“Rick and Morty” Season 1 Retrospect – Insane and Dark Sci. Fi. Fun

Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind

    “Rick and Morty” is a show I highly recommend and after I finished Season 1 I started watching Season 2 so there will be more reviews later on in this amazing animated dark comedy sci. fi. The characters have depth and get developed over time and no matter how dark the show goes, it never stops having fun. Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon created a wonderful show and I’ll go into more depth on what I enjoyed about Season 1 and where it fell short.

The Pros: The Comedy – The comedy is hilarious! There are some brilliant satires in episodes (“Lawnmower Dog” satirizing both “Planet of the Apes,” “Inception” and “Friday the 13th.” As well as countless others. The comedy is both random but also has some great setups as well as character cons end up leading to some pretty good payoff later in relationship to other characters and the surrounding environment.

The Universe – The Universe is rich! From alternate dimensions and times, The Council of Ricks, Bird Person, the Meeseeks and the countless aliens and governments Rick comes into conflict with throughout his anti-authority adventures.

The Characters – The characters are wonderful and memorable and the family and their relationships develop over time in relationship to Rick and Morty who are the characters who primarily drive the plot.

Mr. Meeseeks – Mr. Meeseeks are created to solve problems and after they stop existing. Their entire existence is pain and when they try and help Jerry improve his golf game they come to see it as impossible and end up taking hostages and growing desperate in a stark contrast to their initial kind and supportive nature. I really hope we see these guys again.

Jerry – Jerry is an idiot and his arc is really becoming comfortable in the fact he is not smart and becoming comfortable in that as well as his role as a father and the fact that his wife loves him even though they clash a lot and are in a failing marriage. He’s an idiot but he’s sympathetic when he isn’t arrogant.

Beth – Beth is the high achiever and a staunch defender of her dad. She is the one helping Jerry develop into a better person and dealing with her perfectionist nature and learning to let go. She hasn’t gotten there yet but throughout the show we see the strange, extreme circumstances Rick’s or Jerry’s actions bring about bring her closer to that place.

Summer – Summer is Morty’s sister and her arc is dealing with the fact that she was a mistake and learning to accept that life is chaotic, strange and hard and at the end you die. This ends up making her a great Rick companion as Morty learned this over the course of the series too. She also doesn’t have the moral core Morty has either, best shown in “Ricksy Business.”

Rick – Rick is a sociopathic mad scientist whose moral core is Morty, his grandson and travel companion. Rick learns to care about Morty and the family over the course of the season and we see him see those small relationships and appreciate them in the overwhelming abyss that his the rest of reality. He’s also an anti-authority rebel which makes his relationships with alien governments entertaining.

Morty – Morty is like Marty to Rick’s Doc Brown and is the moral core of the show as he helps Rick care about people and life even as Morty goes through that same process of learning himself when his selfishness destroys the reality he starts out in. It is this arc that gives him a bleak view of existence but improves his relationship with Rick and his family. He is pretty mature at the end though he still has his wide eyed idealism that defines the character, even given all he’s been through.

Rick and the 4th Wall – Rick breaks the 4th Wall on multiple occasions and talks directly the audience telling them to watch next week or buy a product. It is hilarious and fits into the fact that Rick is aware of everything and that is why he is crazy and nuts.

The Cons: The Cliffhanger Ending – In “Ricksy Business” Rick freezes time so they can clean the house after the party and that is where it ends with them still cleaning. There isn’t a complete arc for this reason in regards to Rick and Beth in relationship to Rick as they were in conflict with him from the very first episode.

  For a show that is all about subtle arcs and callbacks ending the show on a cliffhanger ended up being the only con. It achieved it’s purpose as it made me watch on to see what happened but it did detract from the overall narrative. It is strong though and easily one of the best animated series currently on television. I laughed through most of it and the only episode that was weak was the one where they had gender stereotypes. The rest were at least 8’s and there were many that were high 9’s. My favorite episodes were “Lawnmower Dog,” “Meeseeks and Destroy” and “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.”

Final Score: 9.5 / 10.

Rick and Morty – Season 1, Episode 2 – “Lawnmower Dog” – Incepting the Dream and Liberation

Lawnmower_Dog

      “Lawnmower Dog” is hilarious! It has two arcs that are both really good and come together in the end, though they are a little confusing as for what the final outcome is as it could all just be a dream, which is part of the joke.

      The story involves Rick and Morty Incepting Mr. Goldenfold so that he will give Morty an “A” but things soon go wrong as they find he is an active dreamer while elsewhere the Rick gives Snuffle the family’s dog a device to make him smarter and he begins to plot the fall of man.

The Pros: Mr. Goldenfold – Mr. Goldenfold is hilarious as he’s obsessed with Mrs. Pancakes and Wheat Thins and controls his dream to the point that Rick and Morty’s attempt to Incept him on their own fails and they have to Incept Mrs. Pancakes.

The “Inception Arc” – This arc is hilarious as they go deeper and deeper into the dream eventually running into the supressed area and fear where Scary Terry lives and after they figure out Scary Terry’s fear they help him overcome it and he helps them incept Mr. Goldenfold and is later seen chilling with Rick.

Scary Terry – Scary Terry loves to say “Bitch” as his catchphrase and his family he is taking care of. He is afraid of a teacher in his past and not having any pants which has lead to him being unsuccessful as a scarer but after Rick and Morty help him he defeats all levels of the dream.

The Snuffles Arc – Rick gives Jerry a device that helps Snuffles learn and grow in intelligence which leads to a takeover of the world and humans being enslaved, though we soon learn it was all a dream as Rick incepted him to show that it would lead to Morty’s death so the dogs leave to another dimension to live in peace.

Snuffles/Snowball – Snuffles sees how humans have mistreated dogs and plots to raise their intelligence (like Ceaser in “Planet of the Apes”) and when he finds that his balls were cut off he turns on the family. He eventually realizes peace can only be away from humankind after Morty dies in the dream he is shown so he leaves giving a heartfelt goodbye. He also takes Snowball as his newname  seeing Snuffles as his slave name.

Rick – Rick is hilarious and his madness comes in handy as he chills with Scary Terry at the end and the possibility of this whole episode just being his dream is suggested in the process.

Morty – Morty is the good guy in this episode as it is Snuffles’s love of him that makes him spare humankind from the dogs taking over after he would be making them all intelligent like him. He also is the one who gives Scary Terry pants which makes them his and Rick’s friend which leads to successful Incepting of Mr. Goldenfold.

Okay: Jerry – He just causes trouble by asking for Rick to make the device to make Snuffles smarter. He’s just kind of there and doesn’t really have an arc except for being happy for the dogs when they say good-bye to Morty to travel to their own dimension.

This episode is hilarious and it’s two arcs manage to flow together perfectly creating one of my favorite episodes. It has great comedic timing and the jokes payoff, especially since the episode is one giant gag that pays off really well and even has tender moments like Scary Terry getting over his fear and having joy with his family as well as Snuffles/Snowballs saying good-bye to Morty.

Final Score: 9.7 / 10