DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Rick and Morty episode “Rick: A Mort Well Lived” has spoilers. Prepare to question whether everyone’s Die Hard-ing and proceed at your peril.

Welcome to Blips and Chitz! “Rick: A Mort Well Lived” gives us another deep dive into the virtual reality game Rick and Morty played in “Mortynight Run.” This time, Rick becomes Roy, while all the non-player characters possess shards of Morty. Rick and Morty pays homage to Die Hard (which, fun fact, is said at least 40 times in this episode) as Summer faces off against a Hans Gruber-esque villain when terrorists seize control of Blips and Chitz. 

“Rick: A Mort Well Lived” is a standout episode, both creatively and narratively. It possesses the acid-tongued, acerbic, self-referential wit of the series while giving Summer the chance to shine like the badass she is. 

Ready to delve into “Rick: A Mort Well Lived”? Let’s get to it. 

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BLIPS AND CHITZ!

We open smack dab in the middle of the action as our fave grandfather-grandson sci-fi duo winds up in the virtual reality game Roy: A Life Well Lived at Blips and Chitz. We learn from Rick (Justin Roiland), who plays the eponymous Roy, that terrorists overtook the space arcade. The power went out, the game restarted and Morty became stuck in the world of Roy. Now, each non-player character (also voiced by Roiland) is one five-billionth of Morty. Rick must get Morty out of the game before he dies in real life. 

I love that the episode opens with the non-player characters, allowing us to sit in confusion for a bit before Rick, as Roy, provides some exposition. I wondered why all the characters sounded like Morty for a hot minute. 

Everyone assumes Roy is a religious leader, not their grandfather. Let us all bow down before Roy, for we are Morty, his grandson. 

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Meanwhile, outside the game, Summer (Spencer Grammer) attempts to defend the arcade from the terrorists. Is she doing a Die Hard? Oh, 100 percent. 

Summer crawls through the air vents while holding a walkie-talkie on Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 2, "Rick: A Mort Well Lived."

RICK AND MORTY — Season 6 Episode 2, “Rick: A Mort Well Lived.”

“What you don’t have is a head.”

Back in the game, a character named Marta defiantly tells her parents she’s Morty, and we see her dressing like Morty. Jons (Peter Dinklage), clearly a play on “Hans” as in Hans Gruber, demands to know if anyone else still lurks in the arcade while they complete their hostile takeover. Jons informs the arcade owner that his primary interest is the location of the establishment’s safe. After the owner explains they exchange tokens for digital currency, Jons decapitates him.

Next, Rick/Roy gathers some Mortys to prepare for their exit from the game. Unfortunately, a handful of soldiers attempt to prevent said exit, citing the group’s “religious zealotry.” Thankfully, Marta persuades the soldiers to stand down, reminding them that they, too, are Morty.  

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Summer squashes one of Jons’s goons and comes in contact with the crime boss via a walkie-talkie. Jons believes Summer’s doing a Die Hard, even though we heard her tell Rick earlier that she’d never seen the iconic ’80s cult classic. Summer crawls through the arcade’s vents, thereby participating in the said Die Hard-ing. We learn from Jons that countless planets have adopted Die Hard as a way of living — guiding texts by which they abide. These planets even have different names for the film. Methinks Rick and Morty needs to delve deep into the almost theological studies of Die Hard. Turn that sh*t into a college course.

Aw, geez

Meanwhile, Rick rallies his Mortys in the video game, while those who oppose the belief they’re all one five-billionths of the same person fight back with ferocity. Is this the show’s way of saying we should unify as humans, that we harbor more similarities than differences? I’m here for it. 

Marta becomes Rick’s right-hand Morty. He invites her father to stay with them after Marta learns her mother has passed away. That’s a small portion of Morty that just died. 

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Summer attacks Jons and his henchmen, and at that moment, Jons realizes Summer is the ultimate McClane. Rick and Marta meet with the president to explain their case and their plan to escape the game. Despite Mr. President’s claims he discovered the truth long before Marta, he refuses to leave. 

After coming to terms with the president’s refusal to depart, Rick and Marta present their plans to world leaders, all parts of a 14-year-old boy who loves pizza and masturbation. Marta seems keen on staying now, while the world leaders lean more toward staying put. It’s funny watching Morty essentially argue with himself through various conduits. 

Rick sits in a serene field and meditates on Rick and Morty.

RICK AND MORTY — This photo isn’t from the episode, but isn’t it pretty? Could you imagine if the episode was 22 minutes of Rick sitting in a serene field?

A Good Marta Goes to War

Once allies with Rick/Roy, Marta goes to war against him. We see global destruction spread pervasively over the decades, with fire and brimstone overtaking the environs of Roy: A Life Well Lived. Then, an older Marta finally squares off against Rick/Roy, who sends an artificial version of himself to battle the oppositional leader. Marta kills robot Roy, second-guessing whether she jinxed Summer’s efforts in the real world. 

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Summer engages in a shoot-out with Jons and his mafia buddies. Jons reminds his goons that they don’t have to do everything by the Die Hard playbook. Amid their skirmish, Jons discovers Rick and Morty’s bodies while they’re still trapped in Roy: A Life Well Lived

Next, older Marta stands on a cliff overlooking a decimated piece of land. Marta’s daughter rebels against her, wondering why they’re fighting. She wants to reside in the real world with Roy and help Summer with her “Die Hard.” Instead of putting up a fight, Marta lets her daughter go free.

Help Summer Die Hard

Later, Marta visits her dying father, who believes they’re leaving the game. However, Marta breaks the news shortly before he passes — they’re staying. Marta finds an older-looking Rick/Roy lounging in the sun. He tells her he can’t hold out much longer. He was hoping to take at least half of the Mortys home. Marta allows all of Morty to depart with Rick/Roy. May they all assist Summer with her Die Hard-ing. 

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Summer waves the white flag, emerging from her hideout with her hands raised. We see a gun taped to her back, still Die Hard-ing. I love that Jons was reading a book titled The Nakatomi Paradigm, which Summer read while dropping a deuce. While the pair laugh momentarily amid their stand-off, we see the Mortys board a spaceship within the game to head home. 

Rick and Morty stand in front of the "Roy: A Life Well Lived" virtual reality game at Blips and Chitz on Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 2, "Rick: A Mort Well Lived."

RICK AND MORTY — Season 6 Episode 2, “Rick: A Mort Well Lived.”

Yippee dippee do, baby!

“Yippee dippee do, baby!” Summer yells while withdrawing the gun from behind her back. At that moment, Morty and Rick awaken. Then, the goon Summer shot earlier taps her on the shoulder, revealing he didn’t used to be “like this.” “I ate a kid,” he says, which is a nod to the “I shot a kid” line in Die Hard. The henchman transforms into a monster, consuming Jons and flying away. We see the other goon escape. 

Morty gleefully reveals he trusts Rick implicitly, making Summer suspicious. Rick reassures her that Morty is a-okay while he glances at the game with regret. Later, we see two Blipz and Chitz workers place Roy: A Life Well Lived in a storage facility, officially retiring it from customer play. Rick ordered them to keep the game running, as Marta, one small part of Morty, still lives inside the game. He doesn’t want that fragment of his grandson to die. 

In the end-credit scene, we see a creature of the same species as Jons standing in the blustering, snowy cold with signage stating, “I hate everybody.” Two men spy on him from afar, debating the sign’s meaning. One of them confesses he misses Jons. 

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“Rick: A Mort Well Lived” holds a treasure trove of Die Hard references, even morphing it into an ardent way of living for its steadfast devotees. The addition of Peter Dinklage to the voice cast is a delightful surprise. I’m sad he died so quickly. 

This outing’s unique premise and brilliant execution make me love it, but all the Die Hard nods take it up a notch. Bravo. It forever changes Morty, as that piece of him remains inside the game in perpetuity. We could already see how it affected him after he emerged from said game. Here’s hoping Rick and Morty explores that down that line. 

May we all help Summer with her Die Hard-ing, and may Blips and Chitz rebuild after the destruction wrought by Jons and his crew. 

Rick and Morty drops new episodes every Sunday at 11 pm on your Adult Swim affiliate. 

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