- The portal gun does not appear in this episode and, apart from perhaps the after-credits scene, the episode takes place entirely in the Replacement dimension.
- This episode suggests that Rick probably hates cats.
- The Blu-Ray release features two special special guest commentaries, one from Russel Brand and one from Game Of Thrones crew David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and Peter Dinklage.
- This episode has won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program 2018.
- Snuffles's picture can be seen above the Smith family's toilet, who was last seen in "Lawnmower Dog".
- Shoney's returns as a reference at the end when Rick and Beth want to go get drunk, previously seen in "The Rickshank Rickdemption".
- In real life, some Shoney's sites do serve alcohol such as beer, as stated in this episode.
- The ongoing troubling familial relationship between Jerry and the Smith family still appears to have ongoing ramifications since his separation in the episode "The Rickshank Rickdemption".
- Rick mentions to Jaguar that "he abandoned one of his infinite daughters in a reality overrun by mutants." This is a reference to the events of "Rick Potion 9", and one of his infinite daughters is Beth Smith (Cronenberged dimension).
- The cracks on the ground from "Ricksy Business" and "A Rickle in Time" are still on the ground.
- Rick and Jaguar's action sequence in the office, followed by their helicopter escape, is an allusion to Die-Hard.
- When Jaguar does a split during the fight scene, it’s an homage to Jean Claude Van Damme’s ability to perform them in his movies, particularly the kitchen fight in Timecop.
- Rick says that death by frying in the sun, in the body of a pickle, would be a humiliating fate, being the genius equivalent of dying on the toilet. This is a reference to the infamous rumours of Elvis Presley's death on the toilet.
- The franchise Smokey's Tavern is mentioned by Rick, when considering different places to go to eat/get drunk with Beth.
- The song Concerto plays when attempting to kill Rick and Morty is Beethoven's Sonata No. 14, also known as the 'Moonlight Sonata'.
- When Rick cuts the legs of the agents with a laser, a "Howie Scream" can be heard.
- The writers confirmed, Pickle Rick going down the sewer and meeting a bunch of rats is a reference to the movie An American Tail: Fievel Goes West, featuring rats who went down a sewer.
- The scene in which Rick slaughters rats is a parody of a scene from The Wolverine.
- Rick's assembly of a suit made from rats to escape the sewer is a parody of Tony Stark assembling the Iron Man suit to escape from his captors.
- In real life, Solen'ya is not an existing myth. Instead, it appears to be a parody on John Wick franchise, where Baba Yaga (an actual Russian myth) is a codename of a deadly and nearly unstoppable assassin.
- Rick getting a triple headshot with one laser beam references the film, Deadpool, where the titular character makes a triple headshot with a single bullet.
View a full transcript of this episode here.
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