In a parody of the film Independence Day, Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty’s fourth episode of its fifth season, titled Rickdependence Day, combined the embarrassment of teenage sexuality and honesty in an all-out brawl against deadly hybrid, living forms of Morty’s sperm. The episode is, so far, probably the weakest release so far within the season, but that does not mean that it does not possess its own comedic and relevant moments to the viewers and the series’ canon as well.
Sunday’s episode saw a return of The President character, voiced by Keith David (Platoon), since his last appearance in the season three finale “Rickchurian Mortydate.” This strong authority figure is utilized to push the limits of Morty’s lie and out-of-character dishonesty. Following Morty’s intrigue about using a breeding machine at his mother’s Horse Doctor’s office, Morty proceeds to exercise his sexual curiosity. When Rick announces he is making a creation to combat underground Horse C.H.U.D.S., a reference to an 80s horror film, with the Horse product from his daughter’s work, Morty proceeds to lie and a gang of conscious sperm begins terrorizing anything and anyone around them. After lying to his grandfather and the President out of embarrassment, Morty’s ultimate reveal to his family and friends of his mistake serves as another screw-up in the eyes of viewers and the distrust he maintains with fulfilling basic obligations.
The episode’s narrative can be chalked up to continuing to flesh out the life inexperience and teenage struggles that the socially awkward Morty possesses. Additionally, it rather serves as another chance for co-creators Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland (Solar Opposites) to once more engage with the 80s and 90s pop culture and how it can be infused with the adventures of their titular characters. The episode does not maintain the same complexity as last week’s episode “A Rickconvenient Mort” or another Morty mistake in season one’s “Rick Potion No. 9.” The episode is simply an excuse to parody one of the most popular action, sci-fi films of all time, even a post-credit parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey with an incest baby, and give it the toilet humor, or rather masturbation humor, an effect that Rick and Morty religiously employ.
“Rickdependence Spray” is not one of the finest episodes produced in the hit adult animated series, but still maintains the show’s identity by introducing fun one-off episodes that impact the Smith family through continual butterfly effects of one’s actions. The episode is a fun pop-culture parody mixed with some good jabs at Morty, Summer, Beth, and Jerry. The episode just demonstrates the fun that is had behind the scenes with the writers and creators as the episode is another example of messing around with storylines that do not have to match the series’ overall canon. Rather, it preserves the audience’s attention as to serve expectations after a heavily emotional pull in the last episode. Overall, it is a solid addition, and despite its defects, it does not take away from the success of the series nor the new season.