Back in reality with Blips and Chitz under siege by alien terrorists, Rick explains that Summer needs to buy time while he works to extract Morty from Roy’s console. Since every second in the real world equals a month in a video game, he should keep playing, not help her fight. “Just do Die Hard,” he says. Summer retorts that she’s only 17 and that’s why she didn’t watch Die Hard, but Rick expects her to figure things out.
Meanwhile, the leader of the terrorists is looking for a slot machine safe. Summer quickly kills one of the terrorists and steals his Furby-style walkie-talkie. The terrorist leader (Peter Dinklage), acting as Hans Gruber’s counterpart, explains that each civilization eventually invents the “Die Hard” story, although each calls it differently.
On last week’s episode, we saw how much Rick has come to trust Summer. He can go on adventures with Morty, but his granddaughter has access to emergency protocols. Now he trusts her with his life while he’s in the game. It’s a far cry from Keep the Summer Safe, and of the Smith family, Summer seems to be the one Rick seems to have gotten rid of the most.
The Die Hard parody is a simple but effective comedic stunt that keeps the B-plot straight in relation to the complex events within the Swarm game. Speaking with Backshowrunner Scott Marder explained that the idea of filling in the episode’s B plot first came up, saying, “We ended up taking on a really complex story for the episode’s A plot. [Dan] Harmon’s like, “What’s left?” We have something like hostages. “Just give me Die Hard!”