Morty: "Oh, boy. W-what's wrong, Rick? Is it the quantum carburetor or something?
Rick: "'Quantum carburetor'? Jesus, Morty. You can't just add a *burps*-- Sci-Fi word to a car word and hope it means something. Huh, looks like something's wrong with the microverse battery."
The Ricks Must be Crazy is the sixth episode of the second season of Rick and Morty. It's notable as the first episode not to feature Beth or Jerry at any point
Summer, Rick, and Morty exit a theater laughing about what people allow in PG-13 on "this Earth" to which Rick admonishes them that every reality has pros and cons, the one they're on has the best icecream in the Multiverse but also giant, man eating, telepathic spiders. They get in the space car only to discover it won't start. Rick's quick diagnostic turns up a problem with the microverse battery. He tells Morty that they'll have to go into the battery to fix it, Summer to wait in the car, and the car to keep Summer safe. Rick's car apparently has an AI in it because it responds in the affirmative. Rick hits a button and he and Morty teleport into the battery leaving Summer on spider Earth. A scary looking guy taps on the window to get Summer's attention but she tries her best to ignore him. This enrages the guy which kicks the defense system on. The space car extrudes a weapons platform and neatly dices the man with lasers. His friend watches this unfold and runs over to his recently cubed companion which the car interprets as a hostile action. Summer intercedes by telling the car not to kill him which prompts it to use a non-lethal approach, lasering the mans spine. Summer begins to cry as the still living guy screams about not feeling his legs.
Rick and Morty materialize in a square room and Rick explains that he condensed a solar system sized volume of space into his battery and waited for life to evolve on it so that he could introduce to a ridiculous step pad power generator. He convinced them that he would dispose of harmful waste electricity which is actually just eighty percent of their power generation that went to power the car. Morty is morally indignant over the practice of creating species to enslave them into functioning as a power source to which Rick responds that it nothing like slavery because they have a whole civilization apart from the step pads. They land the boxy hover car that Rick was piloting, Rick hands Morty a cheap pare of wearable antenna, and they step into a cheering crowd where Rick greets everybody by flipping them off. He tells Morty that he convinced them the gesture means peace among worlds. They are greeted by the President and Rick asks why they aren't producing electricity. The president introduces them to Zeep Zanflorp who's created a "Miniverse" that employs the same scheme Rick is using. They travel into the Miniverse and Rick gives him the same "this is slavery" argument Morty made against him, almost word for word. Zeep replies almost word for word how Rick did and Morty pulls Rick aside to address the painfully intense hypocrisy. Rick displays zero self awareness by deciding that the way to convince Zeep to abandon the Miniverse battery is to find the next level down since this is apparently a pretty common idea. They find a scientist named Kyle working on a tinnyverse which he is happy to show off. The tinnyverse is mostly jungle with no technological civilization but Kyle is hopeful. At this point Zeep has a flash of insight and realizes Rick is doing to his people what he is doing to Kyle's people. He attacks Rick physically and through the half coherent screamed accusations Kyle pieces together what's going on. Coming to understand the consequences of his plan combined with his choosing to pursue his work rather than have a real life pushes Kyle over the edge and he drives his boxxy hover car into a cliff side killing himself and stranding Rick, Morty, and Zeep in the Tinnyverse.
Meanwhile, topside, Summer is trapped in the space car which is now surrounded by a SWAT team. She specifies that it isn't allowed to hurt anybody which prompts it to use emotional deterrents. After what appears to be a web search showing a story of a drowned boy the ship rolls a pod out. The pod opens to reveal the same boy prompting the squad captain to drop his gun and rush to the kid. He showers the boy with apologies only to have the boy tell him not to harm the car. Then the child melts. The captain becomes completely hysterical and car announces that all family members can be given and all can be taken away. The squad wisely backs down as Summer stares on in horror.
Rick and Zeep have begun a two man feud which is destroying any chance either of them have to get out of the tinnyverse prompting Morty to go live among the tree people. A month later Zeep and Rick are in a pitched battle involving mechs made wood only to be capture by the tree people who Morty is leading. Morty makes it clear that they are going to learn the way of trees and harmony with nature until he gets out ear shot of the tribe and immediately goes into a rant about how everybody here smells like piss and he really wants to go home. He threatens to have them both killed if the don't work together. Rick and Zeep decide working together is better than death and after a while they manage to put together a way out made from crystals and junk. Sadly, their truce ends almost immediately and Zeep tries and fails to leave Rick in in the Miniverse. Rick makes his way back to the universe but not before beating the crap out of Zeep in a completely unnecessary fight.
The car has brokered a peace treaty between human and giant spider to distract from the murder and maiming and by the time Rick and Morty return the only evidence of the whole mess surrounding the car is an overly anxious Summer. Rick attempts to start the car which works to Morty's bewilderment. Rick explains that Zeep understood that either the car started or he'd have to get a new battery and they all go to get ice cream only to discover that it now has flies in it as a result of the new spider peace. Rick blames Summer, Summer blames Rick, and Morty is just exhausted from having spent several months on the Micro/mini/tinnyverse despite it only being a few hours outside.
Rick's hypocrisy is on display in this episode. It's open to interpretation whether he completely lacks self awareness or is simply apathetic but the fact that he uses the exact same argument against Zeep would seem to indicate the later. What's worse is that the Zeep shows himself to be identical to Rick in a variety of ways, from intelligence to having a serious addiction. Despite and coming to understand eachother they turn on each other quickly. This mirrors when Rick tries to kill his other self in A Rickle in Time. It's clear from these and the adversarial relation between our Rick and the council of Ricks that Rick can't trust people who he has common ground with precisely because of that common ground.
Of all of the character's in Rick and Morty Summer probably experiences the most development. In most shows that would be a good thing and include stuff like maturity and empathy. In this show it typically means perspective, competence, and cynicism and this episode does a good job of showing why by dropping Summer head first into the uncaring cosmic horror that is Rick's world. Rather than seek comfort or an explanation of what happened when prompted she says everything is fine mirroring Rick's tendency to ignore emotions he doesn't want to acknowledge.
Rick: "There's nothing dishonest about what we're doing. Now Put on these antenna, these people need to think we're aliens."
Morty: "What? Why?"
Rick: "Obviously," *burp* "you really' *burp* "know nothing about car repair."
IRON NODER X: XTREME XCELLENCE