What she says: *shadowhunters is starting episode 3 of season 2 in a couple of days*
What she really means: Oh my god! they are 15 percent through season 2. We are most likely going to get a teaser trailer in late fall, like October or Mid November. We will get a promo picture or a couple of promo pictures of season 2. We will most likely get casting announcements for Maia and the Seelie Queen. My Christmas break will consist of my crying under my Christmas tree about all my children. January is going to be here faster than we know it, and we will get a teaser of the first episode and a full length trailer of the first half of season 2
Someone asked for a Shipping Corner on Rick and Unity when I was fielding suggestions back in February. So, a cynical, old, alcoholic scientist and a collective consciousness, also known as a ‘hive mind,’ are former lovers. I couldn’t resist delving further into this one.
Hiveminds in General
Usually, hive minds are depicted as evil, unsettling entities. In essence, a hive mind is a collective group of sentient beings sharing one consciousness; reduced to what purpose workers serve to an insect colony. There’s no individualism, only a numbered figure who lives to perform one specific role and nothing else. Think: Star Trek’s Borg. It’s an incredibly unnerving and daunting idea to become “assimilated.” A person is no longer themselves, merely a tool or a single, inconsequential cog in a giant machine.
Not all hive minds are depicted as outright evil, though. In “Ender’s Game”, humans were engaged in a war with a sentient insect species dubbed “the buggers.” The novel itself is sociopolitical commentary on war, especially on the life and times of being a soldier. The buggers are viewed as strange and unsettling barbarians, but very formidable foes. Throughout the novel, though, Ender questions this black and white view of “us vs. them.” Everyone he talks to advises following orders and just doing what needs to be done. Their circumstances are so dire, it’s easier, if not essential, to focus on survival and winning.
The truth about the buggers’ hive mind and culture was slowly revealed. The bigger struggle between the humans and the buggers was a nasty misunderstanding and the buggers were just as baffled by the humans as they were by them. At the end of the novel, Ender discovers the new Hive Queen, a fairly thoughtful, compassionate, and kindly soul. One key hallmark about the buggers is that they are a natural, biologically set-up hivemind; they aren’t on a mission to assimilate the universe. Rather, just to find means to further and better sustain their society as it grows. The Hive Queen runs the entire show, but ultimately, she wants what’s best for her people and makes decisions as pragmatically as she can. When she reaches out to Ender, she hopes to make amends between humans and buggers.
Where Does Unity Fit Into the Hive Mind Mold?
(Note: I’m referring to Unity as ‘they’ since they have no defined gender. Also terms like ‘self-improvement’ can apply to Unity since they refer to themselves with “I” and “me” pronouns while speaking.)
Unlike other incarnations of a hivemind, Rick and Morty’s Unity really is a collective with no specific individual or primary figure in charge. For convenience purposes, certain scenes pick an attractive female alien as their chosen avatar in a given scene, most often the busty purple-haired world president, but really, every one of the aliens inhabiting the planet are Unity. This is distinctively different from a figure like the Hive Queen or the Borg Queen. Both of those characters are akin to puppet masters. They could easily be pulled apart and scrutinized separately from their collective. The purple-haired president really couldn’t. If she were pulled away from Unity’s control, she’d be an entirely different character.
Another intriguing approach is how Unity is portrayed as a strangely sympathetic and morally ambiguous figure. Summer poses the set of arguments about the morality of assimilating individual beings that come up in just about any story with a hivemind. Doesn’t assimilating someone infringe on their individuality? Their inalienable rights, freedoms, and choice as independent beings? Unity responds to Summer’s arguments with how utopian this world has become since they took over; how much more productive, happy, and successful the world’s populace is under their influence.
Then, Summer experiences seeing what the citizens were like before Unity showed up: race tensions to the point spats constantly erupted in the streets or how unwieldy and unpleasant just about any given person was when compared to their civil, intellectually sound counterpart when controlled by Unity. The sociopolitical unrest, as well as how evil certain persons were are greatly exaggerated, but that’s a hallmark for how Rick and Morty frames any kind of commentary or interesting ideas (Compare this with how deep the divide between the Gazorpazorp sexes are in “Raising Gazorpazorp”). In short, Unity poses the idea of how attainable true peacetime is when there are so many irreconcilable differences between people. There may be plenty of decent, morally sound people, but personal interests, prejudices, and dire circumstances can easily set people against one another. As trite as this saying is, “One rotten apple spoils the bunch.” That said, though, the episode doesn’t set either Summer or Unity as fully in the right. There’s an interesting moral ambiguity here: It’s wrong for Unity as an entity to “thrive on enslavement.” Every being placed under their control is, indeed, a puppet. They have lost every ounce of independence, free will, and choice they’d have otherwise. Yet, Unity isn’t necessarily evil. They place earnest investment on each being assimilated; trying to mold them into a successful and healthy individual as well as a beneficial part of their overall society. In some respects, it’s a catch-22. Unity’s set up is a fantastic base for food for thought. Especially in regards to challenging and mulling over what it means to have free will.
Narrative-wise, this set-up shows why Unity was able to take over this particular planet so easily, if not why they have some justification for doing so besides make-up and biology. Even then, Unity still second-guesses themselves. Summer’s arguments have been posed to them before countless times. Enough that they have an internal struggle as to how to best approach or converse with single-minded beings outside of their collective. They place a lot of emphasis on how much they treasure Rick’s open mind and acceptance. He doesn’t challenge the basic, fundamental differences between his nature as a single-minded entity and Unity’s as a collective. He even embraces the ‘bigger picture’ and potential of what Unity can achieve, though, not quite to the same practical and benevolent effects as what Unity does (which, again, is ironic given the usual depiction of a hivemind in science fiction. Or even what kind of can of worms Unity’s brand of collective mind presents from a moral standpoint).
What is the Nature of Rick Sanchez and Unity’s Romance?
Since Unity has grown in size and scope, their ambitions, goals, and responsibilities have increased as well. When Rick enters their life again, they feel compelled to impress and indulge him. There’s something tantalizing and attractive about the old scientist. Entertaining a relationship with him is just as unnatural and taboo for Unity as it would be for Rick. It’s the whole ‘bad boy’ flare and push the envelope further attitude that Unity enjoys so much.
In regards to Rick himself, his romance with Unity definitely pokes at an interesting dimension for his sexuality. I’d go so far as to say this may hint at the idea of Rick being pansexual. For all intents and purposes, Unity can create or simulate just about any crazy sex fantasy he wants. There was at least one scene where Rick had his arms draped around an attractive younger woman and a buff younger fellow. And, both were very openly flirting with him through touch, gesture, and facial expressions.
Unity can also pull other crazy, ridiculous stunts: Rick can direct a sitcom from his couch, he can invite as many guests as he wants to a house party, he can watch people perform uncouth acts they wouldn’t otherwise. He lets the power rush straight to his head. Everyone is a playmate. Everything is his playground where he can cut loose and get as unwieldy as he wants to with, presumably, no consequences. To some extent, Unity enjoys what kinds of mischievous ideas he proposes that they probably wouldn’t explore by themselves due to how heinous and ridiculous said ideas are. These two most likely met when Rick was still going through an experimental or rebellious phase of his life. They’re like a pair of hormone-crazed, adrenaline junkie teens when they rekindle their romance. Unity shirks their maturity, self-discipline, and self-control. And Rick lets himself become more unhinged and irresponsible than usual.
Unity has a sense of adventure and yearns for excitement, but over time, they’ve managed to channel these into more focused, productive effects. They’ve grown and developed both in the scope of their collective and how they conduct themselves. In Rick’s case, apparently, he’s never ‘grown up.’ He’s always been an ornery, party on end type. It’s interesting that when he initially sells Unity on getting back together, he advertises that he’s reconnecting with his family and cleaning up his act. So, they’ve had a discussion about clashing ideas and goals before. When Unity entertains Rick, she enjoys reliving their history together, but they won’t pursue things further because of how they make the other regress in behavior and conduct. As in, whatever connection Rick started making with his grandkids frays since he’d rather party. And, Unity lets themselves submit to Rick’s craziness where they’re making efforts to grow, better, and ultimately, assert themselves.
In short, Rick’s and Unity’s story is an intriguing take on a tragic romance between a couple trying to rekindle old sparks. There will always be chemistry between the two, but they’re so toxic for each other that their independent lives decay at the expense of getting together. The bigger emphasis is on how much Rick drags down Unity and how difficult the decision to break up is for them. But, they have to go through with the break up if only for self-preservation alone.
Rick Sanchez, Post-Breakup
Look at the scene in the Rick and Morty season 2 finale when Rick gives a best man speech at Birdperson’s wedding (one starting with sentiments that Dan from Dan Vs would fervently nod in agreement with). He’s absolutely cynical towards the idea of romantic love and skeptic about the ‘sanctity’ of marriage. Yet, he follows up these beliefs on a fairly hopeful note. It’s one of those rare scenes where the viewer catches a glimpse of what little empathy Rick holds for select few. Even more, he announces that he’ll try “to be more open to others.”
Generally, Rick presents himself as crude, crass, insensitive, and abrasive. He’s generally motivated by finding the root of a new scientific discovery or purely selfish, self-indulgent effects. He treats just about everyone with disrespect, if not bullies or insults them on a daily basis. Yet, this is peppered with him yelling a victorious “Wub-a-lub-a-dub- dub!”, then downing alcohol from his flask. Tie this in with what Birdperson said Rick’s catch phrase meant and Rick’s being an alcoholic. At his core, Rick isn’t just a horrible person and entertaining-to-watch jerk, but a depressing character. He’s an outright cynic and pessimist, assuming the worst or expecting the worst from everyone and everything. He tends to support the strictly self-preserving move. It’s a mix between opening Morty’s eyes to the horrors of the world and accepting them, or some form of escapism. Unity, initially, falls into the second category.
Once Unity breaks up with Rick, the result is a kaleidoscope of feelings on the fellow’s part. One part is disappointment, since Unity was a freewheeling kindred spirit. The other part is Rick taking stock of his life thus far. More intensely than normal. There are so many horrible things he’s done, so many things left unsaid and never done. What if he wants to change, but just finds it easier to fall into his general routine? He’s been this way for so long, it’s hard to imagine changing and growing in a meaningful way now. In short, he has very self-destructive and toxic thoughts drifting about in his head. The combination of his grief towards falling out with Unity and his self-hatred proves too heavy a load to bear. It’s definitely one of the more intense and introspective scenes for Rick over the course of the series.
Returning to the season 2 finale, Rick finally found some kind of hope and resolve. Even though this gets ripped to shreds mere moments later, it’s a huge move on Rick’s part. One of the more significant scenes that show what little humanity and kindness he has. He’s not getting a full-blown redemption arc, but season 3 definitely has interesting promise for Rick’s character growth.
Let’s take a few minutes to appreciate the more obscure moments as well as the majestic ones this week’s episode had in store for us.
I want to point out that…
We should applaud the kouhai of Yachi’s mom! The man deserves kudos for supporting Yachi, reminding his senpai that not everyone starts off strong. Children grow slowly, and despite how toughing through hurdles build strength, they need nurture and more support than what parents usually think is necessary to build character.
I had fuzzy warm happy feelings for Yachi’s mom for wanting her daughter to be strong and independent yet she was super supportive once she was gently reminded again how it was to start off small and begin one’s journey towards knowing oneself. Let’s not forget how she cried with happiness when she realized her little girl, the apple of her eye, is slowly growing up!
Yamaguchi is shaping up to become the next team mama crow… >u> -COUGHS-
Asahi’s hairband. HIS HAIRBAND and how Noya complimented him.
Okay okay the majestic ones:
Suga stripping and laughing like an angel (b/c honestly people… who can forget? I’ve already scrolled past like at least 25+ posts of this exact scene ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°))
Kuroo’s laugh (HE STOLE THE SPOTLIGHT IN THE TEASER FOR THE NEXT EPISODE.. okay fine, let’s not forget Bokuto and Akaashi here)
Tsukki NOT turning around when welcoming Yachi (huhuhuu… this can be taken as a rude or extremely-Tsukki-you-stubborn-dork moment)
Tsukki actually LECTURING Kageyama and Hinata on vocab definitions that he helped them review the other day.
EVERYONE TURNING THEIR BACKS TO SHOW OFF THEIR KARASUNO PRIDE TO WELCOME YACHI!!!
Above all, that was a great episode!
p.s. please excuse any grammar errors and crappy image editing since I really should be studying right now and not compiling these moments and feels together. Have yourselves a lovely day, everyone~~ ∠( ᐛ 」∠)＿
I seriously think Luke is bit. He was falling asleep talking to Clem, has bags under his eyes and is getting that weird coloring that lee got. It’s probably recent because he’s not fainting and lee lasted a couple days before showing serious signs. I just really hope Lukes just tired…