Rickdependence Spray: Rick and Morty Season 5 Episode 4 Review

Rick and Morty Season 5 Episode 4

I’ve started referring to certain Rick and Morty episodes as “sci-fi puzzle boxes” because they begin by posing a hypothetical scenario and then ask, “And then what? And then what? And then what?” as the scenario expands and becomes progressively more complex. There are several excellent episodes that tackle this, such as “Edge of Tomorty: Rick, Die, Rickpeat,” which features death crystals that allow users to witness many death scenarios and causes Morty to relentlessly pursue the perfect death to the point where he transforms into an Akira. One of these is the first half of the iconic episode “Meeseeks and Destroy,” with the Meeseeks themselves being a fascinating sci-fi creation that is developed until it reaches its violent, insane finale.

These puzzle box episodes can occasionally be too smart for their own good, though. The most famous of these is probably “A Rickle in Time,” the very ambitious but unfun to watch season two premiere with its convoluted timeline-splitting idea. However, season five also began with two of these episodes. While both of these episodes had undeniably clever premises (a vengeful Narnia world and clones who are unaware that they are clones, respectively), they were so preoccupied with fleshing out these premises that they kind of forgot to be funny or do anything interesting with the characters.

Now we have this week’s episode, which poses the sci-fi conundrum: what if Rick unintentionally removed Morty’s jizz from the machine and transformed it into enormous, sentient, flying sperms after Morty raped a horse fertilisation machine?

No, this time’s premise isn’t very puzzling. Actually, “Rickdependence Spray” seems to have been created in a response to viewers like me who have been snoring during the most recent, overly clever sci-fi puzzle box episodes. Similar to “Pickle Rick,” the setup is immediately abandoned so that the absurdity can begin. In this case, the absurdity takes the form of enormous sperms killing and being murdered in increasingly flamboyant ways.

This episode’s humour is largely comprised of that imagery and numerous gross-out jokes about sex and spermatozoa, which is problematic given that it follows last week’s “A Rickconvenient Mort,” which likewise heavily leaned on sex jokes. The advantage this episode has over the previous one is that it includes more funny jokes and doesn’t try in vain to extract an emotional payoff from its plot. No, this is simply a pointless episode involving enormous death sperms and, oh yes, cannibalistic horse people. It’s great that it remains true to itself all the way through because that is all it is.

The following question is: Is this episode too foolish? I mean, probably; I have a hard time thinking of one that is more idiotic. The most amusing parts involve Morty trying to disguise the fact that he banged a horse sex machine, but the plot can only be sustained for so long on that fabrication. The episode then relies on increasingly extravagant sperm (and horse)-related spectacles, some of which are entertaining (Beth and Summer’s sperm-riding escapade being the best and most filmic-looking), but there is a problem of diminishing returns, which means the laughs taper off as the zaniness amps up. One of the closing jokes, for instance, consists of Rick French-kissing an anthropomorphic horse, which I suppose is meant to be humorous in and of itself. Even so, it’s not. (However, I’ll admit it’s humorous that the president is delaying the destruction of the enormous incest baby because it’s an election year.)

You could say that “Rickdependence Spray” is a breath of fresh air because it’s neither one of those episodes, like the first two of the season, where the humour and characters get lost in an overly complicated sci-fi premise, nor is it one of those episodes, like last week’s, which is just a simple, stupid episode pretending to be something else. No, these are simply some crude jokes about sperm and sex between horse humans. Nearly all of “Rickdependence Spray’s” success depends on how funny the jokes are. Overall, around half of it is humorous. Rest of it isn’t.

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