By Aristophanes and Hermes
Today’s discussion of Rick and Morty contains spoilers through Season 3, Episode 9: “The ABCs of Beth.” Reader discretion is advised.
Editor’s Note: The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity, grammar and style.
Aristophanes (Ari): This week, we got a look at the relationship between Rick and his daughter Beth by way of an imaginary world called Froopyland, which Rick had created for his daughter when she was a child. It was weird and disgusting. Honestly, I loved it.
But I think we’re in disagreement on this. What were your thoughts?
Hermes (Herm): The weird and disgusting vibe behind this episode is exactly what made me not a fan. You can definitely tell Justin Roiland’s fingerprints are all over this episode, as a lot of his earlier work also relied on this kind of gross, shocking humor.
Ari: You didn’t appreciate the cannibalistic, incestuous Froopyland characters?
Herm: Nah, it was gross! But from a writing perspective, it was indeed interesting. The Froopyland characters combined two of the things society most frowns upon.
Ari: I’m interested to know what you thought of Beth’s arc in this episode. We found out she was quite a messed up kid — and still is a bit out-of-control.
Her character suddenly got much more extreme. I enjoyed the episode, but the change was a bit jarring.
Herm: I guess that’s also part of why I didn’t enjoy it. Basically, the episode showed Beth is kind of a terrible person. She’s supposed to represent the voice of reason, but it turns out she’s just as irrational as the rest of the main cast.
Ari: Rick is also pretty awful, but his character is still interesting, right?
Herm: Well, yes, but he has strong qualities, too. Beth doesn’t, at least not in the same way.
Ari: At the end of the episode, Rick offers to create a cloned version of Beth, so that the real Beth can leave her family to do whatever she wants. They never say if she took the deal. Do you think she did?
Herm: I definitely think she did.
Ari: No hesitation there! Personally, I’m not so sure. Either way, though, I really doubt if they bring it back up again.
Herm: You doubt that? I think it is clearly going to be a plot point somewhere down the line for sure.
Ari: They left it so open-ended, I think it’s just meant to be an ambiguous dovetail for fans to discuss. We still haven’t seen the return of Mr. Poopybutthole, anyway. I think the creators are fine with leaving things unresolved.
Herm: We did, just last week! He gets engaged to Morty.
I still think Beth acted similar to how Morty and Summer did when they were robots.
Ari: The Morty engagement was a memory; we have no idea when that happened! And that’s true, about Beth. I noticed that, as well. I just wasn’t sure if it was a red herring. It sort of reminded me of the final scene of Inception, where you see just the slightest quiver in the spinning of the top, but it doesn’t actually fall, giving you a sliver of evidence on which to base your conclusion but still leaving it mostly a matter of preference.
Herm: I have only seen Inception once. I was on a bus at the time. And I fell asleep halfway through.
Ari: You fell asleep during Inception? Ironic.
Herm: Indeed. Fortunately, I was only one level deep. And that’s my original idea!
Ari: Hey, by the way, it’s very important that I point out: You were wrong about the plot of the next episode. The black president who definitely isn’t Obama is coming back! The “president” in the episode description was not referring to President Evil Morty, from the Citadel of Ricks.
Herm: Well, I was only speculating. I’m glad they live in a universe that values liberty and safety.
Ari: I can’t believe it’s already the season finale. I want to go back on my prediction they’d have the Beth-Jerry divorce arc wrapped up by the end of Season 3. I don’t think it will be; there just isn’t enough time.
Herm: I told you it won’t be; that’s not how real life works. Also, how do you know President Morty won’t pop in, declaring war on the main characters’ universe or something? You’re probably right, but this season has provided many more questions than it’s answered.
Ari: The finale is apparently an assassination-themed episode, and an homage to The Manchurian Candidate, but I really don’t want not-Obama to die. Maybe he’ll get to stick around.
Herm: And maybe Mr. Poopybutthole will finally succumb to his wounds. ■
Rick and Morty airs Sundays at 11:30/10:30 CDT on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. The next episode, the Season 3 finale, is scheduled for October 1.
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