Rick and Morty S7E8 Recap: “Rise of the Numbericons: The Movie” — It’s a Movie!

Water-T bursts through the door, shooting his enemies.
Screenshot/Adult Swim

The following recap contains spoilers for Rick and Morty S7E8 “Rise of the Numbericons: The Movie” (written by Rob Schrab and directed by Lucas Gray).

This week’s episode of Rick and Morty, “Rise of the Numbericons: The Movie,” actually doesn’t feature Rick at all, but Morty and his teacher Mr. Goldenfold join Ice-T—excuse me, Water-T—on a cinematic adventure against the villainous Numbericons. 

We open on a planet where everyone is an anthropomorphic letter. Ice-T enters a royal chamber, addressing Magnesium-J, Hydrogen-F, and his father Magma-Q, expressing his desire to rejoin his brethren on Alphabetrium. The council ends his exile, transforming him into Water-T. Just then, the planet comes under attack from the Numbericons who, as expected, are anthropomorphic numbers. The Numbericons lay waste to the planet in ships that look like giant calculators, killing Water-T’s father in the process. In his dying breaths, Water-T’s father hands him a necklace with a cylinder adorned with a formula: “It’s a prophecy or some sh*t,” and then dies with a literal mic drop. 

Drawing two guns, Water-T declares that he’s going to “crunch the numbers” before a title card, and slaughters the Numbericons en masse. The Numbericons begin to flee because Water-T is “too dope” and our hero erects the Bracket Shields over the planet before escaping in his ship piloted by the Lithium-P. His pilot recognizes the relic as the I of Harmony, and its engraving the forbidden Math. Water-T knows a math expert on Earth, so they chart a course. 

Down on Earth, Mr. Goldenfold is chastising Morty for listing to music during his math lesson, and dismisses class early so Morty can get instant detention. It’s a quick and amusing gag that the class grumbles about having wanted to learn as they exit the classroom. Morty says that rap music helps him concentrate, and Mr. Goldenfold declares that “Rap will never help anyone do anything” right as Water-T enters the room. Mr. Goldenfold immediately accuses Water-T of never turning in his homework, and a flashback shows that the two have a bitter history, with Ice-T having no interest in learning from Mr. Goldenfold. 

Water-T says that he never turned in homework because he had no home, but now that he does, he needs Mr. Goldenfold’s help to decipher the I of Harmony and save his planet. A briefly softened Mr. Goldenfold is interrupted by the Numbericons blasting through the wall of the school, with the serpentine leader of a group of pound sign-shaped ships, Sinistar 7, calling for Water-T’s death. Water-T, Morty, Mr. Goldenfold and Lithium-P manage to escape her, which draws the ire of her own father, Lord Dreadnought, who demands that 7 find the I of Harmony and bring it to him. 

Sinistar-7 speaks before her father.
Screenshot/Adult Swim

We get a bit of backstory to the Mr. Goldenfold/Water-T feud: back when he was human Ice-T, the rapper was unable to carry a beat and still wouldn’t turn in his homework. Bursting into the studio, Mr. Goldenfold is suddenly sympathetic to Ice-T’s dream of rapping, and teaches him 4-4 time, which turns out to be the ingredient for Ice-T to successfully rap on beat. He rebuffs Morty’s declaration that he was once friends with the rapper, and has an epiphany, using the I of Harmony to deduce an equation that directs them to Planet E-10.

Once in range of E-10, the I begins glowing, but they are almost immediately set upon by Sinistar 7, and both ships crash land on the planet. 7 is set to drown when she can’t release her seatbelt, but Water-T rescues her. The two begin to argue and scuffle over Water-T “acting on emotions” by saving her, but Mr. Goldenfold intervenes, telling 7 that whoever told her that numbers can’t be emotional did her wrong, and saying that on Earth, sometimes letters and numbers even “get down” with letters, something that 7 finds “disgusting.”

A group of anthropomorphic squiggles, dubbed “Primitive Googas” by Morty, take the group to an Ewok-style party in the trees, where they tell Sinistar 7 that the I of Harmony comes from a religious site nearby, and insists that the I is a 1. Morty attempts to moderate, saying that maybe the relic is just a straight line, but both Water-T and 7 brush him off. 

Water-T wakes the next morning to find that the I of Harmony and Sinistar 7 are gone, and sets off after her. After Mr. Goldenfold refuses to help Water-T further, Morty presses him for the real reason they had a falling out. It turns out that back in 1991, Mr. Goldenfold was attending a dinner with the Governor (soon-to-be President) where they were watching Ice-T accept a Grammy, where Ice-T was expected to thank math for his award and subsequently convince the Governor to add a math wing to the school. When Ice-T thanked letters and specifically nothing else, the irate Governor ejected Mr. Goldenfold from the dinner and dashed Mr. Goldenfold’s dreams of that math wing. It is revealed later that just before accepting his award, Magma-Q condemned Ice-T for the 4-4 beat and called him a “number-loving traitor,” which is why Ice-T avoided commending math in his speech.

Water-T catches up to 7 and the two briefly scuffle before starting to “get it on,” causing the I to glow and for them to receive a bizarre vision of the letter I morphing into the number 1 and back. Before they can contemplate the meaning of this, Dreadnought shows up. Oxygen S emerges as well, revealing himself to be a traitor. When Water-T asks how he could have done this, it is revealed that Oxygen S was actually the number 8 all along. 

With the I in hand, 8 inserts the relic into the altar, calling down a ring of fire that transforms him into Infinity, giving him the power of the universe. His first course of action is to disintegrate Dreadnought and declare 7 his general. He flies out to destroy Alphabetrium. 

Infinity razes Alphabetrium, with no regard to the deaths of letters or numbers. 7 protests, and Infinity responds by blowing up her ship. Water-T and the gang pick her up, and she recognizes how she’s spent her life serving “negative numbers.” When 7 asks how they can get the Numbericons to rise up against Infinity, Mr. Goldenfold responds with, “We’ll inspire them!” and producing a microphone. What follows is a, quite frankly, very dope musical number in which Water-T, Mr. Goldenfold (who has shockingly good flow), and even Force Ghost Magma Q rap together to rally the Numbericons against infinity. It’s an energetic sequence, ending with Magma Q imbuing Water-T with his power to turn him into Magma-T. Realizing that the I activates when letters and numbers get down, Magma-T makes out with 7, transforming the I’s energy into a giant gun to destroy Infinity. The episode ends with Magma-T finally turning in his homework, to which a delighted Mr. Goldenfold awards an F grade. 

This episode overall didn’t quite hit the mark for me, but I enjoyed the commitment to the bit as well as the constant deluge of number- and letter-based puns and action movie quips. It was corny as hell and a good enough time, but it’s not an episode I see myself revisiting anytime soon. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more Rick next week, as the show is at its best when the two are going on misadventures together. With just two episodes left in the season, I’m hoping for something big to close out the year. 

Written by Hawk Ripjaw

Hawk Ripjaw has been sharing his opinion on film and TV since his early teens, when the local public library gave away prizes for submissions to their newsletter. Since then, he's been writing for local newspapers, international video game sites, booze-themed movie websites, and anywhere else he can throw around some media passion. He watched the Mike Myers Cat in the Hat movie over 50 times in two years, for science.

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  1. None of the episodes from this season feature the Rickest Rick or the Mortyest Morty.

    708 is not only just the worst episode of Rick and Morty for the entire series to date,

    It’s the worst episode of anything, ever.

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