DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Rick and Morty episode “Bethic Twinstinct” has spoilers. Prepare for Smith family drama, and proceed at your peril.
Wubba lubba dub-dub! “Bethic Twinstinct,” a play on Basic Instinct, brings Rick and Morty home for a hot minute. We seldom get slower, more character-driven outings amid all the space shenanigans, so this episode is a nice palate cleanser. Well, in that respect. Beth having sex with herself might be incestuous? Or does it count if one of them is a clone and not technically related? Regardless, it’s one giant metaphor for self-love in its Rick and Morty way, so that’s cool.
Ready to delve into “Bethic Twinstinct”? Let’s get to it.
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A Tale of Two Beths
We open with Morty (Justin Roiland) trying out a new video game console while Rick (also Roiland) slams into the sliding glass door as a turkey. He resumes human form instantly before entering the house in his birthday suit. It’s Thanksgiving, and the Smith/Sanchez clan is having dinner together. Rick and Morty join Summer (Spencer Grammer), Beth (Sarah Chalke), Space Beth (also Chalke) and Jerry (Chris Parnell) for the festivities.
Jerry delivers a toast, putting inexplicable emphasis on the fact that should he lose Beth in any way, he would end his life. His family chalks it up to Jerry being Jerry.
Later, Beth and Space Beth chat in the kitchen. There are definite sparks between the two Beths. Beth apologizes for Jerry’s eccentricities, while Space Beth unveils a bottle of special Venusian wine to drink with her clone. Space Beth inserts a chip into Beth’s neck, allowing her to speak French fluently. It’s getting hot and heavy in here, folks.
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Meanwhile, Rick, Morty and Summer play a less than enthralling video game. Outside, Beth gives Space Beth a massage, and just as they’re about to kiss, they hear a noise. Inside, Summer inadvertently observes the scene unfolding between her two moms.
Then, Morty watches Rick and Summer play a Street Fighter knockoff game, Gettin’ to a Street Fight. It’s all the mundane stuff leading to the street fight! Rick’s character is named Kickpuncher, a reference to a film franchise Abed Nadir and Troy Barnes love on Community. Considering Dan Harmon‘s involvement in this show, the nod is no surprise.
Jerry brings out a horse-themed jigsaw puzzle to assemble by himself, which is sad.
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The two Beths reveal they’re traveling to the Gloppy Drop system for some ice cream and ask their family if they’d like some. Obviously, this is code for “we’re gonna do it in space,” and Summer and Rick pick up on it. Sure enough, Space Beth and Beth get it on, and when they arrive home, they realize they forgot the ice cream. That’s when Morty spies the Beths making out in SB’s spaceship.
Bionic Space Whales and Gloppy Drop Ice Cream
While Summer and Morty process what they bore witness to, Beth approaches her father for advice. Rick constructs a controller from a bionic whale. He and Beth speak in veiled terms regarding Beth’s affair with, erm, herself. Rick seems to give it the green light. Hey, Rick has definitely fooled around with himself. All those Ricks out there in the multiverse? Before Beth departs, Rick gives her a container of Gloppy Drop ice cream from his freezer.
Later, Beth and Space Beth make snow angels and kiss on the roof. Noting the two Beths’ absence, Jerry asks his kids where they are. Morty and Summer distract Jerry with a new video game about having an affair, which feels too on the nose, kids.
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Next, Rick, Morty and Summer find the two Beths in Rick’s Holodeck. Rick accuses the pair of doing a “San Junipero” (a name of a Black Mirror episode). Morty and Summer believe Jerry should know the truth, but Space Beth tells everyone to fork off.
Everyone enjoys some Gloppy Drop ice cream at the dinner table. The kids inhale it, much to Jerry’s annoyance. Space Beth nonchalantly discloses her affair with Beth, culminating in Jerry retreating into a shell like a bug. Jerry having a bug shell feels on brand for him. It’s something Rick forgot he installed.
Rick informs his family that this was at Jerry’s behest, and only he can “unroll” when he chooses. So, Rick Morty and Summy return to their new game console while the two Beths have a heart-to-heart. Beth loves her husband as much as she loves Space Beth. However, it might be time to part ways.
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Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort (Episode Callback!)
Thus, the Beths ask Rick to erase their memories of each other. It’s all Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind up in here. Jerry finally unrolls, urging the Beths not to go through with this. He commences packing his belongings, claiming now Beth can marry Space Beth. However, the two Beths prevent him from leaving, and the trio partakes in a questionable threesome, much to Morty and Summer’s dismay. There’s lots of crying at the dinner table as they overhear everything. I predict a lengthy therapy session is on their horizon.
Later, Space Beth departs, and it seems all is right between Beth and Jerry. Well, maybe. Perhaps Beth will still pine for good ole SB, a.k.a. herself. Rick ventures into the kitchen, unlocking an invisible cabinet filled with liquor and wine from other worlds. He picks up the bottle of Venusian wine Beth and Space Beth consumed, puts it back in the cupboard and destroys the gadget utilized to access said cabinet. Hm. Something tells me the wine made them fall in love.
In the end-credit scene, Jerry travels to the Jerryboree to visit the abandoned Jerrys therein. However, the woman at the desk refuses to let him see them because, without supervision from a Rick and Morty, the Jerrys tend to get handsy with each other. Dejected, Jerry seeks solace from another Jerry in an alleyway. They give each other a quick peck on the lips, and that’s that. Jerry’s had his fill of himself.
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“Bethic Twinstinct” is all about the Smith/Sanchez family drama. It’s lighthearted, fun and brimming with pop culture references. It’s proof Rick and Morty doesn’t have to be an incessant mishmash of action sequences and plot-heavy narratives (not that I don’t enjoy those).
Will we see Space Beth again? I hope so. Maybe Beth will run off with herself, and they’ll San Junipero it. It’s not narcissistic to love yourself. That’s called self-love, baby!
Rick and Morty drops new episodes every Sunday at 11 pm on your Adult Swim affiliate.
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