“Promortyus” felt like a welcome reprieve after last week’s meta self-examination, with alien genocide making for a funny, more familiar outing with a hefty helping of gross-out humour.
This recap of Rick and Morty season 4, episode 7, “Promortyus”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Since I spent the weekend watching and writing about Hulu’s Solar Opposites, it’s a bit weird to return to Rick and Morty. For all the similarities between the two shows, both co-created by Justin Roiland, there are also a lot of differences. Solar Opposites doesn’t have anywhere near the same level of fancy-pants self-aware meta contortionism, for instance, which makes it, dare I say, a bit less annoying, especially since last week Rick and Morty leaned so much into its own internal logic that simply recounting what happened in it was a bit of an ordeal.
Luckily, “Promortyus” is a bit more straightforward, even if it is playfully non-linear. In it, Rick and Morty get eggs laid in their stomach by a hideous face-hugging alien species that, about halfway through the episode, receive some unexpected characterization that complicates matters even further. This is probably just as well since the show has fallen into a familiar pattern of using its characters to prompt commentary on and examinations of genre and storytelling structure, rather than attempting to develop them beyond the rather fixed roles that they occupy in the show. This is always unsatisfying in a dramatic sense but fun and often revelatory in a formal one, and you can’t help but suspect that the dissenters in the show’s fandom are those who would like to see Rick, Morty and Summer (Spencer Grammer) meaningfully change in some way.
Rick and Morty season 4, episode 7 is resistant to that kind of change, instead relying on gross-out humor and quick zingers that, for the most part, really worked for me. I always enjoy the adult-oriented freedom of animation and this show always goes nuts with it, plus the self-awareness works a bit better in the form of quips than it does as part of the show’s storytelling architecture. It can be a bit much, but then again so can anything; for the most part, it’s really funny in a way that most sitcoms don’t manage.
If “Promortyus” wasn’t coming on the back of last week’s episode I’d probably have liked it a bit less, but its more straightforward and depth-averse sci-fi adventure felt like a welcome relief after such a complicated and self-exploratory outing. Chill out, and enjoy Rick and Morty butchering an alien species in anime robot suits. I mean, why not?
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