Does Rick and Morty's New Multiverse Hurt The Show?

It's a real possibility that the dramatic expansion of the Rick and Morty multiverse is not what the show needs at this point and that the revelation will actually hurt the series in the long run. The breaking of the Central Finite Curve by Evil Morty appears to open up infinite possibilities for the show. Yet, these revelations do little to aid in, and perhaps even worsen, some of the show's most fundamental issues.

In “Rickmurai Jack,” the climactic finale of Rick and Morty season 5, Evil Morty explains the true nature of the Central Finite Curve, a concept teased in the show since season 1. He reveals that the curve is a kind of wall built by an early version of the Council of Ricks to separate the infinite universes where Rick is the smartest, most dominant being, from the infinite universes where he is not. As Evil Morty describes it, Rick built “an infinite crib, built around an infinite ******* baby.”

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Related: Why Rick and Morty’s Season 6 Has Two Character Name Changes

As significant as this revelation seems, it is arguable that it does little to progress the show’s characters or central themes. Perhaps as a result of its unexpected success, and the show's agreement with Cartoon Network for at least 100 episodes, Rick and Morty has remained tightly episodic, and character development has often been slow. In what may be a sign of positive change, the Rick & Morty season 6 premiere mocked this formula, joking about the lack of character development in season 2. In this context, revealing that the multiverse, already shown to be infinite, is more infinite than before feels like a worrying attempt at buying time. Indeed, it doesn't tell audiences anything new about Rick, merely reaffirming his well-established intellect, insecurities, and desire for control. The show is arguably at its strongest when focusing on the characterization and development of its central duo and the dysfunctional family that surrounds them. Expanding the universe risks shifting the focus away from the show's more grounded core and further slowing its narrative momentum.

Rick and Morty Should End Sooner Rather Than Later

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Shows that are kept going long past their time inevitably suffer. The best comparison of this phenomena in regard to Rick and Morty is The Simpsons, whose characters have entered a stagnant multi-decade limbo. To avoid this kind of fate, the creators of Rick and Morty should consider their show as a body of work, and avoid seeking to create more episodes beyond its current contractual obligation. The longer it runs, the more likely it is that quality will suffer, and the legacy of the show will be impacted. There are reasons to be optimistic as the first few episodes of the sixth season, particularly the return of Rick, Morty, and Jerry to their original universes in episode 1, show signs of more significant character development and increasing narrative momentum. Yet, the fact remains that the show needs an endpoint that doesn't take a gratuitous number of seasons, and an ever-expanding multiverse, to resolve.

As irredeemable as Rick may seem, and as complicated and challenging as the themes of Rick and Morty are, it is likely that the series will be brought to a satisfying conclusion by its talented writing team. Yet, the expansion of an already boundless universe is not what the show needs for its story. The show should instead be shifting its focus to progressing the stories of its protagonists and grounding the show in the strength of its central characters.

2022-09-29T19:57:16.000Z

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