On the Scene 11/15: ‘Rick and Morty’ returns with subpar premiere

Photo: https://www.facebook.com/RickandMorty
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Photo: https://www.facebook.com/RickandMorty

After more than a two-year hiatus, Adult Swim’s Emmy Award-winning series “Rick and Morty” returned to the small screen this past Sunday with its season four premiere.

A premiere that didn’t fully live up to expectations, in my opinion, was one that still brought viewers joy, as fans of the show were just happy to have new episodes of the beloved series.

Being off the air for almost 800 days, creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon had been dealing with contract disputes with network executives. Eventually signing a new deal about a year ago, series creators got the long-term contract that they were looking for when Adult Swim renewed the series for seven 10-episode seasons. Expected to be on the air through at least 2027, fans of the series should not have to worry about missing out on their favorite duo anytime soon.

The series, which revolves around mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith, goes to the extreme in every episode as it takes viewers to different planets, dimensions and universes and follows their family dynamic while on whacky adventures.

The season four premiere, “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat,” took the duo to another planet to try and obtain “death crystals,” which when held shows the holder how they will die depending on their actions in the present.

But when young Morty sees an older version of his crush standing over him as he dies in hospice, he steals a crystal and will go to any length possible to have this reality come true – including accidentally killing his grandfather in the process.

When Rick wakes in another dimension in the garage laboratory of an alternate dimension’s version of himself, his current objective is to try to get back to his reality. But when the current dimension he is set in turns out to have a fascist government, Rick is ultimately killed and keeps waking in other dimensions dealing with separate issues in order to get back to his own.

As I said earlier, the premiere, though well done, did not live up to my expectations. As a fan of the series since its inception in 2013, before the hype and success that it has earned, my expectations of the series may be a bit higher than most.

The plot of this episode was very well done. The story from start to finish is very thought out and from a timeline perspective, the episode was very well done. But the series is a comedy, and I didn’t find myself laughing as much in this episode like I have watching episodes prior.

There were a few moments that collected some laughs, like when fan-favorite character Mr. Meeseeks returned. And we even got to see a Costco-brand Kirkland version of the character, who sat with bad bangs and smoked a cigarette rather than doing any actual work. But other than these moments, we didn’t even get a chuckle from throw away one-liners that characters usually utter in passing.

From a comedic sense, the episode did not live up to the excitement as anticipated, but overall the episode was a nice return of the series. Hopefully, the series will pick up as it moves forward each week.

“Rick and Morty” is on every Sunday at 11:30 p.m. on Adult Swim. The first three seasons are available to stream on Hulu.

Ken Downey Jr. is the Managing Editor for Time OFF and Packet Media, LLC. This is a part of his series of weekly columns focusing on arts and entertainment. He can be contacted at kdowney@newspapermediagroup.com.