The back half of Season 5 has proven to house some of the most inventive and creative Rick and Morty episodes/arcs. Episodes 6-10 focus on a large emotional component that is missing from earlier seasons of the series, and proves that there’s even more growth in store for the Smith family in the future. So grab your portal gun and get ready to get schwifty, as I recap the back half of Season 5! Big time spoilers ahead!
Episode 6 “Rick & Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular”
This episode is a great transition between a very meta and fun tone in Ep. 1-5, to a more aware and emotional tone that prevails over Ep. 6-10. Rick and Morty are trying to steal the Constitution (a la National Treasure), and Morty accidentally melts it with a ray gun (along with the Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, and the Liberty Bell). The President is furious, causing Rick and Morty to lock themselves down in the house, with the rest of the Smith family. Rick and The President each go over their plans to destroy the other, with Rick’s primary goal being to get himself pardoned as the Presidential turkey. The President turns some Marines into turkeys (to catch Rick and Morty; who have also turned themselves into turkeys). The President then turns himself into a turkey to catch Rick for himself. After an awesome turkey fight scene, The President coughs up the tracker that was placed in his throat to identify him. It instead flies into the mouth of a random turkey. The government pulls out, who they think to be, The President and the Marines. But the real President is still a turkey with Rick and Morty.
They get dumped into a cave underneath the White House (supposedly where all the turkeys go who aren’t pardoned by The President), which we find out is the lair of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who is now half-spider because of the polio vaccine). They defeat him after their turkey serum wears off, and they escape back to the Smith residence to have Thanksgiving dinner. The Turkey President starts turning turkeys into giant half-turkey half-human soldiers. The real President, Rick, and Morty, crash into congress, trying to defeat The Turkey President. Congress, who all have been given raises by The Turkey President, refuse to turn against him. The real President tells Rick and Morty that there’s a ‘Crypt of the New World’ under the Washington Monument, and it will get rid of all the turkeys. The crypt is full of Pilgrim and Native American mummies, who rip all the turkeys apart limb from limb after The President awakens them. The episode ends with Rick and Morty going to stop the turkey-bomb from going off into space, while The President fights his turkey counterpart. In the final moments, the mummies return to their slumber, and The President reminds us to “be thankful”. It’s a surprisingly heartfelt ending to the episode, and (not-so-subtly) draws parallels between Rick and The President’s relationship to the other toxic relationships in his life; but more on that in later episodes.
Episode 7 “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion”
Ep. 7, in contrast to the others on this list, is just pure fun. It’s Scarface meets Power Rangers, and the result is concentrated amusement. While on their way to Boob World, Rick, Morty, and Summer encounter the blue Go-Tron ferret. Rick derails their trip, demanding that they collect and bring home the blue Go-Tron first. Summer is immediately on board, making Morty question his position with Rick. Once home, Rick, Morty, and Summer, beg Beth and Jerry to join them in the Go-Tron ferrets (as Rick, with the blue one, now has a complete collection of 5). They beat up a giant space bug as a family, then return home. Rick wants to keep going, but Morty warns him that he’s taking it too far. Summer jumps in and stands up for Rick, promoting his self-destructive tendencies. Rick decides to have a dinner with four other Smith families from other dimensions. The heads of the five families meet in the garage, along with C-137 Summer. C-137 Rick offers the other Ricks the option to finish their collections and work together. Hot Head Rick immediately declines, and Summer blows up his Go-Tron. Now a conglomerate Go-Tron mob, the five Smith families all go on Go-Tron adventures together, killing giant space bugs.
Five Go-Go-Trons (all 5 Smith families combined) make the Go-Go-Go-Tron. The five families (along with new Smith families looking to get involved) host a gala. Rick, in a drugged and drunken stupor, announces to everyone that the operation is expanding, before Summer carts him off stage, embarrassed. Meanwhile, Morty is working security out back and gets kidnapped by the competing mob; five anime teens who are the original owners of the Go-Trons. While Morty is escaping from them, Hot Head Rick returns and blows up the venue, killing and wounding many. Summer, Beth, and Jerry see this as Morty’s last straw, hand him $16,000 in cash, and tell him to go home. One by one, Beth, Jerry, and Summer are poached by Rick’s paranoia and erratic behavior. At the house, Summer confesses to Beth, Jerry, and Morty that their incest baby is alive in space. He was a government project to create a weapon of mass destruction, and Summer had been in contact with him. Morty connects the dots that one of Rick’s new employees is one of the anime teens looking to kill him. Jerry, Beth, Summer, and Morty break the incest baby out of captivity, and use it to save Rick and destroy the anime teens. Rick then loses all interest in the ferrets and they return home.
Episode 8 “Rickternal Friendship of the Spotless Mort”
Referencing the movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, this episode revolves around Rick entering Bird Person’s subconscious mind to save him. After the Smith family leaves him home during their vacation, Rick injects himself into Bird Person’s brain. He lands in the first memory the two have together, at an alien concert, where they also met Squanchy. He walks through various memories, including Bird Person, Squanchy, and some other freedom fighters (including Geardude; Gearhead’s older brother) planning the Battle of Blood Ridge. After interacting with Bird Person’s memory of himself, the two join forces, off to find Bird Person. The two Ricks find Bird Person in a memory with Tammy, but Bird Person rejects Rick’s rescue, flying away as some soldiers of his memory attack the two Ricks. The two Ricks jump between Bird Person’s memories, one of which is a half-birdperson and half-human child that he had with Tammy.
They make it to the memory of Bird Person’s battle with Rick from Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri. After which, they head to the Battle of Blood Ridge memory. It’s revealed that Rick asked Bird Person to come have adventures with him after the Battle of Blood Ridge, and Bird Person rejected him. The two Ricks catch up to Bird Person, revealing he has a child, and arguing to take him back to the real world. C-137 Rick explains that to reach the exit, they need to use memories that Rick and Bird Person share mainly rooted in anger and sadness, to “lily pad” their way to a happier memory of their first meeting where they indulged in the use of an illicit Federation substance. After barely escaping Bird Person’s collapsing mind, the two friends make it back to Rick’s garage. Bird Person confronts Rick about saving the info of his child with Tammy until it benefited himself. They part ways, on seemingly rocky ice, and Rick is left alone.
Episode 9 “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall”
We are now getting into the two-part season finale. Taking the emotional reflections from Ep. 6, 7, and 8, this episode revolves around Rick and Morty breaking up (hence the Forgetting Sarah Marshall reference). After a blow-up fight over Morty spilling portal fluid on his hand, Rick decides that two crows would be a better companion than Morty. Rick leaves Earth to train with the crows and their advanced crow-cyborg species, while Morty teams up with the guy on the other side of his hand-portal (who is Nick Rutherford playing himself). Morty breaks Nick out of a mental hospital, and they return to ruin Rick’s garage, dubbing themselves the ‘Portal Boys’. Meanwhile, Rick returns to Earth with the crows to find his garage in disarray. The crows then realize that Rick was making fun of them, choosing them over Morty, and decide to execute him. In a strange twist, Rick’s two crows save him from their own species. Morty and Nick progressively wreak more havoc before Nick confesses that he lied about his backstory. He wasn’t a victim of Rick’s (as he’d previously cited), he tried to steal from Rick and that’s why Rick had him locked up. After getting into a heated argument, Nick tries to murder Morty, but Morty cuts off his own hand (with the portal) and drops it through Nick’s leg (the other side of the portal). Nick dies, sucking himself into the portal, and Morty calls Rick in a panic (apologizing for everything). The two meet up at the garage, where Rick fixes Morty’s hand. Morty asks if things will be ‘back to normal’ now, but Rick shakes his head. He confesses that what they had was toxic, and he is with the two crows now. The final moments of the episode are Rick moving out, and Morty crying on the second floor balcony.
Episode 10 “Rickmurai Jack”
The season finale ties everything together perfectly, and delivers on the promise made in S3 Ep. 7 (when a Morty becomes President of The Citadel). Morty, now 40, stalks Rick to an anime-inspired town, where he’s fighting the battle between crows and owls. The two have a chat over a drink in the bar, where Morty claims that Summer married a junkie and became a nurse, and Jerry died from cancer. Rick seems completely unbothered by this, and says that he’s doing well with the two crows. Morty begs Rick to come home one last time, and he refuses, so Morty leaves. The next scene, it’s revealed that the two crows are cheating on Rick with his new nemesis, Crow Scare (the evil scarecrow). He confronts the three of them, catching them in the act, and declaring that crow stuff was stupid now. He returns back to the Smith house, but normal Jerry answers the door. Much to Rick’s surprise, the entire family is the same except for middle-age Morty. Beth tells Rick to ‘fix Morty’, and reveals that Morty took an age-up serum from The Citadel. The two head to The Citadel, taking Morty to ‘Re-Build A Morty’ (where they break his age in two places and fuse it together to make him a teenager again). They are then ambushed outside by President Morty’s security, who tells them that the President would like to have lunch with them. Over the lunch, President Morty reveals himself to be Evil Morty, and exposes Rick’s true backstory.
After Diane and Beth were killed by a Rick, he traveled the infinite multi-verse looking for the man who did it, only to find a dead end. He becomes a drunk, spiraling into madness, and massacring hundreds of Ricks. Other Ricks band together to try and stop him, so he crashes the party, blowing up the conference and most of the people in it. Those Ricks left alive worshipped him, and he helped them build The Citadel and The Council of Ricks. Evil Morty then activates his master plan; blowing the Central Finite Curve. He explains that Rick isn’t the smartest man in the whole universe, he’s just assembled the Central Finite Curve to link all the universes that he’s the smartest man in. And as Evil Morty says, “[it’s] an infinite crib built around an infinite baby”. Evil Morty hijacks all of the portal fluid on The Citadel, leaving all the Rick’s and Morty’s without a way to escape The Citadel; hundreds are murdered by trying. Evil Morty blows the CFC, and escapes to a reality outside Rick’s control. C-137 Rick and Morty make it to a quadrant of The Citadel, and activate an emergency separation. Accompanied by the few Rick’s and Morty’s left alive, C-137 Rick and Morty float the pod through space, The Citadel crumbling behind them.
What a season!
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