Rick and Morty (Season 5): Season Finale Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
Part two of Rick and Morty’s season five finale, Rickmurai Jack, continues to progress the relationship of its titular duo as it delivers new revelations that come from the long-awaited return of a fan-favorite antagonist.
Last episode’s split of Rick (voiced by Justin Roiland) and Morty (also voiced by Roiland) left fans with a heavy heart heading into the final episode and the season finale immediately jumps into Rick’s anime-esque adventure with the two crows. With a title clearly referencing fellow Adult Swim alum, Samurai Jack, it’s no surprise to see Rick becoming a cyber-samurai with armor reflecting him taking the path of the crows. His black armor looks super sleek and this episode’s riff on anime is far better than what we saw a couple weeks ago. The anime intro of “Rick and Two Crows” was hilarious, and I loved how Morty, when he eventually shows up, comments on how anime shows take forever in having their protagonist go against their mortal enemy – sometimes taking years.
Rick is determined on this partnership with the two crows working out though and even after seeing Morty become a forty-year-old version of himself, he’s insistent on their toxic relationship not coming back. However, it was pretty doubtful that this was going to last forever and Rick’s time with the crows ends after he finds them conspiring with his mortal anime enemy and is grossed out by their “physical” relationship. Again, it was pretty obvious that this wasn’t going to last for long, but him coming back to Morty doesn’t just mean that things go back to normal. It seems that way at first with the two of them having to go the Rick Citadel to fix Morty since he just used some kind of serum to guilt trip Rick into coming back.
Their trip to the Citadel is full of the usual weird stuff – a weird new mascot, a grotesque process in changing Morty back, and a sudden invitation to have dinner with the new Citadel president. That invitation though is pretty important and it’s not just because the new president is a Morty. President Morty isn’t just any old Morty as he’s actually Evil Morty. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Evil Morty and now we get to see what him becoming president of the Citadel will really mean and it’s downright diabolical. By scanning Rick’s memory during dinner, Evil Morty is able to make any portal out of the Citadel lead to certain death and plans to destroy the Citadel and alter the trajectory of time.
While watching the episode the first time, it’s easy to become a little overwhelmed by everything that’s happening and maybe misunderstand the consequences and revelations that occur from everything that Evil Morty does. Even now, I’m still trying to put the pieces together, but he’s effectively changed the show forever with the discoveries made in this episode. The idea of the Ricks altering events in time so that every Rick will always have a Morty explains so much of why Morty is unable to move on from Rick after their split and why Evil Morty is so different since he doesn’t have a Rick and removed some kind of machinery from his eye. It adds a whole other layer to Morty’s characters and speaks to maybe why he slips back into his underling ways so easily.
We also get a full montage of Rick’s backstory that doesn’t have any audio, narration, or explanation, but has a lot for fans to theorize about. We get a look at what happened with Rick’s wife after another Rick killed her and seemingly a young Beth. The visual of Rick spending his life killing other versions of himself is really devastating and gives a better understanding of why Rick is the way he is. I mean, after spending years of his life essentially killing himself and even helping the Ricks build the Citadel, it’s no wonder why Rick is so pessimistic and why he hates the other Ricks. The reveals in this episode change everything we know about Rick and Morty and it puts a whole new perspective on their relationship. With how things end, Rick seems like he’s really going to bring Morty up as a real partner with how he pulls him up to initiate the final boosters, but the real test is going to be when we see them again next season.
As for Evil Morty, well, he’s positioned himself as the big baddie of the series with how his plan works. All the Ricks and Mortys in the Citadel are destroyed and decimated in gruesome fashion and Evil Morty is able to win in the end and possibly destroys the “curve” that’s kept this balance of Rick and Morty’s roles? It’s tough to say what exactly that last sequence of him blasting through different dimensions really means, but it’s epic yet daunting as hell. Even Mr. Poopybutthole (also voiced by Roiland) delivers a darker, realer monologue in the post-credit scene rather than something more joyous and hopeful. Dark times are definitely ahead with Evil Morty causing major ripples in what we know about the lore and timelines of this series. Now, we’ve been here before though. Last season there were some big questions that never really got answered so it’s tough to say what the fallout of this will really be. Will Evil Morty be the anime mortal enemy we won’t see again for multiple seasons, or will his actions change what the series is going forward entirely? For now, it’s a genuine who knows.
Rick and Morty delivers one of its most compelling and game-changing finales yet as it re-introduces a major antagonist to alter the perspective of the series’ central relationship as well as the trajectory of the series as a whole. Evil Morty’s reappearance has changed everything and even after a mostly so-so season, the series finds a way to make the wait for next season that much tougher.