Later in counseling Rick's daughter expresses no concern for her father being a pickle. He's the smartest man in the universe, he can take care of himself.
The viewer is thinking, "Oh man, this episode is going to be a total drag because what can Rick do as a pickle? It's too limiting."
A cat jumps up on the work bench and starts pawing at the pickle. Rick say something like, "everyone knows cats see pickles as snakes." And viewers are reminded of all the YouTube videos of cats jumping straight up from the sudden sight of a cucumber when their owners sneak one on them when the cats are preoccupied eating. Actually, only about half the cats react alarmed and the other half play with the cucumber.
The Rick-pickle rolls out onto the driveway. It suffers in the sun. It rains. The Rick-pickle is flooded into the sewer. A cockroach comes along and climbs onto the Rick-pickle.
Rick's pickle face eats the cockroach and takes cockroach parts unto himself. Now Rick-pickle has made himself Rick-cockroach-pickle.
The transformation is cartoon excellence.
He uses his enhanced cockroach-pickle body to build traps to kill sewer rats and further body enhancements to aid in killing more rats. Rick is a cockroach-pickle killing machine.
Now he takes a rat brain and rat parts, hands and legs, and creates a super enhanced rat-cockroach-pickle killing machine.
The transformation is mind-blowing cartoon excellence. The action progresses magnificently fast. The viewer wonders how did the writers get from A to B to C through the whole f'k'n alphabet to Z so quickly? The viewer (me) backs up and watches again to pick up the parts that were missed. It really is impressive cartoon writing.
Rick-rat-cockroach-pickle exits the sewer by rocket power up through the pipes into some random building that turns out to be a foreign agency housing a ruthless government agency head. Rick-rat-cockroach-pickle kills the agency head's henchmen one by one, sometimes two at a time. The action is fantastic as he moves through the building to get at the leader.
Meanwhile Rick's family is in family counseling and that allows an entirely different set of situational cartoon writing. The segues back and forth between plot and subplot are jolting in tone while both have the same extremely strange cartoon style of intense cynicism.
Rick-rat-cockroach-pickle eliminates all of the henchmen and goes for the leader, the most malevolent and cynical of them all. The agency head unleashes his most violent prisoner. Rick-rat-cockroach-pickle kills the lead agent and destroys the embassy. It's shown in the helicopter that Rick-rat-cockroach-pickle had teamed up with the violent prisoner for their mutual escape, they of kindred spirits.
Rick-rat-cockroach-pickle joins his family in family counseling. The therapist takes Rick's condition as ordinary therapist material. Rick-rat-cockroach-pickle explains why he disrespects therapist in one of the most beautiful deconstructions written for cartoons. Their dialogue is stunning.
YouTube [rick pickle]
The writers explain the episode to fans.