Rick and Morty’s latest episode might have just outdone the season premiere when it comes to randomness. One thing that should have keyed viewers into just how strange things were going to get was a cameo by Elon Musk. But, he wasn’t just the normal version of himself, he was Elon Tusk. Now, that in of itself is a bit of a throwback as Musk once changed his name to that on Twitter and then shrugged it off as just a joke. More than just a simple play on words, he was a strange alternate reality version of the businessman who had some monster-like tusks. Everything else was the same though, Rick and Morty grabbed him out of a car company factory where he was trying to pump up his workers. (The company was called Tuskla btw.) All of the shenanigans didn’t stop there as Musk voiced himself as a relatively unsure and down to earth character. Rick gets in numerous shots on the Tesla head man, but sadly this episode was too mapped out too far ahead to get a Cybertruck joke in there. It’s a case of the show having excellent timing at the same time as throwing everything to the wall to see what sticks.
Musk isn’t the only character to make an appearance in Rick’s rag-tag group of heisters in this episode. Fans of the show were no doubt pumped to see Mr. Poopybutthole pop up again as an ally. An insane meta-riff on heist movies as a genre leads to Rick assembling a number of crews as the episode goes along. He constructs a robot specifically for planning heists and it goes rogue, prompting Rick to bring it down. He brings together Mr. Poopybutthole, Musk, a Ventriloquist Dummy Archer, and a blacksmith to take this robot out.
Of course, chaos ensues as Rick and the Heist robot have a bit of a match of wits to see which one of them could be behind the almost ridiculous number of double-crosses that happened over the course of the episode. There are numerous flashbacks to the first third of the episode where careful editing obscured plot threads that would be discussed in more detail later. It’s the sort of thing that will probably benefit from a couple more viewings to get everything straight.
This episode actually continues a bit of a Rick and Morty tradition that sees gags and dire scenarios from the opening credits and teasers make their way into the actual episodes. Mr. Poopybutthole handing out beatdowns in some of the earlier footage before the season began was on a lot of fans' wish lists. No one could have dreamed that this would be the way that action came about. (Even more bizarre is the choice to have the character teaching his students in an African American Lit class. With a hysterical Maya Angelou joke in there too.)
One thing that the season hasn’t begun to hint at yet is the larger narrative of these seasons. Only Rick’s downer of an adventure last week has really strived to move those developments forward in any way. It will be curious to see how the remaining episodes in the first batch of this season decide to handle it.