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The Onion A/V Club Reviews – Rick and Morty: ‘Lawnmower Dog’

On 09, Dec 2013 | In Press & News | By SBI

“Lawnmower Dog” is the pinnacle of the show thus far, and the fact that it hit so early in the run is both a little daunting, and tremendously reassuring. After a solid but not quite fantastic pilot, episode two settles in to prove exactly how good Rick And Morty can be, with two terrific plotlines and a climax that mixes the two together without breaking a sweat. (Although there are some crapped pants. It happens. And it’s awful.) What struck me most while rewatching it for this review is just how utterly natural all of this seems, as though it’s perfectly reasonable and pretty much the norm for a new series to hit its groove so soon. There are character-dependent jokes throughout (most of what Jerry does is funny not just because of itself, but because we already know what a putz Jerry is), and the cleverness and speed of the storytelling never really lets up. It’s fast without ever being overwhelming, and Rick’s jokes about Inception to the contrary, most everything that happens basically makes sense.

Well, okay, maybe it’s unusual that Rick and Morty are able to “incept” themselves into dream figures who theoretically don’t exist outside of Mr. Goldenfold’s dream—you can’t really have a dream life if you’re not real, can you?—but that’s a gag in and of itself. The explanation Rick offers is that each successive dive brings them deeper into Goldenfold’s subconscious, which, hey, that’s reasonable. And even if it wasn’t, this kind of comic invention doesn’t need to pass an airtight logic test; it only needs to maintain internal consistency, which the episode does quite handily. Even more impressively, the dream levels get more interesting the deeper our heroes go. First, there’s a standard empowerment-fantasy sequence, with Goldenfold wooing one of his favorite actresses on a plane, before fighting to save her and everyone’s lives against Rick and Morty’s “terrorists.” Then, when Rick and Morty jump into Ms. Pancake’s head, they end up in a perverse sex-orgy dungeon-party thing, which makes sense in that it’s something you’d probably bury deeper into your mind (especially when part of the party features one of your under-age students in lingerie), and plus, where else would your grimy sex fantasies end up but locked behind your fantasy woman?