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"Total Rickall"
Season 2, Episode 4
Total Rickall
Production Information
DIRECTED BY Juan Meza-Leon
WRITTEN BY Mike McMahan
Broadcast Information
PREMIERE DATE August 16, 2015
RATINGS 1.96[1]
NETWORK PREMIERE [adult swim]
Chronology
"Auto Erotic Assimilation" "Get Schwifty"

"Total Rickall" is the fourth episode of the second season of Rick and Morty. It is the fifteenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on August 16, 2015. It was written by Mike McMahan and directed by Juan Meza-Leon.

Synopsis

The family battles a parasite that implants fake memories into their heads, which leads them to wonder if their friend Mr. Poopybutthole is real.

Plot

The Smith Family is having breakfast with Jerry's brother, Uncle Steve, when Jerry receives an email about purchased plane tickets. Uncle Steve then admits that he bought them as a thank you to the family for letting him stay for the past year. When Rick comes into the room, he doesn't know who Uncle Steve is, and the family rebuffs him, claiming that Uncle Steve has stayed with them for the past year. Rick then pulls out a laser pistol and fatally wounds Uncle Steve who turns out to be a monstrous figure. While the Smith family is shocked that Uncle Steve wasn't real, Rick informs them that he was a parasite, an alien species that survive and multiply by implanting fake memories into people's head. He tells them to be aware of "wacky, zany characters that suddenly appear" and is encouraged by a newly introduced zany Mr. Poopybutthole.

In the living room, Rick makes a sign saying that there should only be 6 people in the house: Rick, Beth, Morty, Jerry, Mr. Poopybutthole, and Summer. Saying that they can't take chances of letting parasites out of the house, he activates blast shields that keep people from coming in or out of the house, much to the chagrin of the rest of the family. Mr. Poopybutthole encourages the family to remember the time the family got stuck in an elevator and were freed by "Cousin Nicky". The memory flashback causes a parasite to multiply and Cousin Nicky is shown in the room. After looking at the sign, Rick shoots Cousin Nicky in the shoulder, which turns him into a dead parasite. After another memory flashback, a Nazi as well as a butler named Mr. Beauregard appear. As more and more memory flashbacks occur, more and more parasite characters appear (such as Frankenstein's Monster, a man named Sleepy Gary who is Beth's husband, food themed warriors, etc.). Rick starts to become irritated at the surplus of parasites, and insults them all while they attempt to persuade Rick to disable the blast shields. After being goaded into having a flashback of having a barbecue with more characters, he is pushed over the edge. As arguing ensues, Jerry has suspicions that he is a parasite and confides in Sleepy Gary, who he truly believes is Beth's husband. Comforting him, Sleeping Gary implants a memory of he and Jerry having an affair while on a vacation, making the latter believe that they are in love.

As he insults more and more parasites, the aliens start to turn suspicion onto Rick, manipulating the false memories in the Smiths to turn them against him. The Smiths constantly attempt to persuade Rick into freeing everyone from the household. After refusing, the parasites beat up Rick and steal the watch that controls the blast shield. After Rick insults the Smith Family (mostly Morty) for not trusting him, Morty takes Rick's gun. Unable to kill Rick in front of a parasite named Pencilvestyr, some parasites and Morty take him out to the garage. After insulting and being insulted by Rick, Morty shoots a parasite, having come to the realization that the parasites only create pleasant memories. He was able to know that Rick was real by all the terrible memories of him.

Coming back into the house, Rick and Morty explain the plan to expose the parasites, and they expose one named Mrs. Refrigerator. Mrs. Refrigerator attempts to prove that she was in an unpleasant memory by passing off a rollercoaster ride as screaming torment. Beth tells Mrs. Refrigerator that rollercoaster rides are more thrilling than unpleasant, and Mrs. Refrigerator goes into a panic and is shortly killed and exposed as a memory parasite. Morty then validates Summer's existence as he recalls her kicking him in the groin when she accuses him of going into her room, despite Morty protesting his innocence while cringing on the ground. Summer then remembers when she asked her drunk mother to take her to school for picture day, and gets a black eye when Beth accidentally hits her with a wine bottle (and as they kill parasites, confirms Morty is real by remembering accidentally walking in on him masturbating in the kitchen). Beth kills Sleepy Gary, sending Jerry into a depression, asking Beth to kill him so they can be together in death. To her chagrin, Beth remembers a memory when Jerry was being chased by a homeless man and locks himself inside the car, leaving Beth to fend for herself. Back downstairs, Rick comes across Pencilvester and has such fond "memories" of him, that he can't bring himself to kill him. Rick then asks Morty to kill Pencilvester. After killing Mr. Beauregard, Rick jokes that he did the butler, though Ghost in a Jar is the only one who gets it. Rick thanks Ghost in a Jar before shooting him as well, and eventually all the parasites are destroyed.

The family and Mr. Poopybutthole then sit down for dinner. Beth, being suspicious of the lack of bad memories of Mr. Poopybutthole, pulls out a ray gun and blasts him. However, it turns out that Mr. Poopybutthole is actually real, as instead of reverting into a parasite, he is blasted into a wall and begins bleeding out from the wound in his torso. The family calls an ambulance, while Beth runs into the kitchen. Panicked, she pours a glass of wine with very shaky hands and downs it with eyes almost blinded with tears.

The after credits scene reveals that Mr. Poopybutthole is alive and recovering in physical therapy. The nurse informs the family that Mr. Poopybutthole does not wish to see them right now, and the nurse tells them that he is sorry that "They didn't have any unpleasant memories of him."

Characters

Major Characters

Minor Characters

Alien Parasites

Deaths

Songs

Trivia

  • This episode features an edited version of the opening, with Mr. Poopybutthole in all the scenes.
    • Although this intro may seem to make Mr. Poopybutthole look like a parasite, it actually foreshadows that he's real because most of the opening scenes are considered "bad memories."
  • The episode is inspired by the addition of Dawn's character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One of the writers found the idea of implanting memories as though someone has always been there horrifying.[2]
  • In one of the false memories, Rick is seen preparing to hoard a collection of limited edition Nintendo 3DS. Rick's voice actor Justin Roiland actually did this in real life.[3]
  • At the beginning of the episode, Rick is seen dumping a bunch of glowing green rocks into a trash can. These were the same rocks that he collected at the end of the episode Mortynight Run.
  • Strangely, it is unclear why Rick didn't write down the names of the original six on the paper as well, so that he would instantly know who was fake.
    • One possible explanation is that the parasites might've been able to alter the memories of the original family's names, coercing them into killing each other.
  • When Rick kills Ghost in a Jar he takes him out of the jar and kills him separately. Other characters who have foreign objects as a part of them die with the objects, that are a part of the alien parasite.

Cultural References

  • The title of this episode is a play on "Total Recall," a movie where implanting pleasant (but fake) memories into one's mind is a form of entertainment.
  • Sleepy Gary told Rick that Frankenstein wasn't really Frankenstein, but Frankenstein's monster. This is a reference to the widely common mistake that the famous monster, who started off as a character in Mary Shelly's book, is named Frankenstein. Frankenstein is actually the name of the Doctor who created him, Dr. Viktor Frankenstein. The monster itself wasn't actually given a name.
  • The false memories are set up and delivered very similarly to Family Guy's famous cutaway gags.
  • Rick was making cheeseburgers in one flashback, and he said that it reminded him of that Tom Cruise movie where he was making drinks. He didn't remember the name of it, and when he tried to remember it, he came to the conclusion that the name of it was "Cuisine". He was wrong about this, however. The real name of the movie he was thinking of was Cocktail.
  • Several of Rick's weapons resemble firearms from the Halo franchise, particularly the Rocket Launcher (SPNKR) and the MA5 Assault Rifle.
  • The parasites using human appearance and memories is similar to Worms, another known species of alien parasites, who are the main antagonists of the past Japanese tokusatsu program, Kamen Rider Kabuto.

Transcript

View a full transcript of the episode here.

Gallery

Rick and Morty Promo
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References

Site navigation

ve Rick and Morty Episodes
Seasons
Season 1 PilotLawnmower DogAnatomy ParkM. Night Shaym-Aliens!Meeseeks and DestroyRick Potion #9Raising GazorpazorpRixty MinutesSomething Ricked This Way ComesClose Rick-counters of the Rick KindRicksy Business
Season 2 A Rickle in TimeMortynight RunAuto Erotic AssimilationTotal RickallGet SchwiftyThe Ricks Must Be CrazyBig Trouble in Little SanchezInterdimensional Cable 2: Tempting FateLook Who's Purging NowThe Wedding Squanchers
Season 3 The Rickshank RickdemptionRickmancing the StonePickle RickVindicators 3: The Return of WorldenderThe Whirly Dirly ConspiracyRest and RicklaxationTales from the CitadelThe ABC's of Beth • TBA

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