Rick and Morty: “The ABCs of Beth” Season 3 Episode 9 Review

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http://bit.ly/2fqYn0fThe idea that personality traits purposefully skip a generation is bullshit. We’re all culminations of the people that raised us. For the most part, however, Rick and Morty has treated Beth as an entirely different breed from Rick, Morty, and Summer. That’s what makes “The ABCs of Beth” so refreshing. Here’s a character who sees her children bonding with her father in a way she never really did. They all share a yearning for adventure (even if each quest is just a temporary band-aid on their own existential dread). So Beth has a mission for her and her father to go on.

When Beth was young, Rick created an apparently safe dimension for her to play in. But one of her childhood playmates got stuck in there, and his father is on death row for eating him, something Beth knows isn’t true. Because this is Rick and Morty, when they find him, he’s of course impregnating the creatures Rick created and eating the babies, as told through a charming little theater production and then demonstrated live in front of them just for good measure. But Rick initially refuses to help Beth right her wrong, leaving Beth to go back and fix her own mess. She kills them all, but returns with her friend’s finger, asking Rick to help clone him so his father can get off death row. This is the most Beth has ever truly seemed like Rick’s daughter, capable of genocide yet a strong moral compass. Rick knows right from wrong, he doesn’t always act on it, but if he never did, Morty would likely be dead. He passed that trait onto Beth, and they together passed it onto Morty and Summer.

So where does that leave Jerry? Who knows, but blissfully unaware of himself and the consequences of his small, selfish actions, he starts dating an alien off a dating website Rick showed him. Morty and Beth now have to deal with their father’s insane rebound. It’s a fu B-story, with Beth’s quick replacement taking the whole family on a ridiculous hunt, forcing Morty and Summer to entertain their father’s force happiness. It blows up in Jerry’s face naturally, as he breaks up with her using his kids as an excuse, meaning she’s now on the hunt for them. Making Jerry fix this problem doesn’t necessarily resolve the problems resting in his relationship with his kids, but it does make them all understand each other’s pain a little bit more.

And that’s really what “The ABCs of Beth” ends up being about at large. Rick has contributed so much to Beth’s pain that he gets a chance to remedy it, while she gets to become the daughter she was meant to be of sorts. But after a couple weeks of merely okay episodes, this a very welcome return to form for the season, especially as we head into the season finale next week. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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