“Rick and Morty” season 5 review


Alex Hahn

The latest season of “Rick and Morty” makes an argument to cement itself as the show’s best season yet with its ever-enthralling intergalactic adventures, relatable familial tropes and new explorations into the characters’ pasts.

The show, as the name implies, follows the journeys of Rick Sanchez, an egotistical scientist with an enormous intellect, and his not-so-assertive grandson, 14-year-old Morty Smith.

Season five did not stray from the typical, albeit outlandish, route most seasons take, including hilarious satire, pop-culture references and ridiculous, action-packed plotlines unique to each episode. Creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon do a fantastic job at creating a light-hearted, humorous tone over the course of the season, but they excel even more at dropping subtle hints about intriguing, unexplored topics like Rick’s psyche that give “Rick and Morty” substance and depth. Much of this can be attributed to Roiland’s performance in both voices of the titular duo. Roiland excellently conveyed the iconic, often crude and slurred speech of Rick and the polar opposite shy, uncertain tone of Morty throughout the new season.

The show has alluded to Rick’s worsening emotional state, notably in season four where Rick, contrary to his usual megalomaniacal demeanor, admits his shortcomings as a father and as a person. However, the audience never truly knew how Rick came to be the person the show portrays him as. The show follows the duo as they tinkered with time, interdimensional travel and parallel universes, but Roiland and Harmon deliberately leave out alternate realities and timelines that include elements of Rick’s story. In hinting at a more sensitive topic, Harmon and Roiland effectively built and puzzled the fanbase. Season five elegantly responds to the questions of these raving fans, offering insight into the dynamic between Rick and Morty. Observing another side of the omnipotent scientist also allowed the story to be both emotionally impactful and fulfilling, with the show exploring, for example, the nature of power and how gaining it does not necessarily lead to satisfaction.

While it is more emotionally charged, the new season does not lose the fast-paced explorations of sci-fi concepts Rick and Morty is known for. Each episode is densely packed with sly satire and ridiculous conspiracies, like the Statue of Liberty being a Trojan horse, making for a truly entertaining watch. The audience is also taken on a variety of ludicrous adventures, ranging from an interdimensional scuffle for giant robots (based on the anime Voltron) to a mind-boggling clone versus clone war that prompted thousands of Reddit threads. All of the show’s best qualities were successfully maintained behind a new focus of emotional insights into the characters the audience has come to know and love.