Rick and Morty (Season 5): Mortyplicity Review
On this week’s episode of Rick and Morty, Mortyplicity, the Sanchez family deals with decoy families and ends up being the series’ most complex situation to date.
This series absolutely adores questioning reality and constantly pulling the rug out from viewers. We’ve seen Rick and Morty’s reality be challenged through parallel universes, simulations, and even clones. Now though, we see that Rick (voiced by Justin Roiland) has created multiple decoy families in order to deter anyone coming to kill him. However, once a mysterious alien threat starts killing the decoy families, Rick grabs the whole Sanchez family to escape, but ends up making a catastrophic discovery. It’s no surprise that a decoy would eventually figure out that they’re not the real Rick and start making decoys of their own or destroy the other Ricks in an attempt to be the last one standing.
This plot feels right at home for this series and Rick’s thinking. Rick creating a bunch of decoys versions of himself that eventually become self-aware and destructive. Seems right up Rick’s alley. Also, it oddly fits for the show’s cold open where Rick talks about going to kill God. With the decoys basically looking for the real Rick to kill him to become the “real Rick,” they’re essentially attempting to kill their creator. This take on becoming self-aware definitely leads to a lot of fun chaos but isn’t exactly the easiest or most compelling storyline. Frankly, I’ve confused myself about ten times just thinking about it. Honestly, it almost feels like a shoe-horned idea thrown in to get to a season episode count and although Rick takes time to explain some things with it to his family, it’s understandable why they’d have so many questions. Most of the time, you’re left questioning what’s real and what’s not and who the real Sanchez family is. This is probably the point, but it’s a story that’s not as easy to enjoy because of how convoluted and complicated it is.
However, that doesn’t make it any less mind-bending or hilarious as this episode is just absolute chaos being played out as we see a lot of Sanchez’s get slaughtered by decoy versions. Mortiplicity not only features the most kills in a Rick and Morty episode, but also the smallest voice cast since outside of Keith David returning as the President and Tom Kenny and Rob Schrab in undisclosed roles, this episode basically just focuses on the Sanchez family. It’s an absolute bloodbath from start to finish as we see the Sanchez family get decimated in numerous ways. From vaporizing grenades to just getting their heads blown off, it’s just a pure kill fest from start to finish. There’s definitely a lot going on and although it can be tough to get a grasp on at times, there’s something about that that makes this episode kind of special.
It definitely deserves some credit for consistently being able to trick and troll viewers with how things will shake out and which Sanchez family is the real deal. There were plenty of times where it seemed like the real Sanchez family has finally come out on top, only to kill them mercilessly. Honestly, about halfway through the episode, you quickly realize that it doesn’t matter and end up just gelling into the ride that presents a lot of fun callbacks and some delightful bootleg versions of the Sanchez family.
The series trolls viewers with a quick callback to Interdimensional Cable, further fueling the fire of fans’ desires to see another episode dedicated to the fan favorite segment. We also get another glimpse and mention of Space Beth (voiced by Sarah Chalke) that’s cool and all, but a tad disappointing. It’s great that this seemingly pivotal plot point at the end of the last season hasn’t been completely abandoned, but it seemed to have higher stakes than it currently does. Roiland and Dan Harmon have teased that there are big things in store for Space Beth before so it’s a little strange that they’re just sitting on it like this. I definitely trust them, but it’s just odd.
The real highlight of this chaos though comes in the form of some bootleg decoys that we’re created when Rick or the decoy Ricks got a little careless when creating more decoys. The whole sequence of the Sanchez family being captured by a disgusting Rick that skins other Ricks to make a better-looking coat gave off a horrific mix of Buffalo Bill and Event Horizon vibes. The wooden puppet versions of the Sanchez family creating a safe haven was funny and became funnier with how it instantly crumbles when the puppet version of Jerry (voiced by Chris Parnell) betrays everyone. The just desserts the wooden Jerry gets in the post-credit scene is amazing though and it’s easily one of the best post-credit scenes of the series. Even amongst all this chaos, there is one sentimental moment shared between Rick and Beth (also voiced by Chalke) that makes their bond a little better and is a nice father/daughter moment. It’s great to see Rick open up a little more as Beth’s father, even if it isn’t canon, and it’s even better that it’s done with version that look like Jim Henson puppets.
Mortyplicity is a masterclass in mind-fuckery that will easily go down as one of the most convoluted and craziest episodes in recent time. It delightfully trolls fans while delivering some destructive sci-fi chaos that shows how crazy Rick’s concepts are. It’s still a little disappointing that the whole Space Beth thing is riding the bench currently, but the series continues to dish out some fun antics.