“Rick and Morty” season 4 is off to a hilarious start with a promising pattern


Cartoon Network

Rick and Morty

Darius Melton, Opinion Editor

Over two years after the conclusion of its third season, “Rick and Morty” returned to Adult Swim on Nov. 10, 2019, with not only five new episodes to round out the year, but also tons of hype.

Between the copious number of commercials, merchandise and crossovers ranging from professional wrestling to tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons, the pressure was on for this new season to deliver. With two episodes already airing since the season premiere, we can finally ask ourselves the big question: was the hype worth it?


The season premiere, “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Repeat,” brought an immediate change to the titular characters’ dynamic, with Morty taking control of the duo’s mission. This is not a new idea (in fact, this same role-reversal was seen in season three’s fourth episode, “Vindicators 3: Return of the Worldender”), but there was another twist: Rick dies within the first five minutes.

Of course, as the episode title hints, Rick comes back to life—his mind possessing the body of Rick clones from other dimensions—but he also continues to die repeatedly throughout the episode, all while Morty continues his series-long attempts to end up with the popular girl, Jessica.

This is the beginning of what appears to be a reoccurring theme throughout the series: an A-plot where Rick travels through crazy settings, and a B-plot where other members of the Smith family toy around with wondrous sci-fi items and concepts.

In “Edge of Tomorty,” Rick keeps being reincarnated in different dimensions while Morty uses a “death crystal” to try and manipulate the circumstances of his eventual death. In episode two, “The Old Man and the Seat,” Rick travels through multiple dimensions looking for the person who pooped in his personal toilet; meanwhile, the Smith family deal with the invention of a dating app perfectly designed to promote monogamy.

“Rick and Morty” has always been praised for its use and inversion of classic sci-fi tropes, but the show is also notable for its original ideas and inventive settings. It is one thing to parody “The Avengers” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” with the aforementioned “Vindicators” episode, but it is another thing entirely to create two entire episodes where Rick and Morty watch commercials, sketches and trailers from other dimensions for 30 minutes.

Season four seems to be leaning more toward the latter category, creating its own ideas first and satirizing real-world topics second. The jokes absolutely land (I absolutely love the exchange between Beth and a random farmer in episode two: “Yeah? Where’s your daughter?” “Ah, you’re right. She joined ISIS.”), but I find myself more amazed by the sheer creativity of the worlds and gadgets on display than I am by the quick-witted humor.

You do not need a high IQ to watch “Rick and Morty” season four. However, it would do you well to have open ears and attentive eyes. This show has a lot to offer and catching it all can be a sport in of itself—one worth multiple re-watches.