SPOILER ALERT: Do not read until you have watched “Rick and Morty” Season 5, Episode 7, “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion.”
There is a lot going on in this week’s episode of “Rick and Morty,” “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion.” There are, obviously, the “Voltron” and titular “Neon Genesis Rickvangelion” riffs. There is the anime component, in general, leading right to a character named Naruto. There is the family focus, which of course manifests itself in both a “Goodfellas” riff while also invoking this season’s controversial giant space incest baby. Somehow, it all — and again, it is a lot — works together in this episode of “Rick and Morty.”
Surprisingly, “Rickdependence Spray” has become the most important episode of “Rick and Morty’s” fifth season so far. Because not only did its existence set the tone for more of the President’s presence in an episode like last week’s “Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular,” but this week, its giant incest baby makes for an integral part of the equation.
Unfortunately though — at least for Morty — the existence of “Rickdependence Spray” has not paved the way for the full Boob World experience. Though the theme song for Boob World is quite catchy: “Boob World / Boob World / It’s a world for you / But it’s actually two / Boob Woooorld.”
The episode kicks off with that catchy tune, as Rick, Morty, and Summer are all on their way to Boob World. Summer is “exstyched” — a combination of excited, stoked, and psyched — to be on her way to Boob World and is especially grateful to Morty for wanting her to tag along. Morty, on the other hand, did not want her to tag along, and really, his reaction to Summer in the opening scene kind of makes it so the rest of the episode is karma for him.
Instead, it was actually Rick’s idea to bring Summer along, as Boob World has apparently become more of a “boob empowerment experience” and they needed a female (Summer will do) to even get in for free. But while the prospect of Boob World remains on Morty’s mind throughout the episode, that is not actually the point of “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion.”
Instead, the plot officially gets into gear — and Summer becomes something other than a tool for Rick and Morty’s enjoyment — upon Rick stumbling on a planet with a Gotron Ferret, canceling their Boob World plans and instead moving on to something much cool: assembling all five of the Gotron Ferrets in the universe. From this point on, the episode turns into its “Goodfellas”-meets-mech cartoon mash-up, with Morty and Summer battling for voiceover supremacy. Actually, to be fair, Summer clearly has voiceover supremacy here — but she does let Morty take the reins throughout, since it’s literally all he has going for him as things progress.
(The final reveal that the voiceovers were the result of Morty and Summer having been latched on to by a parasitic race of aliens called “Voiceovarians” ends up being a nice touch and way to end all of this.)
As one can assume, assembling the five Gotron Ferrets (they’re large robot ferrets) forms a Voltron-type figure (called “Gotron”). And Rick cannot get enough of that. He immediately has color-coded suits made up for the family, then enlists a reluctant Beth and Jerry to join them on a Gotron adventure to stop a giant monster attacking another universe. (The post-credits epilogue explains more about said giant monster. Long story short: It came in peace.) Or, he tries to enlist them, as that’s actually what Summer does, in the way only Summer (or any member of the Smith family) can convince them to join in on this week’s adventure: She negs them.
“Oh my god, we made a giant incest baby,” she says in a condescending tone. “Oh my god, you might be a clone. I exist because you guys failed to abort me. We get the family we get, not the one we want. And if you wanna keep the one you got, get your asses into some anime space suits!” That’s truly all it takes to get Beth and Jerry on board.
It even works on Morty — who embarrasses himself by trying to say “excitoked,” which is not a thing. While not the target of Summer’s negging, he is so clearly being cast aside by Rick for Summer very early on in this episode. And that remains the conflict throughout, as Summer enables Rick (and the Republic of Rick) and his multi-dimensional Gotron plans even more and Rick shows her favor for doing so.
As the Smith-Sanchez family becomes more of a mob family (or a “Family”), Summer’s reasoning is that it’s a matter of putting “family first.” That’s somewhat difficult, with the Gotron operation involving five versions of the Smith-Sanchez family Gotron-ing all over the place — with the heads of “the five Families” being comprised of Rick, Big Fat Rick, Ricardo Montoya, Hothead Rick, and Little Ricky Wrap-it-up (who ends up replaced by Yo-Yo Rick) — as well as with the whole family becoming monsters the more Gotron power they get.
As Summer becomes more and more Rick’s figurative right-hand man — as well as his literal head of his Gotron right arm — Morty is driven further and further to the outskirts of the operation. Morty tries to tell Summer, “I know it feels good when he likes you, but that doesn’t mean him liking you makes you good.” But it ultimately falls on deaf ears.
And then the anime people come in. The original crew of the Gotron, they consider what Rick is doing “appropriation” and even try to get Morty to turn on the Family — using Boob Bucks as a persuasion tactic. However, as family is the key to this episode, Morty turns them down and escapes their clutches before they can kill him. But the damage is seemingly down to the Smith-Sanchez family altogether.
Aside from Morty, they’re all monsters — Beth even completely turns her back on Morty — and it’s not until Summer fires Beth and Jerry that things start to turn around. Rick then fires Summer —inadvertently bringing the vengeful anime people into the fold — and things get back to normal for the family. At least, outside of Rick’s tunnel vision, that is.
But as it turns out, normal for the family apparently means a reveal about Summer and the giant incest baby. While this episode really hammers home the point that the giant incest baby is more the result of the entire Smith family’s doing than it is just the Morty and Summer’s, Summer is the one who ends up taking the most responsibility for it, as she tells the story that’s gotten her so hellbent on family in the first place.
Apparently, the government contacted her a month ago to see the baby, in hopes that she could help turn him into a weapon. Instead, she bonded with him and helped him escape. Which is great news, because what could possibly take on the largest Gotron ever — and save Rick’s life — other than a giant space incest baby.
“Rickdependence Spray,” of all episodes, really was playing the long game.