Spoilers below for the Season 5 finale of Rick and Morty, so be warned if you didn't watch!
After delivering a season that felt uneven to many fans, given how many episodes intentionally side-stepped the series' beloved and hyper-deep canonical history, Rick and Morty dropped a whopper of a conclusion on audiences with "Rickmurai Jack." Not only did the episode take multiple trips back into Rick's past to confirm certain details and theories, but it also finally gave fans the long-awaited return of Evil Morty, whose last-minute yellow-portal twist basically broke the show's plot wide open. As co-creator Dan Harmon notes, however, the two-part finale's main purpose wasn't just to deliver fan service.
In the final behind-the-scenes video for Season 5's "Inside the Episode" features, the Rick and Morty creative team talked about the intense and obsessive process that went into crafting Evil Morty's years-long scheme, and the story behind the Citadel's formation. And while all of that was definitely interesting and hilariously disturbing in equal doses, Dan Harmon popped up in the end to provide some over-arching wisdom pertaining to the true purpose behind "Rickmurai Jack." And yes, it's all about the titular pair. In Harmon's words:
Obviously there's slightly more to the Season 5 capper than just that, considering fans learned that the murderous Rick has used the Citadel as a Morty manufacturing plant to provide all the other Smartest Ricks with naive, sycophant sidekicks. But really, that detail and all the other fucked up Rick reveals are just window-dressing ways to say "Rick and Morty sure do have a complicated relationship, y'all."
While other TV show creative teams might decide to take a step back and slow things down with a super-focused and conversation-heavy episode in order to explore a project's main characters, Rick and Morty has made an art out of building up endlessly superfluous plot mechanics and sci-fi stereotypes to parcel out clues and details behind the grandfather and grandson's twisted relationship. Indeed, part of the fun of the show's self-aware info-dumps is wondering which parts are truly authentic and which bits will be explained away as non-canonical, only to return three seasons later with a confirmation. But the point behind it all is far more human in nature.
So while many fans will choose to spend time endlessly sifting through plot points to try and make sense of the multiverse storytelling, it all comes down to Rick and Morty's trust-lacking relationship. Season 5's final two episodes were a hilariously surreal and crow-filled exercise in giving Rick the mega-epiphany that he is guilty of forever fueling a highly toxic relationship with his (not exactly biological) grandson, arguably the only person in existence that actually chooses to hang out with Rick despite all of his red-flagged awfulness. The final episode was about bringing the characters' relationship to the limit — going so far as to explain Rick's bullshit is what inspired the "evil" in Evil Morty's nature — and about showcasing Morty's depthless well of empathy...and perhaps neediness, but also ample empathy.
Obviously, I'm as excited as anyone about seeing if and how Season 6 will pay off Evil Morty's yellow portals and the destruction of the Finite Curve Barrier, and what other multiverses' sperm monsters look like. But now that Season 5's conclusion has provided some much-needed context behind a lot of the episodes' "Rick OR Morty" nature, I'm now equally interested to see how the writers will approach the two characters' relationship in post-toxic ways. Assuming the opening title sequence doesn't just retcon everything that happened this season and revert to live-action with Christopher Lloyd. Which doesn't sound all that bad, really.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.