The bane of a show that is highly regarded for its Uniqueness and creativity, is time. The longer a show goes on, the more fans expect, and the less the creators can deliver because its often hard to top the quality that a fresh idea can contribute. This seems to be the case with Rick and Morty. After a long hiatus, the fan favorite show is back with its fourth season. Justin Roiland and dan Harmon are back at the wheel giving fans what they have been patiently waiting for, yet personally I had little in the way of expectations for the return of the show. In my mind the show peaked in season two, while the show never lowered itself to a degree in which I would consider “bad”, I would be hard pressed to recall anything within its third season other than the infamous “Pickle Rick” episode. The novelness of the show’s batshit insanity had begun to lose its sheen and the skeleton of the shows overall structure was peeking out by the end of the third season, yet with the fourth season upon us does the show take this opportunity to rejuvenate itself? Or are we going to have to be content with enjoyable in the moment episodes that leave a lot to be desired?
Rick and Morty Season 4 Episode 1, “Edge Of Tomorty: Rick Die Repeat” quickly establishes that the show is continuing off from where season 3 left off, Rick’s family craves a change in their abusive dynamic while Rick sees little purpose and has little desire in changing his behavior. An interesting thread that is only explored for a absolutely minimal amount of time in order to make room for some interplanetary shenanigans. Morty follows Rick on another adventure this time to retrieve a mysterious substance Rick refers to as a “Death Crystal”. From there the show follows the path that any “Monster of the week” type show worships, something goes wrong, spiraling out of control quicker than can be contained, someone has to come along and stop it. It goes just about how you would expect any Rick and Morty episode would go, however that’s not to detract from its entertainment value. Despite its formulaic approach in its storytelling it unsurprisingly keeps the viewer entertained with bizarre visuals, deadpan humor, and overall creative crudeness. The classic Rick and Morty humor is here in abundance, which is something I’ve never doubted, the dynamic duo behind this show has time and time again proven that they understand the humor their audiences show up for and they have no problem delivering that expected performance every single time. However, this just makes the episodes narrative all the more disappointing, the best episodes of the show always manage to blend that humor with a thought provoking and complex narrative. Despite however down I may be on the overall written narrative, there is some credit to be given for the episodes underlying themes, the most prominent of which is lying just under the surface for anyone who gives it even the slightest of thoughts can discover, and ultimately makes the episode all the more rewarding because despite how overly insane the show can become at times, it still has something to say and it conveys its message in its own unique way.
Despite all that I’ve said against the episode, this first bit of season 4 isn’t bad, it has everything that a Rick and Morty fan could ask for, Death, Raunchy humor, weird aliens, new scifi concepts. If you’re just a fan of Justin Roiland’s and Dan Harmon’s trademarked humor, there is no doubt you will be enthralled with the entire episode because there is truly a self-contained adventure feel about the episode alongside a bit of self-awareness that adds a little bit of a charm to it all. The creators of the show have stated that their intentions for season 4 is to create a more serialized product, something with more overarching themes and storylines which could be a part of why I felt so negatively on the episode’s narrative appearing to be pretty procedural in nature. To be fair though we are still in the infancy stages of the season, building blocks are being placed, the chess pieces are being arranged just right, who knows where this fourth season will take us. I would highly recommend anyone who has enjoyed the show in the past to give the episode a shot, if you’ve kept on this long, your more than likely in it for the humor and insanity that is synonymous with Rick and Morty. However if your like me and you have slowly become increasingly jaded on formulaic entertainment, this may not be for you however they sheer fun time that the show is might be enough for you to truly look forward to the rest of the season.