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‘Rick and Morty’ Season 2 goes out with a squanch

| Thursday, October 8, 2015

RickandMarty_Banner_WebLucy Du | The Observer

Adult Swim wrapped up the second season of the raunchy sci-fi cartoon “Rick and Morty” on Sunday with a finale that leaves viewers asking questions. According to the episode description, “Things go ham in this one broh. They all don mussed up this time. The whole family mussed up broh.” In the final episode, the hijinks of Rick and Morty involve the whole Smith family in a way that was completely absent in the first season, but has become increasingly more common.

When the Smith family reluctantly attends the wedding of Rick’s friend Birdperson, the action is shockingly down-to-earth, especially for its setting on Planet Squanch. The family is distraught when the courier flap kidnaps the dad to carry across the galaxy, for no other reason than that now they have to go to the wedding.  If you ignore the strange appearance of the alien guests, you’ve got typical unenthusiastic sitcom wedding guests, complaining about not knowing anyone, making comments about the age gap of the bride and groom and navigating awkward family tension.

Even when things get out of hand, the turmoil is both personal and political but lacks the sci-fi nature of other episodes, where a typical problem involved the split of reality, an uncooperative miniverse or identifying impostors in falsely imprinted memories. In the final episode of the season, “The Wedding Squanchers,” Rick is pursued for offenses against a government and the family is torn by his dishonesty, a situation that could easily happen in a typical action movie within the confines of planet earth.

Rick’s alcoholism and cynicism usually come out in a way that’s surprisingly charming, but now that we have a closer look into his psychology, this episode was less hilarious than depressing. The feels were only exacerbated by the powerful placement of Nine Inch Nails “Hurt.” The episode leaves Rick in a maximum security galactic prison, where he will remain until the season 3 premier, scheduled for Summer 2016.

The question of Rick’s fate may be on the minds of some viewers, but fans are confident that he’ll find an ingenious way to get out of this situation unscathed, probably negating his apparent self-sacrifice to return to his typical egotism. And of course we’re concerned for the fate of planet Earth, which has now been taken over by the galactic federation.

The real question that viewers can’t get off their minds regards Rick’s choice for a new planet for the Smiths to live on. Of the three planets that are similar enough to Earth yet out of the federal jurisdiction, there is one that seems perfectly suitable, and perhaps even more appealing for the fact that everything is on a cob. Morty and Summer are enthralled by strawberries on a cob and flowers on a cob, even Rick is excited at the prospect. He suddenly becomes suspicious at the mountains on a cob, and upon viewing a caterpillar under a microscope becomes horrified, cue dramatic music, “everything’s on a cob!”

After seeing the microscope view, it makes some sense that living on a planet where everything is “on a cob” would be problematic. Apparently the molecules are cobs, and human molecules not being cobs, the Smith family would have trouble doing things like eating and breathing … but they haven’t had any trouble breathing up to this point, so why the panic?

When they look around, it’s pretty obvious that the cobs are everywhere, so the realization that literally everything is on a cob shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The other strangeness in the situation is that no one in the family questions Rick’s alarm. It’s as if they understand cob problem just as well as he does.

This could just be something that the writers threw in to be left unexplained, but I’m having trouble letting it go. In any case, we look forward to season 3 for a definite answer to the fate of Rick, planet Earth and maybe even some insight into the cobs.

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