Rick and Morty (Season Five)

Jun 21, 2021
By Jeremy Nisen

Web Exclusive

Rick Sanchez, the universe’s smartest man and deadliest, most debauched, degenerate grandfather, and his rather earnest but increasingly unhinged grandson, Morty, are back for more sci-fi and reality-bending misadventures. If you haven’t boarded the Rick & Morty train yet, all you really need to know to get started besides these two titular characters–sort of a twisted version of Doc Brown and Marty from Back to the Future–is the rest of the family: Beth, Rick’s daughter and Morty’s mom; Jerry, the hapless spouse and father, and Summer, Morty’s elder (and surprisingly capable and vicious) sibling. Now, a whole series watch to date is extremely rewarding with lore galore, but you can enjoy this new season opener without seeing anything that’s come before – so long as you’re not a kid. REPEAT: This is not for kids.

It’s easy to sympathize with the general bellyaching of Rick & Morty fans regarding the insufferably long gaps between seasons – because the show is just that appealing. But if the quality of the first episode of season five is at all indicative of what we’ll be seeing the rest of this season, it’s probably a good thing the show’s creators took the time to get it right. The opening salvo of the new season is spectacular: insane joke density, an ever-present silliness brushing up against bad taste, awkward social situations laid bare, and hilariously tearing classic sci-fi and genre conventions a new one.

The dual tracts of the episode, titled Mort Dinner Rick Andre, are Rick’s rivalry with Mr. Nimbus, a bizarre take on Marvel’s Namor the Sub-Mariner, and Morty’s shenanigans popping back and forth to a dimension where time passes much faster, wherein he triggers the evolution of an entire society bent on his destruction. But, per usual with this show, it’s less the events that are the appeal, enjoyable as they are, and more the connective tissue between them where the jokes just shine. From a one-off line about Narnia to Beth & Jerry’s nervous discussion about a threesome with the fish man, to the soliloquy Jessica, Morty’s long-time love interest, delivers at the end, the laughs just never stop. Lots of weird fish. Mr. Nimbus’ nonsensical powers over the police. Morty going full “Rambo.”

Again, this episode should be a decent entry point in to the series for the uninitiated – but for those who’ve been on board from the get-go, this is the exact stuff you’ve been waiting on for more than a year. (www.adultswim.com/videos/rick-and-morty/)

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