After last week's Lucas Gray-directed, Alex Rubens-written episode "Full Meta Jackrick" pretty much fried our brains from an overdose of meta (but still left us wanting more), this week's episode of Dan Harmon & Justin Roiland's Rick and Morty dials things back for a closer look at the main man himself, Rick Sanchez. And what made "Analyze Piss" work so well was how it flipped our expectations by taking what starts as a typical "Rick vs. Supervillain" episode scenario, then pressing the pause button on it and instead, using it as a springboard into an examination of a very damaged psyche. It also applies to Rick the same thought-provoking question that's been asked about Superman, Batman, and other characters in the past. Are supervillains a response to their very existence? Are they lighthouses that help the twisted and dark to come out of the shadows? Or, in Rick's case, the "90s-style goofball supervillains" that increasingly plague him. After nearly six seasons down, Rick might just be coming around to the idea that he very well might be his own worst (arch-) enemy. And if you've been waiting to see Jerry Smith in a different light? Well, this is definitely the one for you, "Flamingo Dad" fans! So with that in mind, we're throwing on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign and throwing down an image spoiler buffer as we take a look at what we learned.
Rick and Morty Season 6 Ep. 8 "Analyze Piss" Thoughts/Observations
We were lucky enough to be treated to the cold open to this week's episode, so here's a look back at our earlier observations on S06E08 "Analyze Piss" & how the opening connects to Dr. Wong (Susan Sarandon) from the midseason trailer. Side note? There was a "depiction of suicide" warning during the opening? Hmmm…
We feel good knowing we got at least one thing right when we shared our thoughts & predictions based on what the midseason trailer had to share. Except instead of working with Mr. Nimbus, it appears Rick and his "arch-nemesis" are back to… "arch-nemesis-ing" (???) that ends with Nimbus getting what he wants (Rick fortress being destroyed) and Rick getting what he wants (Nimbus the f**k out of his life).
As Rick's apologizing to Morty for blowing up his bunker, Cookie Magneto shows up… apparently another "arch-nemesis" of Rick's. And it's another "arch-nemesis" that Rick has no interest in engaging with… well, at least not yet. Thankfully, Rick leaves the scene long enough for Morty to ask some pretty important questions about how Cookie Magneto's powers actually work. And Morty's right… if he can control sugar, then we're having a different conversation.
Unfortunately, Rick chooses that moment to change his mind and engage Cookie Magneto in a very lethal way (though stopping with his lower legs… odd).
And while Morty is rightfully pissed, Rick counters by making it clear that he's had enough of these "90s-style goofball supervillains" coming after him & wasting his time (with a great The Tick reference). And that's when Morty hits Rick with the "maybe it's not the supervillains who have the problem but the person they each have in common." Which, as you can imagine, wasn't well-received by Rick.
That is until Mr. Calypso (we're assuming a "C" with the name) appears, looking to challenge Rick (and bringing a potty mouth with him)… giving Rick a reason to at least consider Morty's theory. Now, Mr. Calypso is an important key to keep in mind because it looks like we now know who's in that floating container that Rick has with him when he goes to meet with Dr. Wong (though we're not sure if Calypso is dead or on life support).
So it's clear we're getting some level of "Rick analysis" this go-around, which has us wondering if Rick is keeping Calypso alive out of some deeper psychological meaning. Of course, the creative team could really throw us for a loop if Dr. Wong turns out not to be Dr. Wong, but that's a whole other line of random speculation.
Wow! We kick things off in Dr. Wong's office, with Rick needing to know why everyone's coming after him. So Dr. Wong "dares" Rick to ignore his "arch-enemies" to prove that he's feeding into them.
HOLY CRAP! Who had "Jerry kicking as with a lawn flamingo" on their BINGO card?!?! BTW… "Piss Master"?!?!?
Interesting… so now Rick is becoming 'Dr. Wong" to Jerry and his new-found fame and power. And the family is brow-beating Rick into getting involved in making Jerry into a superhero. But how long was Rick really going to sit on the sidelines anyway?
Of course, "Flamingo Dad" Jerry Smith is stumbling into success by… getting involved. Oh, you can feel the rage seething inside of Rick. Is it because Rick's realizing that it might be more about him than just "engaging/ignoring" supervillains? A planet of Hitlers, by the way? Wow…
I'm guessing this is the Jerry Smith episode that Chris Parnell considers his favorite because this is definitely a different side of Jerry that we're seeing in this go-around. Watch this be a "virtual reality" episode… lol
Oh, wow. Dr. Wong sets some serious boundaries. And now, Rick's starting to realize that things are okay… and that's okay. And at that moment… Rick seemed… okay? Because he likes being "out"… right?
Oh, wow. Rick is feeling lost & alone and goes to find Piss Master… who took his own life. That was the punch to the heart I didn't see coming, not the follow-up with Piss Master's daughter. And in his suicide note, we learn that it was being humiliated on social media by Jerry that pushed him over the edge.
Rick takes over as Piss Master to give him a better reputation, allowing him to assume the role of one of his "arch-enemies" in what Dr. Wong considers to be a pretty decent therapeutic move.
And yet, in the end? Rick somehow still finds a way to stop himself from going down the hero path. And he does it in an epic way by actually carrying around Piss Master's suicide note and then waiting until the very worst moment to unburden himself of his "guilt"… and to Morty, of all people! And as surprised as I am to say this, I actually saw the ending as a chaotic yet positive one. Because while the family is still a long way away from getting to the heart of their issues and tackling them, we see them going through the messiness to get there, and there's something twistedly noble about that. But Rick's comfort with Dr. Wong is clearly the headline-grabber in this one.