Rick and Morty S7E10 Recap: “Fear No Mort”— S-Tier Episode (Season 7 Finale)

Morty screams in terror in a bathroom.
Screenshot / Adult Swim

The following recap contains spoilers for Rick and Morty S7E10 “Fear No Mort” (written by Heather Anne Campbell and directed by Eugene Huang). 

It’s finale time! Rick and Morty S7E10 (“Fear No Mort”) is one of the best episodes of the season and a top-tier episode of Rick and Morty full stop. At this point, our duo is pretty jaded, walking through a funhouse of horrors with reactions ranging from indifference to disdain. Regular things simply don’t scare Rick and Morty any more. 

They’re approached by a man in a suit who claims that Earth contains the single scariest place in the galaxy, offering them to take them there. The man directs them to a Denny’s. They give the man grief for “punching down” on a Denny’s, and decide that they might as well go in and get some food. The server nonchalantly mentions “The Hole” in the bathroom, and Rick and Morty proceed to investigate. 

Sure enough, it’s a hole. Right in the middle of the stall, there’s a hole in the ground with some sort of black tendrils around the edge. Next to the hole is an old TV/VCR, and when Rick pushes play, it shows the Man in the Suit illustrating how the Hole works: you jump into the Hole, it manifests your greatest fear, you conquer that fear, and emerge a changed person. To boot, the Hole also feeds on fear. 

Rick and Morty agree to not succumb to the Hole, but Morty suddenly dashes back and dives in. He’s immediately set upon by a couple of frankly terrifying monsters, including one who begins to split Morty’s abdomen open to stuff him with maggots. Morty screams for Rick, who is already there with him, shooting the monsters to rescue his grandson. The gun disintegrates so Rick resorts to his fists, which prove just as effective. Rick grabs onto Morty and they emerge from the hole, having both sh*t their pants. Rick takes their picture and they return to the house. 

Rick is triumphant and Morty is moderately traumatized. As Rick boasts to the family how they conquered the Hole, something crashes through the roof: it’s a charred, barely alive younger Rick holding onto Diane, gasping “Take care of our wife” before turning to ash. Diane is shocked, wondering who she is surrounded by, and is further shocked by seeing Rick so old. Rick and Morty deduce that they are still in the Hole. 

Rick, Morty and the Man in the Suit sit in Rick's spaceship.
Screenshot / Adult Swim

They retreat into the garage to try to figure out what’s going on, and Rick suggests that Morty’s greatest fear is that if Rick were to get Diane back and be happy again, he would no longer need Morty. I feel like there is at least a partial truth to that, but if there is, Morty’s not revealing it, instead angrily countering Rick by challenging the notion that his greatest fear is Rick hooking up. Rick agrees, and they all go out for ice cream to “collect more data.”

Over ice cream, Diane has a mild crisis over where her original family is, and Rick’s attempts to appeal to her do nothing to placate her. To her, he’s just a weird old man wearing her husband’s skin. Back home, after Diane has angrily slammed the door, Morty suggests that Rick’s greatest fear is getting a second chance with Diane and blowing it. Rick isn’t having it, saying that he’s already lived that fear, but that doesn’t stop him from building a singing robot for Diane, the components of which she recognizes from a past invention. 

They all visit the zoo at Rick’s invitation, where Beth, Diane and Summer excitedly reconnect. Rick can only look on, beaming, overjoyed to see Diane integrate with the family, and doesn’t even process Morty asking about a timeline on whatever theory Rick is chasing. Later, Rick grows closer with this Diane as they feed the ducks at the lake, and Rick invites her out for a drink. And drink they do, creating a mountain of empty shot glasses in the process. 

Diane jokingly asks when Rick stopped being a lightweight, and he responds by saying he was looking for his wife “at the bottom of the bottle.” The scene is playful, but the line is just tragic, as it confirms that Diane’s death was what really pushed Rick into his crippling alcoholism. That emotional beat continues outside: after the two finish vomiting, Diane suggests that her dying made Rick “cooler” and she should die more often. Rick sadly states that she did—everywhere, and she’s the only thing he can’t replace. Diane reminds him that she’s not even real, and Rick entertains Morty’s theory that his greatest fear is letting Diane go. It starts raining as they kiss, and that’s not the only thing raining.

Rick starts looking significantly worse for wear, his eyes sunken and cheekbones more pronounced. Morty notices this immediately, saying that the Hole is feeding on Rick and slowly killing him. Rick, however, is only interested in more time with Diane. Even when Morty declares that his new fear is watching Rick die, Rick coldly responds with “stop watching,” before taking off with Diane. 

Morty visits the Denny’s, where The Man in the Suit sits in a booth, sipping coffee. This is such an existentially upsetting scene: The Man in the Suit surmises that Rick isn’t afraid to die, which makes his fear “extra delicious,” before he takes a huge gulp of coffee. It’s that rare fear that only the most powerful beings experience: happiness. “The smarter you are, the more you know. Happiness is a trap. It can’t last forever.” The Man in the Suit enumerates a series of scenarios in which you’ve met the love of your live, and it will result in their or your death in one way or another, with the best case scenario being that you both die at the same time. “The point is: Happiness. Always. Ends.” I went through a period of severe depression several years ago, and this monologue really spelled out some of the feelings I had at that time. 

Morty and The Man in the Suit sit across from each other in a booth in Denny's.
Screenshot / Adult Swim

Morty asks if the Hole can just let him go, and The Man in the Suit is willing to oblige, but doing so would kill Rick. Morty begins courageously facing intensely frightening scenarios to feed the Hole and allow him to leave with Rick safe. As the scenarios escalate in levels of frightening/embarrassing, Rick and Diane feel the world of the Hole shifting in response. At this point, Morty has stripped naked and joins a New York Times-attended school musical, for which he knows none of the words, to confront his fear of not being accepted. 

Storming into the theatre, Rick is ready to berate Morty for “hogging the Hole,” but notices that Morty is severely emaciated. Rick finally realizes that the Hole is killing them, and says good-bye to Diane so he can save Morty. God, this episode gets emotional. Doesn’t even lay it on thick, it’s just that the relationship between Rick and Morty has gotten so strong that even these little character moments feel so good. It’s a good kick back into wacky mode when Rick joins Morty onstage, and Rick starts to rap, sending the crowd into an appreciative frenzy. Morty feels accepted, presumably the conclusion of his journey, and they fly up and out of the Hole. 

Or do they? Rick and Morty reappear in the depths of the Hole, and realize that they have to admit and then confront their actual deepest fears. We get a brief montage of Rick and Morty going through minor fears (“$8 for a side of bacon??”), until Morty suggests that they fear uncertainty. They decide then and there that they’re not afraid of uncertainty anymore, and triumphantly exit the bathroom.

What follows is another weirdly emotional montage of Morty growing older, hitting certain milestones in his life, but always still hanging out with Rick. The montage, along with the song it was paired with, also got me a little emotional, though mostly because I thought it was going the direction of Morty getting jaded and growing apart from Rick. That ended up not being the case, because Morty is still in the Hole. Rick finally tells Morty that he’s irreplaceable, and Morty realizes that Rick never saying that in real life is his greatest fear. 

That realization is what releases Morty from the Hole, and when he’s finally out for good, he asks Rick to tell him he’s irreplaceable. Rick asks him to define “irreplaceable.” Morty finds himself content with having realized his fear, and hugs Rick, but when Rick moves to reciprocate, Morty pulls away for fear that he’ll start to doubt whether he’d escaped. Rick’s about to jump into the Hole himself, but instead pauses in front of the cork board in the stall of photos of those who went in. Then we see that Rick has been carrying around a photo of his grandson in his wallet (awwww!), pulling it out to add to the board before running back out to the dining room to eat pancakes with Morty. 

I honestly loved this finale. I was surprised that there wasn’t really any sort of setup for the next season, but I also didn’t really have a problem with that. As its own story, “Fear No Mort” was very strong, hit some very profound emotional beats, was creative, creepy at times, and still very funny. Season 7 has been overall solid and at least this and “Unmortricken” would rank very, very high for me in the top Rick and Morty episodes. Now the only thing I’m afraid of is how long we’ll have to wait for Season 8. 

Written by Hawk Ripjaw

Hawk Ripjaw has been sharing his opinion on film and TV since his early teens, when the local public library gave away prizes for submissions to their newsletter. Since then, he's been writing for local newspapers, international video game sites, booze-themed movie websites, and anywhere else he can throw around some media passion. He watched the Mike Myers Cat in the Hat movie over 50 times in two years, for science.

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