I had just about lost hope for this season of Rick & Morty, ready to consign it to the dumpster of Family Guy and The Simpsons… television series that lost their spark, died, but kept shambling on like a zombie. “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort” gave me hope at last. It was a big episode, loaded with important lore, it was witty, and it was just… really good.
Rick goes into Bird Person’s mind to save him from dying and has to relive all of Bird Person’s old memories to track him down before his brain dies. Yeah, it’s a sendup of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but it’s a really clever sendup full of reveals, action, comedy, and some actual drama from the show, the likes of which we haven’t seen in many an episode.
This episode of Rick and Morty gives us a lot of often withheld details about Rick and explains much about his character and motivations — why he is a nihilist and why he is so detached from those he loves. It was an unexpected and welcomed backstory that gives Rick an extra dimension that he was sorely lacking as he was in danger of becoming a parody of his own self.
I enjoy episodes like this: Episodes that are so non sequitur and random that you never know what is coming. One minute, you’ve got a parody of a niche movie, the next you’ve got a gigantic war, and the next, you have a very touching moment where a man tells the woman who betrayed and murdered him how much he truly loved her.
This is the Rick and Morty I want. Not the gross sperm-riding incest baby idiocy we’ve see or the lame parodies of Captain Planet and Hellraiser. This episode was inspired, it was emotional, and it meant something.
Hopefully, the majority of season 5 was just a low-effort creative hiccup that horrified the creators just enough to take this series seriously again. I want more episodes like this.