Rick and Morty season 1 Episode 4 M.Night Shayam-Aliens


The episode opens with Rick dissecting a large rat in the garage and complaining about the sloppy workmanship. Morty stops by to comment on the beautiful day before robotic Beth gets in her car and drives off to work. Rick is suspicious of the day’s events, as is Morty. Morty leaves for school and is called to the front of “math class” by Mr. Goldenfold, who asks him to teach the class, despite Morty’s seemingly incorrect answer to a math question. A classmate asks Morty to share the recipe for concentrated dark matter, and a reluctant Morty is almost lured into doing so by Jessica before Rick bursts in and drags Morty away.

Rick tells Morty to strip as they scramble to the locker room showers. Rick explains that they are actually trapped in a simulation of real life by a race of “intergalactic tricksters” called the Zigerions. Rick tells Morty that they’ll be safe if they’re naked, because the sight of nudity is extremely uncomfortable for the alien race.

Meanwhile, Jerry has also been accidentally abducted into the simulation and calmly continues the day’s events without noticing the numerous glitches as his simulation is running at very low capacity. Jerry goes to work and suggests a marketing slogan for the apples (“Hungry for apples?”), which the board members approve. Filled with unbridled confidence, Jerry immediately leaves to make love to a simulated Beth.

Rick and Morty plan an impromptu rap concert, and Rick orders the crowd to perform a wide variety of actions to saturate the RAM and freeze the CPU, i.e. the simulation. The pair manage to escape the simulation, sneak into the ship, steal some Crystal Core processing units, and proceed to the escape pod. As they fly back to Earth and return to the garage, Rick’s enters the passcode to a hidden safe that refuses to open. The garage then melts, proving that they are still trapped in the simulation.

Prince Nebulon appears and taunts Rick for thinking he escaped, revealing that the Zigerions always had a recipe for concentrated dark matter, but Rick pulls down Morty’s pants to cause a distraction, leading to a ship-wide chase. Back in the simulation, Jerry returns to work to admit that his slogan is a hoax ‘Do you have milk?’, but his boss is caught in an endless loop of finger snapping and says, “Yes!”. Within a minute, Jerry is fired, rehired, promoted, and then nominated for an “Appley Award” (a fictitious award that Jerry made up just seconds earlier). Jerry wins the prize and gives a heartfelt speech about how that day was the best day of his life before the simulation crashes.

Rick and Morty meet up with Jerry again as they try to find a real escape pod to use. They climb into one, but are immediately chased by Zigerion ships, and Rick decides to cobble together some concentrated dark matter to escape. Morty asks for the recipe and Rick orders Morty to mix 2 parts cesium, 1 part plutonic quartz and bottled water to create a concentrated dark matter. But then Morty freezes as he and the ship disappear, proving that it was just Rick and Jerry in the simulation the whole time. Prince Nebulon reappears victorious and allows them to leave.

Celebrating their victory, the Zigerions mix said components to create dark matter, but their ship immediately explodes, proving that Rick knew he was in a simulation at least since he was tricked into entering the safe combination. Rick sings the sax part in Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street as their shuttle flies away.

In the post-title sequence, Jerry gives a ‘Hungry for Apples?’ pitch at an actual board meeting and is fired on the spot. A drunken Rick approaches the real Morty in bed, pulls a knife on him and yells at him, repeatedly calling him “scumbag” to prove he’s not a simulation before passing out in his sleep.


The main characters


Jerry (Cronenberg’s Dimension)

Prince Nebulon

Morty (posts)

Minor characters




Mr. Marklovitz



Beth (Cronenberg Dimension)

Mr. Goldenfold (The Cronenberg Dimension)

Jessica (The Cronenberg Dimension)

Grace Smith (The Cronenberg Dimension)

Mrs. Spencer



Prince Nebulon




All known zigerions (extinction)

Many trapped aliens on the ship



Smith residence

Haas and Milan

Zigerion ship

Holographic simulation

Harry Herpson High School (hologram only)

Episode Notes


The song played during the episode and during the credits is an instrumental version of “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty.

For unknown reasons, Summer does not appear in this episode.

Beth also doesn’t technically appear in the episode, only appearing as a simulation.

This is also the only episode where Morty doesn’t appear at all because it’s just a simulation. (Except briefly in the credits scene).

There are several hints throughout the episode that Morty has been simulated and that Rick has been aware of it all along.

Rick was watching Morty suspiciously at the end of the first scene when Morty crashed into the garage wall.

Rick acts out of character and fools around with Morty as they collect crystals, presumably to see if he’ll notice.

When the second simulation is over, the crystals that were collected will not disappear.

The Zigerions refer to Jerry as the next person in the simulation, as opposed to the third.

Prince Nebulon says that the target is Rick Sanchez, not mentioning Morty at the time.

After Jerry’s simulation ends, he is still wearing the simulated tuxedo.

When Rick pulls down Morty’s pants to allow them to escape the Zigerions, Morty immediately pulls up his pants for the Zigerions to follow, indicating that he is being simulated.


By the time the third simulation ended, all the supplies Rick needed for the concentrated dark matter happened to be aboard the ship. Morty also finds the ingredients almost instantly, despite his lack of scientific knowledge.

When Rick boards the escape ship to leave the Zigerion ship in the second simulation, he simply pushes over the guard, causing the guard to fall without resistance. This allows Rick, Morty, and Jerry to get on the ship, where they are forced into the situation to create a concentrated dark matter.

In real life, cesium is highly reactive in water and will explode if it comes into contact with it.

Just before the explosion occurred, Rick mentioned to Jerry that all the actions he had committed would not have mattered in the grand scheme of things since he was running in a low powered simulation for that time of his life.

Rick’s line to Morty on the escape ship “I guess they really have concentrated dark matter, huh?” is to test whether the simulation (via Morty) will get Rick to say the formula for concentrated dark matter, which succeeds, leading Rick to trick the simulation into a fake recipe for concentrated dark matter.

Jerry, who lost his job in this episode, would continue in “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind” looking for job opportunities on the Internet, telling Doofus Rick that he was “between the ads” and again in “Look Who’s Purging Now” where Jerry starts begging Summer to give him some money, yelling at him to get a job. He is later heard on the phone with a guy whose job it is to talk to lonely people so Beth can tell him the same thing.

According to the Season 1 DVD commentary, the scene where Morty is in the classroom was originally supposed to end with an orgy.

Prince Nebulon is seen mixing plutonic quartz and cesium in the wrong order and quantity, which is shown through the bottles as opposed to simulating Morty’s mix on the ship. It is unclear whether this is a mistake or just carelessness on Prince Nebulon’s part.

The main reason the ship exploded was because cesium is highly reactive and explosive when in contact with water. However, with 2 pieces of Plutonic Quartz, the explosion was even worse.

Zigerions are links to Nigerian online scammers. Not only do the terms rhyme, but Rick describes the Zigerions as “…the most ambitious and least successful con artists in the galaxy…”

Cultural references

The episode’s title is based on film director M. Night Shyamalan, who is known for his constant use of plot twists.

Cameo Pop-tart is seen in the episode driving the toaster to work.

The girl mindlessly bouncing a red rubber ball in front of Jerry’s house is a reference to a scene from the novel A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

As you travel through the third simulation in zero gravity, you can see captured silhouettes of many different aliens, including many Gromflomites and a Plutonian. In one of the captured modules, you can also see the silhouette of the Iron Giant from the movie The Iron Giant, as well as Q*Bert from the arcade game Q*Bert, Xenomorph from the Alien franchise and Ignignokt from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. .

The Plutonians also reappear as Rick, Morty and Jerry try to escape the Zigerion ship.

The floating char that can be seen as Rick, Morty, and Jerry flee through the Zigerion lab is believed to be based on the kinetic artwork “Cory’s Yellow Chair” by Arthur Ganson.

The Zigerions are very similar to the Futurama con artist, Bender’s Big Score.

The “glitchy” effect that all the characters in the simulated world have is based on the tilting of the cartridge, which refers to glitches in the video game GoldenEye.

The door on the alien ship makes the sound used in Star Trek: The Original Series.


Rick shoves his and Morty’s clothes down the drain to prevent Morty from getting dressed. However, in the next scene the two appear, they’re back in their standard attire (with some slight modifications to match the rap/hip-hop theme of the ‘concert’ they’re playing). No explanation is given as to how the two are able to find the clothes again.

As they prepare for a hip-hop concert, Rick’s shirt is unbuttoned on the right side and the clock on Morty’s necklace is set to 9:00 (or 11:45). When they take the stage, Rick’s shirt is unbuttoned on the left side and Morty’s clock is set to 3:00 (or 12:15). Also, when the camera switches to a higher phase, Morty’s watch changes from his right arm to his left arm.

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