Rick and Morty (season 4)
|Rick and Morty (season 4)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||4|
|Original network||Adult Swim|
|Original release||November 10, 2019 –|
The fourth season of the animated television series Rick and Morty was confirmed by Adult Swim in May 2018. The season is set to consist of ten episodes. The first five episodes of the season began airing weekly starting on November 10, 2019 while the remaining five will premiere some time in the future.
Cast and characters
The actors and actresses listed below lend their voices to the corresponding animated characters.
- Justin Roiland as Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith, the two main characters of the show; Rick is an eccentric mad scientist and Morty is his kind but easily distressed grandson.
- Chris Parnell as Jerry Smith, Rick's son-in-law, and Morty's father; a simple-minded and insecure person, who disapproves of Rick's influence over his family.
- Spencer Grammer as Summer Smith, Rick's granddaughter, and Morty's sister; a conventional teenager who worries about improving her status among her peers.
- Sarah Chalke as Beth Smith, Rick's daughter, and Morty's mother; a generally level-headed person, who is dissatisfied with her marriage.
- Sherri Shepherd as the Judge, a judge who oversees Morty’s trial.
- Shepherd also voices Tony’s wife.
- Sam Neill as Monogatron Leader, the leader of the species who attempts to conquer Earth.
- Kathleen Turner as Monogatron Queen, who loves podcasts and fights with her husband.
- Taika Waititi as Glootie, Rick’s intern and a member of the Monogatron species.
- Jeffrey Wright as Tony, a kindhearted yet depressed alien salaryman who accidentally crosses Rick.
- Pamela Adlon as Vermigurber's Child, whose life Rick threatens when attempting to track down Tony.
- Adlon also voices Angie Flynt, a retired criminal.
- Elon Musk as Elon Tusk, the CEO of Tuskla.
- Justin Theroux as Miles Knightly, a master criminal and organiser of HeistCon.
- Paul Giamatti
- Matthew Broderick as Talking Cat
- Liam Cunningham as Balthromaw, a dragon who inadvertently soul bonds with Rick.
- Claudia Black
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||U.S. viewers|
|32||1||"Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat"||Erica Hayes||Mike McMahan||November 10, 2019||2.33|
Rick takes Morty to an alien planet to harvest special crystals that can show the holder all of their possible future deaths, and Morty takes one without Rick's knowledge. Upon seeing one of his possible futures dying old with Jessica, Morty begins taking whatever action would lead to that future, resulting in him inadvertently killing Rick. Holographic Rick then appears and instructs Morty to collect Rick's DNA so he can be cloned and resurrected. Seeing that following Holographic Rick's instructions won't give him the future he wants, Morty refuses to clone Rick. Meanwhile, Rick's consciousness is routed into clones of alternate universe Ricks. All of the alternate Ricks end up being fascist and hostile except for Wasp Rick, who agrees to help. Morty meanwhile causes chaos as he kills numerous people and uses special ferro-fluid to turn himself into a cyborg abomination to pursue his desired future. Rick, Wasp Rick, and Holographic Rick team up to turn Morty back to normal. The ferro-fluid then bonds with Holographic Rick, causing him to become hostile and forcing Wasp Rick to kill him. Jerry and Beth are angry at Rick, but Morty takes responsibility for the damage he caused. Rick and Morty agree to share responsibility in future adventures.
Post-credit scene: Morty overhears Jessica telling her friends that she plans to become a hospice worker to care for the elderly in their dying moments, causing him to become angry that the future the crystal showed him was misleading.
|33||2||"The Old Man and the Seat"||Jacob Hair||Michael Waldron||November 17, 2019||1.67|
Rick leaves the house for his personal toilet since he is a private pooper. While Rick is gone, Jerry disobeys his explicit instructions and asks Rick's new intern Glootie to develop an app for him. Glootie develops a matchmaking app that Jerry names "Lovefinderrz", whose advice its users, including Summer, impulsively follow as the app constantly changes who they should be matched with. Beth attempts to block Summer's relationships due to her still being underage. Morty forces Glootie to take him and Jerry to his mothership, where it is revealed Glootie's species plans to use the app to distract humanity while they invade Earth for its water. Jerry convinces Glootie to help by showing him that they both are considered incompatible to anybody by the app, and Glootie sabotages the app by implementing an ad wall. Meanwhile, Rick finds out someone else used his toilet and tracks down an alien businessman named Tony, who admits his guilt and points out they are both private poopers since pooping is the only amount of control they feel they have in their lives. Despite many threats, Rick never follows through with killing Tony, and when he dies in an accident, Rick provides Tony's father with a means to clone him. It's then revealed that Rick prepared an elaborate holographic routine that would have insulted Tony the next time he used his toilet.
Post-credit scene: Jerry ingests a fluid developed by Rick to show its user their deepest desire. Jerry's deepest desire is to be a bottled water delivery man.
|34||3||"One Crew over the Crewcoo's Morty"||Bryan Newton||Caitie Delaney||November 24, 2019||1.61|
As Rick and Morty raid an alien tomb, Rick is furious to find out that the treasure has already been stolen by the famous alien heist artist Miles Knightly. Rick then assembles a crew to gain entry into HeistCon to confront Miles. They agree to a bet to see who can steal the Crystal Skull of Horowitz first. Miles then reveals he already stole the Crystal Skull by recruiting Rick's team, but Rick reveals with the help of Heist-o-Tron, he predicted Miles' plan and hypnotized his team to steal the Crystal Skull for him instead. He then orders the HeistCon crowd, who have also been hypnotized by Heist-o-Tron, to steal HeistCon, which results in Miles' death. Heist-o-Tron then goes rogue and begins stealing planets, forcing Rick to organize a second team which includes Mr. Poopybutthole. To counter Heist-o-Tron, Rick builds Rand-o-Tron, whose random instructions help the team track down Heist-o-Tron. Rick and Heist-o-Tron then get into an argument over whose plan is superior before Heist-o-Tron realizes the perfect heist is the one that will never be written and self destructs. Morty then goes to Netflix to submit his heist screenplay but loses motivation when he realizes how formulaic his screenplay is. It is then revealed that Rick orchestrated the entire heist adventure to sour Morty on heists so that he won't join Netflix and continue adventuring with Rick instead.
Post-credit scene: Rick has a beer with Mr. Poopybutthole on the roof, where he admits he paid Mr. Poopybutthole's students to attack him to test his karate skills. Mr. Poopybutthole reveals that the fight resulted in him being fired from his job.
|35||4||"Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty"||Anthony Chun||Jeff Loveness||December 8, 2019||1.63|
After being pestered by Morty to get him a dragon, Rick reluctantly makes a deal with a wizard, who creates a soul contract between Morty and the dragon Balthromaw. Meanwhile, Jerry encounters a talking cat in his bedroom, but Rick insists he has nothing to do with it. The cat convinces Jerry to take it to Florida to find fun at beach party, but the cat betrays Jerry by accusing him of defecating on the beach. However, the cat only ends up annoying everybody at the party, resulting in it getting kicked out along with Jerry. Morty tries to play with Balthromaw, but it is clear Balthromaw doesn't like Morty, which frustrates him. Angered at Balthromaw stealing Morty's attention, Rick tries to kill the dragon, but they both end up realizing they have much in common and inadvertently soul bond. The Wizard then arrives, accuses Balthromaw of being a "slut dragon", and takes him away to be executed. Rick helps Morty rescue Balthromaw, since the soul bond means he will die if Balthromaw does. With the help of other slut dragons, Rick and Morty are able to rescue Balthromaw, kill the Wizard, and break the soul bond. Now uncomfortable with how sexual dragons are, Rick and Morty part ways with Balthromaw. Rick and Jerry scan the cat's mind to figure out why it can talk, and are horrified at what they see. They chase the cat away and Rick erases Jerry's memory of the incident.
Post-credit scene: The talking cat crosses paths with Balthromaw, and asks him if he can fly him to Florida.
|36||5||"Rattlestar Ricklactica"||TBA||TBA||December 15, 2019||TBD|
Background and development
Following the conclusion of the third season in October 2017, the future of the show had remained in question, with no announcement of renewal or status of production. In March 2018, Harmon tweeted that he had not begun writing for a new season, in part because Adult Swim had not ordered any new episodes yet. Harmon explained that contract negotiations were more complicated than previous seasons.
Co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland wanted to have assurance that there would be many more seasons of Rick and Morty in the future, so that they would be able to focus on the show and minimize their involvement in other projects. Harmon had also stated that he wishes for future seasons to consist of more than ten episodes, saying: "Now I'm about to do season 4 of Rick and Morty and want to prove that I've grown." This was in reference to him admitting that he should work more efficiently, control his perfectionism, and avoid past mistakes that had resulted in the third season of the show comprising only ten episodes instead of fourteen, as was initially intended.
In May 2018, after prolonged contract negotiations, Adult Swim announced a long-term deal with the creators, ordering 70 new episodes over an unspecified number of seasons. The two co-creators expressed their satisfaction, with Roiland saying: "We're super excited that, for the first time ever, we're locked in, we know what the future is, we have job security." Harmon added: "Justin and I just needed enough episodes and the right kind of deal structure that would give us permission to do what we want to do, which is truly focus on the show. We got all that, and we’re both very excited."
One year later, at the WarnerMedia 2019 Upfronts presentation, the fourth season of Rick and Morty was announced to debut in November 2019, making the two-year gap between seasons three and four the longest in the history of the show. Although season four was said to contain only ten episodes, the creators have appeared confident that the 70-episode renewal deal will eventually reduce the waiting time between seasons, and it could possibly allow for bigger episode counts in the future. In October 2019, it was revealed that the first five episodes would begin airing on November 10, 2019, and the remaining five at some time in the future.
Writing, recording and animation
Writing began in June 2018, with Roiland saying that—alongside maintaining product quality—this time around, the writers would have to work faster, so that the episodes get released quicker. Additionally, Harmon expressed his intention to let the show move forward by collaborating with the animators and making any necessary corrections along the way, instead of applying his perfectionistic tendencies in the earliest stages of writing.
In July 2018, Harmon and writer Mick McMahan posted images from the writers' room on social media, which showed "Story Circles" drawn on a blackboard. This eight-step storytelling formula developed by Harmon (a simplified version of Joseph Campbell's common narrative framework known as the hero's journey) was used in previous seasons to outline the narrative arc of an episode. It describes how the main character of the story leaves their comfort zone to pursue something they desire, how they are forced to adapt to an unfamiliar situation in order to achieve their goal, and how the story has changed them, as they return to their comfort zone. Emmy magazine, however, reported after an interview with Harmon that the writing team planned "to shake things up with a more anarchic writing style." This meant a rather deconstructive approach, where instead of focusing on story structure, attention would be given primarily to cultivating ideas, jokes, and pieces of dialogue, and then the stories would be built around those moments. Regarding the season's narrative arc, Roiland said that the season would contain "strong episodic episodes", and advised fans to watch them in the correct order.
In October 2018, series composer Ryan Elder told Inverse that he was expecting to get involved with the season, when the writing process would have been partially completed. The first guest voice was revealed in November 2018, when Sam Neill tweeted that he had enjoyed working with Rick and Morty, indicating that the team had finished writing some episodes. Later, Roiland would also announce Paul Giamatti, Taika Waititi and Kathleen Turner as guest stars in the fourth season.
In December 2018, Bardel Entertainment, Rick and Morty's Canadian animation studio, began hiring Toon Boom Harmony animators and FX artists to join the show's animation team. In January 2019, animation supervisor Eric Bofa Nfon posted a photo from a conference room on his Twitter account, that featured lead animator Etienne Aubry and line producer Mark Van Ee, indicating the start of the animation process for the season. Roiland said that when the episodes were returned from the studio "in color", the writers would look to make any necessary adjustments that might improve the episodes. Nevertheless, he appeared satisfied with the work that was done this season.
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