Movies and Shows

Rick & Morty: The Season 5 Finale Introduced A Rick Variant Plot Hole

The bombastic season 5 finale to Rick and Morty introduced a potential plot hole with the season 1 Rick Variant, “Doofus Rick”.  The 10th and final episode of Rick and Morty season 5, “Rickmurai Jack,” had an explosive end as Evil Morty collapsed the Central Finite Curve. The finale established that Rick had separated all universes in which Rick was the most intelligent man from those where he wasn’t, but this seemingly contradicts the point of the season 1 character “Doofus Rick”, meant to be the stupidest of all Ricks. How can Doofus Rick exist as the smartest person in his universe before the collapse of the Central Finite Curve?

Rick of Dimension J19 Zeta 7 aka “Doofus Rick” was one of the first Rick Variants introduced in Rick and Morty, all the way back in “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind”, the episode that introduced the idea of Rick Variants, and a Rick multiverse. The point of the character seems to be to make fun of his lack of intelligence. Doofus Rick was much maligned by the other Ricks, who collectively sought to degrade him with the claim that Doofus Rick’s home dimension is themed around people eating their own feces, a claim which Doofus Rick poorly refuted. Throughout “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” Doofus Rick befriended Jerry, another character made the butt of many jokes in Rick and Morty for his lack of intelligence.

Doofus Rick is bullied by the other Ricks, but is it the case that Doofus Rick’s universe is just that unintelligent overall to have Doofus Rick as the most intelligent member (thereby upholding the Central Finite Curve revealed in the Season 5 finale) or is there more going on here than it seems? Season 5 foreshadowed its Evil Morty plot from Season 1, so it’s possible the show runners were mindful of this potential plot-hole, and that may be part of the joke; however, there’s also evidence that Doofus Rick may be more intelligent than he seems.

The point of the character seems to be his lack of intelligence: Doofus Rick’s silly appearance informs audience expectations of the character with a haircut and unibrow reminiscent of Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. The way the other Ricks chide Doofus Rick for his stupidity frames a situation where Doofus Rick must be considered the least intelligent of the Ricks. However, Doofus Rick displays scientific genius by inventing his own “oven-less brownies” out of old chemicals. “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” also hints that Doofus Rick has incredible emotional intelligence, which the other Rick versions lack. Rick and Jerry are not friends in the main timeline and have almost never expressed friendship between them; yet, Doofus Rick expresses genuine interest in Jerry’s life and job, hugging Jerry, laughing with him, and making Jerry happy. He listens to Jerry’s struggles, empathizes, and displays caring in a way that would be unheard of from other Ricks.

Emotional intelligence is clearly not something that is highly regarded among the bullying Ricks, so Rick of Dimension J19 Zeta 7, on their scale, may make him a “doofus”, but despite appearances, his kindness to Jerry suggests that he may be anything but. In a show where there are so many Rick variations that even Christopher Lloyd can be a Rick, it’s nice to see a Rick with kindness, even if it is made the butt of a joke. With season 6 of Rick and Morty looking to soften Rick’s character, maybe he could learn a little from Doofus Rick.

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