DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Rick and Morty episode “Final DeSmithation” has spoilers. Prepare to accept your fortune and proceed at your peril. 

Wubba lubba dub-dub! “Final DeSmithation” brings Rick and Jerry together for a strange and unusual adventure. Rick and Jerry-centric episodes are always a good time. Who knew that an unfortunate fortune cookie prophesizing incest would culminate in a battle with a Gwyneth Paltrow-type CEO of a powerful fortune cookie empire? This outing explores the concept of fate, and while it’s well-trodden territory, it’s still fun as all get-out.

Ready to delve into “Final DeSmithation”? Let’s get to it. 

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“You will sleep with your mom … in bed.”

We open with Rick (Justin Roiland), joining Beth (Sarah Chalke), Morty (also Roiland), Summer (Spencer Grammer) and Jerry (Chris Parnell) for dinner at Panda Express. Rick expresses annoyance at Morty and Summer for changing his ringtone to the theme song from Taxi. Morty claims this song now “slaps,” particularly among TikTok users. Everyone read their fortunes, which mostly smack of generic blandness. 

Well, except for Jerry. According to his fortune, he will sleep with his mom. Later that evening, while lying in bed, Jerry asks Beth for permission to vomit the remnants of the cursed fortune cookie. We hear him retching in the bathroom, but nothing surfaces. 

Jerry looks shocked while his yellow shirt glows and a blue, purple, and teal background sparkles behind him in Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 5, "Final Desmithation."

RICK AND MORTY — Season 6 Episode 5, “Final DeSmithation.”

The following day, Jerry’s family pokes fun at him for taking the fortune cookie thing seriously. Beth urges Jerry to snap out of it as they plan to embark on a family trip to the zoo in an hour. Naturally, Summer and Morty seize the moment to give Jerry sh*t about his unfortunate fortune by playing pranks on him. Well, that and because he’s Jerry. 

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Space Beth (also Chalke) arrives to take the family to the zoo, but Rick and Jerry stay behind. Once the zoogoers depart, Rick confesses that he validates Jerry’s misgivings about his incestuous fortune. He believes that fortune holds more power than anyone realizes. After conducting a test involving Jerry deciding which box he’d like to stick his dick in (and Jerry saying “penis” on repeat), Rick asserts their next step is visiting Panda Express. 

A Taxi Action Sequence

While there, Rick and Jerry approach the kitchen staff with the intent of asking where they get their fortune cookies. Suddenly, the workers whip out their guns (not a euphemism), forcing Rick to do the same. We hear the Taxi theme song play as Rick destroys Panda Express, taking out most of the employees. Who would’ve thought that song would make for the perfect gritty action sequence tune?

Afterward, Rick learns there was a misunderstanding — the staff thought he was from the DEA. They all laugh it off, as one does after a mass slaughtering. Rick discovers the company distributing fortune cookies to Panda Express, so he and Jerry make another pitstop. 

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Weirdly, Billy Zane Is Also There

Before entering, they don disguises. Rick calls upon the Eye of Thundera (ThunderCats reference, y’all) to give him a suit. Then, for Jerry, Rick shouts, “Jerry, assistant clothing. MAKE-UP!” If you’re way too into Sailor Moon like me, this moment made you giddy beyond belief. Jerry adopts Sailor Moon’s transformation sequence to acquire a set of “assistant clothing.” He even poses like the pretty guardian herself. Sailor Jerry! Rick explains they keep that Sailor Moon sequence on hand as it saves the show money. 

Next, they watch a presentation from the fortune cookie company’s CEO, Jennith Padrow-Chunt, a character inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop. Jerry and Rick learn that said company creates fortunes that come to fruition, keeping their collective finger on the pulse of fate. 

Rick observes high-level executives in the company receiving extraordinary fortunes that’ll help them prosper, while some get dangerously life-altering fortunes. Penis mangling doesn’t sound like fun. Rick and Jerry encounter a few of Jennith’s goons, narrowly escaping to crawl through the vents. Jennith learns Jerry has an unfulfilled fortune, meaning he’s immortal until he follows through with what his fortune states, a.k.a. until he bangs his mom. Who, by the way, needs him to pick her up from the airport. 

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Then, Rick and Jerry encounter a LOCKER-ean, an alien creature in captivity courtesy of the fortune cookie company. It’s a species that consumes chaos but has a peculiar digestive disorder. Rick reveals its stomach is stripping “randomness” from spacetime and leaving dense pockets of energy behind. It’s determining fate, pulling, as Rick says, “unknown toward known.” Also, those fortune cookies contain the LOCKER-ean’s feces. You’re all eating alien poop!

Rick wears a gadget that produces multiple weapons on robotic arms while Jerry stands behind him looking terrified in Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 5, "Final DeSmithation."

RICK AND MORTY — Season 6 Episode 5, “Final DeSmithation.”

An Arch Character

Rick and Jerry meet Old M. (Man) Hucksbee, the LOCKER-ean’s keeper. He also helps sort the fortunes that the creature produces. Oh, and he’s formed a romantic attachment to the alien. Very normal. Old M. informs our pair that he inserts random fortunes like “have sex with your mom” as, essentially, a cry for help. He wants to bust the LOCKER-ean out of this joint. 

Unfortunately, Jennith and her goons impede their escape, stoking the flames of an all-out battle. Rick takes on Jennith’s soldiers with his fancy sci-fi tech, while Jerry actively avoids his mother, who Jennith brought to the facility. He’s not sleeping with you, mom!

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Rick Pokémons His Way Out of a Sticky Situation

Rick utilizes technology that helps him see each soldier’s fortune, and most of them have element-based superpowers. Rick tries to Pokémon his way out of the bloody brawl. Rick loads his weaponry with blank fortunes. Old M. cautions against this, citing that their blankness could yield unpredictable results. 

Finally, Jennith gets in the game, but Rick fulfills her unfulfilled fortune, transforming her from immortal to mere mortal. In retaliation, Jennith angrily consumes multiple fortunes at once, morphing into a grotesquely hideous monster. The LOCKER-ean breaks free. However, she doesn’t reciprocate Old M.’s feelings and eats him. She also consumes Monster Jennith. Bye, Felicia!

This Is an Incest-Free Zone

Suddenly, Jerry trips on a sci-fi pill and rips open a black hole. We see everything fall through it, including the LOCKER-ean. Jerry’s pants and underwear fly off as he grasps for something to hold. We see Mrs. Smith’s, um, private area exposed to the elements as Jerry inches closer to his mother. Thankfully, Rick creates a fortune on a whim about Jerry not sleeping with his mother and forces him to consume it. Once Jerry eats the cookie, the hole closes. 

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Rick employs the Sailor Moon transformation sequence again to give Jerry clothes. I hope the show utilizes this in perpetuity. Later, Rick and Jerry arrive home after an eventful and fortune-filled day. Jerry gives Rick a fortune as a thank you, with “Thank you” scrawled on one side and “You make a new friend” on the other. We learn it was the last real fortune after that company was decimated. Rick scolds Jerry for eliminating the former’s immortality. Oh, and they’re not friends!

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?

Are we in the zoo? Did Matt Damon buy us? 

The end-credit scene shows Morty, Beth, Summer and Space Beth at the zoo. Morty watches a disconcerting commercial advertising zebra food that humans aren’t supposed to eat, but most consume in large quantities, making them sick. Said commercial plays on a loop in the gift shop, where they might sell the food meant for zebras? Morty wonders whether they’re part of the zoo while the animals run the place. Who knows?

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First Game of Thrones, then House of the Dragon and now Rick and Morty. Everyone’s trying to keep it all in the family. This show doesn’t go the incest route, even though it toes that line for a hot second. “Final DeSmithation” is a solid Rick and Morty episode — it takes a simple concept and runs with it, barreling headfirst down a darkly humorous and often macabre path at a frenzied pace. It’s creative and hilarious while laden with pop culture references and Jerry trying very hard not to have sex with his mom. Thankfully, he succeeds (in not doing it with the woman who birthed him)!

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

8 Anime Outros Too Good to Skip

Melody McCune
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