Like billions if not trillions of others I love Rick and Morty, at least when it’s at the top of it’s game. Though many die hard fans may disagree with me, and violently lynch me for even suggesting such a thing given their nature, sometimes there’s been the odd weak episode where show creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have been on auto-pilot, or in the case of the second semi-improvised episode “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate”, it’s just not been as funny as they think it is.
Combined with this and the ridiculously high expectations given the two year wait between seasons 3 and 4, and this brand new episode was almost always going to feel like a let down. And it was! Which is not to say that it wasn’t very, very funny throughout, with some really inventive ideas, but it felt like the show going back to basics, having something of a reset button as Rick and Morty went off on an adventure together and all hell inevitably broke loose but by the end everything was as it always is with no character progression or changes in the set up.
That said, the plot with Morty becoming obsessed with Death Crystals which let you see all of the possible deaths which might happen to you was a cute one, and Rick being killed and then reborn again and again was enormously fun too, with the latter creating a huge amount of laughs from Rick encountering various fascist versions of himself and Morty. There was also a fair amount of fan service with various bits of meta-commentary in both storylines, and of course the brief return of Mr Meeseeks too, all of which I liked, but I just didn’t find myself loving it in the way I have when the show is at it’s most inspired.
Perhaps I’m being unreasonable, and this is still a 4 star review, but I was hoping that the show may have been a little more unpredictable when it came to the themes and ideas it played with, but instead it just saw Morty fuck up once again (albeit in a delightful manner, with the show playing with “When superheroes go bad” tropes in a hilarious way), while Rick got to travel around various dimensions and meet messed up versions of himself and Morty, and sure, it was funny, but it just wasn’t anything particularly new.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that we were given, as Fascist Morty demanded, “A real fun, classic adventure”, the show has been commissioned for another fifty nine episodes so they can’t shake up the format / formula too much, and given how many beautifully funny moments there were it was still a great episode. And perhaps that’s what I just need to get used to now if I’m going to continue to enjoy the show, that it’s going to be funny, smart and intelligent, but just not quite as unpredictable and unusual as it has been in the past.