If you're social distancing, self-isolating or quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic, chances are you're binge-watching your favorite shows. For many people, that includes Rick and Morty, Adult Swim's sci-fi global sensation. There are some episodes that are simply must-watch TV for any isolation TV marathon.
Rick and Morty went from a bizarre TV outlier to a worldwide phenomenon in just a couple of seasons. The cartoon launched in 2013 with a collection of 11 episodes and only a vague hint at ongoing continuity. In the years since, it has expertly juggled one-off adventures with grand conspiracies, somehow finding a way to make character development real even when each character is literally replaceable. In that way, it has wormed its way into fans' hearts.
Even among Rick and Morty's fans, tastes vary between which episodes and which kinds of episodes are most beloved. Some could watch the "Evil Morty" episodes again and again, searching for hints, while others gravitate towards the clip shows like "Interdimensional Cable" and "Morty's Mindblowers."
Either way, there are some undeniable hits that are ripe for re-watching — especially with the Rick and Morty midseason premiere right around the corner. Season 4 of the series premiered in November, and then went on hiatus in December. Just last month, the return date was finally announced: May 8.
Fans also got a new trailer at the time, hinting at what was to come. It looks like Rick and Morty will be more self-referential than ever, with characters like Snuffles the dog and Tammy the Galactic Federation agent returning. One shot even shows an army of Ricks standing in ranks, suggesting that the next installment of the "Evil Morty" plot line is on the way.
To get ready, fans will definitely want to re-watch some Rick and Morty. The first three seasons are available to watch with a Hulu subscription, while the first half of Season 4 plus the second half of Season 3 are available on the Adult Swim streaming app with a valid cable login. Alternatively, all episodes are available to be purchased or rented on digital stores like Amazon Prime Video or iTunes. However you watch, here are the best episodes of Rick and Morty to binge-watch during your quarantine.
First up, fans will want to revisit Rick and Morty Season 1, Episode 2, "Lawnmower Dog." It looks like Snuffles the sentient dog is coming back in a new episode next month, so it may pay to re-familiarize yourself with the story of the dog uprising. Beyond that, it is always good to go back to a series' humble beginnings to see how far it has come.
'Rick Potion #9'
In a lot of ways, Season 1, Episode 6, "Rick Potion #9" is the most important episode in all of Rick and Morty. Here, the two eponymous heroes backed themselves into a corner they couldn't get out of, and enacted Rick's last resort: hopping dimensions into another timeline where everything had worked out, except that they had died, leaving their places open for them to take. Fans have spawned all kinds of theories about this switch-up, and it always pays to be familiar for references to this storyline.
'Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind'
Season 1, Episode 10 introduced fans to the Citadel of Ricks, Evil Morty, and the whole basis of the continuous story that many are hoping to see more of in the next batch of episodes. It also features some hints about Rick's mysterious backstory, such as his flashback to holding a baby Morty despite the fact that he was supposedly absent for most of Morty's childhood. If you are a fan theorist hoping to figure out who Evil Morty is before his ominous theme song plays again, be sure to check out this episode in your downtime.
The Season 1 finale, "Ricksy Business," introduces fans to Summer's friend Tammy and Tammy's romance with Rick's friend Birdperson, which may be important in the new episodes to come. Beyond that, this is a great episode to see the conflict brewing in Morty, as he begins to doubt his grandfather's absolute knowledge and authority.
There's nothing to say that Season 2, Episode 4, "Total Rickall" will factor into the upcoming episodes in Season 4, although it has enough zany characters to spawn plenty of call-backs. Either way, this one is here purely for enjoyment purposes, not for continuity. If you are having a rough time being cooped up in your house, remember that at least your home isn't infested with telepathic parasites that can embed deeply confusing memories into your head.
'The Wedding Squanchers'
Rick and Morty's Season 2 finale, "The Wedding Squanchers," gives us the big reveal that Tammy is actually a deep-cover agent for the Galactic Federation. This is also a fan-favorite for Rick's moment of self-sacrifice, even if it is apparently negated in the Season 3 premiere. With Rick feeling increasingly out of place in the family in Season 4, it may pay to revisit this storyline, which had a similar conflict.
'The Ricklantis Mixup'
Jumping far ahead, Season 3, Episode 7, "The Ricklantis Mixup" is vital for a re-watch ahead of Season 4. This one is the last we saw in the Evil Morty plot line, so theorists will be pouring over every detail ahead of the midseason premiere. On the other hand, all that theorizing could be for nothing if the show's writers decide to take a decisive pivot and do something else with their army of Ricks.
At least one of Rick and Morty's legendary clip shows had to go on this list, but this time around consider skipping "Interdimensional Cable" in favor of "Morty's Mindblowers," one of the series' most underrated episodes of all time. The endless loop of manipulation and outrage may give some insight into how the Smith/Sanchez family drama that is undoubtedly on the way.
'The Rickchurian Mortydate'
Much of Season 4 so far has been based on the fundamental shift in the family's dynamic from the Season 3 finale: "The Rickchurian Mortydate. Here, Beth finally overcame her fear of Rick abandoning her and chose to stop letting him manipulate her, welcoming Jerry back into the house. It is clear that the show does not want us to forget that Rick is on a short leash now, whether he stays on it or not.
'Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat'0comments
Finally, fans will probably be re-watching the first half of Rick and Morty Season 4 in its entirety in the coming weeks, but if you have to pick just one episode, go with "Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat." The episode perfectly exemplifies the arc of defiance that Morty is currently on, and all the other tensions that may soon boil over. Plus, if that weren't enough, you get to hear Jerry's immaculate pronunciation of the Japanese language.
Whether you watch a couple of episodes of Rick and Morty or all 36 installments, the show is a great addition to any quarantine watchlist this month. Season 4, Episode 6, "Never Ricking Morty," premieres on Sunday, May 3 at 11:30 p.m. ET on Adult Swim.