19

Towards the end of the third episode in season 2 of Rick and Morty we see Rick returning home in a state of severe depression over being dumped by Unity.

He goes to the garage, and begins assembling a device. While doing so, he removes some kind of alien creature from inside of a cabinet and reanimates it by pouring some liquid on it. He pets/comforts it a bit, and then places it inside of the now-completed device, where it's promptly vaporized. Rick then attempts to kill himself by putting his head in the device, but passes out (into the ashes of the vaporized alien) just before it fires.

Here are some pictures:

Is there any information about what the alien creature was, or its significance to Rick? It's shown a bit earlier in the episode, when Jerry and Beth are searching through the garage in Rick's absence:

first appearance of the thing

Apart from that, does it make any other appearances in the show? Is it Rick's beloved pet? Some memento from his original relationship with Unity? Something else entirely?

  • 1
    What if that creature was the 'root' of Unity? Note how it's eyes are also green just like all those assimilated aliens... – Jade Robalo Apr 19 '17 at 22:43

13 Answers 13

18

A quick review of episodes shows that we haven't seen this creature before. From the fact that it begins the episode in stasis, it can be inferred that

  1. this creature has been in stasis for some time
  2. the creature appears to be in distress when unfrozen

We can assume that

  1. the creature was placed in stasis to pause the pain
  2. this may have been Rick's fault (possibly a failed experiment)
  3. Rick may have planned to unfreeze the creature at some future point when he could solve the creature's pain

Due to his huge ego, we can assume Rick believes himself to be the only one who could stop the creature's distress. As Rick obviously plans to commit suicide, instead of leaving the creature in perpetual stasis, which one can theorize might wear off at some future time, Rick puts it out of its misery. Killing the creature demonstrates to the audience that he has given up; backed up by his own failed attempt at suicide.

In pop culture, this concept of preserving a problem to solve at a later date is reminiscent of both Superman's "bottle city of Kandor" (a miniaturized Kryptonian city he has vowed to save) and Mr. Freeze's wife, Nora (who is frozen until a cure for her fatal disease can be found).

12

It's a Cronenberg baby from the earth that Rick and Morty left behind. You can tell because it has a human skeleton and looks similar to the other Cronenbergs. My guess is Rick froze it to try to find a way to reverse the Cronenberg mutation, but unable to do so, he now puts it out of its misery.

4

I have a feeling that the creature was the original Morty. The Morty that Rick started with. If you remember the Council of Ricks gives Rick a replacement Morty coupon to apologise for accusing him of killing the other Ricks. This tells us that Mortys die regularly enough for that to be a 'thing'.

Rick is the pure equivalent of chaotic evil. That doesn't mean that he doesn't have feelings for his family but they're abstract. As long as he has versions of them he couldn't care less.

So that's why for the first time we see Rick sad and actualy being gentle with something. The original Morty. His Morty. Beyond helping with all of Rick's genius.

And when that Morty is gone so is the last of Rick's real family. He's truly alone.

  • 3
    I'd put Rick down as more of a chaotic neutral. He's not really actively evil any more (or perhaps, even less) than he's actively good, he's mostly just extremely self-centered and pleasure-seeking. But anyways, interesting theory. – aroth Jul 12 '16 at 11:57
3

Earlier in the episode, the conversation with the alien with his daughter and Jerry, it's implied Rick only wants to create a cure for his own financial gain.

The purpose of the frozen creature was to show that Rick loved this creature, and was trying to cure it. He's not keeping the creature trapped purely out of greed and selfishness. That was the entire point of the episode. Rick's inability to be unselfish in his relationship with Unity inevitably leads to her leaving him, even though in his heart he loved her very much.

  • Thank you for assisting the community. Ideas for framing an answer may include describing your sources along with a synopsis of what they said, and/or adding links to the resources and visuals you’ve found. I hope you enjoy participating. – John Oct 28 '16 at 16:47
  • This creature was different from the one they talked about capturing. That one was in the complex he built in the basement. – JMac Apr 3 '17 at 13:11
3

The more I look at the episode, the more I think there could be something to the theory that it is either Rick's original Morty or another family member.

The first time we see it, Jerry picks it up in the middle of his argument with Beth and asks, while holding it, if Rick will just go live with "his other family" (rent free). From a storytelling standpoint, this is significant since that version of the Smith Family is not Rick's original family. As we know, the show starts off in a timeline that is eventually "Cronenberged." So we know that Rick has that family out there —with whom he was living without paying rent and what not— and there's nothing in the story to suggest that the Smith Family in the Cronenberged timeline is Rick's original family either.

If the storytellers didn't want us to make that connection, then there would be no need to make a point of showing the creature at that moment. Or at all until Rick was going to put him out of his misery. Maybe it's his original Morty or just some previous Morty. Perhaps it's his original Beth. Maybe it's his original wife. The Cronenberged world is the result of Rick creating serums that manipulate people's emotions. With the amount of disdain Rick has for marriage, it's possible that he previously attempted to chemically manipulate someone's emotions (hence how he knew that it would be a problem if the solution were used on someone who had the flu) and that person was turned into a tiny little Cronenberg.

Couple this with the fact surface observations that it is an ugly little creature which Rick has kept hidden from everyone that seems to be in a pain that can only be alleviated by death and you have a metaphor for Rick's personal suffering/essence. Symbolically, that's Rick's tortured soul deep down: in the episode he's not confronting the reality of who he is and what he's doing (how destructive it is) and how he's numbed himself (like the freezing) with his exploits. Additionally, as a frozen statuette, the creature (presumably) feels nothing. Rick pours a solution on him and he begins to feel the pain of his existence. Then Rick drinks the same concoction, the implication being that in his last moments, Rick would not have been number but, instead, immersed in the weight of all his pain.

To condense, it could be a.) no more deep than what we see: a little Cronenberg from Cronenberg world that Rick saved, perhaps with the intention of reversing the process (after all: the minute it happened in Rick Potion #9, Rick immediately had a name for what was happening, suggesting that perhaps he'd done that before) or b.) is a symbolic truth based on what we see: a representation of Rick's pain and suffering that he's kept tucked away and an embodiment of his intention to end his own suffering or c.) a contextual mystery: a person we know, likely a member of Earth Rick c137's actual family.

2

The little guy is a Kronenberg. Watch for the human skeleton when it is zapped. It's Rick letting go of his timeline in which he turned everyone to a Kronenberg, remember Rick and Morty are from a different dimension at this point. Could be nobody or any of his family, maybe the first Unity even.

1

Whenever I see it, I get some serious feels lol. But besides that, I keep thinking that it may have been some kind of gift from unity. While I understand people's theories about it being a failed experiment that he froze to look at again on a later date, I believe that the way he treats it says something else.

Here's my theory:

Rick and Unity used to be in a relationship and it could be possible that the creature was a memento from unity or could be a memory from their past relationship, which could explain why Rick petted it and tried to calm it before he killed it (apart from him feeling depressed and about to kill himself). He may have frozen it because he still had feelings for Unity and did not want to get rid of the creature yet and be irrational.

This time however, Rick may realize that he and unity will never truly be together, and that he is once again without someone that made him feel happy and was one of the few people he genuinely cared for which everyone knows that, for Rick, that is a rare sight. Anyone has serious emotional feelings after a break up and would consider suicide, but Rick must have felt it more than most and acted so quickly (while also being an alcoholic). So this time, he didn't want to chance it and got rid of this "gift" from unity and be done with himself.

0

It was a part of Unity that Rick kept with him saying that was the only person he really loved. Look at the eyes of the creature same color. We've never seen Rick show real emotion till now.

-1

I always theorized it may have been Rick's and Unity's child...being a hive mind and most likely inhabiting an alien species maybe they attempted to have a child and the result was the poor thing Rick showed so much emotion for...

Look at the series, Rick is a cold blooded scientist first but even with that in mind his treatment of Beth is always a little softer than anyone else, referring to her as sweety and giving compliments to her (for Rick that's huge) so maybe their child born in agony, of two parents who should have been separated by light years of space...

Maybe he held onto this child maybe not even to cure but because he couldn't bring himself to actually kill it... until unity broke him and Rick decided that the time had come for their child and himself...just a thought.

-1

I think this Rick is a Cronenberg Rick that was transformed into a human Rick because of a disaster similar to the one on the episode "Love Potion No. 9" (call back to the hidden clip after the credits). And that this little thing is some small child (maybe his) or an animal that he froze rather than abandoning when he was transformed into regular Rick and couldn't fix himself. He kills it so that when he commits suicide, it won't be in perpetual suspension (as described by JoshDM).

  • It seems like this is just a rehash of another answer with a bit of your own personal theory. Great, if you can find references. But without it it's just speculation, which does not make for a great answer for this site. – Gnemlock Mar 15 at 6:02
-2

I think that this thing was unity. Unity can be any person. So maybe the pretty unity is just a alien she was infecting first or so. So he killed the original unity resulting into every single unity dying.

  • 3
    Do you have any proof or additional evidence to back this up? – MattD Dec 17 '16 at 15:53
  • 1
    The post credits scene suggests Unity is alive and being harboured by Beta-Seven. – JMac Apr 3 '17 at 13:10
  • As JMac stated, Unity didn't die. They are very much alive post-credits. – Steven M. Vascellaro Apr 17 '17 at 2:11
-3

The creature was sadness incarnate. Rick froze it to try to cure sadness itself later but in his dispair he thought the only way to cure sadness was to kill it because life is sadness.

-4

Anyone here who actually believes that Rick intended to kill himself is talking pure nonsense. He dropped his head on purpose. Killing himself would be pointless, and Rick is defined by his nihilism. "Access to infinite timelines precludes the necessity of attachment" - repeat that over and over. He is a "cold unfeeling ghost", he has seen things most people never dream of, been to god knows how many dimensions/realities, probably jumped reality more than once. If you think Rick would ever try to kill himself, you don't understand his character very well. That scene was very deep, for sure, but it's not a suicide attempt. It's feigned, it's like tying the noose and then sitting down. Rick doesn't want to die, he wants to live and that's his problem. For all he knows and has been through, life has lost its wonder and beauty. Through Unity and the things Morty and Summer said to him, he is reminded of what he has become. Endless indulgence through drugs, meaningless adventure, moving back with his family. Everything is a distraction from the inescapable reality that he, and no one else around him, understands: life is pointless, everything dies, and nothing matters. He would never kill himself because that would be even more pointless than getting drunk. He didn't love Unity, he's not some normal bloke with a case of heartbreak. This goes far deeper, right to the core of what Rick and Morty is about. It's the conflict between nihilism and purpose. That scene was the culmination, "fun's fun, but who needs it?". He is trapped with the knowledge that nothing matters, love is fake, and no one else is smart enough to see it. So he is lonely, he lacks purpose, but wants more than anything else to forget, and return to the old dimensions of his mind. Remember Simple Rick? It's all tied together. That cronenberg he killed... people are reading a lot into it, probably there is something significant there, but it's not him giving up because he's about kill himself. Don't you think if Rick wanted to kill himself, he would? Think about it. Why did he drink the fluid he used to unfreeze the cronenberg? Honestly the whole point of killing that thing was to convey to the audience what the machine does, so they understand the weight of it. I seriously doubt Rick actually cared about that thing. I find it hard to explain this, honestly I don't know why people have such a warped idea of what Rick is all about, but he doesn't care. He wants to, but he doesn't. Unfreezing a creature just to vaporise it is typical Rick. We're talking about a man who has killed thousands and sells weapons to assassins. It's as much a plot device as anything. One thing I could not be any more certain of is that Rick did not try to kill himself, frankly that's a rickdiculous suggestion. If you understand the core philosophy of the show, then you understand that scene. It has nothing to do with Unity, or love, or the cronenberg, or suicide. It's about Rick's struggle to find purpose in a fundamentally meaningless existence, because he's too smart to live in blissful ignorance like everyone around him. This escapade with Unity was nothing but a harsh reminder that he constantly running from the man he has become, because he misses what it felt like to be alive. He's far too smart to ever kill himself, he knows that a meaningless life is better than a meaningless death, but it doesn't make him feel any less empty inside. Even drinking that fluid was symbolic. He used to unfreeze the cronenberg... if only it could unfreeze his heart.

Honestly it baffles me how many Rick and Morty fans completely fail to notice that show is about nihilism. I mean, that is the entire central point of Rick's character. Knowing too much takes the wonder out of things, because those things are fundamentally meaningless. Love is a biochemical reaction evolved through natural selection, it doesn't mean anything, and Rick knows that. And he knows that he can never go back to the way he was before. That's the whole point of the simple rick's advert in the citadel. Rick is a person who understand everything, and so finds awe in nothing. And some part of him really wishes that weren't the case.

  • 1
    TL/DR; what did Rick kill in that episode? Your answer doesn't address that. Check How to Answer on how to write a good answer, M&TV is not a discussion forum but a Q&A website. – Luciano Jan 8 at 14:53

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