Rick and Morty caps off their weakest season with an okay penultimate episode and an explosive finale

Well, this has certainly been a disappointing season. Rick and Morty isn’t exactly what I would call refined television, but it’s never had a problem exploring high concept ideas… at least, it never had a problem and, even though season five had a few, it was mostly filled with low effort parody and oodles of dissapointment.

In the second to last episode, “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall,” Rick fires Morty and replaces him with two crows leading to an advanced crow army eventually invading Earth. Meanwhile, Morty goes full rebellion against his grandfather and teams up with a guy he met through a portal on his hand (it’s a long story).

While it’s nice to see Rick and Morty do an episode that isn’t a parody, half of the episode worked while the other half didn’t. Rick and the crows… it felt like an unnecessarily long joke that overstayed its welcome and, by Rick and Morty standards, it was a little old hat. It’s getting to the point that anytime some kind of animal takes center stage, it’s going to eventually be revealed as the leader of the planet or will invade the planet.

I was much more interested in Morty and the guy he meets through his portal hand. I never really knew where the story was going and, although the ultimate outcome was never in doubt, there was something cathartic in a more rebellious and brutal Morty willing to do what it takes to survive.

The finale, “Rickmurai Jack” picks up from the cliffhanger of “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall,” finding Rick and Morty split up with Rick trying to find himself and Morty trying to talk him into coming back. The odd thing about this episode is that the first ten minutes, as entertaining as it is, is swept to the side once they reach the Citadel of Ricks which means that, not only do the first ten minutes feel like a waste, but the entire last episode does as well. Come to think of it, aside from putting a wedge between Rick and Morty which could have been done in the finale itself, ” “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall” ends up being useless in retrospect.

I will say, though, that when Evil Morty is reintroduced, the episode becomes quite good.

Despite Rick’s protests, Rick and Morty’s episodic adventures have grown stale and episodes that dig into continuity and lore have turned out the be the best ones even in seasons as weak as the fifth. Not only that, but also recontextualizing Evil Morty into a Morty who is just fed up was a stroke of brilliance.

It will be interesting to see where Rick and Morty goes from here. In a sense, the cornerstone of the series has been obliterated as it appears that the Ricks of countless universes have been wiped out. No more Council of Ricks, no more Ricks, Rick’s secret past is now laid bare, Evil Morty doing whatever Evil Morty is doing… where does the show go from here? As a cliffhanger, I am impressed not only by the resolution, but by the questions it poses.

It’s been a rough season. A strong opening and a strong ending sandwiching deli meat that is bland and tasteless. Hopefully, Rick and Morty learns from its shortcomings and becomes better. I’d hate for this show to have jumped the shark… unless this was the shark jumping.

Again, questions. Hopefully, the answers will not disappoint.

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