Rick and Morty Season 3 Episode 5 “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy”


Rick and Jerry go on an adventure, while Beth finds a way to ruin Morty’s day off from Rick. Oh, and Summer is now a 50-foot tall skinless monster.

Let’s get the non-Rick and Jerry conversation out of the way early, because the biggest revelations in this episode happen away from Earth, which is where Morty, Beth, and Summer are for the entire episode.

Thanks to an off-screen guilt trip by Morty to Rick, he has secured himself a day off from Rick’s adventures. That day off is ruined when Summer comes home crying because apparently she got dumped by her boyfriend so he could date a girl with giant stripper titties.

Beth is uninterested in her daughter’s plight and even refuses to tell Summer than she is pretty. Beth is solely focused on her hoof collage, which Morty has pointed out is clearly a weird thing to be making. Apparently, it isn’t illegal, though.

Beth’s decision to not deal with her kids and instead focus on her work at hand is clearly her trying to become more like her father, someone who is able to spurn emotional connections for science or literally anything else. Beth thinks this makes Rick strong. But of course, she is only able to focus on something like a hoof collage instead of high concept science because…well…she isn’t as smart as she thinks she is.

Summer gets the great idea to use one of Rick’s machines to make her boobs bigger, and of course, it backfires and turns her into a bulbous monster. Morty and Beth run outside to help, and Beth decides that she is going to fix it just like her dad would. Morty correctly points out that no one knows what they’re doing and they should call Rick, but instead, Beth just starts pressing buttons. Eventually, she’s turned Beth into a giant, inside out skinless monster. Which isn’t good for a teenage girl with body image issues.

Morty then goes all in on Beth, which parallels what eventually happens with Rick and Jerry. Morty explains that Beth is already exactly like Rick in that she’s “just as arrogant and just as irresponsible”. Morty angrily explains that pretending to be Rick isn’t going to keep Rick around if he wants to leave again, but it will drive away everyone she cares about.

Beth actually listens to Morty, which shows how much Morty has evolved as a character who can command attention from adults now, and they set off to find Summer, who has stormed off to go interrupt a date between her ex-boyfriend and his new big boobed girlfriend.

Beth continues to argue that she’s not some typical mother-type figure on the way to find Summer, but once they arrive, Beth morphs herself into a giant, skinless beast as well, and convinces Summer to calm down. The two share a moment and reconnect as mother and daughter.

Morty, however, shows off a new side of himself that we haven’t seen yet. He uses Rick’s machine to warp Summer’s ex into a monster as punishment for making her cry. Sure, we’ve seen Morty kill a sentient fart cloud, take part in a purge, and even shoot Rick…but those were emotional moments driven by high tension. In this scene, Morty calmly makes himself a s’more and explains to the young man what is going to happen. It was kind of a dark moment for Morty.

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Could this be the evolution beginning into Dark Morty, as some fans have speculated about this season? It’s another example of a character growth that shows Morty becoming more and more used to bad situations, whether he’s deactivating a neutrino bomb, watching his heroes get murdered, or using a genetically engineered arm to murder people in a wasteland. How deep down this hole will Morty go?

The other storyline involves Rick taking Jerry out on a mercy mission. Jerry thinks that Rick has come to kill him because Jerry is the most sad-sack person in the universe. Rick tells Jerry that they’re going on an adventure together so Jerry can get a win, which makes Jerry feel even worse, of course.

The two end up at a resort with an immortality field, meaning that no one on the property that’s inside the field can die. This is the perfect place to take the universe’s weakest being in Jerry. The two share some drinks and seem to have a bit of a connection with each other until one of Rick’s enemies grabs Jerry and explains that he needs help killing Rick.

At first, Jerry doesn’t want to help, but then when Rick starts verbally jabbing on Jerry about his failed marriage to Beth, Jerry decides to go ahead and help kill Rick. Then, last minute, Rick opens up to Jerry and apologizes for being a catalyst that assisted in ruining their marriage. So of course, Jerry changes his mind and saves Rick, and in the ensuing battle the resort is destroyed and people die.

When the dust settles, Rick has figured out what happened and that Jerry tried to set him up. For a moment, we think that Rick is going to let Jerry die in the mouth of this giant worm…thing…that is currently eating him. Jerry gets desperate and lashes out at Rick, calling him a “self-righteous piece of s***” and accusing him of stealing his family. Jerrys can get a little confrontational when backed into a corner like this.

Of course, Rick immediately kills Jerry’s “heroic” last stand, by unloading on Jerry about his weaponized pity party, and does a great job of highlighting all the reasons Jerry sucks.

“I took YOUR family? Who do you think had more taken from them when you shot 20 cc’s of liquid dream-killer into my daughter? She was RICK’S daughter, Jerry. She had OPTIONS. 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. That’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 s***, he never gets a break! I can’t stand the deafeningly silent wails of his wilting soul! I guess I’ll hire him or marry him!”

Of course, Rick doesn’t let Jerry die, he saves him and the two ride off together to catch a ride off the planet. While getting on the spaceship, Rick is tagged as a security threat because of augmented internal parts. We get a brief flash of these modifications, and we’ll talk more about them in a future article.

The security agents inject a dumbing agent into Rick, making him a non-threat for about 6 hours. He wants some cookies and to watch a 90 minute cut of Avatar. Jerry takes this opportunity with dumbed down Rick to pick on him, threaten him with violence, and call him stupid. Anyway, to get a win, I suppose. But this moment highlights the reason’s Jerry is indeed a predator. He takes any opportunity he can to prey on people and can feign confidence while doing it. He already lashed out at Rick only to get shut down, and he doesn’t do it again until Rick is unable to retaliate.

Of course, at this moment, Rick and Jerry are set upon by Rick’s enemies again, and they plan to shoot Rick and leave Jerry alive because “you’re no threat to me, Jerry, or anyone.” The next few seconds are full of Jerry getting called all the things that Rick has said to him over the years, causing Jerry to again lash out and try to be “triumphantly brave” and stop the creature from killing Rick.

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Jerry obviously fails and immediately begins begging for his life and is saved not by Rick, but by the ship entering a black hole and all of space and time merging together. Then when they unmerge, Rick is better and can save the day.

This was probably the most un-dark episode of the season, despite being full of moments where two characters really hash out some pent up feelings. Rick shows that he doesn’t hate Jerry, he just hates him being with Beth because he holds them back. Morty lets off steam towards Beth for making all the same mistakes that Rick makes, and how it’s going to ruin the family.

At the end, Beth and Jerry both grow a little bit towards not being the worst versions of themselves. Beth reconnects with her kids and has a nice family bonding moment. Jerry decides not to come inside the house despite the invitation from Rick because he doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him.

Of course, Jerry immediately regresses into asking to come inside since he doesn’t have his bus pass, but Rick doesn’t let him. Nor should he. Jerry needs to follow through with his new found self-confidence and stop being the constant victim.

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So now, halfway through season 5, we’ve had all the characters make major breakthroughs with their emotions, most famously, Pickle Rick getting a verbal smackdown from a shrink. With 5 episodes remaining, where will this take the characters? Will Beth and Jerry end up together regardless, as we saw in the episode where there were alternate dimension glasses? Or will Rick be able to keep them apart? And will Morty turn evil? Or has he just become jaded?