The first half of the highly-anticipated fourth season of Rick and Morty has come to an end. With the second half being released sometime in 2020, there seems to be no better time to look back at the season so far.
The season kicked off without so much as a nod to the season three finale. Rick and Morty resume their outer-space inter-dimensional space adventures and things get weirder and more wonderful than ever before. Jerry is still a loser, Rick’s still a nihilist and Morty… well he’s still the same clueless kid with a massive crush naively following Rick around on insane adventures.
“Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty” is a season 4 highlight. Rick promises Morty a dragon and makes a point to teach his grandson that dragons are more hard work than fun and games. Things take an unexpected turn and Rick ends up soul-bonding with Morty’s dragon. The contractor wizard then shows up to shame the dragon and things somehow get even more insane. The imagination that went into the episode is a reminder of just how brilliantly creative the show’s writers are.
The trouble with the absurdity of the new episodes is that for some fans, the episodes are so stupid that they cross over into being boring. Is the show trying to be as dumb as possible for the sake of it? It’s easy to see why some fans may feel this way. The episodes are whacky and convoluted with no continuity from the previous season.
Nonetheless, there is plenty of space to be forgiving on the basis that the episodes are all really funny. Rick continues to deliver fantastically nihilistic one-liners and the situations the characters get themselves got up in may be absurd, but they are also believable.
Dan Harmon took a risk when he waited over two whole years to deliver season four. The bulk of the Rick and Morty fanbase has now graduated and a lot of them may no longer have time for ridiculous cartoons about an alien planet of time-traveling racist snakes.
For those fans that have stuck around, however, season 4 continues to surprise and evoke laughter. And at the end of the day, that’s what cartoon culture is all about. It’s almost as if by raising the bar for cartoons, Rick and Morty has undone itself through high expectation and critical acknowledgment. If you don’t take the show too seriously, however, there’s a lot of fun still to be had.