This RICK AND MORTY review contains spoilers.
Rick and Morty Season 4 Episode 7
Some fans loved the last episode of Rick and Morty, but then there were the low-IQ naysayers, like yours truly. I was on Morty’s side; the meta stuff was getting to be a bit much. Not that I truly believed the grandson-son duo when they insisted they’d stop overthinking it and get back to fully-immersive, fun sci-fi adventures going forward. Like it or not, they and their creators can’t escape their overbearing self-awareness. Still, you had to figure they at least couldn’t get any more meta, at least not for the rest of this season.
So, yes, to that end, “Promortyus” is leaps and bounds more “normal” than “Never Ricking Morty” before it, though, interestingly, there’s still a little playing around with the story structure because, in what I think is a Rick and Morty first, the plot is told non-sequentially. It’s sort of like Rick and Morty does The Hangover if you replaced “getting super fucked up” with “face-hugging aliens that take control of your body and lay eggs in your stomach.”
It’s a novel storytelling device for the series, especially because the jump back in time showing you everything that led up to the present predicament is placed in a surprising spot, not showing up until halfway through the episode, after much of the conflict seems to have already been tidied away. It’s also a fun idea because this section of the story is used to give some characterization to the face-hugging alien species who, up until that point, just seem gross and evil. But when you learn they were capable of dreams and love, it puts Rick and Morty’s gleeful genociding of them in a whole new light.
It’s good there’s some character development for the glorzo aliens because there isn’t much for our main characters. I’m being flippant when I say I’d like them to just get back into fun sci-fi adventures because, really, I’d like them to get back to fun sci-fi adventures with some meaningful character development. This is the burden the series continues to struggle with lately. Rick is cynical and all-powerful; Morty is pretty cynical now too; and Summer is, uh, disaffected, I guess. She’s still a pretty shallow character, despite having joined in on quite a few adventures by now. Anyway, none of what we know about these three changes in “Promortyus.”
It’s a fairly funny episode, though a good bit of the humor depends on how much you appreciate being grossed out. Most of the laughs for me came from the glorzo aliens getting pissed off at Rick and Morty (“Oh shit, it’s them! The worst thing to ever happen to us!”). Rick and Morty have some good banter between them; Morty telling Rick “Hey man, that head’s a good place to be” is good, as is all the wet eggs discussion. Rick’s constant dismissive quipping did get tiresome at times (I know that’s like his whole character, but sometimes the guy’s a little much) and, jeez, do they have to have a meta conversation about how they should just have fun and not try so hard like every episode? Wasn’t that like 75% of the dialogue in the previous episode already? Oh yeah and Summer’s toothpick is a hilarious plot device.
“Promortyus” is one of those crazy Rick and Morty sci-fi adventures that deliberately resists character development, with Summer saying the non-moral out loud: “we suck and everyone sucks” and then it all ends on a poop joke. It’s fine; not every episode has to give greater depth to Rick’s despair or Morty’s desperation, but it does smack of adding to the pile of Rick and Morty outings that’s just “more.” In fact, the moment they put on anime robot suits and started massacring glorzos (glorzians?), I had flashbacks to a similar massacre scene from season two’s “Look Who’s Purging Now.”
Still, the storytelling format was cool enough and the glorzo were a funny, tragic species to be introduced to. Plus, not for nothing, that scene where they drag that ship around decimating all glorzo civilization looked awesome. And, oh yeah, what the hell am I talking about, saying there’s no character development? Jerry’s into beekeeping now. Good for you, Jerry!