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The Video Game References You Missed On Rick And Morty's Season 4 Finale

Contains spoilers for Rick and Morty season 4, episode 10, "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri"

Another season of Rick and Morty is over and done, and the epic season 4 finale has given fans much to chew over during the interminable wait for season 5. Considering all the dangling plot threads that co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland endeavored to resolve in just under 30 minutes, it's a real accomplishment that they managed to keep rattling off the series' trademark cultural allusions at a record pace. This episode, entitled "Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri," featured far fewer Star Wars references than you might imagine. Instead, the season finale used its bumper crop of over-the-top fight scenes to send a collegial nod to some of the creators' favorite video games.

The episode's A-plot concerns a dangling story thread from the season 3 episode "The ABC's of Beth," in which the audience is left in the dark as to whether or not Beth (voiced by Sarah Chalke) elected to replace herself with a clone. On the season 3 finale, Rick (Roiland) confessed that Beth wasn't a clone, and that she had elected to remain with her family and attend her maternal duties. Rick, of course, is a liar — so his admission should have been taken with a heaping mound of salt.

At the beginning of "Star Mort: Rickturn of the Jerri," we discover that Rick did indeed clone his daughter. Free of all responsibility for her two children, and any small obligation to her idiot husband Jerry (Chris Parnell), Beth Prime augmented her body with cyberpunk attachments and embarked on a little sabbatical to eat, pray, annihilate the intergalactic government. After discovering what she believes to be an explosive device implanted in her neck, she returns to take out the man who put it there: her father, Rick.

That's when things get interesting.

Rick and Beth's confrontation on the season 4 finale of Rick and Morty references Pokémon

Cyberpunk Beth swoops into Rick's garage like a bat out of hell, and engages her father in an outrageous round of sci-fi combat. It's hard not to empathize with her outrage. What would you do if you discovered your father implanted an explosive fail-safe in your neck?

After she finds herself pinned behind a laser shield of some sort, Beth responds by tossing what looks like a Poké Ball over the gap between the shield and the garage roof. Rick counters with a Poké Ball of his own. Two little space monsters emerge from the devices and battle viciously, while the two principal combatants reengage.

For Poké-holics curious exactly what Beth and Rick are packing, the two creatures unleashed don't exactly mimic any of the canonical Pokémon — probably for copyright's sake. Beth's looks like a water type with its blue skin and webbed ears, though its frizzy tail resembles Pikachu's. Rick's could almost be a Mr. Mime if you close one eye and look quickly, so we're going to call it a psychic type. Regardless, the Pokémon fight each other to a stalemate, as do Rick and Cyberpunk Beth.

On the Rick and Morty season 4 finale, Rick engages in Mortal Kombat with his best friend

As it turns out, the fight with Beth is only a warm-up for the big boss battle of season 4. After infiltrating a Galactic Federation mothership, Rick comes face-to-face with his reanimated war buddy — the fallen Birdperson (Harmon), now fighting on the other side under the nom de guerre Phoenixperson. Either as a result of his Federation reprogramming or his enduring love for Tammy (Cassie Steele), Phoenixperson engages Rick with guns a-blazing.

Rick obviously struggles with the notion of harming his best friend, but he has to defend himself; Phoenixperson is playing for keeps. At one point, Rick punches Phoenixperson in the face, and the fight scene cuts to an X-ray filter reminiscent of a similar effect popularized by the Mortal Kombat video game franchise. The reference is apt, since this fight scene proves one of the series' most brutal. The X-ray punch is one of the last good shots that Rick gets in, before Phoenix Person regains the upper hand and graphically disembowels him. 

The smartest man in the universe would likely have been finished if Jerry didn't turn up to save the day with puppetry (yup). Jerry pulls a legitimate Weekend at Bernie's, using an invisibility belt to distract Phoenixperson with Tammy's corpse. Despite Phoenixperson's exposure, Rick doesn't finish him. He foregoes the fatality, scoops up his buddy's remains, and takes him back to the garage to cool off.

The Rick and Morty season 4 finale had plenty to unpack for long-time fans of the series, but these Easter eggs are always a fun bonus. Let's hope Harmon and Roiland planted enough to keep us hunting until season 5 premieres in another year — or, like, a lot longer.