It barely started a month ago, and already the end of this Rick and Morty run is here. After last week’s disappointing outing, we once again pick up on a Beth storyline, but this one really delivers the goods. ‘Rickturn of the Jerri’ is a top-quality instalment, satisfying in its own right and offering everything fans could ever want. This is most definitely going out on a high.
The Smith family have a new item ready for adventures – an invisibility belt, and everyone wants a go. Bickering over the power of invisibility soon falls into the background, however, with the arrival of a visitor from outer space. It’s either Beth or her clone but, whatever her identity, she wants to see her father. Pursuing her, the entirety of the evil Galactic Federation, after the plans for the Planet Remover, which they intend to use to dominate the galaxy. The whole of the family will have to work together to defeat this threat. Meanwhile, Summer and Morty test their sibling bond, and Jerry has taken to building therapy puppets.
It’s typically the series openers and finales that do the bulk of the work actually propelling the narrative forwards, and this is a perfect example
As we get into the main crux of story, Rick expresses his frustration that the family are doing “a piece of shit” Star Wars adventure. But, unlike the most recent Star Wars films, ‘Rickturn of the Jerri’ knows how to provide fan service without compromising on storytelling (although, much like Star Wars, it was annoying how much Rick and Morty went on about hating their fans). I’ve lamented the lack of development in some of these episodes, but this finale delivers in spades. It’s typically the series openers and finales that do the bulk of the work actually propelling the narrative forwards, and this is a perfect example.
We’re back to a serial story, with loads of references to past instalments (and it’s the sign of a good episode that I wanted to rewatch them all the moment I was done). If you watch Rick and Morty, you’ll be delighted to see the payoffs to some stories from years back, and some familiar faces really driving the narrative. This results in some fantastic visuals, including the show’s most gritty fight sequence, and shows that you can fill 20 mins with a lot of content if you try. There’s a lot of good material here, with quality lines and story beats everywhere.
If you watch Rick and Morty, you’ll be delighted to see the payoffs to some stories from years back, and some familiar faces really driving the narrative
I’ve also grumbled about the lack of the family this season, and even their return last week didn’t alter how boring the instalment was. Fortunately, this time round, everyone gets a lot to do. Sarah Chalke shines as two versions of Beth, with ‘Rickturn of the Jerri’ delivering some of the long-needed character development. We see that Beth is her father’s daughter, but how she deals with that makes for an interesting thread. The highlight, as always, is Chris Parnell as Jerry – he gets most of the episode’s funniest lines, and perhaps the series’ best post-credits scene. Really, the Summer-Morty story is the weakest part, squandering hints of conflict to offer essentially the same plot thread as last episode – they’re a team and they keep going on about their character arc.
Some slight niggles, however, do not alter the fact that this was a high on which to end this run – I’ve tried to avoid spoiling it as best I can, so hopefully you can enjoy it as much as I have. Full of callbacks and cameos, advancing the series’ narrative and providing tons of character development, ‘Rickturn of the Jerri’ was classic Rick and Morty, and it sets a high bar for whenever the show returns. Hopefully it won’t be so long, but we’ve a very interesting set-up and dynamic change for a fifth series and I’m excited to see what will happen next.