Rick and Morty has gifted fans some wild AF episodes in its run so far, but what the hilariously deadly Season 5 episode "Mortiplicity" did was quite special indeed. Viewers went on a twist-filled ride as Rick revealed to the rest of the family that he'd created "decoys" of them in the case that any threats ever tried to target them, which was absolutely worth all the worry. The episode then jumped from decoy family to decoy family while keeping the audience guessing whether they were watching the real characters or not.
If the episode felt confusing to watch, one can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write, and writer Albro Lundy confirmed that was precisely the case. Lundy walked fans through his thought process for the episode in a behind-the-scenes video, and revealed he filled a whiteboard in walking through the episode's nut-shelled problems and scenarios. Lundy's pitch for the episode was complex, but co-creator Dan Harmon was all-in on the premise, presumably in large part because he wasn't responsible for making it all make sense. Check out the hilarious stamp of approval Harmon deadpanned during the video, which further proves he's one of the best comedy guys in the business.
If a guy like [writer Albro Lundy] wants to dig his teeth into something that exhausting, I let them do it. Yes, pour your young blood into the soil around my mansion. Help my flowers bloom.
Dan Harmon was happy to let Albro Lundy run with the idea, and perhaps more importantly, he had faith that the Rick and Morty writer would pull off the Nolan-esque plotting with aplomb. The result was one of the Adult Swim series' most entertaining episodes yet, as it also contained many references and teases to continuity that audiences want so desperately. All things considered, it's essentially still just a one-off standalone episode, though its madcap nature will likely keep it in classic-episode consideration all the same.
Of course, Rick and Morty fans could also take Dan Harmon's bemused willingness to green-light this idea as another clear sign that there are no concrete plans for the Adult Swim show to go full-hog on extended serialized arcs and continuity. After all, it seems entirely possible that by the end of "Mortiplicity" that the real Smith family died somewhere in all the chaos, as it was heavily established that the decoys are unaware that they're decoys. But if every copy retained all the memories of the "original" family, comprised of another dimension's Rick and Morty living amongst the Smith family of another Earth, would it really make a difference if they were organic humans or not? If it were the real world, probably, but not so much here.
As I alluded to earlier, the implications of the episode made my brain hurt...at least I think it's my brain that's hurting. That's totally okay though, because Rick and Morty is all about providing entertainment first and foremost, and it certainly succeeded on that front with flying colors. Here's hoping Season 5 can maintain this meticulously frantic pace, because "Mortiplicity" will be a hard one to top.
With one of television's best characters among its ranks, Rick and Morty airs on Adult Swim on Sundays at 11:00 p.m. ET.