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Rick And Morty Season 6 Episode 2 Slipped In A Nod To Family Matters' Reginald VelJohnson

"Rick and Morty" is never one to shy away from heavy-handed pop culture references. Almost every episode of the series pokes fun at the modern zeitgeist, and Rick (Justin Roiland) has a tendency to break the fourth wall. This is best highlighted in the opening moments of Season 6, when Rick does his very best to channel Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) from the beginning of "Avengers: Endgame." Not only that, but Rick also makes references to real-life cult filmmaker David Cronenberg after his attempt at a love potion renders the world filled with aberrant abominations. And Episode 2 leans hard into the meta-conversation by focusing on aliens who are in the process of 'doing a 'Die Hard.'" 

This essentially means that a group of terrorists takes the Blips and Chitz arcade by force, and they hold the patrons hostage. However, Rick, Morty (also Roiland), and Summer (Spencer Grammer) happen to be in that location, but both Rick and Morty are trapped in a video game. This means that is up to Summer to take back Blips and Chitz, and Rick also gives her the suggestion of "doing a 'Die Hard." 

The entire episode is an homage to the popular movie, but there is also a clever reference to Reginald VelJohnson, who was in both "Die Hard" and "Family Matters."

One of the henchmen is named after another VelJohnson character

For those without an encyclopedia knowledge of the "Die Hard" franchise, Regidnald VelJohnson plays Los Angeles Police Department Sargent Al Powell. In the movies, John McClane (Bruce Willis) converses with Powell via radio as McClane unravels the plans of Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). So popular was VelJohnson's role in "Die Hard" that it soon landed him a spot in the comedy show "Family Matters," where he plays the family patriarch Carl Winslow.

However, within Episode 2 in Season 6 of "Rick and Morty," the Hans Gruber character is an alien named Chans (Peter Dinklage), and he has a retinue of compatriots that do their best to apprehend Summer. Around six minutes into the episode, Summer manages to kill one of the terrorists, and begins to talk to Chans about "doing a 'Die Hard'" over a communications device (creature). At this point, one of Chans' henchman becomes enraged, and Chans tells this character, named Winslow, to calm down. 

Now, if you connect the carefully placed dots, the map to this punchline becomes clear. This is a reference to VelJohnson in "Die Hard," but instead of just naming a character directly after him, they decided to name them after one of VelJohnson's other on-screen personas. 

This is a great way to continue the homage of "Die Hard" and VelJohnson by honoring one of the most iconic characters in the franchise that brought us "Yippee Ki-Yay," and like the best "Rick and Morty" jokes, it's clever and multifaceted.