Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 5 Review: Final DeSmithation

Rick and Jerry's Oedipal Adventure

Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 5
Photo: Adult Swim

This RICK AND MORTY review contains spoilers.

Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 5

One of the simplest, stupidest, and worst Rick and Morty episodes ever was last season’s Rickdependence Spray, which concerned itself with matters of Morty’s sperm turning giant and sentient. The humor was almost all of the gross-out variety and, well before the time everything coup de grâced with Morty’s sperm and one of his sister’s eggs producing an incest baby, it had hit a point of diminishing returns. So it’s sort of surprising that “Final DeSmithation,” another entry in the “unapologetically dumb” category of Rick and Morty episodes that also happens to feature the concept of incest looming over everything, is actually a lot of fun to watch.

It helps that, for one, the grosser stuff doesn’t really pile on until near the end in the form of a big, nasty, fortune-cookie-pooping alien. There’s also the possibility that Jerry might end up having sex with his mom floating around for nearly the entire episode runtime, but it’s only theoretical up until she actually shows up in the final act, at which point events transpire such that we are eventually subjected to Jerry and his mom’s blurred-out sex organs having a near-collision. Say, this was a fun paragraph, wasn’t it?

The central premise, though sparked by Jerry opening a fortune cookie at a Panda Express that foretells “You will have sex with your mother,” is, unlike the sperm episode’s, a lot cleverer than it initially lets on, leading Rick and Jerry down a fortune cookie rabbit hole, culminating in the discovery that the fortunes are being generated by the aforementioned pooping monster as part of a grand scheme to control fate. It’s funny; sometimes I got lost in more serious episodes about the Central Finite Curve and other such sci-fi whatsit, but it seems if you tie lofty concepts to stupid nonsense like monsters that shit out cookies, suddenly I’m a regular Stephen Hawking!

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This is one of those episodes where characters ramble off batshit high-concept stuff at speed, but somehow, it’s all followable. You can harness the power of the pooping fate monster by writing what you want to happen on a slip of paper and then putting it inside a pooped-out fortune cookie? Got it. Once you get a fortune from a cookie, as long as your fate hasn’t yet come to pass, you’re effectively immortal? Makes sense to me. The old guy who takes care of the pooping monster put a bunch of “You will have sex with your mother” fortunes out into the world in hopes someone would come investigate and liberate him and the monster from their forced labor? Why, of course, it’s the only explanation that makes sense!

There’s a freewheeling, absurd cleverness throughout “Final DeSmithation” and it extends to Rick’s sci-fi powers. As usual, Rick is pretty well in control of the situation, killing baddies and dodging death without breaking a sweat, but his methods this time are consistently fun to watch. I don’t think Rick has ever been this Inspector Gadget-like before, with robotic implants extending from all over his body to get he and Jerry out of different binds. From an extend-o-eye that reveals hidden cameras to an ability to duck his head into body to avoid bullets, there’s a great playfulness to all of Rick’s sci-fi abilities this time around, adding welcome charm to what could be more exhausting sequences of Rick effortlessly killing everybody.

Also charming is that this an episode that pairs up Rick and Jerry, which is a rare but almost always fun character permutation. Rick having to keep Jerry safe like he’s a dumb, defenseless puppy throughout the episode is cute as are his occasional attempts to joke around with Jerry and lighten the mood. Overall, these two bouncing off each other makes for funny stuff. (However, the post-credits tag joke, which features the rest of the family, is overlong and brings the episode down a tad.)

Last, but certainly not least, is that “Final DeSmithation” is elevated by a running gag about the theme from classic seventies sitcom, Taxi, because of, as Morty explains, a meme from a subculture on TikTok of kids who have decided the theme from Taxi slaps. I like this a lot because the theme from Taxi does, in fact, slap.

“Final DeSmithation” reminded me of the sentient sperm episode in how brazenly stupid and over-the-top it all is but, unlike the sperm episode, I laughed a bunch and found the escalating ridiculousness charming in its bonkers creativity. Plus, I love the Taxi theme. Finally, unlike with how things went in the sperm episode, this time the incest was narrowly avoided. We’ll call that the cherry on top.


4 out of 5