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What Rick And Morty Fans Forget About Beth And Jerry From Season 1

Fans of the hit Adult Swim animated series Rick and Morty know that if you want to try to find an example of a healthy relationship on the show, you're going to have to look pretty hard. Rick Sanchez (voiced by Justin Roiland) might be the "smartest man in the universe," but the dimension-hopping, alcoholic cad could stand to learn a thing or two about ... well, not being a total cad. For every moment during which Rick seems to betray actual human feelings of caring for his put-upon grandson Morty (also Roiland), whom he drags along on all of his "adventures," there are probably four or five in which viewers could swear he's trying to traumatize the boy, whether he's using careless, drunken words or forcing the youngster to defuse yet another neutrino bomb.

Unfortunately, Rick's carelessness with his personal relationships seems to extend to those around him, in particular his daughter Beth (Sarah Chalke). Over the course of Rick and Morty's run, we've learned that Beth was a bit difficult in her childhood (or, to use Rick's parlance, she was a "scary f***ing kid"). She has more than a few lingering issues around her father's disappearance from and reappearance into her life, and her relationship with her husband Jerry (Chris Parnell) is dysfunctional in the most one-sided of ways. 

Simply put, Beth treats Jerry like a doormat, and Jerry is generally content with being treated as such; their marriage is best summed up by the images of each other they project during the off-planet couples therapy arranged by Rick in the season 2 episode "Big Trouble in Little Sanchez" (she a snarling, alien beast, and he a spineless, submissive slug). But what many viewers may forget is that the Beth and Jerry we've come to know over the majority of Rick and Morty's four seasons might not be representative of the couple's true dynamic — because they're not the Beth and Jerry we met at the beginning of the first season.

The original Beth and Jerry are stuck in Cronenberg World

This is because, only six episodes into Rick and Morty's first season, the intrepid pair were forced to leave behind their home dimension, C-137, after Rick Cronenberged that particular version of Earth. You'll recall that in "Rick Potion #9," Rick's effort to create a love potion for Morty backfires horribly when it turns out that the potion can piggyback on the flu. Rick creates an antidote that is just a bit more harmful than the potion itself, as it turns the infected populace into horrible bug-monsters. Rick's attempt to fix this with another antidote (somewhat predictably) exacerbates the problem further, mutating everyone into unspeakable abominations, which he and Morty refer to as "Cronenbergs."

Unable to find a solution, Rick deploys a failsafe. He and Morty simply depart for another dimension in which alternate versions of themselves can be easily dispatched and replaced. They bury their doubles' bodies in the backyard, and assume their places in a nearly identical universe. Significantly, though, Morty's family members weren't affected by the botched love potion in the original dimension — meaning that Beth, Jerry, and Morty's sister Summer (Spencer Grammer) were left behind, mutation-free, on C-137 to deal with a world full of Cronenbergs. 

This situation seems to bring out a side of Jerry which we might not have guessed at, as the moment the mutated hordes begin taking to the streets, he immediately leaps into action, rescuing Beth from a mutated co-worker and dispatching Cronenbergs left and right, while dropping cool one-liners.

Will we see the return of C-137 Beth and Jerry?

Suffice to say that Jerry's transformation into post-apocalyptic man of action sits pretty well with Beth, who swoons over her husband in a way we haven't seen before or since, and immediately joins him in the Cronenberg-killing festivities. We know, also, that this shift in their relationship dynamic isn't a fluke — because we caught up with C-137's versions of Beth and Jerry in Rick and Morty's season 3 premiere, "The Rickshank Rickdemption." 

In that episode, Summer digs up the corpse of alternate Rick for his portal gun in order to attempt to rescue C-137 Rick, who has been captured by the Galactic Federation. She and Morty are then inadvertently transported to C-137, which is still as Cronenberged up as when we last visited. That dimension's version of Beth, Jerry, and Summer are still around — and kind of thriving, subsisting on roasted Cronenberg, while defending their household under the leadership of Jerry, now a thick-bearded, Cronenberg pelt-wearing badass.

Believe it or not, these are the versions of Jerry and Beth we saw during Rick and Morty's first six episodes, and it's safe to say that their relationship dynamic couldn't be more different from the ones we've seen ever since. A spineless pushover no more, Jerry is Beth's true equal in this world, and Beth no longer has to temper her own badass-ness for the sake of her weaker, more sensitive husband. It's interesting to ponder just what C-137 Jerry and Beth would think of their non-post-apocalyptic counterparts, who have been stuck in the same co-dependent, dysfunctional marriage that they had before Rick did them the apparent favor of Cronenberging the world.