Episode aired June 27, 2021
Rick, Morty, Summer, Beth and Jerry are having breakfast when alien squid assassins kill them. They are revealed to be decoys, and the real Rick is alerted to their deaths. However, the real Smith family is revealed to also have been decoys, and a chaotic series of events erupt when the decoys are alerted to the deaths of other decoys and struggle to figure out which family is the original as the original Rick did not realize the decoys would resort to making more decoys. After a family of decoys clashes and kills another, they figure out that the squids are actually further decoys trying to kill all other versions of themselves. Another family, who still thinks they are real, are kidnapped by mutilated decoys trying to harvest their skin but are rescued by pinocchio-resembling decoys who attempt to rally a group of decoys but are crushed to death when squid-decoys kill them. One family alerts all decoys to their location and almost all of the decoys are killed in the ensuing mayhem, though several ignore the beacon and walk away unharmed. Meanwhile, the real Smith family, on an adventure with Space Beth, are alerted to the decoys’ deaths.
Post-credits scene: Pinocchio-Jerry, who previously escaped the squid decoys by abandoning the other decoys to their deaths, is cut into pieces by several beavers and subsequently taken by future animal-people, used as a mirror-holder in a cowboy saloon, and used as a crucifix, lamenting his inability to die.
* * *
Beth: You two are hungry.
It’s a big day.
We’re gonna kill god.
Christian god is real. He’s been asleep for thousands of years, We’re gonna sneak up there and kill ’em.
Just whack his ass.
Can I kill god?
F*ck off, Summer.
As if. Beth, do you hear this?
Sweetie, don’t get all worked up before your job interview.
Yes. Is that so hard to believe?
Actually, yeah. Something’s off.
Mr. Always: Hunt me! Hunt me! Hunt me! Somebody hunt me!
Don’t hunt him to completion!
Oh, sh*t. Um… Everyone start packing. N-no time to explain.
Dad, what’s wrong?
Someone just killed a decoy family.
I’m mr. Always wants to be hunted!
Yes, and how interesting did you think that would stay?!
Morty: You made clones of us?
Decoys, Morty. Very different. Very different, sweetie.
Different h-h– ow!
Yeah, dad. Different h-how?
Lotta people out there want a piece of this, sweetie. I’m cool, and it makes them feel bad. So, y’know, after that trouble with space Beth, I made passable copies of the family and placed them around the country as a buffer zone to protect —
But why does he always want to be hunted?
That’s not important right now, dad.
Sure, guys. Rick can make secret decoys of the family and place them all around the country, but f*ck me if I have questions about the starfish man in a target suit.
So thankful this is my Saturday.
Why was he in that cryo-pod?!
The cryopod is what confuses you? Jerry, can’t you see we’ve moved on to higher stakes?
Well, I don’t see any stakes at all.
Guess we’ll just be saying ciao bella to our deposit, then–
Shut up and pack, Jerry. Squids just killed a decoy family.
Is this is why you wanted to get out of town?
You think I’d lie to you about why we’re on vacation, Morty? I wouldn’t lie to you. Well, that’s a lie. Huh…
So, someone out there is trying to kill us?
Someone’s always trying to kill us — That’s what the decoys are for. They go on fun, self-contained terrestrial adventures and… Take bullets meant for us.
I think dad was still outside. Wh-wh-what’s a decoy family?
Hard concept, Morty. Hard concept. I’ve never really cracked it, if I’m being honest. Decided it was maybe better as a kind of kinetic mislead for another special episode!
Announcer: We now return to “When Wolf.”
Whoa. A time-traveling wolf? Count me in.
Yeah, I never thought of the where in werewolf like who, what, when and where. C-clever wordplay!
Dracula. You know why I’m here.
I’m safe here, Ian. Christianity hasn’t been invented yet — Crosses are just baby t’s to me now. I got out. Please, don’t invite me back in.
Huh, kinda mucked it up with this Dracula stuff.
You’re right. It shows a lack of faith in their core concept, I’d much rather watch when wolf go to the ’20s and invest in the stock market — But then eat people.
Look, if you really want to know what happened to Beth’s mom, it — whup. Squid aliens just killed a decoy family.
Decoy family? You made more clones?
Clones are like 32% of all sci-fi, sweetie. You don’t get to own ‘clones. Yes, I made some decoys. They’re exactly like us, with a few tweaks and a backdoor shutdown.
Do you just get hard creating sentient life?
Actually, I get hard protecting my family.
Yeah, now everyone gets killer doppelgangers. Cool deal.
The decoys are harmless, Beth.
Grandpa Rick, do the decoys know they’re decoys?
They wouldn’t be very good decoys if they did, Sum Sum.
So they think they’re us?
That’s the deal.
How do you know we’re not decoys? Oh, my god. We’re decoys.
Oh, god. We might not be real. W-we might be decoys! M-Morty, quick!
Wh-wh-what do I do?
My failsafe, Morty. M-m-my final, secret failsafe. I-it proves I’m real. You have to help me. I-I-I’d never joke about this. There’s a barcode, Morty. A-a barcode on the interior of my left ass cheek.
Morty, please, I’m begging you.
I’m not looking at your ass.
Please, Morty! Is it there? God damn it! Just tell me if I’m real!
Morty, do it!
[laughs] Summer, you f*cking idiot. We’re not decoys.
Wh-why did I get punished?!
A, decoys don’t build decoys, and, b, you think the mere suggestion I’m fake would break me? Christ, I’m not your mom.
Jeez, these guys really wanna kill me bad. Alright. Here’s the plan. We’re gonna hide out with a decoy family, and when these squids show up, we jump their asses. Jerry! Come on! Family emergency.
A bigger emergency than my lemon squares not setting? They’re gluten free, sugar free, and lemon free.
Think you got the wrong house, bro.
Analysis mode. Password 8-0-0-8-5.
Kind of expected a funnier password.
I didn’t plan on showing them off.
Damn. Like “Westworld.” Yes, Morty, like “Westworld.”
But don’t f*ck them. S-Summer!
Whatever, creep. I’m gonna see how accurate you got my room.
Rick, when you say you made an exact replica of the house, d-did you mean like, y’know, a-a-an exact replica?
I know about the Yosemite t-shirt, Morty.
You know you can use tissues, right?
I can’t finish without it.
So you do know what a happy family looks like.
I know what a fake one looks like.
Morty: Uh, Rick?
Did you use this house to make decoys, too?
What? Morty, why the f*ck would I do that? You think I’d go somewhere else to — Okay. Well, I am now less worried about the squids. Isolate head at normal processing. What the f*ck you think you’re doing down there? You’re making decoys?
Wait, how do you —
Oh, god. Summer was right. Everyone in the car.
You said decoys didn’t make decoys.
And, usually, they don’t. But again, it’s nothing to worry about, because decoys are harmless. Just have to, y’know, visit the rest and terminate the program.
Terminate? They’re alive, dad.
And at some point, they won’t be, that’s how existing works. W-w-what, are you gonna save every stray cat?
No, but I can resist making more of them in a lab.
Gah, look! Save the empathy. It’s more termite infestation than “blade runner” —
I still think we’re decoys.
You just want an excuse to stop trying.
Oooh. There’s a handsome fellow.
I thought you made them harmless.
I don’t remember making this one.
Oh, hi, Rick. Family, me? Hey, when did you all leave?
Analysis mode. 8-0-0-8-5.
N-nothing, buddy. You-you gotta stop with all that coffee. It’s making you loopy. H-happy analysis mode.
Happy analysis mode to you, too!
Think you got the wrong house, bro.
Analysis mode. Password 8-0-0 —
[bleep]! You think I’m a decoy?
How do you know about the decoys!
They were my idea!
Jerry: Well, now I know you’re pranking me.
Rick: Analysis mode. Password 8-equal-sign equal-sign-capital “d.”
Morty: Wow. Like — like “ex machina.”
Rick: Yes, Morty, like “ex machina.” But don’t f*ck them.
Summer: Whatever, weirdo. I’m gonna see how wrong you got my room.
Beth: So you do know what a loving family looks like.
A simulated one, yes.
Why are we hiding?
He thinks he’s me, and I was about to start terminating decoys.
But we’re not decoys.
Sure, tell him that.
Morty: Rick? Did you make decoys here, too?
Rick: Morty, what reason could I have for — What the…
Isolate head at normal processing! You dumb asshole, you made decoys?
Again, they were my idea. Wait, w-what happened to the other guy?
Other guy? [rustling]
Wait, that means I’m a decoy.
Check the closets.
They’ve gone rogue!
Take out the decoys!
Sh*t. Somebody put a gun in my teeth!
Stop shooting, dad. They’re us, we don’t have to fight them!
Classic prisoners dilemma, Beth. I-I’m a cool guy, I — y’know? I can talk it out. But that asshole… Me?
You decoy piece of sh*t. You’re the one who shot first!
We can work this out! Just stop trying to kill each other!
Sorry, decoyBeth, but this only ends one way — With one of us accepting we’re a decoy.
And once he knows he’s a decoy, he’ll know he won’t be safe until he’s killed the real Rick, along with anyone who thinks he’s him.
Pretty perceptive, for a decoy.
This is getting nowhere. Let’s charge their asses on three.
Do we have to do this?
Morty, this is gonna sound bad, but would you trust me not to kill you?
Oof. I mean good point but Jesus Christ.
We rush ’em on three. Ready?
I don’t wanna kill us, Rick.
It’s them or us, Morty. I don’t trust me. Do you trust you?
Rick: Before you say anything, They were already killing each other.
Well, you could’ve done something.
Not sure, actually. I’ve heard stories about this. We’re looking at a possible Asimov Cascade.
Sorry, what’s happening?
I need an explainer, too.
Yeah I-I’m pretty behind on this one.
Car, can I get a whiteboard? When squids started killing decoys, decoys started checking their decoys and learning that they’re making decoys. That’s making them seek out and run into other decoys, making them realize they’re decoys, making them start to kill other decoys.
Say “decoy” again.
Well, how do we stop it?
Beth, the loop’s already started, it’s basically “Highlander” rules now. Really? 1986? “there can be only one?” Sh*t. We gotta rent it after this, Connery plays “The Spaniard,” but does nothing about his accent.
Well, what about the squids? I mean, they started this. Would killing them finish it?
Might work. Alt pitch. We just terminate the rest of the decoys.
Nobody’s terminating anything. This is your mess. Nobody else with our face and memories has to die.
Beth, as much as your passion warms my cold, cold heart, this thing feels pretty far gone. Not only are the decoys liable to be anywhere, but also, we don’t know how many there are. You get far enough down the decoy line and sh*t starts to get weird. You ever make a copy of a copy?
You’re helping us fix this. We’re taking out the squids.
I say we split up. Some of us take down squids while the rest of us —
Engage in b-stories we’ll have to track simultaneously? No thank yeeew! We stick together till this is all wrapped up.
I dunno — the squids seem pretty good at taking out smith families.
Well, this’ll sound weird, but I think I have a pitch for that.
This costume smells like ass!
God, there’s no pleasing you.
It’s really bad, Rick.
Did you let a gym coach break it in?
Why are we wearing these?
Because we’ll fit in and avoid detection as we take out all the squids. Might also help us anonymously take out excess decoys, if we have to.
Which we won’t.
Unless we’re decoys. He’s starting to wonder. I knew it. I knew we didn’t seem like Colorado people.
[chuckling] Oh, my god! You are, aren’t you? You’re worried you might be fake!
Sure, Beth. Try to love this more.
Just glad you have to walk a mile in someone else’s squid costume.
There’s one. H-hey what are they mad at you for, anyway?
Well, we’re talking about me. It could be anything. Maybe jealous of my penis size. I had sex with their queen. My dick’s too big. The list goes on and on.
Alright. Hey, one down! Probably, what, 40 more to go? 45? Should be pretty easy, unless killing them brings in a bigger bad or some kind of horrible mothership. Okay, let’s loot their shit, find their weaknesses, be done by sundown. Huh.
Wait. But if the squids are decoys, and we dressed as squids…
Well, I think I found their weakness. They don’t f*cking listen to me.
Honestly, probably for the best.
Man, I’m good.
Oh, sh*t. One of mine.
Where are we going?
Off grid, Morty. We’re gonna live in the woods, like libertarians. We’ll hunt rabbits and trade with, like, little pieces of gold bar that we cut off with a knife.
We might be decoys, Summer. Everything about this licks.
Oh, maybe now you’ll empathize with the decoys you’re killing.
Wait, shh. It’s too quiet.
You skipped quiet.
I didn’t skip shit. It’s obviously quiet if it’s too quiet.
Yeah, but you’re supposed to say —
You know what, Summer, now it’s not quiet enough.
Where are we? W-w-where — where’s Rick?
He’s right here, Morty.
Oh, are we not happy to see grandpa? Does he look… Different?
Oh, god! Oh, it stinks!
Yes. Recoil at the craftsmanship. I could tell I was a fake from the day I was born. Unlike you. Unlike them.
You see, Ricks — they get lazy. There’s always a “shitty decoy” towards the end. But those decoys made decoys, too, and got lazy themselves. And far enough down the line… There be monsters.
Ugh, we get it. You’re ugly and mad about it.
If I ever get this arch.
Hush little decoy. Can’t kill you yet. The skin needs to be fresh.
You know what? You’re a monster.
I’m your father. At least, I can look more like him, once I harvest all this yummy skin.
This guy’s really into skin.
It’s not all for me. A Rick provides for his family.
Will I be beautiful again, daddy?
Soon, baby. Beautiful again soon. What the…
Help the others!
Why are you helping us?
Because we’re all in this together. Come on! There’s a place we can go!
Hey, who needs all this war stuff? I found a can of varnish. This is a ticket to the world beyond the river.
Who wants that? I crave glorious death in decoy battle.
Y’know, depending on the varnish, might look like blackface.
Excuse me for wanting to live.
Brothers and sisters, welcome to the cause. To our cause. We are no longer Ricks and Mortys, Beths and Jerrys, or also Summers.
We are decoys. Brought into the world by an unloving god and driven to destroy ourselves by the uncertainty he creates!
I don’t know about that.
But that violence ends today.
What about the squids?
The squids are decoys.
The squids are decoys who realized they’re decoys and wanted to kill the other decoys.
Yeah, I-it is a lot.
We cannot let confusion divide us.
Squuuids! Squids, of course, being shorthand for killer decoys.
Inner sanctum, the escape tunnel!
I’m sorry. I didn’t ask for this. I just wanna live! But there’s only so much varnish. I’m sorry! I’m sorry!
Beth: How long before the other decoys find us?
Sooner or later. Can’t really run from it. Any place we’d think to hide is a place they’d think to look. It’s rule 34 of an Asimov Cascade.
I’m just glad we’re living to the fullest with the time we have left.
[sighs] Well, peeing in the ocean was my bucket list item. Who’s next?
Jerry? Bucket list?
I’d like to attend a game at every major league ballpark.
I wanna ask a girl out at my weird New Mexico school.
Sh*t. Sorry, buddy. Sounds like it would’ve been real heartwarming.
They looked happy. Did we have to kill them?
Well, maybe their Rick came to grips with his bullsh*t.
You’re so mean today! I’m your dad! You like having me around!
You keep putting us in danger!
Whatever. This’ll take forever, mind if I do something drastic?
House, I need something quick. Can you whip up a “Star Fox Boss” season four callback? Make it flashy.
House: You got it, babe.
Let’s go, you little bitch. It’s showtime. Get centered.
What up, you decoy motherf*cker. Come on down to Rick’s house of squids, where I’m serving your ass on a platter. I know what you’re thinking. “[bleep]. A beacon. That’s a great idea. He’s got home turf, a tacit psychological advantage, and absolutely pendulous balls.” And now you’re thinking, “shit. That’s totally what the Rick-est Rick would do. I might actually be fake! I pretended I didn’t care if I was, but I totally did! Now the only way to prove I’m real and not him, is to ice his expository ass.” Yup. So let’s do it. Come get some. What? No, Morty. I’m gonna loop it. Why is it —
Sir, there seems to be a confluence of Rick Sanchezes killing each other over the American Southwest.
Sounds exhausting. How many of those states voted for me, anyway?
Mr. President, I think the point of the electoral college is —
…to preserve slavery? That’s right, Steve. I have the internet, too. Now take your white ass to the kitchenette and bring me a Diet Coke.
Little out of character to say this right now but you guys look really cool.
We might be decoys, huh.
One way to find out.
…To prove I’m real and not him is to ice his expository ass.”
Looks like it’s calming down. You wanna get in one more “I told you so” about synthetic life or whatever this week’s theme is?
Oh, f*ck you.
No, you don’t get to be annoyed with this! You treat life and family as so burdensome, and yet you created an ocean of us because you’re terrified of losing either!
Look, Beth. I-I might not be the real Rick. But even if I’m not, he made me, or the me that made me, which means somewhere inside of him is a version of Rick capable of hearing that, a version of Rick who’s sorry. I’m sorry about the clone thing, too. I-I love you.
Thanks, dad. I love you, too. You really think we’re decoys?
Eh. Who cares? We’ll be the last ones left. Lucky that one did the beacon. This was gonna take weeks. [sighing] Alright. Let’s mop up.
Dressing as decoys too cute to murder. You know, I’m not sure it helped, but I’m glad we tried it.
We’re losing the costumes?
Thank god. This decoy outfit smells like ass.
F*ck you, Summer.
Sh*t. That guy’s awesome. Okay. Listen. He might actually be the real Rick. But whatever happens —
Wait! We don’t have to do this. We’re both Summers. Shouldn’t we at least try Molly before we die?
You know what, yeah. F*ck this noise.
Wait. I don’t know who to shoot.
I can’t deal with this. I had to kill myself. You have to, too.
F*ck you! I-I’m real! I’m the smartest man in the universe!
Probably not even wrong. But that’s just it. I’m not a man. I’m god!
You’re just made in my image.
[spits] You the, uh… Summer I came with?
Good enough. Morty?
I’m here, too.
Holy sh*t! That was insane! I love you guys! I’ve totally changed!
You shoulda hunted me.
What? Who — w-were you significant? Like — like, did we tee you up? You want to be hunted? God, I have so many questions. Why? What happens if —
Somebody hunt me!
Rick: Pretty cool adventure, huh? Big long road trip adventure through space? Even ran into space Beth. Maybe that’ll happen more often.
Let’s not overdo it.
Oh, sh*t. Looks like someone killed the decoy family.
Decoy what now?
Oh! Oh, my god! Oh, my god! No! No, no, no, no! No, no, no, no, no!
Oh, god. Yes, yes. Sweet death.
Why am I still alive? Oh, god. Is there anything left? Hello? What is it?
A relic… From a kinder past.
Christianity again? After cowboys? You went all the way back around? Oh, god. Why can’t I die?! This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to anyone!