Rick and Morty: “The Wedding Squanchers” Season 2 Finale Review

Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_li9qSENam4

Rick and Morty‘s second finale went in a direction I don’t think anyone would have expected. Humor took a backseat for the second half of the episode, which instead focused on delivering a heavy dramatic cliffhanger. But this ending didn’t feel completely earned.

The first half of “The Wedding Squanchers” plays like a very typical Rick and Morty episode, with the exception that the entire family is part of the plot. They all go to Birdperson and Tammy’s wedding, which is a funny concept all on its own. There are great takedowns of Jerry and moments of Rick being an asshole. It’s the formula that works on this show.

But when Birdperson starts telling Beth about the war he and Rick have been a part of for decades, and that he and several guests are on the run from the Galactic Federation, things take an interesting tone. After the wedding, Tammy reveals herself as a Federation spy and starts killing, with her new husband first on the list. Typically, the action on Rick and Morty is played up for laughs (last week’s episode being the best recent example). But here, it felt like there were real stakes and moments of heroism. Take Squanchy for example. By using a random, memorable side character and making him suddenly turn awesome, as he morphs into a giant cat beast, the show started using action as a device to increase the tension. The tonal shift manages to not feel awkward, when it very easily could have.

Even as the episode carries on, there’s a bit of weight to it. Rick takes the family planet shopping. They can’t return to Earth at the moment, but part of me was wondering if this would be a permanent change for the show. As the clock ticked, very little seemed to be moving in the direction of this all being wrapped up in 22 minutes. Instead, when Rick goes to conquer the South Pole of their new home, Jerry suggest that they turn him in to the Federation, which the rest of the family disagrees with. Rick overhears and then he just leaves. This where the episode falters. Rick is too much of a selfish asshole for me to believe that he’s suddenly going to throw his life away for his family to live normally again. He turns himself in and the season ends on one hell of a depressing note. It’s too bad that the whole thing feels out of character and unearned.

So I guess we’ll have to wait for season three to know what happens next. The problem with this big of a cliffhanger for the show is that we don’t need justification for the characters as they are and that any end to this debacle will probably just lead us back to the old status quo.  It just feels unnecessary, but that wouldn’t be true had the show earned the big dramatic decisions toward the end. Unfortunately, it didn’t, but at least the rest of the episode more or less succeeded. Grade: B-

 

Some Other Notes:

  • My actual favorite part of the finale was Mr. Poopybutthole’s end tag. Maybe he can be the one to save the day? Either way, let’s keep him around next season.
  • The events of the wedding and then the family being forced to hide in the middle of nowhere totally reminded me of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • One person benefitting from the Federation’s takeover of Earth is Jerry, who finally got a job in the end.
  • Let’s hope Mr. Poopybutthole is wrong in how long it’ll take for season three to come out…

By Matt Dougherty

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