Rick and Morty S7 Ep 4 Review
Last year, Rick and Morty went through a series first with the episode “Analyze Piss.” That episode saw the initial antagonist, Pissmaster, kill himself after Jerry publicly beat him up. Adult Swim had to put up a disclaimer at the front warning people of what would happen, and it showed. The episode played it with so much dark drama, even Rick felt bad for him. I didn’t think that we were going to get another episode as heavy (or disgusting) as “Analyze Piss” for a while. However, Adult Swim proved me wrong. The show’s new episode “That’s Amorte” didn’t just double down on the subject. It upped the disgusting factor to the point where I might be able to eat a certain food for a while without thinking about this episode. It also happened to be, by a wide margin, the best episode of the season to date. And it all revolves around…spaghetti.
Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?
The episode starts off deceptively cheerful, with the Smith-Sanchez family coming together to enjoy Rick’s “Spaghetti Thursday.” The spaghetti he serves is so delicious that it puts everyone in a good mood. However, in true Rick and Morty fashion, that joyful atmosphere’s shattered when Morty learns something horrible: Rick’s been getting the spaghetti from the bodies of dead people.
As Rick reveals, there’s a planet of aliens that look exactly like humans. The one difference is that when they commit suicide, their insides turn into the most delicious spaghetti ever made. The Smith family’s joy comes at the expense of someone else’s misery and death, and this planet doesn’t even realize it. They’ve never even heard of spaghetti. Horrified at this, Morty decides to tell the Spaghetti people the truth.
On the surface, it seems like the morally right thing to do. However, Morty should know by now how easily this can backfire on everyone. There was the fiasco with the Snake Planet back in season four, and more recently, everything involving those solar knights. It runs counter to the lessons that Morty should’ve learned. In his defense, though, he just found out he’s committing cannibalism, so he’s understandably not thinking straight.
Spoiler alert: his good intentions backfire, and this is where the episode gets interesting.
Soylent Green and the Right to Die
Instead of being disgusted at this revelation, the leaders of Spaghetti Planet get an idea. They get people who, whether because they’re already dying or lost all hope, are willing to kill themselves and have them consent to having their remains turned into spaghetti. It works, too; the spaghetti’s as delicious as ever, as Morty finds out.
The right to die and the choice to end one’s life are things with major moral and ethical concerns surrounding them. If someone’s suffering from a terminal illness and they know they’ll die from it, do they have the right to end their own life rather than die a slow and painful death? And what about people so driven to despair that they choose to commit suicide? We should strive to help people in the latter case, but what about the former? Rick and Morty doesn’t have the answer, but it does use it to make people think.
Unfortunately, when their new export proves more popular than they can make, the Spaghetti Planet takes things too far. As Rick and Morty discover, their leaders deliberately turned their planet into a miserable dystopia to encourage people to kill themselves. In a grim nod to its infamy as a place of suicide, the alien equivalent of the Golden Gate Bridge has its safety nets replaced with sieves.
No, I’m being serious. The Golden Gate Bridge is the most used suicide site in the world. Look it up!
Unfortunately, Morty’s attempts to come up with a moral alternative to this issue backfire, and with the secret out, aliens go around and verbally encourage the Spaghetti People to commit suicide. It’s disturbing, yet, at the same time, morbidly funny.
As usual, though, it’s Rick who ends up solving everything by reminding the universe of one, key thing. And this is where the episode truly shines.
We Shouldn’t Cheapen the Value of Lives Ended
Rick knew that as long as people wanted that spaghetti, the cycle would never end. However, he, in his own messed up way, also knew that these weren’t just products waiting to be sold, but real people with their own stories. Thus, he finds a terminally ill man who’s willing to end his life if it will end the spaghetti trade, and he broadcasts his entire life for the universe to watch. They see this man’s entire life story, all its ups and downs, from start to finish as his life comes to a peaceful end. And then…they puke.
What Rick did was a brilliant way to resolve the episode’s conflict. When people go to slaughterhouses and look in the eyes of the animals that die for them to eat, they can feel immense guilt and even swear off eating meat altogether. It’s easy to enjoy something when you don’t know the cost of what goes into it, and thanks to Rick, everyone finds the spaghetti to be in poor taste. In other words, ignorance is bliss.
This is such a great way to end the episode. It warns people that sometimes, not knowing how something’s made is better than knowing. More than that, though, it serves as a poignant reminder of why the topic of suicide should be discussed more. Whether it’s about a person’s right to end their own life or what we can do to help those who feel the need to end it out of despair, this should be talked about more. And while Rick and Morty does use it for its messed-up sense of humor, it also cares enough to warn people of what’s being shown, and how we can help those suffering.
Finally, a Good Rick and Morty Episode
By a wide margin, this was the best episode of the season thus far. This is what I want out of Rick and Morty! Now they need to keep that momentum going for the rest of the season. And to think all of this happened because of spaghetti.
I don’t think I can eat spaghetti for a few weeks without thinking about this episode…and I love that.