Rick & Morty continues to do what it does best, just not enough of it.
80%Overall Score

THE UPSHOT
This brief, five-episode season of Rick & Morty has the rapid-fire hilarity one associates with the show. However, it lacks the depth of previous seasons.
Creator: Justin Roiland, Dan Harmon
Writers: Ryan Ridley, Dan Guterman, Jessica Gao
Cast: Justin Roiland, Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke
Seasons: 4 (2013-2019)
Streaming on: Netflix

This season will leave fans hungry

The latest season of Rick & Morty comes after a hiatus of two years. It will delight fans, who’ve been missing the show’s combination of conceptual sci-fi adventures and scathing, irreverent pop-culture quips. However, disappointingly, it adopts the episodic format of the first season. Each episode in season four has a self-contained narrative with low stakes, as opposed to seasons two and three, in which story arcs spanned multiple episodes. As a result, it feels as though the show has lost some of its depth. The longer stories of previous seasons allowed for much more character development. That said, each episode is packed to the brim with visual gags and tightly written dialogue that hit viewers at a breakneck pace.

The show’s visual style is as thrilling as ever

Right off the bat, the first episode of season four, ‘Edge of Tomorty’, is a reminder of the show’s ability to tell a compelling story with only its art and animation, which is as amazingly weird, imaginative and occasionally disgusting as ever. There’s often no need for speech. Especially the sequence in which “sci-fi boy” Morty goes a bit too far in defending himself against a bully and ends up in a one-boy war against the police and National Guard.

It’s got some killer cameos

This season has a couple of truly great cameos. Liam Cunningham from Game of Thrones channels Davos in his role as a dragon with a hilarious twist. There’s an alternate Elon Musk, who comes from a reality where Elon Musk has tusks. That’s right, this show has an Elon Tusk, voiced by Elon Musk.

The set up for things to come

Early in the season, the titular characters engage in a fourth-wall breaking conversation about how their adventures would be about doing whatever they want, even if they are about nothing. It’s a clear message to the audience about creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s intention to experiment with the nature of the show, and an explanation of the change in this season’s structure. They are clearly aware of the opinions of their fan base and aren’t shy about talking directly to their audience. Rick & Morty will be what it wants to be. This could be good news for fans of the show because when the makers of the series experiment, they puts out some pretty unique material.