Either the Rick and Morty Season 4 writers want everyone to stop asking so many questions and just have fun, or they’re dropping serious hints about the origin of a mysterious new character. Episode 4 introduced a talking cat (voiced by Matthew Broderick) with a sketchy backstory, but a convincing new fan theory could explain how the cat’s secret origin story connects to another new villain from Rick and Morty Season 4.
Speculative spoilers for Rick and Morty Season 4 below.
Ok, so hear us out on this one. Could the talking cat be connected in some way to Fascist Morty?
“Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim’s Morty” — Season 4, Episode 4 — may have focused on Rick, Summer, and Morty in an adventure to a magical realm of wizards and “slut dragons,” but the B-plot follows Jerry on a trip to Florida at the behest of a curious talking cat. Towards the episode’s end, however, this cat’s origins are revealed as some kind of violent, traumatic series of events that we can hear but not see.
Rick scans the cat’s brain and then streams the memory into a pair of goggles attached to a contraption stored in his car. We only hear sounds of violence and destruction, but whatever Rick and Jerry see through the goggles causes Jerry to vomit and weep. Rick almost kills himself before wiping Jerry’s memory of it with Mind Blower technology.
What could be so terrible? One fan posted a sinister theory to Reddit that after Fascist Morty died in “Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat,” he may have been resurrected into the body of this cat.
In the Season 4 premiere, Rick dies, but residual Project Phoenix programming uploads his consciousness into an alt-reality clone. This happened many times over the course of the episode before he makes it back, but in the very first reality ruled by fascists, Rick’s taken prisoner by Fascist Morty and pesters the kid for answers. “Stop asking questions!” Fascist Morty says. “Stop doing meta-commentary! Just have fun.”
This moment itself is meta-commentary about fans over-analyzing the show over the years, but if we take a moment to disregard this advice and over-analyze this line of dialogue (yes, how ironic!), we can recognize that the talking cat in Episode 4 says almost the exact same thing to Jerry. “Maybe it’s time you stopped asking questions and started having fun,” the cat says (without moving his mouth).
Is this the result of lazy, recycled writing? Is Rick and Morty just trying to hammer this point home that fans should stop overanalyzing? Or is there a potential connection between these two characters? In the “Inside the Episode” featurette from Adult Swim, show co-creator Dan Harmon says the cat subplot is to “just have fun,” but could there be more to it?
Mathematically speaking, there are many universes in which Morty has his own Operation Phoenix established so that, in the event of his death, his consciousness would be uploaded into a clone so he could live on. That definitely seems like something that the evil Fascist Morty would do. The Episode 4 post-credits scene reveals that the talking cat teams up with the dragon Balthromaw in some capacity, so it’s possible the two might return in a future episode.
It’s at least possible Jerry and Rick saw Fascist Morty committing atrocities on behalf of the fascist regime, and seeing their own family member do such awful things drove them both mad. If the cat is somehow Morty, it would also explain why Rick couldn’t kill the creature. He has no qualms killing most things, but a twisted version of his own grandson? Even Rick has standards.
Rick and Morty Season 4 airs Sundays on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. Eastern.