Season 3 Episode 9 of Rick and Morty was entertaining, but fans were left at the end with a bit of a mystery. What decision did Beth make at the very end of the episode? Which Beth were we seeing when the show ended?
This post has spoilers for Season 3 Episode 9: The ABCs of Beth.
At the end of the episode, Beth decides to accept that she really is a sociopath and is pretty much just like her dad. Rick tells her that now she’s free to have whatever life she wants. She can stay and know that she chose this, or he can make a perfect clone of her and she can leave and do whatever she wants for however long she want.
If Beth chooses to leave, Rick explains, her clone will be just like her and will love and take care of her family and no one will know that she left.
Beth looks at photos of her children and Jerry on the refrigerator and says that she knows exactly what she’s going to do. The next time we see her, she’s happily ordering pizza for Morty and Summer. When she finds out the pizza restaurant is closed, Rick jumps briefly into an alternate dimension and brings back pizza for the family.
No, you didn’t miss anything. The show never actually showed what Beth decided to do. It’s actually left open-ended, leaving fans to wonder if we’re seeing the real Beth or a clone and she’s off doing something else.
We’re left with clues that could point in either direction. She seems really happy and content, which is a little unlike how she’s been acting lately. The last scene could be interpreted either way.
Some fans believe she decided to stay.
Perhaps she’s finally at peace with who she really is and has learned to appreciate the family who loves her for exactly who she is. If that’s the case, then she decided to stay and she’s content, knowing she’s accepted herself just like her family has accepted her.
But it seems that more fans believe she decided to leave.
We can certainly interpret the ending to mean that she left. When she was “freeing” Tommy, she was pretty excited when she realized that she was just like her dad. And in realizing how much like Rick she truly is, she might have decided this also means that she needs to have adventures by herself, just like Rick, to truly “discover” herself. Perhaps she felt that a clone would be just as good of a mother as she was — maybe even better — and that’s why she was able to smile while looking at the photos. If she decided to leave, then that would explain why she seems so happy in the last scene. It’s her clone, and of course her clone would be happy. It’s programmed to be happy.
By the way, this clone is different from the robot creations that Rick made to replace Summer and Morty. Morty’s robot clone gained sentience and had to be shut down. Rick explained that this biological clone won’t do that. But is that really true? Remember, when Rick cloned a younger version of himself, that younger self wanted to stay young, too. Of course, that’s not a perfect parallel since Rick’s mind was in the younger clone and that’s not the case with Beth.
What do you think? Did Beth leave or did she decide to stay? The truth likely won’t be revealed until Season 4, if it ever is. Let us know what you think happened in the comments below, so we can all talk about it.
Or maybe the answer is simply: don’t think about it.