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Rick and Morty: How to watch the upcoming season 4 finale

May the Force be with fans as they watch the last episode of the fourth season, Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
5 min read

Sure, Rick would love to go to family therapy.

Video screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

While Rick and Morty has been on hiatus, the real world has gone almost as nuts as the surreal world of the Adult Swim animated show. If only somebody had a Meeseeks in our world, so we could ask the little request-fulfilling blue dudes to cure the novel coronavirus. But it always helps to have something to look forward to in tough times, and at least we can count off the days on a calendar (remember, that big empty thing that used to be full?) until the season finale of Rick and Morty episode airs on May 31.

What we know about the next episode

The show's official Twitter account has revealed that the May 31 episode, the tenth and last of the season, is called Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri. That's a Star Wars-themed title, but right now, it's unclear if Luke and Leia's universe will collide with Rick and Morty's, or if it's just a galactically good play on words.

The teaser released after the May 24 episode didn't deliver any Star Wars spoilers -- but it did hearken back to a previous hit episode. Remember in the Pickle Rick episode, when Rick turns himself into a pickle so he won't have to go to family therapy with Dr. Wong (voice of Susan Sarandon)? In the finale teaser, Beth brightly suggests the Sanchez-Smith crew head in for another therapy session.

Rick's still about as thrilled about the idea of family therapy as ever. At least this time he chooses an invisibility belt as his way to duck therapy as opposed to that whole complex scheme where he turns himself into a pickle. 

It's going to be interesting to see if there's any Star Wars jokes or parodies that show up. The show's logline doesn't give anything away. All it says is, "Parenting is crazy broh. Stuff straight disappearin in this one."

Just like the finale, most of the season four second-half episodes seem to be named after movies. The complex and controversial Never Ricking Morty started things off, and was a play on The NeverEnding Story. The next one, Promortyus, was an homage to the 2012 sci-fi movie Prometheus, and was set in the Alien movie universe, complete with face-huggers, parasitic egg implantation and, for some reason, an M&Ms store. The Vat of Acid episode -- well, maybe it wasn't a movie title, but it certainly lived up to its promise, bookending the story with two vats of (fake) acid. And Childrick of Mort took its name from the 2006 sci-fi film Children of Men, about a world facing extinction due to infertility, and features Rick discovering he may have a ton of other children. 

When and where to watch?

You can watch Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri on May 31 on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. PT.

Fans waited five months for the fourth season to return, and it's hard to believe it's almost done. Five episodes of season 4 aired in 2019, and now that four episodes of the final five have been shown, there's just one left. So the May 31 season finale is the tenth show of season 4, but just the fifth new episode of 2020. Old episodes can be watched on Hulu, but season 4 shows won't appear there until after the entire season airs.

Don't have Cartoon Network? Rick and Morty episodes also stream on Hulu Plus Live TV. And when HBO Max arrives in May, Rick and Morty will be on there as well. 

How to catch up

Sure, you could just tune in to the season finale knowing little more than the two main characters' names, but where's the fun in that? You need to take your time and enjoy the back catalog of craziness, starting with the 2013 pilot. Old episodes are available for streaming on Hulu, or you can buy whole seasons or individual episodes on Amazon Prime or YouTube, or whole seasons on DVD, if that's your thing. Want a freebie or two? Adult Swim has a free stream of Rick and Morty episodes, shown one at a time, but you can't choose the one that's on.

What happened in previous episodes

The second half of season 4 returned May 3 with a complex and self-referential episode titled Never Ricking Morty. The return was debated by fans -- some of whom loved the sly meta-references, others who wanted a different approach.

The May 10 episode, Promortyus, was set in the familiar and creepy universe of the Alien movies. It was a lot more straightforward than Never Ricking Morty, but managed to include a complex and rollicking Rick and Morty adventure that featured everything from a new beekeeping hobby for Jerry to digs at podcasting and print media to a starring role for Summer.

The May 17 show was called The Vat of Acid Episode, and proved true to its name by featuring multiple vats of acid. Rick comes up with a fake acid vat to get the two out of a jam, but it only makes Morty angry that Rick never chooses to try out his spectacularly stupid ideas, and well, off we go.

The May 24 episode, Childrick of Mort, features Rick learning his night of passion with a sentient planet might have made him a daddy again many times over. As that plotline unwinds, Jerry demonstrates his camping skills, Beth bonds with her father, and Summer and Morty save the day. Oh, and Rick fist-fights with a Zeus-like alien.

Before the May 3 show, five episodes of season 4 aired, and they were pretty much standalone shows, meaning they're fun to watch, but don't necessarily move the show forward in any lasting way. (Which, with a show like this, is just fine. This isn't X-Files.)

In the first episode of season four, Edge of Tomorty: Rick Die Rickpeat, Rick introduces Morty to special alien crystals that can show him his death, which is a really bad idea. In the second, The Old Man and the Seat, we learn Rick really, really likes his special toilet. Episode 3, One Crew over the Crewcoo's Morty, features the return of Mr. Poopybutthole -- now a professor -- and gets a dig in at streaming service Netflix. 

In the fourth episode, Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty, Morty gets a dragon, which is exactly as much of a bad idea as you might think. And the fifth episode, Rattlestar Ricklactica, features a world of time-traveling space snakes. (And there's snake jazz, which Summer digs.)


Rick's too busy eating Arby's in his hoverchair to help Morty out.

Cartoon Network/Screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

Need a little more Rick and Morty?

On March 28, the show released a five-minute short film titled Samurai & Shogun. It's inspired by a classic manga called Lone Wolf and Cub, which also inspired the Bob's Burgers episode Hawk and Chick, as well as the second episode of the Disney Plus show The Mandalorian.

Correction, April 21: Adult Swim's parent channel is the Cartoon Network. 

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