Rick and Morty S7 Ep 5 Review
For weeks now, I’ve been worried about whether or not Rick and Morty had started to lose its edge. The first few episodes of the show’s seventh season weren’t funny or memorable. Even the adventures of Burger and Fries, AKA Rick and Jerry, seem forgettable after the fact. While the Spaghetti Episode did alleviate some concerns, it felt like fans were getting antsy. What we wanted was to see progress on the hunt for Rick Prime, AKA the Rick that killed our Rick’s wife and Beth and started everything. Well, the halfway point of season seven gave Rick and the fans what they wanted: Rick Prime. But in a testament to how empty revenge can feel, it’s a victory that feels premature, hollow, and leaving everyone asking, “now what?” That doesn’t stop it from being one of the series best episodes, though, since it also sees the return of another longtime villain, Evil Morty.
Evil Morty Returns!
Up until the episode’s premiere, Adult Swim was tight-lipped about it by refusing to release a major teaser, and for good reason. The episode starts off with what seems like the tail end to a typical Rick and Morty adventure. However, the cold opening’s revealed to be a misdirection, with it actually showing the rise of Evil Morty.
Evil Morty’s one of the best characters on the show by virtue of the fact that he’s one of the few Morty’s who can outsmart a Rick. He’s willing to commit horrible acts of violence, murder, and deception all because he wanted out of what he calls “the Rick Experiment,” and he succeeded. He escaped to the greater multiverse where other people have invented portal travel, and is living his best life. However, he then gets dragged back into the game thanks to Rick’s obsession with catching Rick Prime.
Getting to see Evil Morty and Rick and Morty interact with each other throughout an episode was amazing. While the show’s Morty has grown to become resourceful in his own right, Evil Morty not only meets Rick on his level of intellect but surpasses him. The back-and-forth between the two is filled with a mutual condescension and shows why Ricks feel the need to be the dominant one in the Rick and Morty relationship. Because if a Morty surpasses a Rick, then it would be bad for all Ricks everywhere, as we see at the end.
Rick vs. Rick Prime at Last
As fun as it was to see the return of Evil Morty, though, the focus of the episode lies squarely on Rick Prime. Due to it being the halfway point of the season, fans could be forgiven for thinking that Rick wouldn’t find Rick Prime in this episode, let alone fight him. However, the show then turned everyone’s expectations on their heads. Not only does Rick find Rick Prime thanks to Evil Morty’s help (which he hates), but he, Morty, and Evil Morty fight him.
The resulting battle between the two sides is among the best fights the series has ever given us. Even though Rick gives it his all, there’s this overarching feeling of dread that Rick Prime will still win, and he comes to doing so. However, thanks to another deception by Evil Morty, Rick Prime is finally brought down.
What follows next is among the darkest moments in the entire series, which is saying something. In very real, very visceral moment, Rick unleashes decades of pent-up fury at his counterpart. The show holds nothing back as we watch Rick seemingly beat Rick Prime to death with his bare hands, all while the latter taunts him for turning our Rick into a mirror image of himself.
I was practically speechless as I watched this moment unfold. Like many fans, I assumed that catching Rick Prime would be a sort of epic endgame. If not for the series, then at least this season. To have it happen so suddenly halfway through the season, what should’ve been a cathartic moment felt…hollow.
Which I think was the whole point the writers were going for.
A Hollow Victory
Revenge stories are some of the most prevalent in fiction. From the Count of Monte Cristo to Sasuke’s quest to avenge the loss of his Clancy revenge stories are everywhere. A key thing that many of these stories point out about revenge, though, is how it’s not worth it. Characters devote themselves so much to the idea of avenging the wrongs done to them, they fail to consider what they’ll do afterwards. So when they finally get their revenge, it’s a hollow feeling with fleeting satisfaction. And as this episode shows, Rick finally got the revenge he wanted. However, it may not have been worth devoting his life to attaining.
The blank look on Rick’s face as the episode ends says it all. He’s a man who suddenly has no purpose in life, and no more excuses to justify his bad behavior. It’s telling that this mimics Morty’s own BSOD at the end of Rick Potion #9, the same music and everything. He great tragedy is that while Rick finally has the chance to move on, he doesn’t know what to do. Worse, by doing so, he’s given the keys to his own destruction to someone who isn’t him: Evil Morty.
Rick Prime wasn’t just hiding away, but building a weapon capable of erasing a person from every reality. He even kills a one-off character from season one to prove it. And after Rick Prime’s dealt with, Evil Morty takes the plans as insurance. If Rick ever comes after him, he’ll wipe out all Ricks everywhere. It’s like a nuclear deterrent, though, since Evil Morty knows that doing this would send the rest of the Smith Family after him. Thus, he leaves the sword of Damocles dangling over Rick’s head as he takes his leave.
The Rick and Morty We Wanted to See
Hands down, this was the best episode of the entire season, if not one of the best in the entire series. The fact that this happened in the middle of the season only makes it even more incredible. This is the kind of move that fans want to see out of Rick and Morty, the kind that keeps us on our toes. However, this does beg the question: what are they going to do now? I don’t have the slightest clue, but I’m curious to see what happens next. Considering how the shows tenth anniversary is a month away, hopefully it will be good.