Rick and Morty answers some long-burning questions in its excellent Season 4 finale.
Rick and Morty’s Season 4 finale has finally arrived, and it did not disappoint. We love zany, random Rick and Morty adventures as much as the next squanch, but it’s been way too long since this show returned to the continuity of some of its long-running plot threads.
It may not have been Evil Morty pulling the strings all along, but at least we got to see what Tammy, Phoenixperson, and Maybe-Clone-Beth have been up to. And it turns out to be “a f***ing piece of s*** Star Wars.”
Naturally, “Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri” featured tons of references back to Rick and Morty episodes of the past. And if it’s been a while since you binged Season 1-3, or even if you need a refresher on the first half of Season 4, which aired late last year, we have you covered. Here’s every Easter egg and reference we could spot in Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 10.
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1. The Galactic Federation
You can tell from the episode’s opening shot, based on the colors and architecture here, that this episode is going to return to the story of the Galactic Federation, the governing empire that was introduced in the pilot, then deliberately dismantled by Rick in Season 3, Episode 1, “The Rickshank Rickdemption.”
In case you forgot, these bug-like aliens are called Gromflomites. They’re the ruling race of the former Galactic Federation. They were first seen in the pilot, in which Rick encouraged Morty to kill them because he doesn’t respect bureaucrats.
3. Clone Beth
In this shot, we finally learn the answer to the question posed at the end of Season 3: Did Rick clone Beth? Yup, it turns out he did. For now, we assume this is the clone, though by the episode’s conclusion, that’s in doubt.
4. The Star Wars Jokes Begin
In the background we glimpse some of Beth’s cohorts in “The Defiance” (clearly a riff on the “Rebellion” from the Star Wars franchise), including another Gromflomite, a female Squanchy (an alien race first introduced in Season 1, Episode 11, “Ricksy Business”), and an unknown alien and robot.
5. The NX-5 Planet Remover
This instructional video for the NX-5 Planet Remover is the McGuffin Beth’s Defiance squad was after in the opening scene, much like the mission to steal the Death Star plans portrayed in the 2016 movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Rick even explicitly calls the NX-5 “a Death Star” later in the episode.
6. The NX-4S
A Gromflomite explains that the NX-5 Planet Remover “eliminates planets twice as fast as the NX-4S with half the battery,” a dig at Apple’s iPhone naming conventions (iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPhone 7, etc.).
7. Tachyon Beams
The NX-5 does this with “industry-leading tachyon beams.” A tachyon is a hypothetical, possibly nonexistent particle that theoretically travels faster than light. They’re frequently referenced in Star Trek, whenever the writers needed a technobabble word for some inexplicable technology.
8. Brought To You by Wrangler Jeans
Wrangler Jeans are referenced throughout this scene, including a vocal shout-out, the visible logo, and the Gromflomite’s entirely denim outfit. Unlike Pringles and Wendy’s, Wrangler doesn’t appear to be an actual sponsor of Rick and Morty, but this minor joke returns in a big way later in the episode.
9. No More Secret Hole
The Gromflomite also proclaims that the NX-5 no longer has a “secret hole that blows the whole thing up when you shoot it,” referring to the fatal flaw (usually an exhaust vent or something equally inane) in each subsequent bigger and better version of the Death Star throughout the Star Wars series. This revelation also renders Beth’s retrieval of the instructional video pointless, since the NX-5 apparently doesn’t have a weakness.
10. Family Therapy
The Smith family’s ongoing therapy sessions with Dr. Wong are referenced throughout this scene, which culminates in Rick attempting to calm Space Beth down by using tactics he no doubt learned during some of those awkward therapy sessions: “What I’m hearing is that you think that’s a bomb.”
11. Gotta Squanch ‘Em All
It turns out, in the world of Rick and Morty, Pokemon are real. Beth throws a Poke Ball and Rick throws the slightly superior Great Ball to kick off a battle that we wish lasted way longer. Granted, those don’t look like any Pokemon we’ve ever seen.
12. The Neck Device
Rick claims here that the neck implant wasn’t a bomb at all (so, not a Suicide Squad reference?), but a memory system that would have transferred the clone’s memories into the real Beth’s when she returned to Earth. That said, considering what we learn later, Rick is certainly lying here, since he doesn’t actually know which Beth is the clone. So what was the implant actually for? No idea.
When she’s caught in this guy’s house, Summer quickly comes up with the excuse that she “wandered [away] from her console,” apparently attempting to pass off Morty’s infrared goggles as a virtual reality headset. Side note: What on earth is the deal with that picture hanging on the wall in the background? If you have any theories, let us know in the comments.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this diner. Rick met with a Gromflomite at Shoney’s in Season 3, Episode 1, “The Rickshank Rickdemption.”
15. A Tad Star Warsy
As Rick points out, Beth’s space adventures are “skewing a tad Star Warsy.” The slave rebellion she’d just finished describing certainly seems like any number of cookie cutter Star Wars movie plots, and there are plenty of references to the series throughout this episode.
16. The NeEeEw Galactic Federation
The way this news announcer says “the new Galactic Federation” drips sarcasm, probably to continue poking fun at Star Wars, in which an entire trilogy of movies was just made to tell the story of the “First Order” rising up to take the place of the “Empire,” which is totally not the exact same thing, and do battle with the “Resistance,” which is super different from the “Rebellion” from the old movies. (See also: Beth’s “Defiance.”)
17. Soony PlayStatioon
The TV in Shoney’s is a Soony model, an obvious parody of Sony.
18. Return of the Dr. Wong
Guest star Susan Sarandon returns to Rick and Morty to once again play family therapist and Rick nemesis (in his mind at least) Dr. Wong. She first appeared in Season 3, Episode 3, “Pickle Rick.”
19. Puppet Therapy
When Jerry claims that therapists use puppets in TV shows, he may be referencing Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon’s previous show, Community, which did a whole puppet thing in Season 4, Episode 9, “Intro to Felt Surrogacy.”
20. Great British Prize Show
Dr. Wong also references The Great British Bake Off when she remarks that “TV gives British people prizes for baking.”
21. Tammy II: The Tammyning
At last, Tammy Guetermann has returned on Rick and Morty, and not in a non-canonical Story Train segment that was just meant to hurt us. If, like Jerry (who initially calls her “Tanya”), you don’t remember exactly who this is, don’t worry–it’s been a while since she appeared for real. Tammy was Summer’s high school friend who married Birdperson in Season 2, Episode 10, “The Wedding Squanchers” (and appeared several times before that), then revealed herself to be a deep cover Galactic Federation agent.
22. We Love Wendy’s
When Rick says he thinks Wendy’s has given them some money, he’s not joking–if you’ve watched these Season 4 episodes live, you’ve likely noticed these (admittedly very funny) commercials for the Wendy’s breakfast menu.
23. That Thing
When Tammy says Rick “might want to do that thing where you find a new universe where you can suck yourself off,” she’s referring to Rick and Morty Season 1, Episode 6, “Rick Potion No. 9,” in which the duo accidentally Cronenberg’d the whole world and had to hop into an alternate timeline where they’d coincidentally just died. The repercussions from that event have spread throughout the series, although it’s unclear how Tammy knows about it. Also, this feels like a good time to point out that technically, neither of the Beths in this episode is this version of Rick’s original Beth, who he left behind on Cronenberg Earth in that Season 1 episode.
24. Citizen Kane
When Morty correctly points that his and Summer’s arc of eventually working together is “not Citizen Kane,” he’s referring to the 1941 Orson Welles film that’s widely considered to be one of the best movies of all time, and often held up as a benchmark of cinematic storytelling to this day (to the point that it’s basically become a meme).
25. You Made Me Go to a Wedding
Rick is of course referring to the events of Season 2, Episode 10, “The Wedding Squanchers” when he kills Tammy. He also references the fact that Tammy killed Rick’s friend Birdperson, since he doesn’t yet know that Tammy helped resurrect Birdperson as Phoenixperson.
26. Luke and Leia
Summer points out that she and Morty are “like Luke and Leia,” another brother/sister sci-fi team who worked together to topple an evil galactic government. However, she quickly realizes that Luke and Leia also kissed at one point. Morty then suggests Hansel and Gretel, characters from the famous Brothers Grimm fairy tale, but Summer believes they were definitely “f***ing.”
27. Phoenixperson Revealed
In this very Star Warsy entrance, Phoenixperson is finally revealed to Rick. Technically, Rick already saw him in Season 4, Episode 6, “Never Ricking Morty,” but since that was non-canonical, he might not have believed Birdperson’s return was real.
28. Bone-Crushing Fun
Rick and Phoenixperson’s fight seems to pay homage to any number of radical video game and/or anime fights, particularly the Mortal Kombat series, which introduced X-ray-style bone breaking moves in Mortal Kombat X.
29. The Wrangler Jeans Thing
The Gromflomites in this scene finally explain the Wrangle jeans sponsorship. The NX-5 is apparently programmed to destroy everything but Wrangler jeans. Morty and Summer will soon use this to their advantage. Presumably, there are large clouds of Wrangler jeans floating around in space where the NX-5 has destroyed a planet.
30. You Kill Good Bug For a Horse Doctor
It’s been a while since Beth’s day job was mentioned, so don’t forget: She’s a horse surgeon, which Jerry tends to be weirdly condescending about. Good thing he’s not in this scene to knock her down a peg.
31. A Parent Trap Thing
When Beth suggests to Beth that they do “a Parent Trap thing together sometime,” she’s referring to the 1998 Lindsay Lohan movie, which was a remake of a 1961 movie, which was an adaptation of a 1949 book. In the film, two identical twins who were separated at birth meet at summer camp and conspire to get their parents back together. If the Beths meant this literally, it would mean getting Rick back together with their mom, who we’ve never actually seen (besides a fictionalized version in “The Rickshank Rickdemption” that Rick suggests is completely fabricated).
Lastly, when Earth Beth says “naturally,” she does it in what might be taken as a terrible British accent, potentially riffing on the fact that Lindsay Lohan had to do an accent for one of her Parent Trap characters.
32. Don’t Look Now
Rick’s strange claim about how he thought he would eventually die–in Venice and having something to do with “a dwarf in a raincoat”–is an extremely weird reference to the 1973 film Don’t Look Now, in which, you guessed it, a father is murdered in Venice by a dwarf wearing a raincoat.
33. You Mind-Blew Yourself?
This line is a reference to the Season 3 episode “Morty’s Mind Blowers,” in which it’s revealed that Rick has removed tons of memories from Morty that blew his mind too hard.
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