"The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" is the fifth episode of the third season of Rick and Morty. It is the 26th episode of the series overall. It premiered on August 20, 2017. It was written by Ryan Ridley and directed by Juan Meza-León.
Rick and Jerry go to a resort where dying is impossible, but a creature wants to kill Rick anyway. Summer's attempt to enlarge her breasts goes awry.
The episode begins with Jerry wallowing in his lonely new life. As he prepares to go to sleep, however, Rick suddenly bursts into his apartment and drags him outside naked on the promise of an intergalactic adventure, to Jerry's confusion.
On the ride through space, Jerry questions Rick's motive for inviting him, to which Rick explains he only did so at Morty's behest, worried that his father might turn to suicide. Soon enough, the reluctant duo arrives at an intergalactic resort on another world. When Rick and a supposed enemy (Shnoopy Bloopers) kill each other, then immediately come back to life, he explains to a shocked Jerry that the entire facility is surrounded by an immortality field, meaning that even if Jerry tried to kill himself while on their vacation, doing so would be impossible. After greatly enhancing his relationship with Rick, Jerry is quickly captured while using the resort's restroom and is brought before an actual enemy of Rick named Risotto Groupon, whose people were enslaved after Rick sold weapons to their enemies. With Jerry's help, he plans to assassinate Rick on a roller-coaster called the Whirly-Dirly, at the point where the ride travels outside the protective immortality field. When Jerry politely declines, Risotto allows him to leave unharmed.
Jerry continues to drink with Rick, however, during the conversation Rick admits that he was essentially the whole reason Beth broke up with him. His new view of Rick now shattered, Jerry invites Rick to join him on the Whirly-Dirly. However while on the ride Rick apologizes for breaking up the marriage and a guilty Jerry tries to change his mind, but can't get Rick off the ride before it begins. After Jerry is shot and revived, Rick notices the assassins behind him and fights back. In the midst of the brawl, Jerry calls out to Rick and points to the area that dips outside of the field. Once the assassin has been dealt with Rick realizes something and asks Jerry how he knew about the kill point. He's interrupted however when several more hit-men in a helicopter attempt to physically pull Rick outside the immortality field. Rick quickly detaches his coat and detonates a bomb hidden inside taking out the chopper and sending the roller coaster crashing into the surrounding jungle and deactivating the resort's immortality field in the process. A suspicious Rick asks Jerry how he knew about the Whirly-Dirly only for a fatally wounded assassin to reveal that they had made a deal. Having learned of Jerry's involvement in his attempted assassination, Rick slow approaches Jerry causing him to back up into a massive alien snake and refuses to help as Jerry is slowly eaten alive by said snake. Jerry denounces Rick as a "self-righteous piece of shit" who stole his family. Infuriated, Rick volleys back by reminding Jerry that Beth was his daughter before she was his wife and that her life was stolen when Jerry got her pregnant at prom which subsequently lead to her being stolen from Rick. Further, Rick claims that Beth had options, but she gave it all up because she felt sorry for Jerry. Citing that Jerry acts like he's prey, but he's really a predator that uses his pitiful nature as a way to manipulate other. As Jerry is about to be digested, Rick finally kills the snake and saves him, only to then use him as bait for another alien creature. Right when it seems like Jerry is about to be eaten, Rick shoots a tranquilizer into the creature and attaches wires to it, allowing him to control it and take them to an airfield with a shuttle that would get them close to the Milky-Way.
While traveling through a checkpoint for a spaceship heading off-world, a security guard injects Rick, who is deemed a terrorist threat and revealed to have secret cybernetic augmentations, with a synaptic dampener to reduce his intelligence to that of a small child. Jerry quickly takes advantage of the child-like Rick, belittling him the whole time. Risotto, unfortunately, catches up during this time and is ready to shoot Rick while he's too dumb to do anything. Risotto decides to let Jerry go, but not out of any compassion but because he feels that Jerry is a pathetic excuse of a man and would prefer not to waste the bullet. Jerry, determined to prove himself, attempts to fight off Risotto but fails miserably. Risotto changes his mind and decides to shoot Jerry, too. However, Jerry causes Risotto to shoot an important piece of paneling just as the spaceship passes through a wormhole. Space, time and matter all combine, causing Rick, Jerry and Risotto to all merge and experience each other's thoughts and personalities for what feels like a moment and an eternity. After emerging, all feel changed by the experience and Risotto considers forgiving Rick. However, Rick, now free of the effects of the synaptic dampener, just steals his gun using his cybernetic arm implants and shoots him dead anyway, as Rick assumed Risotto was just going to change his mind and try to kill them again. After that, Rick and Jerry go home and agree to leave out the parts of the adventure that make them look bad. Rick offers to let Jerry inside for a minute but Jerry declines. Claiming that if the rest of his family saw him the state he was, they would feel sorry for him and making people feel pity for him would no longer be his signature move. Rick bids Jerry farewell, only to promptly lock the doors and setting up deadly countermeasures to keep him out. Watching how happy his family is without him, Jerry sighs and walks home.
Meanwhile, as Beth builds a small sculpture out of horse hooves, Summer asks Beth if she is hot. Beth simply says her looks are not something she should focus on, causing Summer to describe herself as hideous and retreat to the garage. It's then revealed that Ethan has broken up with her, claiming it was because they no longer had anything in common, and began dating another girl named Tricia Lange. Summer is convinced Ethan really chose Tricia over her because Tricia had larger breasts. She then tries to enlarge her breasts using Rick's Morphizer-XE but ends up becoming a disproportionate giant trapped inside the garage.
Morty and Beth realize the Morphizer-XE was responsible and Morty wants to call Rick back to resolve the situation. Beth, however, insists she can solve the problem without her father's help, to which Morty berates her for trying to be like Rick. Beth tries to bring Summer back to normal proportions, which brings her back to normal body proportions but also makes her larger than the house. Considering it progress, Beth rashly soldiers on and ends up turning Summer inside out.
Morty berates Beth to call Rick but instead, she calls the machine's "technical support." Unfortunately, it turns out the three (tiny) tech support workers actually live inside the machine and trick Beth into freeing them. Finally fed up with Beth's stubbornness, Morty snatches her phone and smashes it on the ground. He proceeds to admit that he tricked Rick into taking Jerry into space so he could get a little break from Rick's arrogance and irresponsibility but Beth ruined it by being just as bad as her father. Morty then tells Beth that sucking up to Rick won't help keep him around, but it would help drive everyone else away from her. Both of them then realize that Summer has disappeared. They quickly mount the Morpizer into the back of the car and go off looking for Summer, with Morty shooting at random object in an attempt to understand how the machine work. Beth finally defends herself from Morty's criticism from earlier by asking him what he would do if his daughter asked him if she was attractive. Morty asks Beth when Summer asked her that question, and she tells him that it was right before she super-sized herself. Upon hearing this, Morty deduces that Summer has gone to Camp Flabanabba where she and Ethan were supposed to go camping before he dumped her and took Tricia instead. As they approach the camp, Beth announces that she has a plan. Summer appears to Ethan and Tricia, terrifying them, and is then startled to see Beth, also large and inside out. The two reconcile and Tricia is so touched she runs home to make peace with her own mother. Ethan tries to follow in pursuit but Morty quickly stops him so they can have a, "chat". An emotionless Morty tells Ethan that he made Summer cry and ruined her self-esteem. Ethan tries to explain himself, but Morty shushes him and warns him to be careful because his, "s'more is burning" before turning the Morphizer on him.
In a post-credits scene, a heavily-deformed Ethan is seen limping home, presumably by Morty for hurting Summer and as a lesson in shallowness. The three tech support aliens spot him, but decide not to help due to their newfound freedom. Their relief turns to horror, however, when one is carried away by an eagle.
Cast and characters
- At least 1 of the 2 Whirly Dirly assassins
- Risotto Groupon
- 1 Mailman
- 1 Alien bug
- 1 Gibble Snake
- 1 unnamed Morphizer customer service creature
- Risotto Groupon: Look, I'm not like Rick, so you're free to do as you please. But there comes a time in every man's life when he must choose the foundation on which his legacy will be built; one of compromise, or one of blood.
- Beth: I call that progress.
- Morty: SHE’S HUGE!
- Beth: And normal.
- Summer: I’M NOT NORMAL!
- Jerry: You self-righteous piece of shit! You took my family!
- Rick: I took your family? Who do you think had more taken from them when you shot 20 CCs of liquid dream-killer into my daughter? She was Rick's daughter, Jerry, she had options!
- Gibble Snake: Oof!
- Rick:That all ended because she felt sorry for you. You act like prey but you're a predator; you use pity to lure in your victims. It's how you survive. I survive because I know everything, that snake survives because children wander off, and you survive because people think "Oh, this poor piece of shit, he never gets a break. I can't stand the deafening silent wails of his wilting soul. I guess I'll hire him or marry him."
- Morty: Don’t ‘’Morty’’ me! I tricked Rick into taking Dad on an adventure ‘cause I thought I was gonna get a break from this kind of shit! BUT NO! LIKE FATHER, LIKE GODDAMN DAUGHTER! You wanna be like Rick?! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE JUST AS ARROGANT AND JUST AS IRRESPONSIBLE!’’’
- Gene: Everything okay?
- Morty: Mind your own GODDAMN business, Gene! I’m having a conversation with my mother here!
- Risotto Groupon: Jerry, step over there and lock yourself in the escape pod.
- Jerry: You're not killing us?
- Risotto Groupon: I'm killing Rick, you're free to go. You're no threat to me, or anyone.
- Jerry: Now you're just being mean.
- Rick: Yeah, you're mean. No offense.
- Risotto Groupon: Mean would be shooting you, Jerry, this is saving a bullet. Go back to your quietly ashamed family and live the rest of your days in denial of your vagina fantasy.
- Jerry: IT WAS A ONE-TIME THOUGHT THAT EVERYONE HAS!
- Risotto Groupon: Congratulations, Jerry, you get to die a man!
- Jerry: That's okay, I'll leave! Please don't shoot, I-I-I'm the vagina guy, remember?
- Jerry: Jesus! He hadn't decided he was still going to kill us!
- Rick: He was talking himself into it, I've seen it before. Cosmic apotheosis wears off faster than salvia.
- Jerry: I'm starting to believe you, because I just finished merging with your essence for an endless epoch and I'm already back to thinking you're an asshole!
- Rick: Fine by me, let's just go our separate ways. Sounds like you and the word 'epoch' have a lot of catching up to do.
- Rick: You wanna-?
- Jerry: Nah. If the family sees me like this they'll feel sorry for me, which is no longer my signature move.
- 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: Spiritual Leader Rick, Victorian Jerry, Risotto Groupon, Inside Out Beth, Inside Out Summer, Shnoopy Bloopers, and Victorian Rick as avatars, and Master Morty, Poorhouse Morty and Chimney Sweep Morty to catch.
- The scene where Rick drags Jerry out of his bed naked is an homage and parody to the pilot episode's opening scene where Rick did this to Morty.
- Rick in this scene continues his habit of breaking the fourth wall as he's done in other episodes when he says the current episode is a "Rick and Jerry adventure/episode!".
- It is revealed that Rick has cybernetic implants in a majority of his body. These implants appear to be located in all of his limbs, his left eye, part of his brain, and part of a system within his chest.
- Jerry lives at room 826 of his apartment block.
- It appears that Summer has gained a wide amount of knowledge about Rick's garage, knowing the secret code to certain compartments and not being frightened by the abundance of extreme scientific contraptions (including a box with a trapped green entity).
- The code to unlock the compartment behind Rick's billboard involves moving the only un-connected pin to the bottom-righthand corner of the blue piece of paper.
- In the TV broadcast, until the last few minutes, the word "shit" is bleeped out, whereas in airings of the earlier episodes, it's been uncensored.
- During a sequence when female Rick is nursing a little alien, there is a little bust of Beth and little Birdperson in the background.
- Following the events of "The Rickshank Rickdemption", Jerry is still separated from Beth in this episode, and still lives alone in his apartment.
- Arcade Alien can be seen in the Restaurant where Rick and Jerry are drinking.
- Beth still tries to prove herself worthy of Rick's love as it was shown in "Pickle Rick."
- Summer's relationship with Ethan from "Anatomy Park" comes to an end in this episode.
- Morty references his love interest for Jessica when he states that his daughter will be hot because her mother will be Jessica.
- Above Jerry's bed in his apartment, there is a picture of the Titanic, a reference to his obsession with the ship and also the film. The same picture is shown to be in the Smith family's recreation room throughout seasons 1 and 2 such as its appearance in "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind". This is a callback to the episode "Ricksy Business" where the plot revolved around his fascination with the Titanic.
- During the episode, the Interdimensional Cable Box can still be seen in the background, following the episode "Rixty Minutes."
- Rick's cybernetic components were first be seen in the background of his antics during the episode "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender."
- The cracks around the house are still visible after the events of the episode "Ricksy Business".
- The mailman who appeared in "M. Night Shaym-Aliens!" can be seen again, seemingly killed by a giant falling mailbox.
- Justin Roiland confirmed him being "alive and well".
- Rick's nonchalant reaction to having endured a temporal lapse is further evidence of his extensive journeys across the cosmos, seeing such an existential occurrence as "trivial" rather than life-changing.
- While Rick is under the effects of the "synaptic dampener" he bears a strong resemblance to Jerry. Rick remarks about his desire to eat cookies and watch a 90 minute cut of James Cameron's Avatar which is similar to Jerry's love of junk food and obsession with another James Cameron film, The Titanic.
- Summer is described as having "Clive Barkered" herself; this wording in relation to body horror movies is a call back to when Rick "Cronenberged" Earth in "Rick Potion No. 9".
- The title is possibly a reference to the recurring title formula for episodes of The Big Bang Theory.
- The entire scene where Summer enlarges through the Morphizer-XE to the point where she destroys the garage is a reference to Alice In Wonderland. Her attack and journey towards Ethan and Tricia could also be seen as a reference to Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman.
- Summer enlarging herself, going on a rampage, and Beth having to become enlarged to stop her is a reference to the film Honey I Blew Up The Kid which follows the same storyline but with a baby boy instead of a teenaged girl.
- Jeff Goldblum is also referenced as a joke which both Rick and Jerry agree on, where Rick says "Yo what's up, Big Chill! Don't go into that tele-pod!". This is a reference to the movie The Fly, where Jeff Goldblum's appearance becomes severely altered after combing with a fly. This is referenced due to the ugly nature of some aliens which both Rick and Jerry recognize as Jeff Goldblum's face.
- During the trip through the temporal field, a lot of cultural imagery appears, particularly in the form of archetypal images (including religious imagery - pagan, Egyptian, Christian, Hindu and occult - such as Baphomet).
- This entire sequence is a reference to the 1980 film Altered States, which has similar imagery and scenes.
- The start and end animation may reference Anthony Francisco Schepperd's famous 2009 animation for a song 'The Music Scene' by the musician 'Blockhead'. Link
- The naked lion fight is a reference to a clip from the cafe scene of the 1968 film 'If....' by Lindsay Anderson. Link
- The scene where Rick appears in recursive columns made of eyes is straight out of psychedelic artist Alex Grey's works.
- Rick refers to the experience as "cosmic apotheosis" - this is a Greek concept of becoming God. It is implied that Rick has become God or merged with the cosmos (dualistic language breaks down) as he is sat cross-legged with his middle finger up.
- He sits beneath a pyramid underneath a "star tetrahedron" - the main symbol of sacred geometry. Above the pyramid projects "the all seeing eye" - the eye of Horus, the main God of the Egyptian pantheon and symbol of consciousness. This symbolizes the universe/God's essence, or oneness, which Rick merges with.
- The two deer-headed beings are male and female, (duality) and are possible references to Adam and Eve, and flow from the oneness which is God/Rick/Cosmos. Jerry appears to be "born" of their union. Jerry then "wakes up" and realises he is "literally Time". He is meditating in the lotus position and his chakras are all lit up. (This is his first experience of it, whereas Rick has experienced it before).
- The final symbol is the triskele, a pagan symbol referring to the trinity. (The one where the three of them merge).
- After they return, Rick jokes that cosmic apotheosis wears off faster than salvia, which is a potent hallucinogen, reinforcing that these images are a mash up of psychedelic and religious symbols and ideas being played for laughs. Jerry felt their "souls were united and they were one with eternity," but soon went back to thinking Rick was an asshole.
- At the beginning of the sequence Jerry asks "Am I dead? Am I still alive?", to which Rick's consciousness mysteriously responds, "Those aren't the questions you should be asking". This suggests that Rick's mind has indeed transcended the confines of 'life and death', of duality, and has become God. His response thus poses it's own question: "Who, or what, is asking the question?"
- Ethan's punishment of augmented bodily horror imposed by Morty may be a reference to the 1967 science-fiction short story I have no Mouth and I must Scream, written by Harlan Ellison.
- The Whirly-Dirly and its destruction is possibly a reference to the time travel machine from the 1997 movie Contact.
- The scenes where Summer and later Beth had themselves enlarged and then turned their skin inside-out is a reference to the design of the Colossus Titan from the manga and anime Attack On Titan.
- While driving around town in search of Summer, Beth describes Summer's transformation as Summer having "Clive Barkered" herself. Clive Barker is an English novelist and movie director who wrote The Hellbound Heart and directed the body horror movies Hellraiser and Candyman.
- Beth's comment is an obvious allusion to Hellraiser, specifically to the movie's villain, Frank Cotton, who is horribly mutilated by the cenobites, but later returns as a flayed undead corpse.
View a full transcript of this episode here.
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