Rick and Morty season 7 premieres Sunday, October 15 at 11 p.m. ET on Adult Swim.
Rest assured, fans of Rick and Morty, the departure of co-creator Justin Roiland has not negatively impacted the show. Adult Swim has kept the new voice actors for characters like Rick, Morty, and Mr. Poopybutthole under wraps, but their performances are virtually indistinguishable from Roiland’s. They effortlessly deliver the show’s trademark biting humor and meta commentary.
The first two episodes of the new season maintain the show’s sharp comedy. While season 6 teased a deeper exploration of Rick and Morty’s overarching plot, the initial episodes, “How Poopy Got His Poop Back” and “The Jerrick Trap,” focus more on character growth and absurd adventures. However, I still anticipate more intricate science-fiction narratives as the season progresses. Nevertheless, starting with standalone adventures is a solid choice.
“How Poopy Got His Poop Back” delves into how, despite his deeply abrasive personality and cavalier attitude, Rick can still struggle with meaningful confrontation. But mostly it’s a chance to show who Rick is when he’s with his friends rather than his family, giving a little context to his drinking problem and showing him being surprisingly thoughtful and responsible. The episode also provides an opportunity for a bunch of well-done pop-culture references demonstrating Rick’s genre savvy. Dark comedy is skillfully applied to the relatively mundane (like a version of the verbal-abuse-and-wings chain Dick’s Last Resort where the insults cut to the core) and the truly absurd (like a world of anthropomorphic beer cans and bottles that becomes the site of a drinking rampage). “How Poopy Got His Poop Back” also features a great cameo from a movie star who seems to have a newfound passion for appearing in raunchy animated shows and a very surprising and extremely entertainingly animated romance arc. I wish I could say more, but most of the episode is wrapped up under tight spoiler restrictions.
In season 7, the sharp dialogue and wild animation that define Rick and Morty remain unchanged. As Rick is no longer the smartest man in the multiverse, the show takes pleasure in poking fun at him instead of always granting him the upper hand. The dynamic is evident in the family banter of “How Poopy Got His Poop Back.” It becomes even more pronounced in “The Jerrick Trap,” where Rick and Jerry are forced to get to know each other better. The episode opens with a brilliant blend of classic family sitcom and dark humor.
Chris Parnell delivers an outstanding performance in “The Jerrick Trap.” Known for playing the perpetual punching bag in both Rick and Morty and Archer, he relishes the opportunity to give as good as he gets. The bickering and antics between Rick and Jerry are both hilarious and surprisingly sentimental, exploring their genuine care for their families and the ways in which their contrasting personalities complement each other.
Morty takes a backseat in “How Poopy Got His Poop Back” but has a more significant role in “The Jerrick Trap.” In the latter episode, he is taken hostage by an alien gang after attempting to sell crystals on their turf. These crystals turn out to be drugs, much to the disappointment of Morty’s mother, Beth. The gang leader’s response echoes that of Viggo Tarasov in John Wick as he tries to make amends with Rick before his ambition proves to be his downfall.
“The Jerrick Trap” skillfully combines buddy action movies with the existential themes of previous Rick and Morty episodes like “Bethic Twinstinct” and “Rest and Ricklaxation.” It seamlessly blends gory humor with philosophical musings on identity and happiness. Additionally, the episode cleverly utilizes The White Stripes’ “We’re Going To Be Friends” to enhance a particularly grotesque moment.