Rick and Morty S5E8 – Rickternal Friendship of the Spotless Mort

Rick gets into his friend’s head in an attempt to make things right. This was another one I really enjoyed (I realize opinions differ pretty severely on this, but this season has been great, except for that one wet weak spot.) Lots of great lines, but the real draw for this one is the bits of continuity it drops. Rick and Morty rarely goes for the big curtain-pull reveal, instead salting bits of its canon backstory inside unreliable narration and vague hints, but even so, a LOT of stuff got established or supported here. I’m sure people are going to be picking the hell apart out of this one in YouTube videos, but here’s what we learned about Rick’s past (and other canon-establishing stuff.)

  • Memory Rick casually refers to Beth as “our dead daughter,” implying that that “wholly fabricated” memory of Rick’s in the Season 3 premiere might not have been completely inaccurate.
  • He also talks about Rick being “one of those creeps who live with abandoned adult Beths,” which describes pretty much all the Ricks with Mortys (even the ones who live on the Citadel full-time still had to build up a relationship with Morty to start with.) I like the acknowledgement that, in an infinite universe, Rick being teamed up with Morty is still a pretty rare occurrence, just one path his life, and genes, might take. Presumably there are other citadels out there with large Summer or Beth populations instead (and ones for any other hypothetical kids or grandkids he could possibly have had – an infinite number of Citadels.)
  • We see 35-year-old Rick fighting other versions of himself and trying to get revenge for a “her” who’s been killed, but at this point Rick might not know about dimensional travel, and Beth isn’t even born yet. Is this just Birdperson’s memories being confused (the fact that memory Rick knows about even adult Beth hints that they are, at least a little) or is something else going on?
  • I thought Tammy was human, because she wasn’t shot when Rick ordered his automatic guns to “whitelist human life” at Dr. Wong’s office, but rewatching the scene I noticed she ducked behind someone there for safety, and this episode confirms she’s not human, given she refers to it as “Earth high school.” So what is she? Humanoid alien? Descendent of abducted ancients? Gromphlamite with a whole lot of plastic surgery?
  • Rick as a kid! The first time we’ve ever seen his childhood, I think.
  • The details of the Battle of Blood Ridge, which has been talked about before.

Other stuff:

  • It’s slow, but Rick’s getting some character growth; he refuses to just replace Birdperson with a more palatable alternate-universe copy, something he hasn’t had issues with in the past (including his entire current family except maybe Morty?) He’s also a lot more capable of expressing love than he used to be, even if he does it in a cranky way. I guess once you’ve said it to Jerry…
  • Birddaughter is such an adorable little psychopath!
  • So many Rick/Birdperson fics are going to come out of this.