Rick and Morty – Season 4 Episode 8 Recap & Review

The Vat of Acid Episode

Rick & Morty’s latest episode is arguably the strongest of this fourth season. With some solid writing throughout, a deliciously dark and thought provoking idea surrounding changing our reality and a nice on-running gag involving an acid bath, the jokes come thick and fast and bring with it a return of the usual wit we’ve come to expect from this wildly popular animated series.

Episode 8 of Season 4 begins with Rick & Morty off on their next adventure. Despite promising Morty there won’t be any mishaps, as we’ve come to expect from this show there most definitely will be. Meeting with a shady trio of aliens and exchanging diamonds, the deal goes wrong and it prompts Rick & Morty to both jump off the bridge into an acid bath below.

Despite faking their own deaths, the mob boss decides to take his time and tell some stories to his right hand men while overlooking the acid bath. After a pretty hilarious skit involving bones and a dead rat, Morty grows impatient and shoots the three aliens in the face which prompts an incredulous reaction from Rick. Unable to admit when he’s wrong, Rick heads back home where the duo have a fight over Rick’s behaviour. As he snaps, Rick creates the Saving device Morty has always wanted.

With the contraption now able to rewrite parts of his life, a Morty montage ensues as we follow our misfit teenager repeating parts of his life including running someone over, pushing an old man out his wheelchair and acting slick infront of Jessica at school. As he continues on, a segment involving Morty in a plane crash ensues, all stemming from a chance encounter with a girl outside the coffee shop.

Despite this reality playing out beautifully and seemingly ending with Morty happy, Jerry mistakes the TV remote for the device and presses the button, sending Morty back through to his own reality. Unable to recreate that same time again, a defeated Morty heads back and speaks to Rick about his lesson; he’s learnt that living without consequence isn’t really living at all.

A wry smile crosses Rick’s face as he finally reveals the truth. Every time Morty’s jumped back through time he’s actually been switching to alternate realities, meaning the Morty there has died for our Morty to take his place. As Morty looks on shocked at what he’s done, Rick calls the police to the scene and it all looks to be over for our young Morty… unless he can jump in the acid vat again and fake his death of course. 

As he jumps in the acid, the police decide that this is justice enough and after a few more gags, Morty emerges from the heated mountain dew and sighs, agreeing that Rick’s idea for an acid vat is a good one, which is where the episode ends.

With a dark underscore to this entire chapter, Rick & Morty delivers an episode that toys with the idea of consequence and what would happen if we live a life without it. It’s a clever concept and one that’s explored beautifully throughout the 20 minutes. There’s a lot to like here and the jokes are consistently funny throughout. The references to previous episodes and events are a nice touch and the entire “Prestige” scenario is certainly a twisted way for Rick to teach his grandson not to question him again.

Their volatile relationship continues to take on new layers this season and although Rick & Morty hasn’t always hit the same heights earlier seasons have achieved, this episode may just act as the acidic catalyst to ignite season 4 and end things with a bang, bowing things out with the best episode of the series so far.

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