As suggested by the title: “Bethic Twinstinct”, Rick and Morty focused the third installment of its sixth season on the relationship between Beth and Space Beth, both voiced by Sarah Chalke (Scrubs). The title is a play on Basic Instinct, a neo-noir erotic thriller film, and hints heavily at the sexual developments to come between both Beths.
Morty, voiced by the show’s co-creator Justin Roiland (Solar Opposites), opens proceedings with his new video game console that is supposedly the most realistic video game console ever made – given to him by Space Beth. Rick, also voiced by Roiland, lands back at the house initially as a turkey, referencing last season’s “Thanksploitation Spectacular”, and introduces the setting of Thanksgiving. As much as Rick wants to leave, now that he’s aware of Space Beth’s presence, he is unable to because they heard him arrive and portal fluid still doesn’t work. Jerry, voiced by Chris Parnell (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, 21 Jump Street), makes a toast at Thanksgiving dinner that reiterates multiple times how he is grateful for Beth, who stayed with him, and that without her he would likely commit suicide.
Beth and Space Beth start having an affair and every one of the family members aside from Jerry finds out about it far too easily. Upon realizing what is happening Summer, voiced by Spencer Grammer (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), and Morty find themselves willing to be mindlessly distracted by the video game console that is far too realistic to actually be entertaining. This is likely a jab at recent developments in virtual reality games and is executed very well. Rick, Morty, and Summer confront both Beths and make it known that they believe Jerry should be informed. Space Beth does tell Jerry, who has a flashback to the time he admitted he would be honored to be torn apart by Beth. Immediately after, he turns into a pill bug because Rick asked him to install this feature.
As Rick is about to wipe both Beth’s memory of their incident, Jerry comes out of his shell to declare that he was wrong to have made his suicide toast. Instead, he is going to pack his stuff and leave. When Beth tries to stop him, he reveals that he is not mad about their affair, all he wanted was to permit it. This inevitably leads to the three of them getting involved with each other while Morty and Summer hear it all at dinner and develop some seriously hilarious trauma. In the post-credit scene, Jerry goes back to the Jerryboree, whose origin episode “Mortynight Run” has been referenced in every episode of the sixth season so far, in search of finding a version of himself to hook up with. He eventually does find one, where they share a quick kiss and a handshake.
The contained style of this episode, thanks to the lack of portal fluid and the viewer’s familiarity with the origins of these characters, allowed the household drama to flourish. It felt organic that Beth, who inherited some of Rick’s narcissism, would make advances on the other version of herself. The cutaways to the faces of Morty and Summer as they tried to avoid confronting Space Beth’s involvement in their parents’ sex lives, were incredibly funny. The video game jokes did get a little repetitive halfway through the episode – but otherwise “Bethic Twinstinct” built well on the foundations that were laid earlier in the season.