Rick and Morty season 5, episode 4 recap – “Rickdependence Spray”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: July 12, 2021
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Rick and Morty season 5, episode 4 recap - "Rickdependence Spray"


Morty’s hormones get him into trouble in “Rickdependence Spray”.

This recap of Rick and Morty season 5, episode 4, “Rickdependence Spray”, contains spoilers.

The best joke of “Rickdependence Spray” is at the show’s own expense, or at least at the expense of its reputation of being too clever for its own good. See, this episode isn’t clever at all. In fact, it’s determinedly stupid, a bit perverted, and seemingly quite proud of both these things. This fifth season has already done one of those “how far can we take this premise?” episodes, so this week it takes things easy, asking the same question, but of a premise that can be summarized thusly: Morty has sex with a horse fertilization machine, then Rick brings his sperm to monstrous life.

Rick and Morty season 5, episode 4 is anti-clever. It’s the show’s dumbest ideas and basest themes – Morty is horny, again – taken to extremes. But because it knows this about itself it isn’t aggravatingly try-hard like the show can be; it’s actually quite reliably, consistently funny, even if you have to make a little agreement with yourself to meet it halfway. Lots of the killer-sperm animation is really good, anyway, which is just as well since the latter half of the episode is basically all an extended action sequence with the sperm killing and being killed on the way to an incestuous climax (this is all sounding a bit dirty for my liking.)

Last week’s episode had a load of sex jokes as well, but it’s a well that never runs dry, and Morty’s increasingly ill-advised creeping probably counts as character development if you squint a bit. But the lack of pretension is also a good thing. “Rickdependence Spray” isn’t trying to make a point, really, or do anything significant with its characters or plot. It’s just trying to be gross and funny, and it is more often than it isn’t. The grossness isn’t just built into the premise but also comes from some weird business with a sentient horse race and that whole incest worry, which by the way doubles as a payoff for Morty trying his best to keep his responsibility for the whole calamity under wraps. But really the best joke is the President refusing to destroy a potential giant incest baby because it’s an election year, just in case you were worried that there was no topicality snuck in here at all.

The shotgun-spray approach to comedy in Rick and Morty season 5, episode 4 is guaranteed to have a few misses. And it’s easy to dismiss something that is quite flagrantly not trying to be anything beyond the lowest common denominator. But enough of it still works – and, I guess, I’m reliably immature enough – for “Rickdependence Spray” to be a worthwhile outing all the same.

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