Rick and Morty season 5 episode 2 is an abrupt reminder from the Adult Swim show to not get too attached to its cast of characters. Rick has repeatedly told Morty — and, by extension, the viewers — that the vastness of the universe and its various dimensions render his existence pointless. However, that has never been articulated more thoroughly than in ‘Mortiplicity,’ in which viewers are left unsure of which Rick, Morty, Summer, Beth, and Jerry are left alive.
Spoilers for Rick and Morty season 5 episode 2 follow!
Rick and Morty ‘Mortiplicity’ ending explained
‘Morticiplicity’ begins with decoys of the Sanchez and Smith family being murdered by what appears to be a fleet of alien squid monsters. The “real” Rick is then alerted to this, only for this Rick to be murdered by the same squid army and thus setting up a chain of events in which decoy families are repeatedly murdered.
It swiftly becomes apparent that the decoys created by the real Rick have been manufacturing their own decoys, with each set of decoys now left fighting for their own self-preservation as other decoys hunt them down and kill them. It’s also revealed that the squid aliens are also decoys, who have been using disguises to kill other decoys without having their real identities outed.
The episode follows multiple versions of Rick and Morty’s family, with each potentially being the real family until they wind up unceremoniously murdered. By the end, it seems that the world has descended into a large-scale Rickpocalypse, with tons of decoys (and potentially the real family) having been murdered. However, the final scene cuts to Rick, Morty, Summer, Beth, Jerry, and Space Beth sitting in Rick’s ship, where Rick is belatedly informed that a decoy family has died after entering Earth’s atmosphere. So is this the real family?
Fortunately for the Sanchez and Smith family, it seems highly likely that the final family shown are real and not decoys. For one, this Rick mentions how the family has been on a “big long road trip adventure through space,” when it was previously established that the drones are programmed only to go on terrestrial adventures. While it’s perhaps possible that, somewhere down the line, drones were created that were allowed to exit Earth, that doesn’t explain why this version of the family knows Space Beth.
Even if the real Rick would have put his own memories into his drones, given how many drones manufactured their own drones, it’s unlikely that Space Beth would have been a known entity to the vast majority of the drones that had been created. As such, it’s likely that the final family shown are drones either created directly by the real Rick, or are the real Rick and his family. Given that they ventured away from Earth as part of their road trip, it’s more likely that it’s the latter, and that the real Rick, Morty, Summer, Beth, and Jerry survived the episode.