The season opens with a somewhat already built character of Rick shown to us. He’s drunk and he wants to destroy the planet in the C-137 dimension. He only takes Morty with him, saying that they’ll go get Jessica too (Morty’s love interest) but he passes out and Morty’s left on diffusing the neutrino bomb. There is a theory out there that Rick wanted to kill Morty because he knew that that Morty will become the Evil one, but I don’t believe it to be true.
Later in the show, it’s discovered that Rick had made the whole world for his daughter Beth (obviously compensating for leaving her mother), so he could’ve easily taken Beth out to save her and kill Morty and the rest of them.
But what Rick did know is that Morty’s brain waves cancel his and that he actually needs Morty in order to survive his adventures. That could be the first time we see how selfish he is – he would save himself and his “human cloaking device” only so that he can go and do what he wants.
We also see some aspects of their family relations and we can instantly figure that Morty is Rick’s counterbalance. While Rick is smart and capable of so many things, ignoring all feelings by getting wasted, Morty is basic – he wants to focus on school and Jessica and is not extremely smart or strong or capable of surviving on his own when they go on their adventures.
Having a character to counterbalance any other is important because nothing expresses more features than a contrast.
So right before Rick passes out, he says that this was a “test to make Morty more assertive”. Later in the series, we will see that Morty often tries to complain, but it doesn’t work on Rick.
This is a good start, as fictional worlds often tend to drag us in by beginning with an event. This event was so crazy and interrupted us in the right moment to play the opening credits so that we’re stuck to the screens, waiting to see what’s next.
If applied to a novel, it would be written as something extreme happening in the prologue and then we’d be given the first chapter to “cool off” and make us read further by feeding us at least one important character.
After opening credits, we see Rick’s need to instantly confront Jerry about school. He’d say anything, just to annoy Jerry, but at the same time he’s somewhat right – the school doesn’t teach us real life. This way we see that Rick has what every scientist out there does – an open mind to observe every aspect of life from a different perspective, giving him the skill of complex thinking and problem-solving.
As we observe Rick further, we see his flaws instantly, but he was done in such a way that we find them ridiculous. He burps all the time and gets lost, studdering while speaking – all consequences of his alcohol abuse. But I’ll get to alcohol in later posts. It’s a really important aspect of Rick that needs a special paragraph.
After talking about how dangerous situations need to be dealt with, Rick convinces Morty that he should help him take the mega seeds, but Morty rushes into it and breaks his legs in the process. Rick goes to another dimension to find the cure, but he gets to have “fun with a lot of young ladies” losing power in his portal gun.
Now, earlier in the episode he says that he wishes Beth’s mother was there to eat the breakfast, so we pull out the conclusion that her mother is gone. But now we see Rick willing to let Morty wait with broken legs while having “fun” for so long that he drained his portal gun. A person who mourns the loss of his wife wouldn’t do that, at least not to that extent. But more on his wife later.
So they must go through the intergalactic airport of some sort, and we see Rick speaking of bureaucrats and hating to be told what to do. Only with one difference – he is literally free to always do as he wants, which not every fictional character is. But with all the knowledge, he’s allowed.
Rick and Morty get into a mess and this is the first time we see Rick openly lie to Morty about how it’s okay to shoot the robots, which are actually not robots. But Rick doesn’t care, he just wants to get home and he uses Morty as a vessel.
As they reach home, Jerry and Beth decided to move Rick away since Morty was missing school. Rick manipulates them again, solely for the purpose of having Morty stay by his side.
Rick says to Morty that the “world is full of idiots who don’t understand what’s important and they’ll tear us apart” telling him to not speak about their adventures. By that, we see that Rick places himself on top of everyone else, even his basic community – his closest family.