Rick and Morty’s “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall” follows in the show’s tradition of including an evocative soundtrack that both emphasizes and enhances its plot, particularly in the closing scene of the episode. Season 5 episode 9 was written by Siobhan Thompson and directed by Kyounghee Lim. It is a precursor to the long-awaited Rick and Morty season 5 finale, which was finally released on 5 September. The title “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall” references Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a 2008 romantic comedy written by Jason Segal, and the plot of the episode cleverly riffs on the film as well.
Rick and Morty go their separate ways in “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall.” After Rick discovers that Morty has been using his portal gun without permission, the scientist leaves his grandson behind in favor of a pair of crows that he tauntingly deems equally valuable. In response, Morty links up with a deceptive man he meets through a portal in his hand (accidentally created by spilling fluid from Rick’s portal gun). Rick and Morty find their way back to each other at the end of the episode, and Morty wants to be partners again. However, having learned a lesson about empathy from his crows, Rick admits to being abusive and ultimately rules that the pair should part ways.
The emotional conclusion of “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall” is accompanied by music that matches its mood. As Morty watches Rick pack up and leave in his spaceship, a melancholy ballad starts up in the background. The song is “Borrowed Time” by the indie-pop couple duo Tennis, and it plays through the episode’s credit sequence, ending “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall” on a poignant note.
“Borrowed Time” is fittingly written about the loss of a companion, one with whom the speaker has been “living on borrowed time.” The song’s themes connect to Rick and Morty villain Rick’s abusive relationship with his grandson, as its speaker describes the pain of parting ways while also realizing that they are better off without the subject. Lines such as “I’ve been following you foolishly” and “you were playing God with me” directly mirror Rick and Morty’s situation, as Morty has blindly followed Rick – and his raging God complex – throughout the show. The creators of Rick and Morty also released a “Borrowed Time” music video as a teaser clip for the season 5 finale.
Songs like “Borrowed Time” are no stranger to Rick and Morty. Previous original tracks that were written for the show include “Get Schwifty” and “Goodbye Moonmen,” and Rick and Morty often includes meaningful music alongside its more emotional moments. “Forgetting Sarick Mortshall” represents a climactic moment for many of the slow changes taking place over the course of Rick and Morty’s fifth season. Rick tells Morty that he will “never be the same” after the events of the episode, and many viewers might be wondering if the same is true of the show itself. “Borrowed Time” underscores a potent and vital turning point for Rick and Morty.