Last Night on Rick and Morty: The Most Tragic Death in Television History

By  · Published on October 5th, 2015

Adult Swim

Things really did go ham this time, broh.

If you haven’t watched last night’s season two finale of Rick and Morty you should stop reading, obviously. This next part is going to be very spoiler-filled.

In closing out its very strong second season, the creation of Justin Roiland and Community’s Dan Harmon finally addressed some of the show’s larger themes, many of which have spent the entire season simmering just below the surface. Like that of Jerry’s unemployment, which is fodder for one-liners but has never really been addressed. Or Beth’s abandonment issues, which come back in a rush when it appears as if Rick might be gone again. And Rick’s status as a fugitive from the galactic federation, which up to this point has only been hinted at. Though we know from the Council of Ricks episode that he’s not a big fan of governments.

Above all, “The Wedding Squanchers” addressed something we’ve long suspected about Rick Sanchez: that he cares about his friends and family. In the aftermath of the doomed wedding between Bird Person and Tammy, we see that Rick does really care about the safety and security of his family. Perhaps its the death of Bird Person that provokes this change. But even more likely is that Rick has always cared about his family. We’ve seen this come up numerous times throughout the season. In the season 2 premiere, we see Rick nearly sacrifice himself to save Morty. Later, in the “Get Schwifty” episode, a trip to Bird Person’s home world reveals a picture of Rick holding what appears to be baby Morty. As much as he would like to make everyone believe otherwise, Rick cares. For a television show that spends a lot of time existing in a completely ridiculous fashion, there’s also a layer of honesty to they dynamic between its titular characters. That’s where Rick and Morty – particularly in season 2 – shines brightest.

That, and when Rick’s car needs to protect Summer in the darkest possible fashion.

Before we say goodbye to season 2, Mr. Poopybutthole, Squanchy, Little Rick, Reverse Giraffe, Water-T, the Kromulons, Zeep Xanflorp and all the glib-glops in the galaxy, let’s pour one out for Bird Person. As we found out when we explored the season 1 DVD commentary, he was a personal favorite character of Dan Harmon. And for the audience, he was always a fresh diversion. The life cycle of Bird Person has ended. We are now going to become inebriated in his honor.

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)