Rick and Morty Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Hole in the Citadel, Teenage Grandfather, and More Rick and Morty Season 5 Surprises. In 2021, new episodes of the cult creation by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon were released. The explanation of the ending of the animated series “Rick and Morty”, more precisely, the last episodes of season 5, interested fans, perhaps more than the finals of the previous ones. The creators once again deceived the expectations (and at the same time satisfied) the fans, turning the previously created story arcs upside down. But this time, the stakes are higher, as Rick’s backstory has been explored a little deeper, the consequences of his actions have become more global, and the events at the end are more intriguing.

Country: USA

Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure

Year of production: 2013-2021

Directed by: Justin Roiland, Wesley Archer, Bryan Newton, Dominic Polcino, Anthony Chin, John Rice

Voice actors  Justin Roiland, Sarah Chalk, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer and others;

What is the cartoon about

The plot of “Rick and Morty” is built on the relationship between the brilliant and mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his teenage grandson Morty. In each series – their adventures in various incredible worlds, flavored with black and vulgar humor and a huge number of cultural references.

To catch the plot outline, you should not go into the content of each episode. Too much is happening there – the imagination of the authors is really amazing, but most of the events of one series do not affect the events of the others.

Crazy grandfather and his grandsonCrazy grandfather Rick and his grandson Morty. Frame from the animated series.

First season

At the very beginning, the viewer is thrown into a maelstrom of adventure: an illegal operation to transport mega-seeds from a parallel dimension, traveling through the world of dreams, shrinking to penetrate the anatomical park inside the body …

But only in the sixth episode, an event occurs that greatly affects Morty’s worldview, and the audience, if not shocked, then makes them surprised (despite all the bacchanalia in previous episodes): Rick invents a potion for his grandson so that he can bewitch his classmate Jessica, but as a result, almost the entire population of the planet Earth turns into monsters. The heroes go to a parallel world where they take the places of their copies. Since then, Morty does not live with his real family, but with exactly the same, similar to her.

monsters on the streetsMonsters on the streets of the city after creating the potion. Frame from the cartoon.

At the end of the first season, the Evil Morty character first appears. He controls a cybernetic Rick from a distance and tries to kill all the Ricks in all the worlds. The viewer also learns about the grandiose Rick Citadel, as well as the fact that Morty is a disguise for a mad scientist. Waves of the grandson’s stupidity protect Rick from tracking the waves of his genius.

Second season

At the end of the second season, Rick surrenders to the galactic police and confesses to many of his crimes, but is released at the beginning of the next. In the process, the Space Federation and Rick Citadel are destroyed.

The third season

The seventh episode of the third season is dedicated to the latter. The viewer is told about life in it after the destruction. It has its own government, the next presidential election is held, in which one Morty and five Ricks take part. In the series finale, Evil Morty is elected president. In the same season, another clue for the future occurs: Rick’s daughter and Morty’s mother Beth begins to suspect that she is just a clone of the real Beth.

evil mortyMorty is elected president. Frame from the 3rd season of the animated series.

Fourth season

The fourth season of Rick and Morty is the most criticized by the audience, including because it has almost no through plot. Each episode is a separate adventure (like most episodes of other seasons – it’s still an animated sitcom).

This season, the version of the cloned daughter of a scientist is confirmed. True, even Rick himself does not know which of them (Beth on Earth or space-Beth) is the original. However, compared to the fact that there are a huge number of copies of all members of their family, including Summer and Jerry, scattered throughout the multiverse, this is a mere trifle.

Season five

The creators did not ignore the requests of fans to continue the storyline related to the Rick Citadel. The final episode of season 5 is dedicated to her. The preceding, ninth, episode tells about another quarrel between Rick and Morty, as a result of which the heroes part and stop their joint adventures and abusive relationships.

But in the ninth series, the grandson tricks his grandfather into returning home (by using the aging serum, he makes him believe that a lot of time has passed). The heroes travel to the Citadel, where they turn Morty back into a teenager.

Ricks and Morty Ending explanation

Using the actions of President Evil Morty, the authors provide an explanation for the functioning of the Citadel. She gives birth to an infinite number of Ricks and Morty in various alternate worlds. The President of the Citadel talks about the Central End Curve, which he is going to destroy here.

The curve is a wall that encloses worlds where Rick is the smartest in the universe and Morty is forced to follow him away from the rest. Evil Morty uses the Morty energy that powers the Citadel to make a hole in spacetime and escape to the other side.

The President invites Morty to join him, but the grandson remains loyal to his grandfather. The hole destroys the Rick Citadel and the Central End Curve.

The meaning of the ending of the movie “Rick and Morty” (we are talking, of course, only about season 5, because it is known for sure that there will be a continuation) is as follows: the destruction of the crooked wall and the entire Citadel symbolizes the destruction of the former toxic relationship between grandfather and grandson.

And so they changed all the time: we followed the moral transformations of Morty, who turned from an insecure and fearful youngster into a desperate space pirate, and Rick, who, despite internal resistance and endless killings of monsters, aliens and people like himself, is gradually becoming less selfish . Now Rick and Morty should be on an equal footing: the mad scientist is no longer the smartest in the universe, and his grandson is not as dependent on him as before.

rick and morty seriesFrame from the cartoon.

The content of the final episode 10 of the last season 5 confirms the backstory of Rick Sanchez, who is actually Rick C-137. At the beginning of the third season, the scientist showed the Galactic Federation a flashback where his daughter Beth and wife Diana were killed by Evil Rick. Viewers were led to believe that the story being told was a hoax, but now we know it’s not (although when it comes to future Rick and Morty plots, nothing can be said for sure).

The loss of loved ones caused Rick C-137 to start chasing Evil Rick. The 137th spent years killing other Ricks until alternate versions of him secured a truce. It was as a result of the latter that the Citadel was built. Rick S-137 is one of its founders.

Another part of the ending explanation concerns President Morty. Fans believed that Evil Morty was Morty C-137. But the thing is, that Beth, who is Rick C-137’s real daughter, was killed. Which means she didn’t marry her Jerry and they didn’t have their own Morty. So Morty C-137 doesn’t exist. This truth is now known to Morty, whose adventures we have watched all seasons.

In a way, Rick’s act of reuniting with a family that isn’t really his family is, in the backstory, an act of redemption. Conflicts and grinding with members of this family, including Morty, as well as with other iconic characters (for example, with Bird Personality) is an agonizing struggle with himself, realizing that those he loved have died. This is the key to such a contradictory behavior of the scientist: either he doesn’t give a damn about everyone, or he is ready to sacrifice himself for their salvation.

family reunionFrame from the animated series.

We now know why Rick constantly suffers and tries to forget himself through alcohol and crazy adventures. He cannot come to terms with the death of his loved ones: he yearns for little Beth and Diana (although the latter had a clearly ambiguous relationship – his wife’s voice, judging by the original voice acting, is his flying saucer). And at the same time, Rick is stubbornly moving towards accepting everything as it is. And here we come to the interpretation of the series as a whole.

The meaning of the sitcom

On the Internet you can find not only reviews, but also entire scientific works dedicated to the meaning of the Rick and Morty series and the explanation of its cultural phenomenon. However, the irony is that, despite the highest concentration of conflicting events, references and philosophical thoughts, the overall idea of ​​the cartoon is quite simple. And to understand it, you do not need to do frame-by-frame analyzes of each series.

When it comes to the character of Rick, everything that happens in the series is a reflection of his internal struggle with loss and the gradual acceptance of it. If we talk about us, about the audience, the essence is about the same.

We watch the incredible multiverses and their inhabitants, become witnesses of terrible, strange and funny events. In almost every episode, there are murders of people, aliens and entire galaxies.

The authors seem to savor the cruel and obscene scenes. Most of the characters are not surprised by anything, as if they have adopted strange rules and call on the audience to do the same. Everything is scary, and funny, and terrible, and beautiful. The life of any character, and any of us, and everything in the world is both valuable and has no meaning. You can try to tame the universe, as Rick does, but every such attempt is just a game that means nothing.

In cultural studies, the concentration of acceptance is the era of metamodern. The Rick and Morty series is literally her icon. If the postmodern denies what was built earlier, the metamodern, on the contrary, comes to terms with everything that was, takes it and mixes it into a single cocktail. Everything we see in Rick and Morty has already happened somewhere. The cartoon directly and indirectly quotes hundreds of works of literature, cinema, and the gaming industry.

sarcasm and black humorFrame from the cartoon.

The hidden meaning of such a metamodernist approach, also called sincere postmodernism, is in the deconstruction of the genre, the main tools of which are still irony and sarcasm (and in the case of Rick and Morty also a fair amount of black humor), but the emphasis on ridiculing something (in the case of Rick and Morty, perhaps everything in a row) shifts to humility and acceptance.

However, it is far from the apotheosis: for sure, in the future we will have to watch more than one season of this psychedelic-fantastic show.


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