Rick and Morty (Season 5)
Rick and Morty (2013-) Season 5 review
So Adult Swim’s animated sci-fi comedy series Rick and Morty just wrapped up its fifth season, and uh yeah, i felt like talking about it. It’s been a busy few weeks, and I have a few hundred photos to edit, so this might be a little more casual than you’re used to. Me too, anyway… For those of you who aren’t familiar, Rick and Morty is an animated series following a genius scientist and his grandson who go on adventures through time and space together. Except this TV-MA show makes fun of just about everything in science fiction and more that you could imagine. In the latest season, we got clones, a Captain Planet, Space Odyssey, flashbacks, Power Rangers, the group from the Hellraiser series, and oh so much more…
I’ll admit it is going to be hard to talk about a season that not only gave us the second highest rated episode in the series’ history, but the two lowest rated episodes as well. Also I don’t know what the heck those live action clips are about. So, you know, that’s fun. Anyway yeah. Season 5 of Rick and Morty. Ah it was fine. Certainly come good episodes, a few less good ones. Side note, way too spread out! Seriously I had to go back and remind myself what else happened since the season started in June.
Pro: The Smith Family
One of the highlights of the season was the supporting cast, specifically the Smith family. Not only do we get more character development for, well everyone really, but we don’t get it crammed into one or two episodes. No this season features the rest of the family quite often actually! About half of the season featured Jerry, Beth, and Summer as key players in the episodes, while the other half focused on the straining relationship between Rick and Morty. This led to a fairly interesting arc over the season that- probably won’t go anywhere if we are being honest. But it was nice to have so much of the family around!
Con: Playing the Hits
One of the reasons Rick and Morty has had such an acclaimed run in my opinion is the way the string together what I’m going to call ‘critical episodes’ for character backstories. This is very much for fans where we either get some of Rick’s backstory or we visit the Citadel of Ricks and assume that the main story of the series revolves around that. But here’s the thing, this isn’t Cowboy Bebop. There isn’t really a main story. If you ask me, the show simply revisits these episodes to land a season finale, which according to the ratings, it did this time too. Honestly though, this feels like cheating to me. Sure I’m interested to know more about Rick, but pulling out backstory to distract me from the worst episodes in the series just makes me not want to care about the backstory. Which I didn’t.
Pro: Classic Episodes
Despite lazy continuations of storylines that began forever ago and only pick up maybe once a season, this season did have a few perfect Rick and Morty episodes that feel like the best in the series. “Mortyplicity” is literally the Smith family realizing they are clones made by clones made by clones and so on, and that’s kinda great! No real structure to follow thanks to a very unique premise. It doesn’t have great reviews, but I really liked “Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation” Spectacular! Rick vs the President is always fun, and the back and forth scheming that quickly turns into turkeys trying to rule the world? I mean what!? And that’s a good reaction for this show. And yeah, probably half the season was good episodes like these.
Con: The Incest Baby Episode
If there were ever an indicator that Rick and Morty was running out of ideas, it’s the episodes “Rickdependence Spray” and “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion.” Now I don’t really want to get into the story here because, well, it’s immature and rather gross. Sufficed to say it’s not only very low brow, but it ends in, well, a giant incest baby. Thanks I guess? What makes it worse is that in the fairly uninspired anime mech episode, we bring back the space baby in what I guess is supposed to be self aware? Look, there have been more than a few lame ideas that bring the typical high concept, low brow humor of the show down to low concept, low brow not-at-all funny. These were two of them.
Pro: References and Callbacks
Fortunately the show I think more than makes up for the misfires of the season. Didn’t care about the anime robot episode? Well that’s okay, because “Rickmurai Jack” was significantly classier. Callbacks to to other seasons? Surprisingly on point. And yeah as much as I complained about the continuity of the story being something they go back to when they need to hook the audience with worldbuilding, like Bebop, it does keep me curious to see what will happen next! Heck the way this season develops and ultimately breaks down the toxic relationship between Rick and Morty was quite compelling.
While I don’t think the season was nearly as good as most of the past seasons, it was fairly entertaining. Is this sci-fi satire on the decline? Yeah probably. Is it still quality television? If you are into a show that manages to feel so smart that you feel dumb for not being able to keep up while also feeling like a dumb show… Still, I can’t give the season an 8/10, which is my current average for the series. Definitely a point off for the incest baby. But heck, it was still a fun time. 7/10.
So Rick and Morty, Season 5? Are you caught up? What were your favorite and least favorite moments in the show so far? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below and let us know! And if you liked this review and you want to read more, leave a like or a comment and tell us what we should talk about next!
-review by Ryan Prince