How Rick and Morty’s Dynamic Has Changed in Season 5 - VRGyani News and Media

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Thursday, September 2, 2021

How Rick and Morty’s Dynamic Has Changed in Season 5

Rick and Morty has always been built around its two titular characters. Dan Harmon’s sci-fi animated adventure features Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith, traveling the infinite cosmos. Sometimes, the rest of Morty’s family, father Jerry and mother Beth, but namely his sister, Summer, joins them for the ride.

Several variables have changed in the Smith family dynamic, namely amongst the children. Morty has become more like Rick, meaning he has more conviction and is less willing to appease all of Rick’s desires. Summer has become more involved with Rick’s adventures, wanting to engage more in her Grandpa’s ways. The fifth season has played more with the dynamics in the Smith family, showcasing how the odd circumstances and trauma the Smiths have gone through has pushed Morty and Rick farther apart and, oddly enough, kept them bound together.

The pilot essentially serves to give Rick a reason to take grandson Morty out of school so they can keep going on ridiculous sci-fi adventures. Rick has Morty put an extra-terrestrial seed up his anus to make Morty seem more intelligent briefly. That seed’s effects wear off quickly and cause Morty to lose most of his motor skills and “a significant amount of brain functionality for 72 hours.”

Note that before this affair, Jerry says that he thinks that they can “be a family” after Rick convinces them that he is making Morty smarter. Then, Rick rants about how he needs to keep quiet so that they can go on adventures and he can keep accomplishing greatness, saying that “the outside world is our enemy.”

Those scenes set up the Smith family dynamic: Rick pushes Morty to do many painful things, Morty reluctantly accepts, and the two (well, more often Morty than Rick) face the consequences. Rick goes to great depths to keep this relationship, even fixing a complicated scheme to get Jerry and Beth divorced.

Flash forward to the first episode of the fifth season, “Mort Dinner Rick Andre,” which starts with Rick and Morty hurtling towards death after another adventure. Morty only decides to save him and his grandpa from crashing into Earth because Jessica, his crush, agrees to date him. Throughout the evening, Rick asks him to collect aged wine in another dimension to please his nemesis Mr. Nimbus, but all Morty wants to do is go on his date with Jessica. Rick gives up on Morty’s involvement, sending Summer to take on the most difficult task of the evening. He doesn’t care about Morty’s date.

In the third episode, “A Rickconvenient Mort,” Morty ditches Rick for another woman, this time Planetina. Notably, Planetina asks Morty if Rick wants to join her to get “cruelty-free donuts,” but Morty just runs back to the car for a second and ditches Rick. He has no background with Planetina, and yet Morty happily shoves Rick aside to be a part of her life, to show up at random environmental disasters, and slaughter Planetina’s family/controllers to keep seeing her. Once again, Summer agrees to go off with Rick on a sex bender across different planets facing apocalypses. She even goes to the length of stopping an apocalypse to keep Rick from being in a relationship with an alien, Daphne. Rick says that it’s very “Rick” of Summer to “avert an apocalypse in a tantrum of cynicism to just to destroy one dumb relationship.”

RELATED: The 5 Best and Worst Moments of Rick Sanchez in 'Rick and Morty'

Morty has rebelled from Rick’s influence before, from ditching Rick with the President at the end of Season 3 to not being interested in finding out which Beth is the real Beth at the end of Season 4. These episodes also feature interesting outbursts, when Morty finally stands up for himself. In “Mort Dinner Rick Andre,” Rick asks Morty “When do I ask you for anything?,” a comical question given how much time the two have spent together. Morty claps back saying that it has been years since he’s been to a full week of school and he does not “know shit and for what? How many enemies do you have to have? Why is everything a fight with you?” Remember, Beth and Jerry initially allowed Morty to go on these adventures so that he could learn about the universe and science in new ways. This is one of the most direct moments that Morty expresses his distaste for Rick pulling him away from his life and for putting him through so many traumatizing experiences.

Morty literally buried his own grave in the first season and has watched thousands of beings die throughout their adventures. Morty finally stands up to Rick for creating a jaded person. Oddly enough, Rick gave Morty one of his more applicable pieces of advice when he says that “life is a fight.” Morty has used that several times when in jams, from the beginning of Season 4 when he kills bullies and military forces to live in a timeline where he dies old with Jessica, to murdering more people in multiple homage-style episodes – the Purge episode, the Mad Max timeline. He even used that piece of advice later in “Mort Dinner Rick Andre,” murdering hundreds of people across centuries just to get the wine quicker so he can hang out with Jessica. Morty has become more jaded, cynical, violent, and independent from his adventures, which makes sense since those words define Rick quite nicely.

Morty lets out his emotions one other time: when talking with his parents about Planetina in “A Rickconvenient Mort.” Beth prevents Morty and Planetina from living together (because Morty is 14). Morty, in tears, exclaims:

“My whole life, I’ve never fit in anywhere. Everything I have to say is always met with an eye roll as if the act of hearing what I have to say is some exhausting chore. Nobody in this family thinks I can say or do anything right! I’ve been all over the universe, met hundreds of people, and Planetina’s the only one I’ve ever met that makes me feel like I belong and you just kicked her out of our house!”

This brutal call-out against his parents is something rare. Morty has never gone to this extent to criticize his entire family. He even found a way to say something positive about Jerry in the first season after Jerry’s vain attempts to feel intelligent led him to get wrapped up in a political scheme on Pluto. He clearly has anger built up against Rick, but he also resents the rest of his family for allowing him to be abused repeatedly. He blames them for not letting him build meaningful relationships or finding people who see him as something more than an “exhausting chore.” This monologue – brilliantly delivered by series co-creator Justin Roiland – exacerbates why Morty has so much trouble diving into his grandpa’s adventures nowadays. Morty has only joined Rick once this season, to steal the Constitution. Granted, he did choose to continue with Rick and Summer’s Gotron Ferrets adventure in “Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion” (when Rick and the gang run into machines similar to Power Rangers like weapons and use them to fight giant monsters around the world) but that seemed more to protect Rick from himself.

Which begs the question: why does Morty still feel connected to Rick? Or, really, anyone else in his family? Well, they are the only people who can say they share these unique experiences. Who else in the multiverse can say they are fully aware that infinite versions of themselves exist simultaneously and have gone through these experiences? Maybe Morty could seek out other Mortys, but even then, the collapse of the Citadel of Rick seems to have ended that issue. Also, given that he is the “Mortiest of Morties,” he probably would be opposed to the government system at the Citadel of Rick and abort said plan.

That also leads to another reason why Morty may be tethered to Rick: he still cares about his grandpa somehow. They are still family, and their trip to the alien spa shows that no matter how disgusted they are with one another, they still do have a deep connection. Again, not many other beings have shared those experiences with one another.

This leads us back to Summer. She started the series projecting an apathetic view towards her crazy grandpa, wanting to be a normal teenager. However, her time working for Mr. Needful (aka the Devil) in the Season 1 episode “Something Ricked This Way Comes” showcased her need to be appreciated by Rick. She defended and supported a person literally trying to give people curses because she got to spend time with an elderly grandfather-like figure and spit in Rick’s face for spending so much more time with Morty over her.

That has changed across the series. Rick connected with Summer by beating up Mr. Needful and surviving the planet where women are the dominant species. She joins Rick and Morty on their adventure to the hive planet, Unity, and even serves as the voice or reason when Rick cries for help as Tiny Rick in Season 2’s “Big Trouble in Little Sanchez,” saving her grandpa’s life. She helped save Rick from the federation at the start of Season 3 and saves Rick and Morty from killing themselves in Season 3’s “Morty’s Mind Blowers.” Summer even invertedly saves Rick and Morty from being parasite food from the creatures on Glorzo in Season 4’s “Promortyus.”

These trips have forged Summer and Rick’s connection over the series, one that is far from perfect – Rick did abandon Summer on Glorzo – but they have more of a trust. That is why Rick let Summer fight Nimbus’ forces for him and he understood why she broke him up with Daphne.

This leads to the Gotron incident, when Summer pushes Rick over the edge of his power trip just to feel like she’s a more important part of the family. That episode sees Summer convince Rick to have more Smith families join in on Rick’s GoTron obsession, to toxic degrees. She later admits that she did that after complications with her giant, incest baby that the government wanted her to raise to be a weapon. She then notes that Jerry and Beth are a couple and Rick has Morty, so Summer is “the odd one out. So, I wanted to make sure we stuck together. But instead, I drove us apart.”

Summer still felt that the rest of the family did not respect her enough and that, like Morty, she feels not valued by the Smiths. Summer has still seen much of her teenage years changed by Rick’s adventures, but without the acknowledgment that she has been sucked away from her childhood like Morty has at this point. She felt the need to cling to her family in the only way she knows how: through a giant robot that destroys giant monsters.

Such a dynamic has created a unique bond between Morty and Summer throughout the series. Again, the two acted like a normal pair of siblings early on. They bickered over trivial things, like whether to throw a party when their parents were not home. However, even early on, they had a mature bond. Morty comforts Summer in “Rixty Minutes” (aka the first interdimensional cable episode) when she felt like she was “the cause of your parents' misery” (aka Beth and Jerry’s unplanned pregnancy with Summer led to their family and their pain). He opened up about Rick and Morty not being from their reality and convinced her to not run away with his “nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV.” monologue. At that moment, Morty eloquently convinced Summer that she has no fault for creating Beth and Jerry’s unhappiness and that they have no power over what happens next in life. All they have is each other, and Morty’s outreach showed that he cares about Summer in a unique way.

This comes before many of their adventures together. The end of Season 4 shows the pair working together, taking out Galactic Federation lackeys to save their parents and Earth from being destroyed. Morty and Summer came together to help each other and the greater good.

Also, they both acknowledge that they are poorly adjusted. Summer and Morty both admit that they are “losers” as they try to impress new kid Bruce Chutback the only way they know how: by taking Rick’s space car on a joy ride that leads to them getting arrested. The two have been raised just as much by Rick’s cynicism and near-death adventures as they have by Jerry and Beth. They are two of the only people in the multiverse who have experienced this type of trauma only known by Smith families and trying to engage with other Smiths across dimensions yields explosive consequences.

So, the Smith family dynamic is complicated, to say the least. They keep putting themselves in harm's way, either to appease Rick or bond. Somehow, this has made the family both apathetic towards one another and closer in their shared experiences. Maybe Rick’s engagement with the family has made the Smiths closer together in their collective opposition to Rick. Summer and Morty are more Rick than they were from the start of the show, which has helped them build a closer sibling bond.

The Smiths keep falling deeper into the pit of space rather than healing their science fiction fever. Rick has built a family that only knows how to explore, rather than stay. Maybe this is a metaphor for real-life families with major quarrels and disputes who keep on meeting up with each other for the sole reason of maintaining a traditional family connection. Such is why Morty and Summer have such an intense bond with their family and one another.

KEEP READING: 7 Shows Like 'Rick and Morty' to Watch for More Smart and Silly Adventures



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