Do you know what makes Rick and Morty such a good series?
The humanistic approach to each story and character and the savage portrayal of real emotions felt by believable characters. The characters in Rick and Morty are not over the top caricatures, such as they are in Family Guy and now the Simpsons, they are real.
When Beth shoots Mr poopybutthole, she shakily sobs into a glass of wine while he lays bleeding. Jerry is whiny but also tries hard to be the man of the house. Summer is not only believable as a teenage girl, but she is also complex and has layers to her character that other equivalents do not.
Morty suffers real trauma throughout the series and it wears on him as it progresses. Each character has real flaws, real developments and strengths.
Most of all, the protagonist Rick is as layered, complex and indecipherable a character as you can get. He is truly a toxic person who struggles between loving his family and yet remaining distant. You feel every single emotional blow he is dealt and you can empathise with how he reacts to it, because we have all done the same.
There’s real drama in the series, better drama than seen in most TV shows today and all the while there is drama, the action is excellent, the stories are great and the laughter is genuine. It doesn’t try to be funny all the time, it doesn’t try to be sad all the time. Behind every laugh is real pain and that makes the comedy in the series so much more effective, because we can relate to it on a human level.
For a series that is based on science fiction and fantasy, it is awfully real.
Michonne dropping her sword seems so unthinkable, but here it is. She’s so overwhelmed by the loss of him in their couple bubble context, her reflexive grief swallows her survival instinct. She’s been saying, “We are the ones who live” over and over, so this is not just about losing Rick, but the total collapse of her foundation. I think it might have played out differently had they not been alone, but in this honeymoon context, the truth of the matter is inescapable: to lose Rick is to lose the kind of love that makes you want to stay alive in a zombie apocalypse.
The hesitation before she registers the Rick-in-a-box reveal feels reminiscent of Season 3 hallucinations (in fact, this episode is oddly packed with callbacks). It’s only when he yells her name that she knows. He’s alive. That look on her face, my god. Superpowers immediately rebooted, by some kind of magnetic magic she catches a katana toss that allows her to swiftly dispatch the remaining walkers in one smooth motion. It’s a moment so satisfying, it makes you want to binge on reaction videos. We then get some Nicholas Sparks style shit with a running, off-the-ground hug. The way she flies into his arms might be the most sweepingly romantic moment on the show to date. (And, of course, Rick never misses an opportunity to get a little handsy. You stay true to yourself, hun!)
Danai: In the scene where Michonne thinks that Rick has died, her brain can’t compute it. And I think the thing that’s very scary was when she drops the sword. Because to drop the sword and to allow yourself to be defenseless goes against all we know of Michonne, but in that moment, the idea of going another day without him, her immediate response is to drop that sword. It was almost like she empties. It’s like the whole deal she made with herself, with him, was that they navigate this together and so the loss of that partner is something she can’t compute, and she doesn’t have a contingency plan for, she doesn’t have a response for other than to let go.
Greg Nicotero: That’s why the moment when she thinks he’s gone, it’s so devastating for her. Because Michonne spends all of her time looking into the future. Once we win, what are we gonna do next? The reality of him not being in her life – that shocks her.
So apparently people aren’t seeing the absolutely incredible character development this episode showed us. I think people are focusing too much on birdperson not being there or evil Morty or whatever, but… Holy shit.
For one holy fuck does Rick Sanchez love his family (shown especially with Morty this episode). Yes Rick doesn’t exactly listen to Morty well, but he’s very clearly trying his best to do good for him and the rest of the family.
And Beth FINALLY put her family first instead of fearing her father would leave her. We’ve seen Beth show multiple times that she cared less about her family than she seemed to in earlier seasons, and it took time away from Jerry and a trip down memory lane to get that spark back; and to feel confident as as her own person not inherently attached to her father (shown very well subtly too with the ‘clone vs real beth’ bit tbh)
But this is really what was being leading up to this season. Family dynamic was the entire season’s plot. We saw the characters flesh out emotionally and experienced a lot of raw interactions. I could go on for hours about all we learned this season about their family and personal journeys so far.
I personally really, really, really loved that episode and believe if we truly want this show to continue expanding we need to give it time (bird person and evil Morty in the finale episode would seem rushed to me!! I want to prolong and deeply appreciate that bridge when we get to it).