Heralded by the haunting melodies of “For the Damaged Coda” and surrounded by the vacuum bloated corpses of the Citadel of Ricks’ undesirables, lies proof of the return of arguably the most interesting character in the Rick and Morty canon: Evil Morty.
This is a character audiences have known nearly nothing about save for the lengths he would go to get revenge on Rick C137. However, this isn’t an article about the fan speculation surrounding this character and his origins. Rather, it’s a theory about the fans and the way the use of language impacts fan perception.
The human mind is wired to operate in binaries, so it’s no surprise that language developed that way as well. In Saussurean structuralism, a system of linguistic study that was popularized by early 20th century linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, it is binary opposition that imparts meaning on the individual words.
Strong versus weak. Smart versus dumb. Good versus evil. Calling Eyepatch Morty “Evil Morty” implies that there is a good counterpart to oppose him. This is a major disservice to the intentionally morally nihilistic world that Rick and Morty has developed, especially if one comes to the conclusion that our Rick is going to be the good that opposes the so-called Evil Morty.
Throughout Rick and Morty, it has become abundantly clear that there is no “greater good” or “higher purpose.” Existence is a lot like taking Jerry on an adventure—pointless and cruel.
The only laws are the natural scientific laws, and for Rick, those are more or less just… guidelines. This has been pointed out time and time again within the show, and it’s in this universe that values intellect, motivation, and self interest above all else that Rick and EyePatch Morty thrive. Eyepatch Morty’s grand machinations are currently unknown, but the reason he is so dangerous is because his methods might differ from Rick’s, he is achieving his goals much in the same way Rick would; by doing whatever it takes.
Rick is loud, boisterous, and narcissistic, burping his way through any scenario effortlessly, with time to spare to belittle any and all parties involved. It’s these traits that make him an entertaining character to watch, especially because his motivations are typically very clear (which may or may not be because he is shouting them at the top of his lungs and appending expletives to them).
Enter Eyepatch Morty: a character that has proven to be resourceful, cunning, and remorseless in the same vein as Rick. He’s attempting to beat the universe’s smartest egomaniac, which in just about any other narrative would paint Eyepatch Morty as a hero. He is ostensibly an underdog that is exercising two major strengths that Rick does not possess. He is more adept at manipulating people, and he will undoubtedly be consistently underestimated as a Morty.
Rick uses every advantage he has to accomplish his goals, and any antagonist going up against Rick would be expected to do the same, even if their methods are more gruesome than entertaining.
While what’s seen of Eyepatch Morty can be considered pretty reprehensible, the same can be said of how Rick’s actions are portrayed week after week. With his supreme intellect and lack of personal ethics he can do whatever he wants without any serious obstacles or repercussions, regardless of who he hurts along the way. Eyepatch Morty has the same liberties. In fact, for the most part Rick is rewarded for his lack of foibles and his willingness to cross nearly any line due to the lack of any sort of karmic balance. It’s a safe bet that when Eyepatch Morty reveals what he has spent so long planning it will be the most diabolical and malicious act thus far portrayed within the show. Rick is likely to attempt to thwart it, but the conflict won’t be one of good and evil—it will be a conflict of two egos competing in self interest. Eyepatch Morty is likely Rick’s equal, but that by no means makes him evil, because in the universe of Rick and Morty there is no such thing as objective evil, outside of a little shop run by the Devil of course.
So don’t call him “Evil Morty” call him “Eyepatch Morty.” If Rick and Morty is going to be in a universe where good and evil exist, well, this is surely a story about the bad guys.
Josh Jones is flexing his literary theory muscles and is excited to hear your thoughts on this as well. You can get in contact with him on Twitter @The_Juice_Jones.