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Rick And Morty's Chris Parnell Had A Whole Lot Of Fun With Jerry's Stasis Field Story Arc

In its pivotal third season, "Rick and Morty" confronts one of its most pathetic characters with a sobering truth. "You act like prey, but you're a predator," says dysfunctional absentee grandad Rick Sanchez to his son-in-law, Jerry Smith. "You use pity to lure in your victims. It's how you survive."

Speaking with the A.V. Club's Marah Eakin, Jerry actor Chris Parnell spoke about the Season 3 episode, titled "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy." The episode came up in a "Random Roles" interview, after Eakin asked if Parnell had ever been surprised by a Jerry-centric storyline. "With Jerry, I'm never very surprised..." he states plainly, "It was fun, I guess, to get to see Jerry in the episode where he and Rick go to the planet with the status field."

This "Rick and Morty" adventure sees Jerry roped into a "pity-adventure" with his abusive father-in-law as a result of Morty's concern for Jerry's wellbeing after the latter moves out. Uninterested in actually protecting Jerry or taking him somewhere important, Rick takes him to a "stasis field" resort in which none of the patrons are able to die. "You get to see them bond a little bit," continues Parnell, "and then you get to see Jerry be a little cunning..."

An assassination gone wrong

Just after sharing a surprisingly pleasant round of drinks at the resort bar, Jerry leaves Rick to go to the restroom — where he is suddenly pulled into a plot to assassinate Rick. Given absolute freedom of choice, Jerry ultimately decides to go through with the plan after being reminded of how Rick callously ruined his marriage. When Rick owns up to this fact, however, Jerry has a sudden change of heart and sabotages his newfound co-conspirators. "That was a fun episode... I'm sure reading that, I was like 'Oh, this is nice to see these other sides of Jerry.'"

It was recently revealed that at some point in the series — mostly likely when Rick and Morty visited the "Jerryboree" — the original Season 1 Jerry was swapped with another Jerry from a different dimension. While each character on the show has unlimited alternate versions of themselves, Jerrys are so boring and predictable that Parnell doesn't alter his performance between Jerrys. "Jerry's mostly the same, y'know, across all dimensions," Parnell said. "The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy," however, provides a dynamic shift in Jerry's personality and a crucial moment in his overall character arc. Just as Rick reckons with his role in Jerry and Beth's separation, Jerry recognizes that being helpless isn't the same as being blameless. It makes Jerry a more compelling part of the narrative, for sure, though this isn't the first time that fans have had a lot to say about him.