“That’s the difference between you and me, Morty: I never go back to the carpet store.”
Rick says this to Morty right after Morty’s playthrough of Roy, a video game featuring the full human life. The Roy scene is one of the best things to come out of Rick and Morty thus far, and it and many other aspects of “Mortynight Run” return to the worldbreaking weirdness that was so lacking in “A Rickle in Time.”
Morty’s Roy playthrough starts with the sort of childhood media tells us is common. In Roy’s finest moment, he gets the girl and catches the game-winning pass. The next thing we see, he’s resigned to working at his father-in-law’s carpet store, later learning he has cancer.
After he beats cancer, Morty’s Roy returns to work and dies at the carpet store.
Morty coming to terms with the incomprehensible hugeness of Rick’s world is the best development Rick and Morty has to offer, and “Mortynight Run” gives Morty some more autonomy, letting him lead a mission with more certainty than he did in “Meeseeks and Destroy.”
And yet again, Rick isn’t willingly along for the ride.
“Selling a gun to a hitman is the same as pulling the trigger.”
“It’s also the same as doing nothing. If Krombopulos Michael wants someone dead, there’s not a lot anyone can do to stop him.”
The Morty stops him.
Rick reacts: “Stupid-ass fart-saving carpet store motherfucker!”
The gaseous life form that Morty saves, played by Flight of the Conchords’ Jermaine Clement and given the makeshift name “Fart,” admires Morty for putting all life above his own. But of course, at the end of the journey, Fart reveals his intentions to come back and wipe out all life because it’s a disease to his species. Fart’s ethics are a distortion of Morty’s intentions, but imagining that humans were simply the cancer inside a larger being clearly messes with Morty’s head.
Similarly, Jerry tries to assert his independence and adulthood before wandering around an alien world terrified of everything. His perceptions, like his son’s, are significantly challenged, and also end up in a greater trusting of the world according to Rick.
As Morty flies the ship home, Rick congratulates him on the mission.
“At least all the death and destruction wasn’t for nothing, huh?”