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Rick And Morty Season 6 Episode 3 Takes A Cue From The Best Episode Of Black Mirror By Far

The Adult Swim animated series "Rick and Morty" has always had an interesting and comical relationship with pop culture and tropes, and the latest episode features a not-so-subtle nod to one of the best "Black Mirror" episodes. 

In a way, "Rick and Morty" has largely succeeded because of how it plays around with already established ideas and concepts in pop culture. Consider Season 6, Episode 1 of the series, which features the series parodying the opening moments of "Avengers: Endgame," only to flip Beth's heroic rescue on its head. Or the season's sophomore episode, which dedicates its B plot to parodying Bruce Willis' "Die Hard" by injecting it with some sci-fi flair. With such a love for pop culture, it's about time that the Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon-led series referenced "Black Mirror," perhaps the most popular contemporary sci-fi series alongside "Rick and Morty" itself. 

The British import dives deep into modern society's relationship with technology and more often than not features a critical assessment of it. Like the malleable nature afforded to "Rick and Morty," the Netflix series manages to change up its narrative and themes with each episode, presenting different and unique worlds that use technology in different ways. 

Sure enough, the latest "Rick and Morty" episode pays tribute to its sci-fi contemporary in a very "Rick and Morty" way.

Beth and Space Beth have a mini San Junipero

Season 6 Episode 3 of "Rick and Morty," titled "Bethic Twinstinic" largely focuses on Beth and Space Beth falling for one another, which leaves Morty and Summer perturbed. To figure out the extent and shelf-life of their relationship, the two enter Rick's Holodeck, which allows users to create a simulated reality. Rick, Morty, and Summer intrude on the couple, who are seen as seniors, enjoying a beautiful moment on a boardwalk as the sun sets. "Holy ****, you did a full 'San Junipero' in here?" Rick exclaims while poring through the Holodeck's programming.

Rick is referencing the "Black Mirror" episode, which is considered to be one of the best episodes in the sci-fi series. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis, "San Junipero" is best remembered for trading away the show's bleak views on technology by instead emphasizing the power of connection and hope that can manifest from scientific advancement. The episode follows two women who reside in the beautiful beachside town of San Junipero, where they fall in love. The idyllic escape they call home is actually a simulated reality, where one's consciousness can live on, even after death.

More than just a surface level reference, the latest "Rick and Morty" endearingly plays with the idea of both Beth's having the opportunity to see how their love can last, even as they grow old. "San Junipero" also briefly toys around with the concept of cheating on a significant other — despite said cheating happening in a virtual afterlife — a conundrum that falls over both Beths. 

Ultimately, the two Beths resolve their differences and come to a mutual understanding with Jerry, which naturally traumatizes their children.