An animated older man looks angry in 'Rick and Morty.'

‘Rick and Morty’ Puts Rick Face to Face With His Greatest Enemy

Season 7 of Rick and Morty dives right into the heart of Rick’s story. In episode 5, Rick faces the enemy that has been haunting him for most of his life.

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So far, the new season of Rick and Morty is mixing touchbacks to past episodes with new irreverent adventures. In episode 5, “Unmortricken,” we are right back in the mix of two ongoing dramas. First, Evil Morty appears, showing what he’s been up to since destroying the Citadel and some of his origin story. Evil Morty teams up with Morty and Rick in the search for Rick Prime. The primary drive in Rick’s (technically Rick C137) life has been to find and kill Rick Prime, the Rick who changed his life. He’s come close several times, but this time he gets to the real guy behind all of his pain.

***Warning: Major spoilers for Rick and Morty episode 5***

Rick vs. Rick

Rick Prime is ready for the attack. He also reveals that he used his Omega device to erase Rick’s beloved wife, Diane, from all the timelines. That means no version of Beth’s mom exists in any of the universes, even though there are seemingly endless Ricks, Mortys, Beths, Summers, and Jerrys. It’s a pretty messed up thing to do. Rick Prime also brought in Slow Mobius, a character from a party in season 1. Hilariously, Rick referred to him as “Uncle Slow.” Rick Prime kills Slow Mobius with the Omega device. For some reason, Slow uses his powers of slow motion to elongate his death. It hits Rick pretty hard and the two Ricks go into full attack mode.

Evil Morty steps in and easily defeats Rick Prime. Instead of ending his life, Evil Morty ties Rick Prime up and revives Rick. Then he leaves Rick to get his revenge on Rick Prime. Rick really goes for it and begins punching Rick Prime. Soon Rick is covered in blood and the punching sounds are becoming grosser with each hit. It’s completely brutal. The moment gives Rick and the audience what they’ve been craving for years. Instead of smugly celebrating his victory, Rick doesn’t seem like himself. The violence he sought did nothing to ease the pain he felt. Viewers at home finally saw the epic showdown, and it was epic, but was it what we really wanted? The chase was so much more fun than the result.

What could have been

The post-credit scene of the episode gives a glimpse into an alternate way Rick could have handled his trauma. Slow Mobius’s wife hunts for her husband’s killer in a Rick-esque/Blade Runner montage. She meets another person hunting for the person responsible for their lost love’s death. The two bond over their shared trauma. Then they are shown holding hands, happily sitting together in their home. Children from both characters play together while pictures of the deceased spouses serenely watch over them. Rick could have chosen a life like this. But he chose violence.

The episode was a masterful culmination of several Rick and Morty plotlines. The writers did an outstanding job of weaving things together. But I’m most impressed with Rick’s response to killing Rick Prime. The story continues after Rick Prime’s death. Morty asks Rick if he’s okay, sensing something is off. Rick assures him he’s fine. They return to normal life and Rick appears to be a functioning person around everyone else.

Yet when he’s alone, or no one is looking, Rick seems lost. He shuts down his basement lab and stares off with blank expressions on his face. Now Rick must face his greatest enemy, himself, and the hollowness he feels inside.

(featured image: Adult Swim)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.