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Rick And Morty Season 6 Episode 5 Recap: Fortune Favors The Jerry

Contains spoilers for "Rick and Morty"

This week on "Rick and Morty," it's a cautionary tale about why you should never eat at Panda Express. Or maybe it's about never trusting Gwyneth Paltrow? Let's back up a bit.

As this episode's title, "Final DeSmithation," implies, fate and destiny are the twin engines flying this story. We open with the Smith-Sanchez family dining at Panda Express, so obviously, nothing good is about to happen. Jerry (Chris Parnell) is excited for the family to visit the zoo the next day, but laments that the zebra food, meant to be fed to zebras, gives him diarrhea (this does, in fact, pay off in the post-credits scene). They conclude their meal with fortune cookies, but whereas the rest of the family get boring fortunes like, "Family time is time well spent," Jerry gets one that reads, "You will have sex with your mother." Roll title sequence.

Jerry fixates on his bizarrely gross fortune, convinced that it must be an accurate prediction of his fate. The fact that his mom keeps calling isn't helping matters, though the family tries to assure him she's only calling so much because it's not like him to ignore her. The next morning, he refuses to join the family at the zoo, but Rick (Justin Roiland) steps in saying he seconds Jerry's decision to stay home, claiming he scanned his "probability field" and found that the fortune has strange powers. The family cedes to Rick's opinion and leaves without Jerry, but once they're gone, Rick tells Jerry he didn't actually scan anything. "I just didn't want to see someone get bullied into going to a zoo," Rick says. "You still have a right to take whatever you want seriously."

A cookie shaped conspiracy

Once the family has left, Rick scans Jerry and does, in fact, get some weird readings, so he sets up a sort of Schrodinger test to figure out if the fortune is real. He takes two shoe boxes, writes the name of Jerry's mom inside of one, then tells Jerry to pick between them. After Jerry chooses, Rick shuffles the boxes and the process repeats. But Jerry keeps picking the same box, proving his fears may not be unfounded after all, so Rick takes him back to Panda Express to scope out the situation.

As for the rest of the family and their zoo trip, we don't see them again, meaning "Final DeSmithation" is a Rick and Jerry team-up episode. Rick may once have hated Jerry, but he's had a soft spot for his hapless son-in-law ever since causing Jerry's prior divorce from Beth, perhaps even a level of begrudging respect, and over the past few seasons we've seen their bond get closer. For instance, in "Bethic Twinstinct" we saw that Rick has been giving Jerry custom bionic implants. Maybe it's because this Jerry isn't the original one, or maybe it's character development.

Rick breaks into the Panda Express, only to be met with a hail of bullets from the kitchen staff. He decimates them with his high tech weaponry, then gets the location of their fortune cookie supplier and steals a truck. When Rick and Jerry get to the cookie factory, they find a surprisingly advanced operation with underground levels and cameras everywhere. Rick summons disguises for them to blend in, and they begin to infiltrate the lower levels of the factory.

How the cookie crumbles

Coming across a large conference room where a seminar is taking place, Rick spots Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and even actor Billy Zane. The blonde woman leading the seminar introduces herself as "Jenyth Padrow-Chunt," a lifestyle influencer who sleeps on a bed of loose grains and is clearly meant to satirize real-life girlboss and vaginal jade egg saleswoman Gwyneth Paltrow. She is pitching her very rich audience on investing in something she promises will make them more like her. Realizing they won't find any answers, Rick pushes further into the bowels of the factory.

Further down, Rick and Jerry find a group of people who have invested in Padrow-Chunt's scheme, who are receiving their fortune cookies. One is promised a promotion to junior partner, another is going to be on "Dancing with the Stars." Now understanding the conspiracy at play—controlling destiny for profit—Jerry suggests blowing up the building. But Rick wants the fortune powers for himself, so they press on.

Rick and Jerry are quickly stopped on the next floor by security guards who eat emergency fortune cookies that give them the power to be successful in a fight, rendering Rick's tech useless. But Rick has already figured out the guiding logic behind the fortune cookie powers. He escapes through a vent, using Jerry as a human shield, later revealing that Jerry is essentially immortal until he sleeps with his mother. The security guards inform Jenyth Padrow-Chunt of the situation, and she tells them to get Jerry's mom so that he'll sleep with her, thus resolving his fortune.

One tough cookie

Meanwhile, Rick and Jerry finally reach the innermost depths of the fortune cookie factory, and what they see is shocking. A giant, alien beast is chained from the ceiling, secreting fecal matter that is then turned into fortune cookies. It's more than a little reminiscent of the fan-favorite "Futurama" episode, "Fry and the Slurm Factory," where Fry (Billy West) discovers that his favorite soft drink is actually the excretions of a giant slug.

Rick recognizes the beast, telling Jerry it's a species that eats chaos. This one, however, has a digestive disorder that causes it to poop out "super dense pockets of energy that bend entropy towards definable outcomes." The old man overseeing the alien explains that he's been trying to free the animal because he's in love with it (and wants to make sweet, sweet love to it). To find help, he's been filling the fortune cookies with bizarre fortunes like the one Jerry got at Panda Express.

Before Rick and Jerry can abscond with the creature, Jenyth Padrow-Chunt busts into the room with a platoon of hired guns — and Jerry's mother. Padrow-Chunt shoves her toward Jerry, and her dress splits open. With Jerry distracted, the goons attack Rick, using modified fortune cookies to give themselves superpowers. Rick turns their powers against each other to take them out, then finds a crate of cookies and eats a handful. He gets one that says, "You'll make a new friend," but nothing that seems immediately useful.

Rick finds some blank fortunes with unpredictable results and shoots them at the goons, then sets his sights on Padrow-Chunt, who tells him she can't be killed because she also has an unresolved fortune: being the most successful businesswoman on Earth. "Every day I get closer to an unattainable goal, a one-woman lifestyle brand, forever!"

Caught with a hand in the cookie jar

Rick circumvents Padrow-Chunt's immortality by hacking into Goldman Sachs, investing trillions of dollars in Padrow-Chunt's fortune cookie business, then putting the money back. This temporarily makes her the most successful businesswoman on Earth, rendering her mortal once more.

Padrow-Chunt responds by eating fortune cookies, transforming her into an enormous, hideous monster. In the ensuing fight, the chaos beast gets loose and devours the remaining goons, along with the old man. It eats Padrow-Chunt, too, which unfortunately renders her transformation into a monster somewhat of a limp story beat. As satires of Gwyneth Paltrow go, Padrow-Chunt feels like a broad pastiche rather than a substantive critique of the Goop-peddling MCU star.

One of the components from the chaos beast's harness breaks, opening a massive black hole of entropic energy. Jerry's mom gets caught in it, pulling Jerry toward her to fulfil his oedipal destiny. At the last moment, Rick chooses to save Jerry by shooting a fortune that says, "Jerry no sex mom," into his mouth. Thank god, since if the prophecy had been fulfilled, it would easily top Jerry's worst moments. But to do so, he must let the chaos creature go, thus losing out on the chance to harness its power for himself.

Ultimately, the only thing that can trump Rick's greed for power is his soft spot for Jerry. Capping this sentiment off, Rick becomes irate when, after returning home, Jerry refers to him as a friend. His fortune from earlier about making a new friend has come to pass, robbing him of the immortality it granted. But friendship is a two-way street, so clearly, Rick considers Jerry a friend, after all.

When does Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 6 air?

Titled "Juricksic Mort," Season 6, Episode 6 of "Rick and Morty" will air on Adult Swim October 9 at 11:00 p.m. The episode's provided description reads, "Seemingly out of the blue, Earth's old rulers return. They make a great case for changing the way society does business, but Rick isn't going to put up with it." Based on this scant information, it looks like next week's episode has the strong potential be dinosaur themed. Who else could "Earth's old rulers" refer to when considered in combination with the episode's "Jurrasic Park" title riff? Maybe Evil Morty will make an appearance as Dan Harmon foreshadowed.

In a season that's been defined thus far by Rick's evolving relationship with his family, will next week's episode be a more standard adventure? As we've seen many times already this season, Rick has grown more attached to his family than ever before, regardless of which dimensions they originated in. Whatever the multiverse may throw their way, join us back here next week. For now, let's be wary of fortune cookies, and steer clear of any Gwyneth Paltrow lookalikes trying to sell them to us.