‘Rick and Morty’ season five episode four recap: possibly the worst one yet

**Spoilers for 'Rickdependence Spray' below**

If there’s one criticism that’s sometimes comes Ricky and Morty’s way, it’s that the show can sometimes be a little too clever for its own good. A little too convoluted. Overly cerebral. Its onslaught of ideas sometimes too dense. Then comes an episode about Morty fucking a horse fertilisation machine and Rick subsequently, unknowingly, mutating his hapless grandson’s sperm to create giant, sentient, fanged, flying spunk.

Why Rick does this is quickly explained; he’s developing a bio-weapon to exterminate a subterranean race of cannibalistic bipedal horse creatures called “Chuds”. Rick is under the illusion that he’s working with horse semen and not Morty’s seed. Morty is too ashamed to tell him otherwise. Alarmed by the sperm monsters, The President calls to see the pair. He introduces them to Professor Shabooboo, the world’s leading expert on sperm, who theorises that the sperm monsters will head to the Grand Canyon because of its vaginal shape. Yup, no mediation on space and time this week.

Rick, Morty, some marines and a shit load of nukes therefore head to the Grand Canyon. Morty believes that by destroying the creatures, his shameful secret can be maintained. After being attacked by the sperm monsters, Morty saves a benevolent creature – later known as Sticky – who believes Morty to be his father. Then, after the pair are captured, a talking, mechanically enhanced sperm in a mechanical suit blows Morty’s cover. She reveals to an appalled Rick that Morty is the one responsible for their creation.

Sticky sets Rick and Morty free, and together they defeat the sperm monsters. Rick and Morty rig the canyon walls with nukes. Back in the war room, Summer has agreed that he’ll donate one of her eggs to draw the sperm out of the canyon and towards Las Vegas. The plan is to position the egg on top of the Luxor Hotel, subsequently shooting it into space and the sperm with it. When the President learns that the sperm monsters are descended from Summer’s biological brother, the plan is – no pun intended – aborted.

Enter the Chuds, whose king wants to kill and eat Rick, Morty and Sticky as punishment for Rick having sex with his daughter, Princess Ponietta. The princess reveals she’s pregnant with Rick’s child and so the king sends his army to the surface to repel the sperm monsters. In tandem with the US army, this they do, but drawn by instinct, Sticky enters Summer’s egg. She’s appalled and begs the President to destroy it. He refuses. It is an election year, after all. The now fertilised egg is blasted into space and – pun definitely intended – a post credits scene is born. As is Rick and Ponietta’s human-horse hybrid baby.

What’s good?

Humour is, of course, subjective, and a sex comedy can be as funny as any other strata of joke telling. And yet once your jaw has dropped in set up of the episode, the rest of the running time seems more an exercise in seeing how long shock can be maintained rather than delivering zing. The exception is the “it’s an election year” line. Very funny, though it feels like the episode is a set-up to delivering that sole line. This might be the worst episode the show has ever delivered, certainly it’s most base, though we look forward to seeing if Morty and Summer’s space-dwelling incest baby features at any point down the line.

Rick and Morty
CREDIT: Adult Swim

Guest-starring!

Actual Wednesday Adams (Christina Ricci) voices both Princess Ponietta and the former Swimsuit Illustrated model Kathy Ireland. Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney voices a marine that Ricky and Morty find cool. And of course, Keith David is back as The President!

Pop culture parodies

The Chuds are blatantly a nod to 1984 horror movie C.H.U.D, which concerns cannibalistic humanoids. Despite the film’s cult status, it’s previously been referenced in The Simpsons’, the brilliant Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Marvel‘s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The title (‘Rickdependence Spray’) is also a nod to Independence Day – interestingly the episode debuted a week later than the real July 4th – and the coda is blatantly a nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Did you know?

Thanks to a problem said to be ‘uploading to streaming services’, some people were lucky enough to see episode seven of season five (‘Gotron Jerrysis Rickvangelion’) instead/as well as this episode. Interestingly enough, that episode marks the first time we’ve seen Rick’s portal gun. It also features Morty and Summer’s giant incest baby. Hmmmm. A genuine mistake, or typical atypical Rick and Morty mirth? We shall see.

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