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We Finally Know The Truth About Rick's Intelligence In Rick And Morty

The two-part "Rick and Morty" Season 5 finale, "Rickmurai Jack," which premiered on September 6, kicks off with a schism between the two members of its titular team. In short, to prove to Morty (Justin Roiland) that he's disposable, Rick (Roiland) replaces his longtime adventuring partner with two crows. At the episode's end, Rick admits that his outburst was childish, but claims that in the process, he learned the importance of empathy, and thus recognized his usual treatment of Morty as unhealthy. He decides to continue adventuring with the crows for Morty's sake.

Upon the opening of the final episode of Season 5, Rick has been adventuring with his crows for some time. Amidst those adventures, what appears to be a middle-aged Morty attempts to convince Rick to return to their suburban home. Rick initially refuses, but after his crows abandon him, he relents. It turns out Morty underwent artificial aging to make it appear to Rick that his crow adventures lasted for decades rather than maybe a couple of months. They then travel to The Citadel, the interdimensional home for various versions of Rick and Morty from throughout the multiverse, to reverse the process. 

An ensuing conflict with longtime villain Evil Morty ultimately proves revelatory for a multitude of reasons. These include a concrete explanation for how every alternate reality version of Rick introduced thus far has been the smartest man in his respective universe.

Rick is smart by design

At The Citadel, Evil Morty reveals that he's in the midst of a plan to transcend something called the Central Finite Curve. Through a series of flashbacks from Rick's past and exposition from Evil Morty, it is revealed that the Central Finite Curve is a multiverse limiter Rick imposed to restrict all available alternate universes to only those in which their respective Rick is the smartest man alive. Evil Morty intends to escape this finite multiverse, hoping to travel to a multiverse of truly limitless possibilities, theoretically including infinite universes in which Rick is not an active threat to his well-being.

Some fans of the series have expressed confusion about this reveal. In a Reddit discussion thread about the season finale, user u/chaitanya117 asked "if the central finite curve has only the smartest ricks, how was there a doofus rick?" referring to an alternate Rick from the Season 1 episode "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind." In response, various users proposed that, by merit of the Central Finite Curve, Doofus Rick is still the smartest being in his home universe despite his seeming lack of intelligence.

Other fans, meanwhile, were simply impressed with the reveal. User buldurz, for example, described the Central Finite Curve as "one of the most interesting ideas in a sci-fi show ever."

"Rick and Morty" is already confirmed to continue for at least two more seasons, so the existence of the Central Finite Curve will likely prove important moving forward.