Rick & Morty wrapped-up season 4 with a Star Wars homage episode, titled “Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri,” that revisited the Clone Beth and Phoenix Person / Tammy story arcs.
The seeds of this finale, of course, were planted way back in season 3 episode 10 “The Rickchurian Mortydate” where Beth discussed the idea with Rick of having herself cloned, so she can live two lives.
In the same episode, a post-credits tag showed Tammy, the treacherous Galactic Federation agent / Summer’s ex-BFF, reviving her ex-lover / Rick’s BFF Phoenix (formerly Bird) Person into a cybernetic body – a la Darth Vader.
For a long time, absolutely nothing was ever explicitly established on-screen to further develop these arcs, that is, until now.
A TALE OF TWO CLONES
Beth has been a pretty low-key character this season and has only played a major role in a couple of episodes, but she came back big time toward the end, gaining momentum from episode 9, and following through with a bombshell revelation in the finale.
Since “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” it’s revealed in this episode that Beth was actually cloned by Rick per her request, and there have been two Beths leading completely different lives simultaneously.
One Beth (let’s call her Space Beth) pursued adventure in the galaxy as a rebel hero fighting against the New Galactic Federation (NGF), just like Rick did when he was younger.
This version of Beth has cybernetic enhancements as well and has been put on the NGF’s “Most Wanted” list, which basically fulfills a recurring gag in her character that she is basically Rick, but a woman.
Too smart for her own good, jaded to a fault, and limitlessly stubborn.
Space Beth even has her own spaceship, which she uses to go back to Earth after finding out that Rick planted a proximity bomb on her neck in case she comes anywhere near the other Beth.
She attempts to kill Rick in this episode because of this and gloats to her father that she’s replaced him as the most dangerous being in the galaxy.
Even the NGF admits this saying that Rick becomes a “non-threat” when he is left alone.
Regardless, this Beth seems satisfied with her personal accomplishments and has reached her full potential as a badass and a person.
In the words of Morty, “Like father, like god damn daughter.”
Meanwhile, the other Beth (aka “Normal Beth”) stayed home on Earth where she reconciled with Jerry, whom she was on the verge of divorcing, and fixed her broken albeit insanely dysfunctional family.
She even managed to get everyone, including Rick, to do periodic family psychiatric therapy sessions.
This version of Beth decided to live a “normal” life and became less like Rick.
Nevertheless, she is equally satisfied, fulfilled, and self-aware of the life she had chosen.
In other words, this Beth is happy.
She isn’t even shocked at the idea that she may be a clone when Space Beth shows up.
Nothing phases her anymore because she knows who she is, and has developed a healthy acceptance of it.
This is a direct contrast to her father who, despite knowing who he is (essentially a near unparalleled genius god scientist), can not come to terms with his own existence and has a deeply suppressed depression because of it.
The episode explores these dynamics in a subtle way but does so in the signature dark comedic style that the show is known and loved for.
In the end, when the space dust settled Jerry, Morty and Summer now seem to accept having two different Beths as the norm.
“I love having two moms,” said Summer.
Followed by Jerry who quickly responded, “I love having two wives.”
However, when Rick tries to tell which Beth is the clone via a Mindblower Vial memory, he made it so even he wouldn’t remember, his family berates him for being a bad father and claim they don’t even want to know.
Rick watches it alone, and the memory reveals that he removed the labels “Real Beth” and “Clone Beth” from the tanks he used to clone Beth, and shuffled them, so it’s impossible to know who his real daughter is.
This makes Rick come to a self-realization that he is indeed a terrible father because he would be content in killing either one of the Beths if he favored one over the other.
It should be interesting to see where the show takes this development next season.
Will Space Beth bring a new dynamic to the show permanently? Or will they just kill her off-screen?
Could go either way with this show at this point.
THE RISE AND FALL… AND RISE AGAIN? OF PHOENIX PERSON
It was simply amazing to see these two characters again and in the canon storyline this time.
They were last seen in”Never Ricking Morty,” but were basically a figment of imagination in that episode.
Tammy, before meeting her poetic demise at the hands of Rick and Summer in this episode, led the NGF to Earth to look for Beth aka “Blade Smith” and take her in.
And the absurdly morbid way she was used to defeat Phoenix Person, by Jerry no less, is a scene that should be watched because it’s simply too difficult to put into words.
Seriously, it’s messed up and hilarious at the same time.
Before that though, he has a super awesome sci-fi fight scene with Rick where he almost kills him.
In the end, Rick saves his best friend from the brink of death (the parallels with Anakin/Darth Vader continue) and stores him in the garage in hopes of rehabilitating him.
So while the arc of Tammy is permanently shut, there is potential for more Bird/Phoenix Person appearances in the future!
BATTLE FOR THE INVISIBILITY BELT
As usual with this show now, you can never trust the promos.
Though the invisibility belt did play a major role in the main arc of the episode, it was mostly relegated to B-storyline.
Basically, Morty and Summer fight over it so they can both do pervy teenager stuff.
And they kind of used it against the NGF invasion, which is sponsored by Wrangler jeans, apparently.
But in the end, it’s used by Jerry to save the day. Go figure.
It’s tough to do a Star Wars homage because it’s been done before many many many times.
Rick & Morty does it by explicitly not doing it in overtly obvious ways.
They hide it in plain sight, within the characters, within the story arcs, within a blink and you’ll miss it moment, or a cleverly placed easter egg.
And that’s what made this episode special.
It had the essential elements of Star Wars, but the characters and the narrative are all original concoctions.
From Tammy acting essentially as the Empire, to Phoenix Person filling the role as Darth Vader.
Which, of course, implies that Rick is Obi-Wan.
Morty and Summer are the clumsy Luke and Leia.
So Beth essentially became something like a Rey figure?
Does that mean Jerry is Kylo Ren? Oh god why.
Anyway, the finale is a masterpiece and scores . . .
Rick and Morty Recap – Rick Knocks-Up a [SPOILER]!? (4 x 9)
When Jerry forces the family to go on a camping vacation, Rick receives a text from an unusual sexual partner who claims she’s pregnant.
“Childrick of Mort” is the penultimate episode of Rick and Morty’s season 4 offerings, and it is quite a spectacle to take in.
Basically, Jerry’s plan was never going to happen, and instead, the episode escalates into the most bizarre baby mama drama.
So who, or more precisely, what has Rick had sexual relations with this time? A planet. That’s right. A frickin’ planet.
— Rick and Morty (@RickandMorty) May 25, 2020
This isn’t anything new for Rick though because he, technically, has “partied with a whole planet” before.
Specifically, with Unity, the hivemind collective who had a mutually toxic relationship with Rick in Season 2 Episode 3 “Auto Erotic Assimilation.”
On the other hand, this is the first episode this season that the entire Smith family has been together on an adventure again.
Even though Summer and Morty were kind of relegated in the back story, they are beautifully incorporated into the final act of the episode, albeit in a gruesome way.
Rick, Beth, and Jerry take center stage as they deal with the dilemma of a pregnant planet and a literal god.
The show has not been one to shy in making fun of Marvel movies in past episodes as evident in Season 3 episode 4 “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” serving as a satire of the Avengers films.
This time, they reverse-parodied the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) and made Rick a dead beat dad figure who basically impregnates a female Ego the Living Planet named Gaia.
Beth, who has well-established abandonment issues toward Rick, forces his father to well… be a father to her half-human, half-planet, half-siblings.
Rick ushers his “offspring” into an independently functioning society with Beth’s guidance as she is motivated by her desire to gain Rick’s approval, which she does in this episode to a fault.
This, of course, backfires when they find out that Rick isn’t actually the real father, and Gaia also had sex with a Zeus-like god named Reggie, whose hair looks similar to Rick’s.
Rick, surprisingly, claims he’s more of a father to Gaia’s children and tells Reggie to go away, and they have a hilarious and extremely satisfying fight.
Basically, it’s Peter Griffin versus the talking chicken in Family Guy meets Kratos in God of War, but darker, pettier and more childish.
Meanwhile, Morty and Summer are forced to hang with Jerry who still wants to do “nature stuff,” but is quickly shunned by his children.
Because Morty just wants to play video games, and Summer just wants to get high.
After Summer savagely puts his father down when he offers them a s’more, she and Morty try to find Rick but get lost and find an abandoned spaceship instead.
They get their respective wishes, of sorts, as Summer gets dangerously high on alien tech fumes, and Morty haphazardly pilots the spaceship (while also high) assuming it’s as easy as playing a video game.
This eventually leads them to inadvertently killing Reggie during his fight with Rick by driving the spaceship through the god’s eye. (A clever reference to the Zeus mythos)
As for Jerry, well, he ends up with the Unproductives, a group of Gaia’s children that add no value to their society as deemed by Rick and Beth.
Jerry imparts his knowledge of camping skills on them, and says that those who don’t enjoy camping are “bad.”
This urges the Uproductives to start a revolution against Gaia’s other children.
They’re led by Jerry as he is granted by Reggie with lightning powers, which he underutilizes due to incompetence.
He does, however, gain Beth’s affection back from Rick by rescuing her from falling during the battle.
Of course, Jerry’s side loses though and Rick abandons Gaia and Reggie’s children in the end.
This episode is probably one of, if not the most, bizarre installment of Rick and Morty yet.
It was billed as a simple family camping trip episode but became something that’s quite difficult to evaluate and at times off-putting.
Regardless, it still captures the essence of why the show is so funny and smart into an unstable cocktail one just can’t help but chug down.
Thus, making it something that you have to see for yourself because nothing really compares to it.
“Childrick of Mort” scores an
8.0 / 10.0!
Rick and Morty Recap – Morty Questions Rick’s Vat of Acid Idea (4 x 8)
Rick makes a fake vat of acid to trick some gangsters, but Morty loses his cool and things get out of hand.
Since the teasers were released for the show last month, “The Vat of Acid Episode,” was among the most anticipated of Rick and Morty’s season 4 second-half installments.
And the hype was justified because it is arguably one of the best episodes the show has ever had.
Just like everything with Rick and Morty, the vat of acid is not just a vat of acid.
In this case, it served as motivation for Rick to mess with Morty and put him in his place.
When Morty questions Rick’s fake vat of acid bit, which was unraveling against the gangsters they were trying to trick, Morty lashes out (killing the gangsters in the process) and insults his grandfather’s abilities.
Morty thinks Rick has lost it and his ideas are increasingly becoming dumber, while Rick refuses to admit his invention was a failure.
So, in true Rick fashion, he loses his temper and insults Morty until the two come to an impasse: Can Rick invent a checkpoint saving device? And yes, like the one commonly found in video games.
Rick succeeds and gloats, but gives Morty the remote control-looking device anyway to freely use and the two seemingly reconcile their disagreement.
Morty uses the device willy-nilly because he no longer has to deal with real-life consequences since he can just “reset” to a previous savepoint
He uses the device to pants Mr. Goldenfold in front of the class, hit on Jessica, order the right food at a restaurant, and a bunch of other irresponsible things.
But then Morty meets and falls in love with a girl at a coffee shop, which sets up an Up-like montage that shows their love story unfold.
Even though their story took a dark turn, and they end up in a crash that nearly kills them both, Morty shows growth in his character when he refuses to reset to his savepoint.
As their relationship seemed to be turning genuine, however, Jerry finds the checkpoint device and accidentally resets Morty back to the moment he and the girl met.
A freaked out Morty, who remembers everything they went through, blows it by coming on too strong to the girl, and the relationship never materializes.
And once again, Jerry accidentally ruins a good thing for Morty.
A heartbroken Morty then returns the device to Rick, and admits to learning his lesson.
But just as you think the show is about to end and the catharsis between the two characters will finally come full circle.
Rick pulls another twist and tells Morty that every time he used the reset device, a version of Morty from another dimension died as he took their place.
This haunting revelation weighs at Morty, while Rick just becomes spiteful and rubs it in Morty’s face.
“That’s right you little bitch, it’s the Prestige!” Rick says after the reveal,
“You Prestige-d yourself,” as he guilts Morty into undoing all the realities and take responsibility for his actions.
What follows next could only be described as Rick being petty because Morty questioned his vat of acid idea.
“Is this because of the vat?” Morty asked
To which Rick just sarcastically responds “Noo…”
Rick fuses the realities, so all the Mortys that Morty “killed” with the reset device never happened, so all the people that Morty wronged joined as a mob to punish him for his actions.
And as they were about to take their revenge on Morty, a vat of acid has been conveniently prepared by Rick, so Morty can escape his current predicament.
Morty, realizing Rick’s plan, reluctantly dives into the vat of acid again while verbally admitting to Rick how great of an idea it is.
Morty fakes his death and the mob leaves. Leaving Rick satisfied with his plan because he has “proven” his genius idea.
Rick and Morty typically thrives in dark humor, and in this installment, they literally plunge into a vat of some pretty messed-up stuff.
In the middle of the joke, unfortunately, is Morty who continues to suffer under the weight of his grandfather’s genius, and learns that questioning him leads to nothing good.
Rick’s ego, of course, proves to be as vast as his intelligence but remains quite fragile even against the slightest provocation from his grandson.
The dynamic between them is perfectly pushed to new dimensions (literally and figuratively) in this episode and keeps the show fresh and challenging for its fans to dive into.
“The Vat of Acid Episode” scores
Rick and Morty Recap – Face-Off With Face-Huggers (4 x 7)
Rick and Morty are stranded on a face-hugger alien planet with no memory of why they’re there.
Titled “Promortyus,” which is, of course, a nod to the alien sci-fi flick that served as a sort of prequel to Aliens.
This episode explores the alien/space genre and pokes fun at Star Wars, the Gundam anime series, and others.
The episode starts with the duo controlled by face-huggers, which they break free from soon after with no recollection of what they’ve done while possessed.
They find out the face-huggers are collectively called Glorzo as they try to blend in and find their missing ship.
Turns out, their ship is responsible for advancing the face-huggers’ technology and the aliens have plans to use it to go to other worlds.
Eventually, their poorly thought-out ruse is exposed and they resort to forcing their way out of the situation like they typically do.
As they escape, they kill a bunch of aliens and destroy their buildings with no regard for repercussions.
This is when Rick and Morty engage in meta-commentary about Star Wars by saying:
Rick: “Damn, feels kinda good when there’s no guilt, huh?”
Morty: “Yeah, it’s like in Star Wars”
Rick: “Yeah, just like in Star Wars, go nuts!”
Later, Rick even makes a hilarious remark that they (Star Wars characters) always do a “yeehaw,” and urges Morty to do the same as he murders countless aliens with a gunner popping from the ship’s undercarriage.
Then, when Rick is pissed off at the non-stop alien onslaught, he unleashes a giant laser gun that decimates the alien horde.
They compare the experience of their warpath to be satisfying like “popping bubble wrap.”
However, when the two encounter Twin Towers, similar to the ones bombed during the 9-11 terrorist attack, they resist the urge and are proud of themselves.
On the other hand, they find a Pearl Harbor-like shipyard and decide to bomb it because it’s not in poor taste.
The commentary here is simply brilliant and critiques American society’s different values placed on the two events.
Even though they are essentially both equally tragic.
The duo then returns home and have breakfast with Beth and Jerry as they tell them about their latest space adventure.
Beth, however, asks where Summer is because she went on the adventure with them.
The two, of course, forgot about her and simply tell Beth that Summer is sleepy when in fact they left her back on the alien planet.
Fortunately, Summer is safe and sound on the planet as she’s been made into an empress by the face-huggers.
She was able to do so because it’s revealed in a flashback that she had a toothpick in her mouth that prevented the face-huggers to latch unto her.
It’s also revealed that Summer was responsible for inspiring the aliens to expand their society as they were living a primitive life cycle.
Which was to attach to a face, live for 30 minutes, die, and “shit an egg” out.
Though the aliens were content with this, Summer isn’t and it causes them to become more problematic than they were if she hadn’t intervened.
(This might be a slight meta-commentary on how “outrage culture” has led to certain “underprivileged” groups becoming more dangerous to society.)
The events preceding the building of the face-hugger society are then montaged wherein Rick and Morty’s face-hugger aliens confess their love for each other.
This leads to a hilarious albeit disturbing scene where the aliens engage in a homo-erotic dialogue and make-out using the bodies of Rick and Morty.
In the end, Rick, Summer, and Morty are able to escape the planet when they discover that playing the harmonica is the aliens’ weakness.
This is another commentary on the typically ridiculous “It must have a weakness” deus ex machina typically used in numerous sci-fi movies.
- the Venom alien symbiote in Spider-Man 3 being defeated by soundwave vibrations from pipes
- the aliens from A Quiet Place getting destroyed by music
- the aliens from Signs weakness to water
They then casually return home safely, and Rick and Morty watch Interdimensional Cable.
However, they soon feel like they “have to shit” and conclude that they’re face-hugger aliens must have laid their eggs in them, so the two of them are about to die.
As they say their goodbyes to Beth, however, the two of them simply drop a deuce, and the episode ends.
OTHER NOTABLE PLOT POINTS:
- Jerry has taken up bee-keeping and has bottled his own honey.
- Summer’s friend, Tricia Lange is strangely attracted to Jerry (because of the bee-keeping) and admits to Summer that she wants to have sex with him.
- Morty, apparently, has a PornHub account and has an online relationship with a friend who he shares his kinks with.
- Summer likes to listen to podcasts now, and it annoys Rick and Morty.
This was a fun little episode that made fun of the alien/space genre while critiquing real-world hypocrisies and flaws in logic that we as a society do not seem to want to address.
So, essentially, another standard Rick and Morty fare that is equal parts silly and over-the-top yet still remains relevant and hard-hitting in questioning the human condition.
“Promortyus” scores a
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