By Heidi Cho
“Rick and Morty” is a dark comedy show that follows the interdimensional adventures of a mad scientist and his rather unintelligent grandson, Morty. In the last episode, Rick turns himself in to the Galactic Federation for the endless list of crimes he has committed as a freedom fighter in return for his family’s ability to live a normal life on their version of Earth recently brought under Galactic Federation rule.
Under the Galactic Federation, Earth is technically the safest it’s ever been with the aid of its advanced alien technology. Diagnosis and treatment are immediate, everyone is kept healthy and all those able to work are assigned jobs by the Galactic Federation, much to Jerry’s, Rick’s son-in-law, excitement.
Rick’s character flaws have been demonstrated time and time again in the show, and his other family members certainly don’t like him any better for it. Jerry Smith is the epitome of every foolish human being. He acts in contrast with Rick’s obvious genius. He is consistently overlooked by other members of the family, and deplores Rick for good reason –– Rick is self-destructive and has a tendency to leave people behind in his catastrophic mistakes.
One huge mistake lands Rick in jail, which prompts Morty and Summer, Rick’s granddaughter, to attempt to bust him out.
The episode really demonstrates how powerful, deadly and genius Rick really is. His character growth is almost palpable. He spent the entire episode getting revenge on Jerry, who wanted to turn Rick in in the first place. Rick is unsympathetically a prick of epic proportions, but also a complex anti-hero capable of making the audience believe that he cares both about his family and his szechuan dipping sauce.
His characterization remains true. Even Justin Roiland, the show’s creator, works hard to prevent Rick from becoming a one dimensional character.
The amusing and complex characters complement the sci-fi show, and its undertone makes light of messed up situations in their twisted entirety. It takes cliches and terrible situations, and embraces how funnily messed up it is. The show wants us to laugh at our insignificance compared to the vastness of the world, and uses a running shit gag in the episode to do it. It manages to keep even this tense episode hilarious.
Morty’s character becomes more developed, as well. Through his interactions with Summer, he gets to share information about the multiverse he has learned about. His character development shows when he defiantly snarks at authority while being held prisoner, and shared some wisdom about Rick.
“Ricks hate themselves the most, and our Rick is the most himself,” Morty said.
For those reasons and more, Morty doesn’t buy the idea that Rick is a hero like Summer does. He instead calls Rick out as someone akin to “a demon or a super fucked up god.”
Ultimately, the relationship between Rick and Morty keeps the show real. It holds itself to the laws it sets, at least the ones that Rick hasn’t broken yet anyways. It makes the show refreshingly poignant and hilarious, and the season premiere is a fantastic opening for what will be a great season.