‘Rick and Morty’ Fans Grapple With Season 5’s Beth Twist: “This Show Got Deep”

Is Beth dead in ‘Rick and Morty’? See what the Season 5 episode “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort” reveals about Rick’s backstory.


Feb. 12 2022, Published 2:05 p.m. ET

For an animated comedy, Rick and Morty isn’t afraid of dark plot twists. One of the latest came near the end of the Adult Swim show’s most recent season.

Rick and Morty Season 5 spoilers ahead!

In Season 5, Episode 8, “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort,” fans learn that the original Beth (Sarah Chalke) is dead — or so says the younger version of Rick (Justin Roiland), her father.

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And the revelation took both fans and journalists by surprise.

“So OG Beth is dead,” one viewer tweeted. “This episode got real.”

Another wrote: “Aight, hold my kimchi. I’m a little late watching Rick and Morty and on Episode 8, I just found out that original Beth is dead, and I had to stop eating for a bit.”

News articles about that plot twist meanwhile called it “a dark truth” and “Rick’s greatest tragedy.”

Here’s how it played out.

Rick lives with “a version” of his “dead daughter,” his younger self says.

“Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort” — which aired on Adult Swim on Aug. 8, 2021 — features Rick attempting to bring his cybernetic best friend, Birdperson (Dan Harmon), back to life.

Those efforts involve Rick traveling into Birdperson’s mind, which is how he meets a younger version of himself. And Rick’s younger self calls him “one of those creeps who moves in with abandoned adult Beths.”

The comes the big reveal: “You live with a version of our dead daughter,” younger Rick says.

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As Den of Geek TV Editor Alec Bojalad wrote after the episode aired, it’s especially interesting “that ‘our’ Rick clearly isn’t the only Rick to seek out his dead daughter.”

“The younger Rick is familiar with this kind of Rick behavior to the point where he recognizes it as a kind of creepy Rick archetype,” Alec added. “The multiverse has Doofus Ricks, Farmer Ricks, and Cowboy Ricks, but apparently the most frequently occurring Rick is the ‘Sad About His Dead Daughter Rick.’”

Fans still have questions — and doubts.

Following “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort,” Rick and Morty fans lit up Twitter with observations and questions. “The fact that Beth is dead and Rick created multiple dimensions with this family of his that never existed is mainey AF,” one person tweeted. “This show got deep, for real.”

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Another fan wanted more details. “Rick is the only one who is from universe C-137,” that person tweeted. “He jumped universes after his wife and daughter died. As they showed in the episode, he cloned Mortys by making Beth and Jerry fall in love. The Beth [who is] alive isn’t his actual daughter. His Beth is dead. We need a more in-depth explanation.”

But other Rick and Morty buffs don’t even trust that plot twist. “See, 35-year-old Rick is just constructed from what Birdperson knew about Rick, so when he says that the original Beth is dead, that just means that’s what Rick toldBirdperson,” a third fan wrote. “We know Rick lies about everything.”

Good thing we have a sixth season coming — perhaps future episodes will have answers!

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