Revisiting Season 4 of “Rick and Morty”


Emi Smart, Features Editor

Over the last seven years, Adult Swim cartoon “Rick And Morty” has developed a varied cult following: Elon Musk incels, Reddit-dwelling communists and conspiracy theory potheads, among others. Spread through seven years after just four seasons, the intergalactic adventures of a brilliant nihilist and his puberty-ridden grandson have become one of the most beloved adult cartoons of all time. The scheduled release of ten new episodes on June 20 has fans ecstatic—so it’s imperative we prepare for the fifth season by revisiting the fourth.

Season four consists of ten episodes, each with unique plots and outlandish, asinine comedy. The pinnacle, though, is episode eight, “The Vat Of Acid Episode,” which won an Emmy award for “Outstanding Animated Program.”

The thing “Rick and Morty” does best, however, is its ability to interweave serious themes into an otherwise idiotic plot, all while maintaining a light-hearted feel to the show. This coup is seen most cleverly in the final episodes of season four–with Rick’s broken relationship with his daughter Beth. The self-important alcoholic—who abandoned his life on earth (including his daughter) and became an interdimensional fugitive—comes face to face with the situation set in motion in the third season. With Beth coming to terms with her life regrets, Rick makes Beth a clone to take her place in the family if she ever wants to leave as he did.

Now, in the fourth season, both the clone and Beth herself meet, neither knowing who is the “real” Beth—including their father, Rick, who is becoming dangerously aware of the rotten influence he’s had on his family. While leaving a mark on the watchers’ sense of family, the show keeps its masterfully-absurd heart.

While fans appreciate the shows’ crass scripting, episode four of the newest season pushes the boundaries of adult humor a little too far. In the episode, “Claw and Hoarder: Special Rickim’s Morty,” Morty gets a pet dragon, and at the end of the episode the chaos ensues—that chaos being an incestual “soul bonding orgy” with a dragon. Gross stuff, broh.

But, the show’s shock value clearly sells. “Rick and Morty” continues to be the center of the 21st century cartoon solar system.