Rick and Morty are finally tying up some years-old loose ends on their show as Beth returns from space to confront Rick about if she is a clone or if Earth-Beth is a clone and accidentally brings an alien armada with her led by Tammy and Bird-Person or, more specifically, Pheonix-Person.
Rick and Morty’s latest batch of episodes has been, at best, a mixed bag but, I can at least attest that the last two episodes are amongst the absolute best that the series has ever produced. “The Vat of Acid Episode” and “Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri.”
“Star Mort” is fairly simple: Picking up on “The ABC’s of Beth” from a season or two ago, Beth is out in space having adventures when she discovers a bomb embedded in her neck, leading her to return to Earth where, of course, the Beth we’ve been following for the last couple of years is hanging out, unaware that she’s been cloned… or that she is a clone because the two Beths don’t know either.
This sets up a further complication when those Nathan Fillion big aliens come hunting for Space Beth and that evil vicious witch, Tammy, is with them and they want to destroy the Earth.
This, of course, makes Rick angry because they’re going to have to do a Star Wars but, you know… that’s fine. Not every adventure has to be a deconstruction or have an outlandish hard to understand plot. Sometimes, the best episodes are the ones that just have fun, have some action, and tell jokes and that’s precisely what “Star Mort” did.
Now, “Star Mort” is not as good as “The Ricklantis Mixup,” the amazing episode set on the Citidel of Ricks or “Total Rickcall” where an alien parasite disguises itself as fake memories, but it’s still a strong episode that relies on humor and action and that’s perfectly fine with me, especially as it serves as an exclaimation point on a fairly dull season.
The dynamic with Space Beth and Rick was fun and it was nice to see a version of Beth who ended up more like Rick than ever before. Their conversations were funny, their fights were a exciting, and I really enjoyed the way that this particular mystery unfolded… leaving a lingering mystery and a potential recurring character.
This episode also tied up the loose ends of Tammy and Bird Person (Phoenix Person). The Weekend at Bernie-ing of Tammy was a fun recurring gag and the fight between Rick and Phoenix Person was probably one of the most elaborate that the show has ever staged. Given Phoenix Person’s ultimate fate, it seems like the show isn’t quite finished with him yet either.
You know an episode is firing on all cylinders when even the littlest things like Morty and Summer fighting over an invisibility belt and even something as simple as Jerry having to pee comes back into play later and become vitally important to the plot.
Everything was an arrow pointing to the climax and nothing was wasted.
This season ended the way most seasons do… Rick is alone and defeated. Not by his enemies, but by himself and his own family growing ever more weary of his selfishness. It’s not often that Rick has a moment of self-actualization, but when he does they’re always big, gut-punching moments.
That’s the end of this season. Like I said, a mixed bag that contains some of the series worst, but also some of the series’ best.
Now for the year and a half wait for the next five episodes Adult Swim will sprinkle on us.