The following recap contains spoilers for Rick and Morty S7E7, “Wet Kuat Amortican Summer” (written by Alex Song-Xia and directed by Kyounghee Lim).
Rick and Morty S7E7, “Wet Kuat Amortican Summer,” is the first episode of the show to feature Summer’s name (thus rounding out the roster of main characters for name usage in episode titles) and one of the only ones to feature Morty’s sister as a star player. We open with Summer doing a series of bizarre, occasionally nasty tasks in the basement before she emerges, declaring completion of chores for Rick. Her reward: an RPG-style “attribute slider” that attaches to her wrist and allows her to adjust a series of attributes such as strength, charisma and intelligence, although raising one lowers another.
Morty, naturally, is deeply jealous: he also wants an attribute slider to buff himself up for the Frisbee golf party they’re going to later, but Rick refuses unless Morty does something for him. Morty lists off a couple of the adventures they’ve been on, but Summer counters that Morty is a begging bottom feeder, and she’s “an independent woman who eats what she kills.”
Summer is the star of the party thanks to the gifts the attribute slider has bestowed on her, to Morty’s irritation, and Morty attempts to discredit Summer by pointing out that she’s using technology to artificially make her popular. Summer starts to drag Morty out of the house before the cheering partygoers, but Morty manages to reach up and lower all of the strength and raise Summer’s intelligence to the maximum level, and wrests the slider from her to increase his own strength. Summer utilizes her new intelligence to expertly throw a Frisbee to ricochet of off multiple items and Rube Goldberg a skateboard under Morty’s feet, tripping him up and once again making her the star of the party.
The siblings’ ensuing tussle causes them to fall into the swimming pool, creating a vortex of energy presumably caused by the attribute slider. When Summer emerges, she is horrified to find that Morty has shrunk down and fused to her abdomen, unable to say anything besides squealing, “Open your mind!” Morty has become Summer’s Kuato, a character from 1990’s Total Recall. I love that a minor mutant character from a ’90s Arnold Schwarzenegger movie is the focal point of an entire Rick and Morty episode, but it is totally on brand for the show to do it.
Summer is booed out of the party and goes to Rick in desperation. Rick, for his part, is delighted: “I thought the slider was going to be the whole thing this week!” It’s one of a couple of meta jokes Rick makes this week—he later mentions how many times “per season” he has to rescue Morty. I also wanted to point out one of my favorite gags of the episode: Rick is watching a show called Cake or Fake, an obvious riff on Is it Cake?, however in this instance it’s a human man strapped to a wall yelling “Do I not speak?” and the contestant is still unsure. “Hand me the knife,” he says. Later, the punchline comes when Rick references the show, saying, “Those sentient cakes keep you guessing.”
Anyway, Rick deduces that the water fried the attribute slider’s gene sequencer, braiding the siblings’ spinal cords, but refuses to fix the problem unless Summer does more chores. Morty’s repeated cries of “Open your mind” cause the targeted ads on Summer’s phone to lead her to an underground community of other Kuato hosts, and she hits it off well with a handsome young man named Kwyatt. He introduces her to another Kuato named Kenneth, who gives off some very strong Jared Leto cult leader vibes. After a big party, Summer and Kwyatt are spending time outside, and after Kwyatt sadly apologizes to Summer, a van pulls up and abducts her. When she comes to, she finds that Morty has been surgically removed from her and she’s about to be fed into a giant oven. She manages to escape using a cybernetic ponytail upgrade Rick gave her for prior chores, and gives her captor a taste of his own toasty medicine.
The episode literally turns into Taken (Kwyatt refers to Morty’s location as “The Taken house” when interrogated by Summer), with Rick and Summer teaming up to beat and shoot the tar out of Kenneth’s team of traffickers en route to a boat which will ferret away Morty to be transplanted into a wealthy donor—as Kenneth explains to a captive Morty, most of the Kuato hosts have paid for a transplant.
Once on the boat, Rick and Summer confront Kenneth, whose Kuato fully emerges from his host and climbs into a spider mech, and subsequently has another Kuato sprout from his torso. We are now two Kuatos deep for Kenneth, and this one claims to be the mastermind of the whole operation, willingly selling out his kind for profit.
Morty, having overpowered his captors, comes crashing through the skylight to brawl with Kenneth’s…Kuato’s Kuato, who pulls a knife. But not just any knife: this knife sprouts another smaller blade. Kuato knife! After the antagonistic Kuato blasts our heroes back, he reveals his true secret: another Kuato. He appears to be about to reveal yet another layer of what has become a Kuato Russian Nesting Doll, but Rick has had enough, attaching a device to the spider mech and driving it off of the boat, drowning the Kenneth Kuato. After Morty asks for the vessel, Rick drives it back up the side of the boat and laboriously attempts to shake the corpse off of it.
Amusingly, the episode does not end with Morty being returned to normal, but instead has him be a Frisbee golf (FROLF) champion of the school in his Kuato form and wearing the spider mech, still screaming “Open your mind” as he spikes a Frisbee into the hole and accidentally blows up the stands with the suit’s missiles.
This week cooled off a little bit after a major hot streak of episodes, but I still had a lot of fun with “Wet Hot Amortycan Summer,” and at this point I don’t even think about the fact that Rick and Morty have new voice actors. The spirit of the show is as strong as ever, and I am still having an absolute blast watching it every week. Given how weird and inventive things continue to be, I eagerly anticipate what’s going to happen in the back third of the season.