Although the decoy destroying antics of Mortyplicity initially look like an average episode of Rick and Morty the outing secretly set up the tragic events of season 5s finale. Rick and Morty is a sneaky series. While the show is outwardly raucous goofy and gory the anarchic animated comedy sneaks in some moments of unexpected pathos from time to time and has set up some devastating twists over its 5 seasons.Take for example Rick and Mortys season 4 heist movie spoof where an increasingly absurd deconstruction of the genre turned to be something far darker. The revelations of Rick and Mortys season 5 finale made it clear that the joke of Rick stealing Mortys hopes and dreams to ensure his continued compliance with his grandfathers schemes was not a throwaway punchline at all. Instead the gag was an early bit of foreshadowing designed to warn viewers that Ricks tendency to view Morty as a commodity will come back in darker terms.
Similarly the plot of Mortyplicity season 5 episode 2 also seems like one of Rick and Mortys goofier outings at first only for the season 5 finale to also underline its secret depths. In Mortyplicity the Smith family is forced to kill endless versions of themselves in an episode that features some of Rick and Mortys grossest and most obscure gags ever. However under all of the double crossing shootings and graphic flaying of its characters the episodes storyline also hints at a darker twist on this tale that arrived with the destruction of the Central Finite Curve.
A goofy gory standalone adventure Mortyplicity introduced countless versions of the Smith family each of which acted as the episodes protagonists for a few minutes before being killed off by the real Smiths who were then also inevitably outed as decoys and killed off in turn. The joke of the episode was much like the earlier heist parody that viewers could never trust what they were seeing and even the characters themselves had no idea whether they were the real heroes of Rick and Morty or not. On first viewing the episode like season 4s Claw and Hoarder or season 5s later Rickdependence Spray seems like evidence that Rick and Morty is content to balance poignant thoughtful episodes with more ribald nihilistic plots. However thats not quite the whole story.
How Mortyplicity Foreshadowed Season 5S Finale
The sight of countless Rick and Mortys slaughtering countless alternate versions of themselves with each character thinking they alone are justified in this action was darkly mirrored when Rick and Morty revealed the reality of the Finite Central Curve. Moreover the fact that Evil Morty felt okay with ending the feedback loop on endless violence even though this involved mass murder is echoed in how Rick leads the endless Smith families into a battle Royale with the same twisted justification of his actions. Rick and Mortys tragic season 5 finale saw Evil Morty claim that even though he was killing a huge number of Mortys and Ricks he could sleep soundly knowing that his actions were ending a pattern of exploitation that would otherwise last forever.Similarly Ricks claim that he should lure all of the Smith decoys into one place and leave them to kill each other and eventually even him and his family was a similarly nihilistic outlook. Rick claims that the ends justify the means despite the ends including him killing countless versions of himself and others meaning it is no surprise when Evil Morty makes the same claim later in Rick and Morty season 5. Although Rick and Mortys philosophies diverge in many ways Rick and Evil Morty think alike as evidenced by the comical but deeply cynical and amoral choice that Rick makes in Mortyplicity and the fact that Morty essentially does the same in the season 5 finale.
Why Rick and Mortys Season 5 Finale Was Darker
Beth confronts Rick near the end of Mortyplicity and her frank refutation of his claims forces her father to realize that he has been acting like a monster to preserve his life and family not because he doesnt care about them. This moment appears to imply that Rick might not be so hard on himself after Mortyplicity ends with Rick saying a heartfelt apology and admitting that even if he is a decoy there is a version of him out there that is able to hear her criticisms and improve his self image. The scene implies that Rick and Morty might redeem Rick as the character stops seeing himself as the villain of his story.However Rick and Mortys season 5 finale proves that he completely forgot this lesson or that the Rick who learned it really was a disposable decoy as Evil Mortys expose of the Central Finite Curve proves Rick is still exploiting and killing countless Mortys across countless realities to his own ends. Where Mortyplicity offers some light at the end of the tunnel and a hint that Rick can be changed by characters imploring his better nature Evil Mortys season 5 finale gambit proves that Rick would never change unless the system that underlies his comfortable existence was torn out from under him. That is not however necessarily true of Rick and Mortys deuteragonist as the same episode proved.
Why Rick and Mortys Season 5 Finale Worked Better Too
Mortys choice to help out Rick in the season 5 finale despite all that his grandfather has put him through was made out of the goodness of his heart rather than because Morty feared he too could be a decoy. As such the interaction is more authentically decent than any of Mortyplicitys sentimental scenes and works better as a happy ending since the scene that proves Rick and Mortys hero has grown over the course of the show. While the series often teases a better more caring side to Rick as proven by the end of Mortyplicity the season 5 finale proves that show also often hides its real hero in plain sight. By doing the right thing despite not having nearly superhuman intelligence Morty is the more heroic of the two title characters as proven by the contrast between Mortyplicitys ending and the season 5 finale it foreshadowed. This essential difference between the two leads of Rick and Morty gives the series its dramatic drive as Rick avoids growth at all costs while his young nephews experiences shape him into a more morally upright character.