Warning: this review contains full spoilers for Rick and Morty: Season 4, Episode 10! If you need a refresher on where we left off, here’s our review for Season 4, Episode 9.
Rick and Morty’s fourth season ends by paying off on some big loose ends from years past. Just not necessarily the ones fans might have expected. Assuming Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon ever plan on giving us that big Rick vs. Evil Morty showdown (and I’m starting to doubt that based on the events of “Never Ricking Morty”), it’s not coming anytime soon. Instead, Season 4 wraps by tying together loose ends from the beginning and end of Season 3, resulting in what may well be the best Rick and Morty season finale yet.
The season ends by looping back to “The ABCs of Beth” and following up on that wonderfully ambiguous ending where one version of Beth leaves her family behind to seek a new life among the stars and the other returns to her humble life. As we quickly learn, a Beth freed of the responsibilities of motherhood and marriage is every bit as formidable as her father. It’s honestly very cool seeing this side of the character. More than ever, it’s clear just how much of Rick is inside Beth, both good and bad.
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Even better, the decision to bring back this version of Beth results in a very meaningful story that does more than any other to really push the dynamic between Rick and his daughter(s) forward. By the end, it becomes clear the goal was never to actually answer the question of which Beth is real. Even Rick doesn’t know, as he took the coward’s way out. Instead, bringing both Beths together is a way of forcing both characters to acknowledge how truly toxic Rick is and finally move beyond hating him/craving his approval. This episode teases a new, ongoing family dynamic where both Beths coexist and have the potential to take a much more active role in the series. In general, Season 4 hasn’t been great about showcasing Beth (or even Jerry, for that matter), but these final two episodes really make up for lost time.
As for Rick, it’s fascinating to see how directly this episode mirrors Season 3’s finale, “The Rickchurian Mortydate.” Once again, Rick is the big loser of the season. His grip on his family has loosened even further. He’s basically driven everyone away, to the point where his only companion is the disembodied remains of a very bloodthirsty Phoenix Person. He may not be in quite as low a place as he was back in “Auto Erotic Assimilation,” but he’s close. It’ll be very interesting to see how Season 5 picks up from this point. Will there even be room for traditional Rick/Morty adventures? Could Beth take Rick’s place in that regard? I could see this all building to the reveal that Evil Morty is manipulating events so that the multiverse’s most dangerous Rick is alone and isolated, but honestly, that’s a lot more boring than a status quo where Rick finally has to deal with the consequences of a life of crappy behavior.
Balancing out all this father/daughter drama is a welcome dose of wacky humor and spectacle. The Rick vs. Phoenix Person fight alone ranks among the show’s most epic and elaborately choreographed action sequences to date. It’s hilarious yet brutal in its intensity, in part because Rick is very clearly the bad guy here. It’s also a lot of fun watching Morty and Summer bond and help save the world with the combined power of invisibility and indestructible Wrangler jeans.
However, it’s Jerry who tends to steal the show in each and every scene. He’s at his most delightfully pathetic in this episode and once again has the lion’s share of the best lines. You have to love the payoff to his little puppet fad and the way Jerry manages to bumble his way into saving the entire planet. That’s all capped off with a frankly incredible post-credits scene. We absolutely need an Invisible Garbage Truck Jerry spinoff series. Too bad he seems to have killed that franchise before it could even begin. Nice going, Jerry!
Source: IGN.com Rick and Morty: Season 4 Finale review