For a character who has only appeared in one episode of Rick and Morty, Evil Morty has had a significant and lasting impact. Since his murder spree and subsequent escape in Season 1's 'Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind,' his shadow has loomed over the show, and surely it's only a matter of time before he returns, his hatred of all Ricks fuelling more chaos in a world of disorder. Well, what if I told you that time has been and gone, and he already has appeared in Season 3?
In the second episode of Season 3, 'Rickmancing the Stone,' Rick, Morty and Summer go on a Mad Max-esque apocalyptic adventure in another world. They have such a cathartic time running from their collective emotional turmoil (following Beth and Jerry's divorce) that they decide to stay for an extended "vacation." In a way only a genius scientist could imagine, to prevent Beth from becoming aware of their absence, Rick introduces a robotic version of himself and his grandkids.
In typical #RickandMorty style, what could've easily been a throwaway gag evolves into much more. Initially disjointed and mechanical, after spending time around Beth, the robot impersonating Morty becomes sentient and is reluctant to leave his new life, exclaiming:
"Why do we have to go into the garage? I want to be alive! I am alive, alive I tell you! Mother, I love you, those are no longer just words. I wanna hold you, I wanna run in a stream, I want to taste ice cream but not just put it in my mouth and let it slide down my throat, but really eat it."
As well as being an apparent pop culture reference to Westworld — the HBO show where artificial intelligence becomes sentient and develops apparent emotional capacity — like all things in Adult Swim's surprisingly philosophical sensation, this scene contains a deeper meaning. It could even give some insight into the origin of Evil Morty, as unlikely as it sounds, thanks to a Reddit theory by fantheories101 which highlights some compelling evidence.
A Brief Recap Of How Evil Morty Earned His Moniker
In 'Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind,' we are first introduced to the Council of Ricks when they capture Earth C-137's Rick following 27 murders of alternate Ricks across various dimensions. After being framed for the crime, the Rickest Rick discovers the real culprit (let's call him Murderous Rick). After Murderous Rick is captured, it's uncovered that he was remote controlled by his Morty.
Before disappearing into a sea of Mortys, Evil Morty pulls away his eyepatch to reveal red and blue wire sticking out of his eye. He smoothly slots them back into his eye socket, suggesting he himself is part-cyborg. This isn't anything new; there's a precedent of Rick using Robot Morty that stretches all the way back to the beginning of the show, hiding in plain sight in the intro scene. In that brief clip, we see Jerry tutoring Morty, only for his facial facade to fall off, revealing mechanical wires similar to Evil Morty.
Is Evil Morty A Robot Experiment Gone Wrong?
The one big drawback to this Rick and Morty theory is that the timeline of events don't match up. Clearly, sentient, ice-cream-craving Morty appears after Beth and Jerry get divorced, so it's hard to argue he is the same model who controlled Murderous Rick back in Season 1. But, 'Rickmancing The Stone' gives the strongest indication yet of how Evil Morty came to be.
After Evil Morty's reveal, there's even a potential foreshadowing of this plot. As two Ricks look over murderous Rick's corpse, one of them remarks:
"My God, I've seen this technology before. This Rick was being puppeteered by somebody else, this is the receiver..."
If the Council of Ricks have seen this technology before, it's most likely because other Ricks have used it. However in an act of misfortune, Murderous Rick's Robot Morty became sentient and evolved, so much so he has the ability to use the technology against his creator. This also adds up with how Evil Morty controlled Murderous Rick for so long. Original Robot Morty's impassioned monologue is delivered in a much more free flowing, articulate manner, suggesting he has a "true self." It's not a stretch to imagine the same technology used to make him act like Morty could be tweaked to impersonate a Rick.
If Murderous Rick created the robot in his dimension that became Robot Morty, that makes the potential consequences for Earth C-137's Robot Morty even greater. After shutting him down and overriding him as they return from the post-apocalyptic world, Robot Morty may return with a vengeance, angry at Rick for depriving him of the one thing he truly desires. If he evolves, he'll be able to use his own technology against him in the same way Evil Morty does.
And if a robot determined for revenge takes control of the Rickest Rick... well, something even more Ricked this way comes.
Do you think Evil Morty was a robot that gained sentience in another dimension?