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Recap / Rick And Morty S 4 E 1 Edge Of Tomorty Rick Die Rickpeat

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Morty sees a future where he dies old with Jessica, and will do anything to make it happen.


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  • An Aesop: Morty believes there's one here that involves living in the moment and not worrying about the future. Rick begs to differ.
    "What is this? Full House? I was living in the moment all day and it kept getting me killed by Nazis. I think you have to think ahead and live in the moment."
  • All for Nothing: Morty's actions in this episode are spurred by the death crystal showing him that one of his possible deaths is to die old with Jessica comforting him, which he naturally assumes means he'll be married to her in the future, and Morty following what the death crystal shows him he has to do to make this happen. He finds out in The Stinger that the future he was seeing didn't involve him ending up with Jessica at all; she just plans to become a hospice worker who comforts everyone in this same way.
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  • Alternate History – Nazi Victory: Spoofed by Rick getting increasingly annoyed with the many fascist parallel timelines out there.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The Wasp dimension is based on an actual species of Parasitoid wasps.
  • Badass Bandolier: Morty wears a bandolier with gadgets when he goes to confront the bullies.
  • Body Backup Drive: When Rick dies, the safeguard he built in case of his death causes his consciousness to jump into a Rick clone in an alternate dimension because he destroyed his version of the technology two seasons ago. Unfortunately, he ends up in fascist dimensions the first several times this happens. He finally finds a friendly dimension when he ends up in the clone of Wasp Rick.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Rick tells the first Fascist Rick that he destroyed his Operation Phoenix (cloning) technology "a couple seasons ago".
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    • On the subject that Morty's plot has been resolved, a TV news reporter remarks that "As far as continuity goes, the Reset Button has been hit".
    • Rick calls Summer out for ruining the season 4 premiere by making fun of their Once a Season "Rick and Morty 100 years" gag by saying lewd things.
      • Summer's comment about Rick and Morty sucking each other off while she was mocking them may be an oblique reference to Doc and Mharti, the Channel 101 short that inspired Rick and Morty, where every problem the two encounter is solved by Mharti licking Doc's balls.
  • Call-Back:
    • The cloning technology of Rick's Phoenix Initiative from "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" reappears and is vital to Rick's subplot. Because Rick destroyed his own version of the tech in that episode, when he dies here, he Body-Surfs into clones in alternate dimensions instead.
    • The Meeseeks boxes from "Meeseeks and Destroy" reappear, as both Rick and Morty use them at separate times. Rick lampshades this by stating "and now we're doing something we've done before".
  • Chekhov's Gun: One that fires pretty quickly: at the beginning of the episode, Morty sees a picture of Jessica with a necklace she inherited from her recently-passed grandma. When he gets one of the death crystals, he sees himself dying old while comforted by an old woman wearing that necklace, which is one of the ways he identifies her as Jessica.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Wasp Rick mentions laying his eggs in the eyes of prey, which then eat their way out. He ends up doing this to AI Rick after he gains physical form.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: The death crystals show you ways you're likely to die, which in fights tend to all be very short-term, letting you know if any potential action will kill you. Rick uses it to defeat the death crystal poachers by only popping out of cover at the right time, and Morty takes this to an extreme by focusing on a singular future death and letting it guide his actions, going mad in his quest to reach it.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Summer notes that Jessica's selfie with her freshly-dead grandmother looks pretty good and assumes that grieving improves one's looks. Summer then offers to put extra syrup on Jerry's breakfast, to which Beth nonchalantly tells Summer to stop trying to prematurely kill her own father. Summer grumbles about how unfair Beth is being to her.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In order for the punch line in The Stinger to work, we have to assume that Jessica would be assigned to nurse Morty in every future we see him live to old age.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Rick has two alternatives to come back to life when he dies: either have Morty clone him, with a holographic A.I. of himself guiding Morty, or have his mind programmed into an already existing clone. And in the event of his cloning technology being destroyed (which it was previously), the upload reroutes to a random lab from another dimension.
  • Death Is Cheap: Rick's current body (which he's had since "Rest and Ricklaxation") straight-up dies in this episode, but it's revealed that he has at least two different safeguards to keep his consciousness alive: a hologram version of himself that tells Morty how to create a clone of him that will revive him, and his mind Body-Surfing into a clone (though Rick screwed that one up by breaking his copy of the technology in "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez", causing him to upload into the clones of Ricks in other dimensions). By all appearances, it's very difficult for Rick to truly, fully die.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Both Fascist Rick and Fascist Morty cock their guns while talking to Rick's clone.
  • Driven to Suicide: Morty (unintentionally) makes the judge of his case commit suicide after saying things that make it look like her deceased husband is speaking through him ("I will always remember our time in Peru", and then "He says he loves you, little sparrow"), prompting her to declare Morty innocent and then yell "I'm coming for you, Condor!" Ironically, his words were just him speaking randomly from the influence of the death crystal. As usual, the scene is played for dark comedy instead of drama.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Morty's erratic shuttle driving under the influence of the death crystal.
    Morty: I want to die old.
    Rick: Then stop driving!
  • Eaten Alive: The fate of Caterpillar!Goldenfold in another dimension is being slowly eaten alive by the Wasp!Sanchez family, biting chunks out of his body while he screams in agony and pleads to die.
  • Eats Babies: Wasp Morty eats Caterpillar Goldenfold's babies.
  • E = MC Hammer: The blackboard in Morty's math class shows funny equations like MA=TH.
  • Everything Is Racist: A.I. Rick spends nearly every line of dialogue going on about how everyone is being racist against him for being an A.I. and not listening to him for it.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Wasp Rick's method of reproduction is to lay eggs in another creature's eye sockets followed by a swarm of babies bursting out. Holo-Rick experiences this firsthand after being corrupted by the ferrofluid.
  • Facial Horror: A close-up shot of Holo-Rick's exploded face at the end.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Rick explains this is the only real use for death crystals. While Rick holds one, his many possible deaths suddenly change to only one possible death: getting shot in the back while he mines for the crystals. He uses this knowledge to avoid this death.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • How is Morty supposed to die with Jessica at his side if the requirements won't allow him to stay near her?
    • Rick is confused when he first awakens in the Operation Phoenix clone, noting he destroyed the equipment for it. This actually hints at what's really going on.
  • Ghostly Goals: After Morty kills Rick in a shuttle accident, Holo-Rick pranks Morty by sneaking up on him doing a Zombie Gait while mumbling "I will avenge my death".
  • A God Am I: Holo-Rick, once he turns into a flesh-and-bone abomination thanks to the ferrofluid possessing him.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: When Fascist!Rick asks if Rick is cool with fascist dystopias, Rick really stretches out the Y in his yes, which Fascist!Rick picks up on.
  • Hypocrite: Holo-Rick frequently insists that holograms deserve to be respected as much as beings with mass. But when the ferrofluid gives him a tangible body, he instantly does a 180, embracing his new, solid body to the point of going mad with power.
  • Hypocritical Humor: After the death crystal poachers show up and get into a shootout with the main duo, Rick expresses disgust that there are people like them who would want to steal the crystals...even though this was apparently exactly what Rick and Morty themselves were doing when the poachers showed up. Morty lampshades this by asking what this makes the two of them; Rick just replies "We're Rick and Morty" in a "duh!" tone of voice.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Happens to Gearhead when a shot fires in his direction during the Gun Struggle between Fascist Morty and Meeseeks in the shuttle.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Rick (or at least, his current body) dies: after Morty crashes the spaceship, Rick (who wasn't wearing his seatbelt) is thrown out the cockpit through the windshield and lands chest-first on a spiked rock that runs him straight through.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While it's definitely a dick move for Morty to "sell Rick out for some trim" by not bringing him back to life in favor of a future with Jessica, most of the other futures that the death crystal shows involve Morty dying horribly as a teen on his adventures with Rick (with one other showing him falling off the toilet as a middle-aged man); the "Jessica" future is the only one where he's actually shown living to old age. However, the point becomes moot in the episode's post-credit scene, where Morty learns that Jessica wants to work in a hospice to comfort every dying old person by saying "I love you [whatever their nametag says]", and he is so pissed that everything he did throughout the episode was All for Nothing that he decides to go on another journey with Rick with no hesitation.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Wasp Rick. The first thing he says is expressing annoyance at Rick C-137 for using up one of his clones, and still has the foul mouth and irritability of any Rick; however, Wasp Rick then invites C-137 to have dinner with his "beautiful" family, treats said family with respect, and doesn't hesitate to help C-137 get back home and into his own body. He practically lampshades this, explaining that, due to his species' unique method of reproducing and their whole thing with eating their prey alive, they compensate by having at least a smidgen of empathy.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Morty. When he sees what he thinks is a future where he gets to be with Jessica and grow old with her, he goes to some downright sociopathic lengths to make it happen, such as not reviving his own grandfather (whose death Morty was responsible for to begin with), attacking and even killing some school bullies and a whole fleet of cops, and allowing himself to be possessed by an alien ferrofluid. Thankfully, though, Rick brings him back down, and Morty decides to live in the moment more often from now on rather than worrying about his future.
  • Karma Houdini: Invoked. Morty does get arrested after killing at least thirteen people, but because he ends up emotionally scarring the judge, she drops the charges and he is free to go. Even when he takes the blame for his actions when his parents get on Rick’s case, assuming he's responsible (which in retrospect is only half-true), Jerry and Beth do not ground him and are instead focused on his safety. Though he's clearly disappointed to learn the truth about what led him to do so.
  • Kirk's Rock: These rock formations in the backdrop of the alien planet look familiar.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Morty's obsession with dying old with Jessica at his death-bed causes him to make decisions that would seem dumb from an outsider's perspective. The biggest moment would have to be when Jessica invites Morty to go skinny-dipping with her and Morty says they should instead reconnect in their forties. All so Jessica can be in his general vicinity when he dies, decades later.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Morty kills a total of at least thirteen people all so he could die with Jessica. It turns out be All for Nothing.
  • The Many Deaths of You:
    • Holding a death crystal shows the user several of the ways that they are currently most likely to die; since one's future is based on their current present, and thus fluid and ever-changing, the possibilities can change just through a single decision of the user. We see some of these options for both Rick and Morty, especially the latter.
    • Rick is killed the first time when his main body is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on a sharp rock, and then he dies again multiple times in his first several clone bodies before he finally ends up in a clone that works. As a normal Rick, he and Fascist Morty (and Gearhead for some reason) die after their Meeseeks accidentally crashes through their windshield and they're exposed to the vacuum of space; as Shrimp Rick, he lets slip that he's not fascist and gets caught and torn apart by fascist shrimp-people; and as Teddy Bear Rick, he just kills himself by bashing his head on the glass rather than deal with another fascist dimension.
  • Mistaken for Masturbating: Rick originally thinks this is why Morty keeps fiddling with something in his pocket.
  • Mr. Seahorse: In the Wasp universe, both Wasp!Rick and Caterpillar!Goldenford give birth/lay eggs despite apparently being males.
  • Mood Dissonance: Rick joins the Wasp universe's Smith family for dinner. In this universe, they eat their prey alive, and tonight's meal is their version of Mr. Goldenfold (who is a giant caterpillar). His screams of agony and pleas for mercy can be heard throughout the entire scene, which would otherwise be a heartwarming family moment.
  • Multiple-Choice Future: The death crystals show about a dozen probable futures at once, and seeing them easily lets you avoid most of them.
  • No Gravity for You: Morty uses a device on his bully that makes him float uncontrollably into the sky.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: When Summer's trash-talking in the final scene is exposed, she tries to excuse it by claiming that she just wanted to check if Rick and Morty were actually listening to her.
  • Not Me This Time: Jerry automatically assumes Rick is responsible for turning Morty into an AKIRA. ("Eat my ass, Jerry!"). But then Morty pipes up and says it was his own fault.
  • Obliviously Evil: Overlapped with Affably Evil. The Wasp!Sanchez are much nicer and more functional than the human Sanchez family. Even Wasp!Beth and Wasp!Jerry seem Happily Married in this reality. But they have no issue with slowly devouring their version of Goldenfold (and his young) alive while he lies on the table screaming and pleading for a quick death.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: During the montage showing random people reacting to Morty's acquittal on TV, there is a barman cleaning glasses.
  • Oh, Crap!: Summer has this reaction when Rick reveals that he recorded what she said.
  • One-Man Army: Morty loads himself up with stuff from Rick's armory and easily dominates the police and the military. The only reason they stop him is because he lets them.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite everything that Morty directly and indirectly puts Rick through throughout the episode (since Morty causes his death in the first place), when Rick saves him from the parasitic plant and pulls the death crystal out of his brain, he doesn't actually get mad at Morty or yell at him, instead gently comforting him and talking him back down, albeit while still calling him an idiot.
  • Prophecy Twist: Morty sees a future where he dies with Jessica. In The Stinger, he hears about her plans to go into hospice care and comfort the dying, greatly disappointing him.
  • Pun-Based Title: A pun on Edge of Tomorrow and its tag line, "Live. Die. Repeat."
  • Punch a Wall: The school bully smashes his head repeatedly against a locker after Morty ignores his threats.
  • Putting on the Reich: Rick finds himself in a timeline where everyone is fascist, with Morty wearing a Nazi-style uniform. He then goes through several more fascist universes, including one with Nazi shrimp, to the point where he pretends to be this when he first wakes up in the Wasp Rick dimension (though luckily, these guys aren't fascists).
  • Rewatch Bonus: A closer look during Rick's vision with the death crystal shows his impalement on the rock before it happens.
  • Rule of Three: Three times, Rick body-surfs into a clone version of himself in a fascist dimension: the first time as a normal human, the second time as a Shrimp Rick, and the third as a Teddy Bear Rick.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Rick wakes up in yet another clone-body after dying (this time a teddy bear-like version of him) and sees that he has ended up in a fascist dimension once more, he immediately bashes his head in on the glass clone container and dies again to try to end up in a better dimension rather than bothering dealing with it.
  • Self-Defeating Prophecy: The death crystals let whoever holds one see how they will die. This knowledge almost always allows the holder to avoid said death, causing the predictions to change constantly and rendering them nearly useless outside of combat. Most of the episode's plot stems from Morty trying to ensure that the crystal's prediction that he will die of old age with Jessica comes true.
  • Self-Deprecation: Jerry sarcastically asks Rick if he's going to say grandmothers aren't real, taking shots at Rick's Straw Nihilist tendencies which fail at making him seem wise and instead come across as petulant.
  • Shameless Self-Promoter: A meta-example: Roiland's new game Trover Saves the Universe can be seen on a billboard in one shot.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When facing the national defense, Morty goes into an Avatar State, complete with Glowing Eyes of Doom, midair floating and the death crystal on his forehead resembling a Power Tattoo.
    • Jerry complains about Rick letting Morty go AKIRA on them.
    • The school bully makes a reference to the afterlife in Coco when threatening to kill Morty.
  • Shown Their Work: Dying insects will often drop their babies in the hopes that some of them at least will escape and live on. Yes, that terrifying joke with poor Caterpillar Goldenfold has basis in reality.note 
  • Skinny Dipping: After Morty is found innocent, Jessica invites Morty to join her and her friends in this. However, Morty's death crystal advises him against this.
  • Space Is Noisy: Averted; when Mr. Meeseeks' gun blows a hole in the cockpit of Fascist Rick's ship, causing everyone inside to get sucked out into the vacuum of space, the sound immediately cuts out.
  • The Stinger: Jessica tells her friends her plans for the future after high school: she wants to become a hospice worker who comforts her patients as they die. Morty overhears this and realizes this is the future he saw; when Rick shows up and asks Morty to come with him on a mission, Morty immediately agrees since it gives him an excuse to leave.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Rick, in his first clone body, is asked by the Rick of that dimension if he is fascist, Rick takes one look around at the Nazi-like flags in the room and hesitantly agrees. By the time he gets to Wasp Rick (who actually isn't fascist), he's so tired of ending up in fascist dimensions, dying, and dimension-hopping that he admits he'll say whatever he needs to say to get home.
  • Tainted Veins: Morty gets them right before transforming into an AKIRA-esque abomination.
  • Take That!: Rick sees that Morty has taken his regular Meeseeks boxes and complains that this leaves him with only a Kirkland-brand Meeseeks box (which spawns grumpy, irritable red Meeseeks).
  • Take That, Audience!: The episode is basically an excuse for Harmon and Roiland to take the piss out of the complaints against Season 3. Fascist Morty kills his universe's Rick for being "too political", then forces Rick to go on an "old-fashioned adventure", something which he isn't actually able to define. The only specific thing Morty can come up with is bringing back Mr. Meeseeks, which ends up getting everyone onboard killed.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: In the beginning of the episode, Rick is annoyed that he has to ask permission before involving Morty in any of his adventures, having gotten away with it in the past and convinced he shouldn't have to ask anyone anything. After he is revived in the first Fascist Universe, Rick gets to taste how it feels to be ordered around when he is held hostage by an unstable Fascist Morty at gunpoint, being forced to go on a harrowing sci-fi adventure against his will.
  • Temporarily a Villain: Morty, who goes AKIRA and kills several people with no remorse in an attempt to get to grow old and die next to Jessica. He's back to his normal self by the episode's end.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Rick's reaction when Fascist Morty kills Fascist Rick, only to then take him hostage.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Rick (while in the Wasp clone body) assumes that Holo-Rick has gained sentience and tries to take over. Holo-Rick calls this notion "A.I., racist, accusatory, Isaac Asimov bullshit". As we later see, Holo-Rick turns out not so immune to the pull of power as he wants us to believe.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Morty doesn't even seem to care that his actions resulted in the death of a lot of people. Except maybe in The Stinger where he learns it was All for Nothing.
  • Tranquil Fury: Morty becomes creepily calm when confronting the bullies and later the national defense.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Rick and Fascist Morty are in their spaceship, Gearhead is in the backseat for no explained reason. He doesn't get any lines, and no one else acknowledges his presence at all.
  • Why Don't You Marry It?: During her mock talk in the final scene, Summer suggests Rick and Morty get married (and do depraved sex acts together).
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Morty seems to see a future in which he actually does get together with Jessica and grows old together with her. Turns out that the future he saw was just Jessica as a hospice worker comforting him as he dies, without even knowing who he is (since she will comfort everyone else the same way).
  • Your Head Asplode: How Holo-Rick dies. He becomes a giant, solid being thanks to the ferrofluid taking over him, but Wasp Rick defeats him by stinging him in the eye, causing his offspring to hatch inside Holo-Rick's head and exploding it from the inside-out.

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