Rick and Morty might be great at creating supervillains, but it’s equally as bad at giving fans resolution when it comes to those characters. It took almost two full seasons to bring back Evil Morty, and we still haven’t seen Phoenix Person since his big reveal in the Season 3 premiere post-credits scene. But in Season 4 Episode 1, Rick and Morty may have revealed the show’s most intimidating supervillain yet — and it’s one that could come back shockingly soon.
Spoilers for Rick and Morty Season 4 Episode 1 below.
The plot of Rick and Morty’s Season 4 premiere revolves around Rick’s accidental death and Morty’s refusal to immediately clone his grandpa back to life. Instead, Morty chases a possible future with Jessica promised by a “death crystal” while an AI version of the mad scientist implanted in his grandson’s spine keeps pressuring him to undo the death. (It’s complicated as hell in the exact kind of sci-fi way that makes Rick and Morty so good in the first place.)
“AI Rick” appears as a hologram that only Morty can see and it’s incapable of interacting with the physical world. However, at the end of the episode, the AI melds with some kind of Venom-like symbiote and transforms into a giant evil Rick the size of a building. For a second, it looks like AI Rick could pose a serious threat until a Wasp version of Rick (I told you this episode gets weird) stings AI Rick in the eye and kills him instantly.
So is AI Rick dead? Maybe not. After all, our original Morty theoretically still has that Rick hologram hanging out in his brain. And while AI Rick might claim to be harmless, we’ve seen what he’d do with a little bit of power — and it’s pretty damn frightening.
Then again, based on Rick and Morty’s track record, you can probably bet we won’t see AI Rick again for a very long time. But with 69 episodes left in to go, it’s probably only a matter of time before AI Rick rears his holographic head again.
Rick and Morty Season 4 airs Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on Adult Swim.