The latest episode of Rick and Morty season 4 continued the show’s blend of sci-fi antics and scathing pop culture homages - but also included some genuine character development for Rick. “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s Morty” opened with the titular pair raiding an Indiana Jones-style tomb in search of a gem. Unfortunately, their prize had already been recovered by a self-proclaimed heist artist named Miles Knightly. Forced to gather a misfit crew, Rick and Morty infiltrated HeistCon in order to confront their latest nemesis. What followed was a series of ever-escalating heists, double-crosses, triple-crosses, overly-contrived reveals, and no fewer than 25 increasingly outlandish plot twists.

Some of the earliest twists came when Miles challenged Rick to a Heist Off. The contest was centered on who could successfully steal a crystal skull first - with the loser having to join the winner’s crew. Upon begrudgingly accepting the terms, however, it was revealed that Miles and his team had already acquired the skull before even issuing the challenge. Or so Miles believed. In the middle of gloating and welcoming Rick and Morty to his crew, Miles reached into a bag to unveil the prize - only for it to not be there. As it turned out, Rick had already accounted for such eventualities with the help of his latest creation: Heist-o-Tron. As a result, Rick had his own plan (complete with an extra double-cross and a switcheroo) and claimed the skull for himself.

As if victory wasn’t sweet enough, however, Rick added an extra level of humiliation for Miles - having defecated in the bag Miles was holding. As fans will remember, however, season 4, episode 2, “The Old Man and the Seat” revealed Rick to be a shy pooper. Recounted by an oddly gleeful Summer in the episode’s opening, Rick was unable to even declare that he was going to poop - or even to the bathroom. Instead, he would merely pat his stomach and make reference to a “solo adventure”. Rick even had an entire secret planet designed merely for him to use the toilet in absolute peace - before Rick’s all-too-tragic feud with Tony disrupted things. While Rick spent the majority of the episode swearing vengeance, Tony simply wanted to be friends and impart wisdom upon Rick. Though events conspired to prevent the former, it would appear that Rick at least walked away from their encounter having embraced the latter.

In one particular flashback, Rick outwardly declares that he is going to the bathroom. There’s no patting of his stomach. No referential euphemisms. Rick merely declares where he’s going - similar to, of all people, Jerry in last week’s episode. If that wasn’t enough proof that Rick has rid himself of his aforementioned shyness, the fact that the bathroom he ventures to is not a private planet but shared facilities within a convention center most definitely should be. And that it without the firm reminder that Rick was literally content to do the deed into a bag. All in all, it very much falls into Rick and Morty’s wheelhouse of the outlandish (or even gross) elements having surprisingly emotional resonance.

Obviously, this could all be a matter of coincidence. Given the attention to detail usually demonstrated by creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, however, it seems unlikely. Though the episode ultimately revealed that Rick maintains a firm need to control his world and those in his orbit, he has at least seemingly ceded control of every minutia. Equally, Rick actually succeeded in this episode where he failed in the last one - he connected with a friend, in the form of the returning Mr. Poopybutthole. With the post-credit scene showing them to nonchalantly be spending time together outside of an adventure. Whether this will have relevance in future Rick and Morty episodes remains to be seen. Either way, it’s an interesting development given most animated shows’ resistance to carrying things over from episode to episode.

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