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If you smarter than the bulk of people, walk that enable you to be a douchebag?

<Warning: The following contains light spoilers for Rick and Morty season 3, illustration 9.>

This is the question that has actually haunted tv writers rooms because that decades. ‘Help,’ the authors on House cried during their an initial meeting, ‘How execute we make our brilliant doctor more interesting?’ In the situation of House, the answer came in a physical disability and also being one asshole. In Sherlock, the abnormally clever detective was likewise a quirky, lonesome adrenaline-junkie v a remarkable capability to isolate himself from the remainder of society. Rick and Morty illustrates Rick together an alcoholic and also addict, circumventing his require for emotional accept by reiterating that intelligence and logic room the only aptitudes a guy truly requirements to gain by in life.

Rick is governed by his nihilistic views — and also logic plays a big role in that. Together Rick said, “Smart human being get a opportunity to climb on top, take fact for a ride, but it will never ever stop make the efforts to throw you, and eventually the will.” rick believes the life is meaningless and therefore the only means to enjoy it is by law reckless things and also throwing fist to the wind. This is the breakdown: If naught matters then emotions space a authorize of vulnerability; vulnerability is weakness and if being an extremely smart is the only way to know this, then what’s the injury in gift a dick, towering your knowledge over others?

This is the conundrum that House, Sherlock, Sheldon Cooper from The huge Bang Theory, Patrick Jane indigenous The Mentalist and so plenty of other characters, consisting of Rick, are faced with. Together one partner said, the the “perceived asshole” subgenre that television. The brilliance that Rick and also Morty is that the present doesn’t simply lean right into the theme, yet addresses it head-on. Together Beth and also Rick travel to Froopy Land, wherein Rick imprisoned Beth as a child, that Beth’s rotate to realize the her father is an asshole and, many importantly, that life is meaningless. As Rick explains, it’s just the smartest of world who can identify the justness of nihilism; just they can understand that past the sparse moments that happiness, all that’s left is meaningless voids the time and also space.

Or, as Ernest Hemingway, put it, “happiness in intelligent world is the rarest point I know.”

The previously mentioned TV characters have had similar emotional trajectories. In one illustration of House, Dr. Residence admits that “Life is pain. I wake up every morning and also I’m in pain.” In House’s predicament, this is both true emotionally and also physically, but the sentiment is valid. It’s due to the fact that he’s had actually to lead a life of pains — and also because he is brilliant — the he’s enabled to be an asshole. Gift smarter than everyone else renders him feel an excellent for also a 2nd and, again, as Rick said, “smart human being get a possibility to climb on top, take fact for a ride.”

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“Smart civilization get a chance to rise on top, take truth for a ride, yet it will never ever stop do the efforts to litter you, and also eventually the will”

What rick tries to instill in Beth this illustration is that her life is likewise meaningless, yet she’s smart enough and has the possibility to select a less painful method of living. For Rick, that was to grab Morty and take that on adventures therefore he doesn’t have to be alone. For House, the was Vicodin and also a ideal friend named James Wilson. Because that Sherlock, it is his finest friend john Watson. Rick provides to permit Beth walk free, but in act so, would certainly make specific that the family members wasn’t aware she exit them, alleviating the guilt from she shoulders the he’s had to lug for years. If she were to accept, then she would also be one asshole, favor her father, but smart enough to acknowledge that life is meaningless so people might also have funny while castle living.

The ending to the episode is ambiguous, but seems to indicate that the variation of Beth we check out snuggle up to Rick at the end, confessing her adoration for her father after ~ learning around previous travesties, is a clone. Why else would Beth be okay with what her father did and also the options he do just hours after learning around their mutual history?

This is another component of the genius trope we check out on television. Regardless of the hard-shelled exterior and also dismissal the a require for affection, these personalities are still human and also looking because that a means to connect with someone — anyone. They desire to be love and, since of their in ability to failure their own emotional walls, expropriate that love in any kind of form. Even if it is it’s a clone, an unhealthy friendship or unsatisfying relationship, the fact that someone is willing to tell lock they’re love trumps any kind of other component of your logical brain that suggests they don’t require compassion and also human link to enjoy life; even if it’s totally meaningless in their nihilistic mindsets.

This season of Rick and also Morty has to be its bleakest, something we were promised due to the fact that it began, yet it’s likewise structured in that is hope for the future. Stack is a selfish bastard, however that doesn’t typical he no his family. Rick continues to make mistakes, yet he’s likewise learning from them in the process. It would be exorbitant if Rick ultimately started confronting those mistakes rather of jumping right into a different dimension every time points got daunting — or transforming into a pickle to obtain himself out of, well, a pickle — yet don’t expect that come happen any time soon.

Rick is a victim the his nihilistic views and it’s going come take much more than a season to resolve that. Over there is hope, however, that Rick may ultimately come approximately to knowledge that life have the right to be meaningless in the long run but meaningful in the moment.