Rick and Morty’s Ridiculous New Villain Emphasizes the Show’s Biggest Challenge
Rick Prime is gone. So now what?
Rick and Morty’s clip show episode came early this year in the form of Season 7 Episode 6, “Rickfending Your Mort.” When Morty tries to cash in Adventure Cards to force Rick on an adventure, only for grandpa to call in an audit on Morty’s so-called receipts.
Among some bizarre and hilarious flashbacks to stories we’ve never seen before, one random misadventure Morty would rather forget introduced a delicious new villain: Churry the sentient churro hellbent on revenge. But does Rick and Morty even need a new villain now that Rick vanquished Rick Prime last week? Churry is hardly a Big Bad, but one can’t help but wonder what’s left in the Rick and Morty tank in terms of ongoing narratives now that Rick Prime is no more and “Evil” Morty seems more interested in being left alone than anything else.
This sort of anthological storytelling structure first began with the show’s Interdimensional Cable format in Season 1 with “Rixty Minutes” and its Season 2 sequel “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate.” Both depicted bizarre TV shows and commercials from across the multiverse. Season 4’s Story Train episode, “Never Ricking Morty,” also featured chaotic potential stories with the title characters.
But the closest point of comparison to Rick and Morty’s latest episode is Season 3’s “Morty's Mind Blowers.” In it, we see memories that Rick wiped from Morty’s brain, which is to say that everything shown actually happened. In a similar fashion, “Rickfending Your Mort” is that much more important compared to other clip shows because it’s technically canon, including Churry.
The episode opens with Rick passing out on the floor of the garage, listless after completing his life’s goal of avenging his wife and murdering Rick Prime. After Morty tries to force him out of his funk with an adventure of his choosing, Rick tags in a “cosmic friend” called The Observer to audit Morty’s adventure punch cards. The Observer is a floating sentient rock and the equivalent of “universal police body cam.” Rick and Morty both call up various clips from their past like “Maximum Overdrive with clothes,” but when their cosmic auditor starts calling the shots and queuing up clips of his own, the duo gets annoyed and accidentally push him into oncoming traffic, murdering what we had assumed was an unkillable cosmic boulder.
Suddenly, Rick and Morty are on trial for murder on the Observer’s home world. In his defense, Morty claims they “make more friends than enemies,” which proves sort of false when the observers play a clip where Morty asks Rick to make his churro come to life. Morty has lots of fun with Churry (including a visit to Wes Anderson's Grand Royal Hot Tub Emporium) but eventually gets bored and asks Rick to undo it.
“I can’t turn him back!” Rick says, shocked. “You asked me to bring him to life. Bam! Done. But he’s a churro. He doesn’t have internal organs, a brain, et cetera. In order to live, I had to make him functionally immortal.”
Rick’s not-so-brilliant workaround is to abandon Churry on a barren planet with some regular churros. As they fly away, the poor little guy swears revenge. At first, it feels like just another hilarious bit, but in the episode’s post-credits scene, Morty is horrified to find a churro in his locker at school and the word “SOON” is spelled out in brown sugar.
For all we know, this could very well just be Rick messing with Morty, but because Churry is “functionally immortal” he’s definitely still out there. It’s unclear how long ago Rick and Morty abandoned Churry on that random planet, but it’s only a matter of time before he escapes. And then what? He’ll no doubt make his way to Earth to harass Morty — or worse.
Rick and Morty does have a history of doing this sort of thing with one-off characters, however. Morty had a Gazorpian child he named Morty Jr. after copulating with an alien sexdoll in Season 1. Morty Jr. holds a grudge against his father, but we’ve never seen him since. Season 3 later introduced Supernova, the one superhero who survived “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” and vowed revenge, before swiftly disappearing forever. There’s also the Talking Cat and Balthromaw the dragon from “Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty” who have vendettas against the Smith family since Season 4. The list goes on and on, and Churry is just the latest character we know of that can be included in that rogue’s gallery.
The biggest threat, however, is definitely Evil Morty. Yet he remains a bit of a neutral-evil enigma. Evil Morty teamed up with Rick in “Unmortricken” but stole the Omega Device schematics, giving him the power to erase a person across all realities. When Morty asks him if he’ll use it, his nefarious counterpart implies that he took it more as a precautionary measure.
“Because using a weapon like this doesn’t get you left alone, Morty,” he says. “Think I want a bunch of vengeful Summers coming after me? You are a little different though, Rick. Maybe I can use that someday.”
Evil Morty will definitely return one day, but he remains mostly apathetic toward Rick. Does that mean we need another Big Bad to take his place? Or a team of them? Perhaps, but as long as Rick and Morty keeps messing around with silly characters like Churry, we’re here for it.