Rick and Morty Just Ended its Most Disappointing Season Yet

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I’m neither the first nor the last person to tell you that the fifth season of Rick and Morty—which concluded with an hour-long special episode last Sunday—is the most disappointing one to date. It has also produced some of the most controversial episodes in a catalog that also includes “Claw and Hoarder.”  “Rickdependence Spray,” a continuous string of cheap and tasteless sex jokes built on the premise of a horny Morty accidentally turning his sperm cells into sentient, flesh-eating monsters, feels particularly far removed from the calculated genius of classics like Season Two’s “The Ricks Must Be Crazy,” in which Rick reveals his car battery to be powered by a micro-sized society trapped inside it. But while it’s easy to say Rick and Morty is getting worse, explaining why that’s the case is anything but.   If you Google, “What happened to Rick and Morty?” you will find no shortage of hypotheses. One Redditor proclaims it must be due to a lack of stakes, something that has been the case for almost every episode this season. A YouTuber made an entire video essay to prove each and every problem with the show can be traced back to family dynamic, which played a prominent role in earlier seasons but is virtually absent from the most recent one.  Some blame it all on franchise fatigue, which has only gotten worse since Adult Swim decided to renew its biggest cash cow for a whopping 70 additional episodes. Others point at the debilitating influence of Rick and Morty’s cringy fanbase which, though not as vocal as it once was, now holds greater sway over development than it ever did before.   Personally, I think the main reason Rick and Morty seems to have lost that elusive Rick and Morty feeling is the fact that many of…

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