Rick and Morty Finally Atone for Appearing in ‘Space Jam 2’
Of all the intergalactic crimes the titular characters of Rick and Morty have committed through seven and a half seasons, the worst one of all came when they were accessories to the murder of Michael Jordan’s movie legacy.
Cross-promotional spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t yet seen tonight’s episode of Rick and Morty, “Rickfending Your Mort,” wherein the central spacetime traversing duo found themselves caught in a clip-show-turned-courtroom-drama. In an appropriately meta montage of bite-sized adventures (or non-adventures, depending on how Rick graded the punch cards), Rick and Morty tore through the source material for most of the pre-season promo video as well as the Season Seven intro sequence, once again playfully prodding the canon-keepers, wiki-writers and “observers” who dissect every frame of every episode, teaser and social media post in order to police continuity. Replete with in-universe deep cuts and metatextual jabs at the meme culture surrounding the show, “Rickfending Your Mort” demonstrated that, much like Rick and Morty themselves, the writers keep receipts.
However, the biggest loose end tied up in tonight’s Rick and Morty episode doesn’t come from an earlier season. In the first canonical acknowledgement of the show’s most shameful crossover, we finally found out what happened to the versions of Rick and Morty who appeared in the awful, unwatchable and irredeemable Space Jam 2 — though it was Rick C-137 and Morty Prime who stood trial in “Rickfending Your Mort,” the Space Jam variants pled guilty and got the death sentence.
Even for a movie as mundane and uninspired as Space Jam 2, the cameo from Rick and Morty was especially insipid — the smartest man in the Central Finite Curve somehow couldn’t find a funnier way to describe Taz, the Tasmanian Devil than “your badger thing,” and Morty’s clunky lamentation of, “I’ll never erase what I saw from my brain” rings hollow considering how many times we know Morty has had to bury his own corpse. What could Taz possibly summon to scar Morty for life? Did he cross-dress as Jessica? Does Taz have two Giant Incest Babies?
Well, according to tonight’s episode, the Space Jam 2 cameo itself proved to be the most inescapable trauma, as a piece of evidence used in the trial of Rick and Morty for the killing of an Observer seemingly showed a pattern of murderous behavior. Late in the court proceedings, Rick claims that he and his sidekick don’t murder for fun, prompting the prosecution to play a clip of Rick triumphantly returning from the dimension where he and Morty agreed to a soulless crossover with the slain corpses of the two movie stars, telling Morty of his successful hunt, “They welcomed death! They wanted out, Morty!”
Funny enough, that’s also how the critics felt about Space Jam 2.