Rick and Morty (Season 5): Forgetting Sarick Marshall (Episode 9) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
After a much-needed break from a very lackluster season, Rick and Morty returned for a two-episode, one hour finale and the first part sees our titular duo split apart.
Outside of a few instances and short conversations, this season has really lacked the more emotional, personal character beats that make this series stand out amongst the parody and sci-fi antics. Sure, watching Morty (voiced by Justin Roiland) cry over losing Planetina was heartbreaking and seeing Rick (also voiced by Roiland) reunite with Birdperson was fulfilling. However, they don’t compare to the emotion and heartache felt in Rick “firing” Morty this episode and the two trying to find themselves with new relationships they develop.
Throughout this season we’ve seen Morty come into his own as a leader and Rick be pushed back onto his heels. With Morty’s confidence building, he can now go on his own adventures, and we even see him use Rick’s portal gun to fix some of the destruction they’ve caused in their adventures. The opening is a great showing of Morty having some shades of Rick as he does things behind his back, but in the effort of helping victims of their selfish fun. Morty has been working out of his underling role for a few seasons now and we’re seeing him become more of a frontline hero role. Even with this new-found confidence though, Morty still fears Rick’s wrath and fails to tell him that he now has a portal on his hand because he tried to refill the portal gun juice without Rick realizing – leading them to break up.
Frankly, this has been a long time coming and these two breaking apart leads them to discovering new relationships that bring out their own issues and take them on strange adventures. With a portal now stuck to his hand, Morty ends up meeting someone on the other side as it leads to a man named Nick (voiced by Nick Rutherford). After messing around in Rick’s garage, Nick got a portal stuck to his thigh and is in a mental asylum after Rick abandoned him – making him seem like another victim of Rick’s antics. At first, Morty seems like he’s found a better partner in Nick with the kind of chemistry they have.
Their honeymoon phase of friendship is filled with a delightful trashing of Rick’s lab that’s only made better when Jerry (voiced by Chris Parnell) tries to join the fun only to be turned into a puddle after the first thing he breaks and some epic fighting using their connecting portal. Unfortunately, once the honeymoon phase ends, there are darker shades to Nick that come out and put Morty back into his timid underling role. While Morty is eventually able to stop Nick with one of the craziest kills in the series as he cuts off his own hand and then sends it through Nick’s thigh portal to have them collapse on themselves, this toxic relationship shows that Morty tends to sell himself short and fall back into the shadow of whoever’s next to him. It’s sad to see him get knocked back on his heels instead of Rick, who kind of needs it, but with how Rick decides to “end things” at the end, maybe Morty will benefit from some alone time.
As for Rick, in an attempt to show Morty’s uselessness and that he’s easily replaceable, he pulls out this crummy looking wheel with some equally crummy options, including a hilarious slice that says “Jerry (Spin Again), and it lands on “two crows” – which is literally him replacing Morty with two crows he captures and trains to be his partner. Like Morty’s relationship with Nick, Rick’s partnership with these two crows starts off on an expected high note as Rick’s genuinely impressed by how well they listen to his commands, and they even teach him some empathy. However, once Rick stops caring about them, he pulls a classic Rick move and tries to abandon them for essentially being too soft. He gets quite a surprise though when he comes across a group of intelligent and high-powered crows that dislike his disregard for the crows’ intelligence.
That wheel really comes back to bite him, and his partners end up abandoning him for these bigger, badder crows and eventually become these big hulking crows themselves. It’s another moment of Rick getting the rug pulled out from under him and it seems like he’s really in trouble when the crows are tasked with killing him. Expectedly though, they don’t and actually show Rick some empathy – which ends up meaning a lot to him as he takes down this crow army in epic fashion. That kill he has on one of the crows by turning it into an egg and them smashing with his foot is an all-timer. Things take an unexpected turn in the end with Rick and Morty’s relationship that tugs on the heart strings.
Even though Morty and Rick eventually come back together and Rick fixes Morty’s hand, Rick decides to really call it quits – for now. Rick cites that their relationship is toxic and that he never really treated Morty like a real partner. He really believes that its better that they just stay apart and that he wants to leave with the crows to learn more about himself. It seems like Rick really learned something from the crows’ empathy and maybe he’s right. These two have only brought each other down, mostly Rick bringing down Morty, and maybe they’re due for some much-needed alone time. It’s an emotional moment that’s done really well and Morty’s tears definitely cut deep along with the song that plays. It’s a standout moment of emotional story moments this season needs and creates a good lead up to the true season finale. Now, I’m still of the mindset of this separation being temporary and Rick and Morty coming back together by the time the next episode ends, but it doesn’t change this episode’s emotional strength.
Forgetting Sarick Mortshall finally gives this season the strong emotional story that has a real fallout it desperately needed and offers some tear-jerking growth for Rick and Morty that makes their likely short, but sudden break-up a real heartache.