Thanksgiving may be four months away, but Rick and Morty has never exactly adhered to a strict timetable. As such, Rick and Morty season 5 episode 6, titled ‘Rick and Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular,’ takes place on the day of thanks with Rick getting on the wrong side of the U.S. government and thus seeking a pardon from the President. As such, his grand plan is to assume the role of a turkey, infiltrate the White House, and become the bird that receives the honor from the POTUS.
Rick and Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular review
As we’ve documented, season 5 has been one of the weakest seasons of Rick and Morty thus far. Flat writing, repetitive jokes, and awkward character development have seen the series hit a low point. Episode 6 isn’t exactly a dramatic step up, though it’s an improvement nonetheless. This is aided a tremendous amount by the addition of the President, who remains one of the show’s strongest side characters and whose intense relationship with Rick is the focus here.
The pair’s latest scuffle follows Morty accidentally firing a laser at the Statue of Liberty while Rick attempts to steal the Constitution. The laser reveals that the statue is a “Trojan Horse” sent by the French, with it transforming into a giant robot that ultimately helps France overthrow New York. This is one of the season’s finer moments, with it being particularly funny how the President lets this steam-powered giant robot do its thing in NYC in favor of going after Rick.
As Rick and Morty transform themselves into turkeys, so too does a task force created by the President, with much turkey-brawling ensuing. The President ultimately decides that if you want a job doing you should do it yourself, transforming himself into a turkey and personally fighting Rick, only for his personal tracker to become mixed up with a regular ol’ turkey and U.S. scientists therefore accidentally instating an imposter turkey as the new President.
Rick and Morty doesn’t exactly steer clear of leaning into incredibly stupid jokes, though season 5 has thus far struggled when it comes to their repetition. It has been uncharacteristically one-note so far, with only episode 2’s decoy families adequately escalating a fun concept into something more. Episode 6 is the next best crack at the whip, with its exploration of the “lore” of Thanksgiving being a riff on how few recognize the origins of the holiday while celebrating it. Summer’s comment that her generation compulsively relates the holiday to genocide is emblematic of how Thanksploitation Spectacular portrays Thanksgiving, like a weird holiday where no one’s entirely sure why they’re celebrating it.
Eventually, it’s revealed that turkeys are descendants of the “turkey dinosaurs” that once ruled the Earth, and that an alien race whose image resembled the Pilgrims and Native Americans the celebration honors were the ones who made these dinosaurs extinct. It’s dumb but in a good way, as is the revelation that beneath the White House lurks a giant FDR spider, with the former POTUS having been transformed into a killer insect after receiving the Polio vaccine. We’re not too far off having spider transformations being touted as evidence by anti-vaxxers in the real world.
The presence of the President and his increasingly escalating feud with Rick?— now swiftly becoming sexual tension, with multiple characters telling them both to “get it over with already”?— make this a solid episode, if not one that makes up for an otherwise flat season. There were no real belly laughs to be had here, though it was a fun step away from the repetitive writing that has dragged the season down.
How to watch Rick and Morty season 5 episode 6
Rick and Morty season 5 episode 6 is free to watch via the Adult Swim site?and app in the U.S. The episode is currently available to view after airing on Sunday, July 25. You can also pre-order the Rick and Morty season 5 Blu-ray via Amazon.
Watch the season 5 episode 6 cold open below: