'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Episode 9 'Childrick of Mort' turns tables and pays homage to 'Westworld' Season 3
Almost two months ago, HBO’s science fiction series ‘Westworld’, intentionally or unintentionally, paid homage to Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s animated comedy series. Now we see the opposite
Spoilers for 'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Episode 9 'Childrick of Mort'
Almost two months ago, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s science fiction HBO series ‘Westworld’, intentionally or unintentionally, paid homage to Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s animated comedy series ‘Rick and Morty’. 'Westworld' Season 3 Episode 2, 'The Winter Line', took a bit from the plot of ‘Rick and Morty’ Season 1 Episode 4, ‘M. Night Shaym-Aliens’.
Just like the Zigerions scammers created a simulation to trick them -- Rick and Morty break free from the simulation by giving the impersonators a set of complicated instructions, causing it to pause -- in ‘Westworld’, Maeve (Thandie Newton) was tricked into believing she was stuck in the loops of yet another Delos theme park called, Warworld. Maeve, with her “bulk apperception” -- the ability to perceive her reality -- dialed up to the max, then realized this was not reality, rather it was a simulation.
To prove that her suspicions were correct, she checks through the programming and realizes it was lazy. To glitch the system, she makes the lab techs figure out what was the square root of “negative one”. This makes it glitch and she manages to escape.
On 'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Episode 9, 'Childrick of Mort', the tables were turned. As the Smith family sullenly (except Jerry, voiced by Chris Parnell) are on their way to a camping trip, Rick gets an SOS call from a woman claiming she was pregnant with his child. The woman, it turns out is a whole planet. Yes, Rick has a fetish for planets and actually manages to get one pregnant.
So we see their children erupt out of a volcano, and upon Beth (Sarah Chalke’s) angry request, Rick decides to take care of the children. Maybe his guilt of abandoning Beth when she was a child made him do it. In any case, he builds a whole system, where these Rick-planet babies are collected, sorted out, and sent to their respective destinies. But here’s the catch. Rick’s system examines each one and assigns them a different role in the society he creates so that the civilization could advance without any hitch. The ones the system considered unworthy and unintelligent were discarded.
This is eerily similar to the society in ‘Westworld’ Season 3 that’s controlled by an artificial intelligence-based deterministic system called Rehoboam. Rehoboam examines and decides the fate of every human being, even enforcing its will through other humans to make sure no outliers exist in this harmonious world. And like in ‘Westworld’, where the outliers led by Caleb (Aaron Paul) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) rebelled and created chaos, here too, the outliers, under Jerry’s leadership attack.
It’s not surprising that the two shows would have stuff in common. While they are nowhere similar in their genre and premise, both shows are a spectacularly intelligent mix of science fiction and philosophy, examining human constructs and ideas. In all likelihood, ‘Rick and Morty’ may have consciously chosen to mimic ‘Westworld’, after all, the animated series holds very little sacred and parodies everything.
Even so, it’s fun to watch this play out! 'Rick and Morty' airs on Sundays at 11.30 pm ET/PT on Adult Swim.