Rick and Morty wrapped its fourth season on Sunday by addressing — but not quite answering — a question that fans have been asking since 2017: Did Beth’s clone really leave Earth back in Season 3, or has this Beth been a clone ever since?
Sunday’s finale began on a distant planet, where the “real” Beth has apparently been leading a group of intergalactic rebels known as The Defiance. Upon discovering that Rick implanted a potentially explosive device in her neck, Beth — again, believing herself to be the real deal — hauled ass to Earth for a long-overdue family reunion. After a hectic battle involving everything from lasers to Pokemon, Rick explained to Beth that the device is merely a way to transfer new memories from the clone’s brain into her own, should she ever decide to come back home.
Taking him at his word, Beth joined Rick for a father-daughter breakfast, where he made sure to give her notes on her latest exploits. (“They’re skewing a tad Star Wars-y. Make sure to have fun.”) But when the Galactic Federation announced that it would neutralize Earth if Beth didn’t turn herself over, Rick appeared a little too concerned about the clone for Beth’s liking.
The two Beths eventually came face to face outside of the Smith household, where they realized that Rick told them both they were real. Not even the tempting offer of McDonald’s — actually, make that Wendy’s — could quell their anger. In fact, they were so busy fighting each other, it made it even easier for Tammy to beam them up into the Galactic Federation’s spaceship.
Don’t worry, though, Tammy got hers in the end. “You made me go to a wedding!” Rick shouted, which apparently justified shooting her in the face. “And you killed my best friend! I should have said that one first.” With his daughter(s) in danger, Rick then resigned himself to doing a “piece of s–t” Star Wars adventure.
Once aboard the ship, Rick encountered Bird Person — sorry, “Phoenix Person” — who wasn’t exactly thrilled to learn the fate of his beloved Tammy. A vicious battle ensued, one that nearly took Rick and the Beths out of the game for good. Fortunately, Jerry was able to distract Phoenix Person by literally puppetting Tammy’s corpse, Weekend at Bernie’s style, long enough for the gang to get the upper hand and save the day. (Who knew Jerry’s puppetry journey would turn out to be the only “decent arc”?)
Speaking of saving the day, Summer and Morty managed to stop bickering long enough to prevent the planet from being blown up. After learning that the NX-5 Planet Destroyer is impervious to Wrangler jeans (they’re “build too tough”!), Summer threw her brother’s pair into the machine, disabling it immediately. She could have done without seeing Morty’s “little balls” in the process, but war is hell.
With the Galactic Federation defeated and the planet out of danger (for now), the Smith family reconvened for the truth, or as Rick put it, “You jerk-offs ready to get the answers to your burning questions?” When he explained that he mind blew himself so he wouldn’t know which Beth was which, both Beths agreed that they didn’t want to know. “I’m sure you’d love for us to need that from you, but I don’t care what’s in that vial,” they said.
Rick, however, was curious — though learning the answer ultimately forced him to confront an uncomfortable truth about himself. It turns out that Rick purposely mixed the labels up during the cloning process, making sure he would never be able to tell the difference. “Holy s–t, I’m a terrible father,” he concluded after making this discovery. And can you really disagree with him?
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