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The Most Meta Episode Yet

Rick Sanchez is known for subtly breaking the fourth wall from time to time in Rick and Morty, but in the latest episode he eviscerated it.

After a month-long hiatus, Season 6 of Rick and Morty returned to Adult Swim on Sunday night with the episode “Full Meta JackRick,” which, as the name implies, went full meta and self-referential.

Paul Giamatti and Christopher Meloni reprised their roles from the Season 4’s “Never Ricking Morty” as the latest episode acted as a surprise follow-up to that tale.

What Happened in Episode 7 of ‘Rick and Morty’?

The entire episode appeared to be triggered by the classic TV trope, “previously on…” meaning that once again Rick (Justin Roiland) was aware he was in a TV show of some sort.

As clips of things we haven’t seen progress, Rick takes control of the montage and eventually discovers he and Morty are being manipulated by a flying creature called Previous Leon. As a side note, the side story here with Summer getting pregnant, Jerry dying and Beth being sentenced to death for his murder was incredibly entertaining. This is all the time we spend with the other member of the Smith family in the episode.

As Rick and Morty wrestle with Previous Leon, they fly through the main title sequence and Morty comments on the scenes for the first time, “Why am I butter?”

Rick and Morty S6E7 still image
During the opening stages of Season 6 Episode 7, Rick and Morty find themselves hurtling through a surprising montage.
Adult Swim

For the first time, Morty starts asking fourth wall-breaking questions too, but Rick explains how he’s just filled with “meta venom.” Rick admits “It’s funny when I do a little nod to the viewer,” once again addressing us at home specifically.

Any fan who enjoys spotting an Easter Egg or two within Rick and Morty will have their work cut out in this episode, as the pair actually step through a “fourth wall” where they encounter the episode’s villain. “Every second we spend here is equivalent to ten Space Jam cameos,” Rick quips, referencing their 2021 appearance in the poorly received Space Jam sequel.

It turns out the person pulling the strings here is the Story Lord (Giamatti), the fictional villain from the Story Train toy, last seen in Season 4. As referenced in that episode’s tag, he’s now working with Jesus Christ (Meloni) who proceeds to beat the hell out of Rick and Morty.

Story Lord escapes to reality but Previous Lon saves them from being killed by Jesus. Once in the real world, Story Lord hunts down his creator, a down-on-his-luck writer, in an attempt to find motivation. In a “lazy” twist, he discovers his motivation is to “find motivation.” Later on, this manifests as a giant device that sucks motivation from everyone in the world.

The next part of Rick and Morty’s adventure takes them to the headquarters of the Self Referential Six (a spin on Spider-Man’s Sinister Six) where they meet a number of meta superheroes: Miss Lead, Flash Back, Connie TinuityError, Protago Nick and Mr. Twist (the twist is there’s no sixth member).

Rick and Morty unleash their prisoner Bret Con whose ability to retcon reality causes chaos. There’s also a flash of a fan-favorite device, the butter robot, whose new purpose is to pull a lever.

In circumstances that are too convenient to list, Rick and Morty are later saved by the writer Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces. With the help of Previous Leon, Rick builds a device to get them home, and on the way out Campbell urges them to have some classic adventures like in Season 1, another nod to Rick and Morty fan forums.

Story Lord, Rick and Morty
Story Lord (voiced by Paul Giamatti) returns as the villain for Season 6 Episode 7.
Adult Swim

Approaching the episode’s climactic fight, Rick and Morty arrive to stop Story Lord and his writer from siphoning motivation from the world. Rick initially loses as Story Lord is too motivated to lose, but once Morty and the ghost of Joseph Campbell convince the writer to switch off the machine, Rick easily wins the fight.

Rick and Morty tell the writer that he must be the one to kill his own creation and murder Story Lord. He uses a doll that is available at “rick-plush.biz” which is a throwback to the “Story-Train.com” gag from the “Never Ricking Morty” episode.

“Full Meta JackRick,” a play on words of the 1987 Stanley Kubrick movie Full Metal Jacket, was filled with pop culture references, and throwbacks to previous Rick and Morty adventures. Casual viewers will have missed a lot but the avid fans will no doubt have spotted countless subtle references on a second or third viewing of the episode.

The end of Episode 6, before the Season 6 break, saw Rick fix portal travel so fans assumed Episode 7 would see them go on more portal adventures. Perhaps the final three episodes of Rick and Morty Season 6 will see the pair go on more interdimensional adventures.

Rick and Morty returns on Sunday November 27 on Adult Swim with Episode 8, “Analyze Piss,” a play on the movie title Analyze This.

While there’s only three episodes of Season 6 left, showrunner Scott Marder recently confirmed to Newsweek that future seasons will now arrive once a year, and they’re already working on Seasons 7 and 8, with work on 9 due to start next year.

Rick and Morty Season 6 is back
“Rick and Morty” returned to Adult Swim after a month-long hiatus, with Episode 7 “Full Meta JackRick.”
Adult Swim

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