Rick Potion No. 9

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"Rick Potion #9"
Rick and Morty episode
Episode no.Season 1
Episode 6
Directed byStephen Sandoval
Written byJustin Roiland
Featured music"Look on Down from the Bridge" by Mazzy Star
Original air dateJanuary 27, 2014 (2014-01-27)
Running time21 minutes
Episode chronology
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"Meeseeks and Destroy"
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"Rick Potion #9" is the sixth episode of Rick and Morty. It premiered on Adult Swim on January 27, 2014, was written by Justin Roiland, and directed by Stephen Sandoval. In the episode, a love potion goes wrong, creating a virus that begins to infect the entire world population, making everyone fall in love with Morty. The episode received critical acclaim, receiving praise for its story, subplot, and ending. It was seen by 1.7 million viewers at first airing.[1] The title of the episode is in reference to the 1959 song "Love Potion No. 9" by the Clovers.

Plot[edit]

Morty has a long-term crush on Jessica, a teenage girl at his school. On the night of the Flu Season Dance at his school, his desire leads him to ask Rick for a love serum, and Rick acquiesces, giving him a serum derived from vole hormones. Upon Morty giving Jessica (who, unbeknownst to Morty, has the flu) the serum, it latches onto the flu virus and goes airborne, spreading through the entire planet in a matter of minutes and causing every person not directly related to Morty to fall in love with him. Only Morty's relatives, including Rick, are unaffected. In an attempt to counteract the DNA used in the original serum, Rick makes an antidote from mantis DNA, but the serum fails, instead causing the world's population to mutate into monstrous mantis-people, all of whom want to eat Morty after mating with him.

As these events transpire, Jerry, feeling insecure about his relationship with Beth, follows her to work after she is called in for a late shift. En route, Jerry finds the road blocked by the chaos created by the mantis-people; when they attempt to force Morty's whereabouts out of him, he escapes and kills them with a shotgun. Arriving at the equine hospital at which Beth works, he finds Beth cornered by her raving, infected co-worker; after Jerry kills him with a crowbar, the two reconcile their marriage.

Hiding from the infected population in the desert, Rick makes a third serum to undo all the previous ones. But as the serum was amalgamated from various DNA sources, it only further mutates the world's population into barely humanoid blobs. Morty angrily blames Rick for causing the disaster, although Rick points out that the situation occurred because Morty wanted to "roofie" Jessica. Dubbing the monstrosities "Cronenbergs" (a reference to famous director of body horror films David Cronenberg), Rick decides the situation is beyond repair. Rather than attempt to fix the world, he scans the multiverse to find another universe nearly identical to their own in which alternate versions of himself and Morty managed to find a solution and avert the mutation pandemic, but perished soon after. Rick and Morty enter the new reality (Dimension C-131), bury their alternate selves in the backyard and quietly assume their place. The episode ends with Morty visibly traumatized by the transpired events and his counterpart's gruesome death, set to the song "Look on Down from the Bridge" by Mazzy Star.

In a post-credits scene, Jerry, Beth, and Summer are the sole unmutated humans left in the ruined Cronenberg-infested world. As Summer reenacts scenes from Jaws, Jerry and Beth admit they are happier with both Rick and Morty gone. Meanwhile, Cronenberg versions of Rick and Morty appear from a dimension where Cronenberg Rick accidentally turned the whole world into normal people.

Reception[edit]

Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode of B+, reserving particularly strong praise for what they saw as a "deconstruction of the creepiness of the love potion trope".[2] Joe Matar of the website Den of Geek liked the episode, saying that while it wasn't as funny as the previous episode, it had a wonderfully dark ending, and that he enjoyed Jerry's action hero subplot.[3] David Roa of Dead Screen loved the ending, saying that "while it was very Deus ex machina, it was still satisfying." He compared it to how people treat the planet, and just move to a new location after destroying where they live.[4] An author for the website Junkie Monkeys said that the episode was his second favorite up until that point, behind only “Anatomy Park”.[5] Noel Davila from the website Geeks Under Grace rated the episode 8.6 out of 9.0, saying the episode is "one of the greatest and arguably most impactful episodes to the entire series mythology". He appreciated the relationship dynamics in this episode and said that it did a great job in combining high-concept scientific theory with their extremely dark humour.[6]

Justin Roiland has called this his favorite episode of the first half of the first season, both because he thought it was paced well, and due to the fact that he loved how insane it got in the end.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (2014-01-28). "Monday Cable Ratings: Monday Night Raw Tops Night + Love & Hip Hop, Fast and Loud, Single Ladies & More". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  2. ^ Handlen, Zack (2014-01-27). "Rick And Morty: "Rick Potion #9"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2022-02-07.
  3. ^ Matar, Joe (2014-01-28). "Rick and Morty: Rick Potion #9 review". Den of Geek. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  4. ^ Roa, David (2014-01-28). "Rick and Morty: S1E6 "Rick Potion #9"". Dead Screen. Archived from the original on 2014-03-26. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  5. ^ M., William (2014-01-28). "Rick and Morty "Rick Potion #9" Episode Review". Junkie Monkeys. Retrieved 2014-03-25.
  6. ^ Davila, Noel (17 September 2019). "REVIEW: RICK AND MORTY – SEASON 1, EPISODE 6". Geeks Under Grace. Noel Davila. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  7. ^ Roiland, Justin (2014-03-10). "We are Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland creators of Rick and Morty on adult swim NEW EPISODE TONIGHT MARCH 10 ON ADULT SWIM!!! AUA! Even about our personal secret stuff too!". Reddit. Retrieved 2014-04-18.

External links[edit]