Rick’s nemesis makes a big splash and Morty tries to make a good impression in the Rick and Morty season 5 premiere.
This is my favorite way to arrange an A, B, and C story – the way which brings all the characters into the same location with multiple intersecting plots which affect each other, but where all the participants are doing their own things. It’s complex and fun, like a wild stage play. In this case, things get even wilder because the A story is really two different parts moving on two different timelines. You really see how Morty has grown over the years from the nervous kid of the early seasons – in the same episode, he tells Rick off for his shit, casually accesses Rick’s weapons to go fuck up “Narnia,” and manages to have Jessica over and be pretty cool about it. (But it probably would have worked out better if he hadn’t been too distracted to realize bringing that guy through the portal for any length of time was a bad idea.)
Meanwhile, Rick deals with his nemesis, and we get another sideways look at the heroic period in his life before he became a miserable god. Mr. Nimbus was a serious threat to Rick once, and Rick could probably just kill him now if he really wanted to and prepared for it, but mostly he just feels awkward and judged by someone who’s seen how far he’s fallen even as he’s become unimaginably powerful. We get a little more information about his wife Diane, who’s apparently dead (and Rick is pissed at Mr. Nimbus for establishing this), at least in this universe, which isn’t Rick’s original one.
And Beth and Jerry get a cute story about trying to have a three-way with Mr. Nimbus, and I gotta say it’s nice to see them getting along and actually enjoying each other. And they even manage to do it, too! Good for them.
- How did Rick and Morty go to Atlantis without touching the ocean? I mean, sure, maybe it’s under a dome or something and they just portaled in, but they were in wetsuits, and we know skin contact isn’t required because only Rick’s ship touched the ocean. Maybe Atlantis has interurban transport waterways for the merpeople that aren’t considered “the ocean.” Maybe Mr. Nimbus can sense things touching the ocean, and two guys in wetsuits could be anyone but Rick’s ship is unique. Maybe I’m overthinking this.
- Nobody cares about the teenagers getting into the wine, apparently, but at this point that probably seems like pretty small potatoes.
- Jessica is so often just whatever Morty’s plot needs her to be that it was nice to see her have a little growth of her own, even if it took a horrifying The Jaunt-like trip through eternity for her to achieve it. After several seasons of “generic background teenage love interest” there was something cathartic about her final “Fuck off, I’m a time god!” Morty’s not the only one who’s learned how to fuck up Narnia.
- It doesn’t come up much, but it’s kinda cool that in Jerry the show includes an extremely non-stereotypical bi character (unless there’s a stereotype of bisexuals being wimpy and utterly square that I’m unaware of.)
- Season 5 is supposed to have a little more continuity than the show usually does, and looking ahead at future episodes, a little of what we know about them suggests several could stem from events in this episode. A Rickconvenient Mort seems to be about climate change and possibly sea level rise, there’s an episode where Morty tries to move on from Jessica and have another relationship (probably Forgetting Sarick Mortshall), and we’ve seen glimpses of a Hellraiser-themed episode that could be the result of Beth and Jerry getting a little too experimental.
- Also coming up: a giant-robot-themed episode (Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion) and an episode where they fight Thanksgiving turkeys (Rick and Morty’s Thanksploitation Spectacular.)