The two-part Rick and Morty season finale begins with the titular two separated, once again, with Morty having grown sick of being disrespected, and Rick twisting the knife by replacing Morty with a joke sidekick – two crows, underlining how little Morty means to him.
Rick pushes the “two crows” joke as far as it’ll go, to the point where he unironically embraces his new feathered friends (Rick really does have a thing for birds, huh?), while Morty gets involved with a new adventuring partner, Nick, who turns out to be even more twisted than Rick.
The two might be connected via spilled portal fluid, but Morty manages to slaughter his new “friend” by amputating his own hand and pushing the two portals together, causing his companion to be sucked into the resulting void. It’s a creative kill, another indication that Morty has learned to take care of himself.
Nevertheless, he still wants to be with his grandfather. Rick, however, has moved on, suddenly keen to leave his toxic relationship with Morty behind.
Hence, Rick becomes the star of his own anime-inspired adventure, becoming a crow-themed wanderer on an endless journey that never quite reaches its conclusion. In an attempt to guilt-trip his grandfather into coming home, Morty transforms himself into a defeated-looking middle-aged man, but the attempt fails – Rick seems happy where he is, for once.
He couldn’t convince Bird Person to join him on his adventures, so he’s become something of a Bird Person himself. At least, until he discovers that his two crow companions are ‘cheating on him” with their arch-nemesis, pushing Rick into returning to Morty, back to his old ways.
But Morty is still middle-aged – to fix him, the two return to the Citadel, where a dedicated Morty repair shop is always running (for obvious reasons). Hence, the show finally delivers a conclusion to a side-story that fans have been craving since season 1 – the saga of Evil Morty, who is now president of the Citadel.
Rick and Morty have dinner with Evil Morty – amusingly, Rick knows that there’s going to be a plot twist on the horizon, a devious plan bound to be revealed. And Evil Morty doesn’t disappoint, showing Morty the true nature of his existence.
Rick’s tragic origin story has been teased for years, but it turns out that the “fabricated” version Rick recreated during season 3 was indeed accurate – his wife and child (young Beth) really were murdered by another Rick, who figured out the portal gun technology before our Rick did.
Hence, Rick spent his life cataloging the multiverse, murdering every Rick he could find in a futile attempt to avenge the murder of his family. Despite banding together, the other Ricks were no match for our Rick, the “Rickest Rick.”
After failing to find the murderer, Rick and the other Ricks reached a truce, with Rick helping to design the Citadel, which quickly became something of a breeding factory for Mortys, who are valuable due to their brainwaves functioning as a kind of cloaking device for their grandfather, who is always on the run from … well, somebody.
There’s a lot of exposition to get through, yet the episode feels like a guilty pleasure, answering several burning questions that the show’s writers always seemed reluctant to answer. It’s revealed that Rick, despite hating Jerry, had a hand in pushing Beth and Jerry together throughout the multiverse, in a bid to create more Mortys. This explains why Beth and Jerry’s marriage is so unstable – it’s a relationship designed to create Morty, and nothing more.
Foreseeing a mass exodus, Evil Morty poisoned all the portal fluid to slaughter Ricks as they attempt to escape, and has engineered the Citadel as a gigantic superweapon, built to break open the “Central Finite Curve.”
This, it turns out, has been Evil Morty’s plan from the beginning. Because the Central Finite Curve is a subsection of the multiverse, walled off from the rest of infinity, a safe space where Rick is always the smartest being in the universe.
Rick, it seems, didn’t like the idea of being challenged by potential peers, or facing more intelligent entities that didn’t resemble him – there must be far smarter beings out in the multiverse than Rick, beyond the Curve – hell, there’s probably a genius Jerry out there. Ensuring that nobody could breach that boundary is a very Rick thing to do; it’s an act of genius, drenched in crippling insecurity.
All Evil Morty wants to do is escape, and live in a reality not dominated by his grandfather, to escape the toxic dynamic of the show entirely. And who can blame him?
Evil Morty’s plan really wasn’t so evil at all – he might have murdered countless Ricks and Mortys to achieve his goal, but he’s just playing by his grandfather’s rules. All the kid wants is freedom – Rick’s attempt to control reality itself is undoubtedly worse than the actions Evil Morty took to break free.
Finally, Evil Morty offers Morty a place on his ship, which even Rick advises Morty to take. The alternative is a lifetime of dangerous adventures, trapped forever in an abusive cycle with Rick. Thankfully for us viewers, Morty chooses to stay with his grandfather, leaving Evil Morty to escape into the true multiverse, disappearing into a mysterious golden portal.
And that’s it – Evil Morty won. Rick’s dark secret has been revealed and destroyed; we’ve seen Rick be humbled this season, but this has been his greatest defeat thus far.
This episode is probably the last we’ll ever see of Evil Morty, and knowing how the show operates, it will probably be a long, long time until we see the consequences of the multiverse cracking open.
But something seems to have changed in the dynamic between Rick and Morty. Maybe Morty will be able to command a little more respect from his grandfather, now that Evil Morty managed to outwit him, while our Morty chose to stay loyal.
Or maybe that toxic relationship is going to stay exactly the same, remaining just as hilariously dysfunctional, for another hundred years of Rick and Morty.
After all, where would the show be without it?
If you enjoyed reading, check out my recap of the previous episode of ‘Rick and Morty’