Season 5 of the widely popular sci-fi adult cartoon Rick and Morty premiered on June 20, 2021. This latest season has received some extremely mixed reviews. Purists are upset due to the lack of the Evil Morty (otherwise known as “Eyepatch Morty” or “Candidate Morty”) and because they think the writers have strayed from the unorthodox brand of humor that has made this show so hilarious. However, there are certain critics out there that maintain that Rick and Morty has not yet jumped the shark and some even claim that Season 5 is the best season of the show to date.
Would I have liked to have seen the return of Evil Morty? Yes. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see how that storyline played out. But I also think the charges that Rick and Morty is dead and no longer worth watching are entirely exaggerated. Season 5 still had some undeniable gold.
For instance, in “Rickdependence Spray” (one of the most criticized episodes of Season 5), you can’t tell me that the whole storyline with Blazen isn’t outrageously funny. He appears to be the ultimate badass, then it turns out that he has no idea how to fight, is completely terrified, wears women’s underwear, and lies about being married to Kathy Ireland. Then, at the end of the episode, it turns out that he actually is married to Kathy Ireland, who becomes furious when she finds out he was wearing her underwear when he died. That’s just good stuff.
But while Blazen was surely one of the best characters in Season 5 (up there with Rick’s short-lived girlfriend Daphne as well as the iconic Bruce Chutback), there’s one character from this season who separates himself as the most hilarious. And that’s Mr. Nimbus. Seriously, I couldn’t see Mr. Nimbus on the screen for more than five seconds without laughing uncontrollably. And while this character may seem like just another absurdity bred from the minds of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon (such as the plumbus), his origins are actually a lot more interesting than you might think.
Who Is Mr. Nimbus?
Mr. Nimbus, who is voiced by Dan Harmon, first appears in the first episode of Rick and Morty Season 5 (“Mort Dinner Rick Andre”) and serves as the central plot device of the entire episode. It would appear out of all of the characters in the multiverse, Mr. Nimbus is the most equally matched to Rick. It may even be that Rick fears Mr. Nimbus because he seems to be willing to go to extreme lengths to ensure that his truce with Mr. Nimbus remains intact. The whole ordeal begins when Rick accidentally lands his spaceship on the ocean and has thus “desecrated the sacred treaty betwixt land and sea,” as Nimbus himself put it.
Not long after, Mr. Nimbus arrives at the Smith’s front door with an extravagant array of sea creatures. Right off the bat, we learn some very important information about Mr. Nimbus. He’s the king of the ocean, he controls the police for some reason, and he exudes sexuality. That’s right; Nimbus is a certified freak. Before he even enters the Smith’s home, he’s already tossed out the idea of having a threesome with Beth and Jerry, an idea which the two of them seem fairly interested in. Nimbus is also a lover of the vine and must constantly be supplied with jugs of aged wine.
Nimbus’s wine addiction is what sparks Morty’s storyline in this episode in which he travels to another dimension where jugs of wine are being aged to Mr. Nimbus’s liking. Morty eventually gets blamed for the death of certain people in that dimension and thus becomes the greatest enemy of the inhabitants of the entire planet. Each time that Morty returns to that dimension to fetch more wine for Nimbus (and also for he and Jessica), their society has advanced several centuries and they’ve invented new ways to try to kill Morty.
Towards the end of the episode, Mr. Nimbus rescues Rick from some robots, causing the two of them to put aside their differences. However, they come back in conflict when Summer returns with a conch shell that she got from the Mariana Trench. Nimbus then beats the crap out of Rick and uses his control over the police to get him arrested. After the ending credits (which is often where the best scene in a Rick and Morty episode is found), Jerry and Beth arrive at Nimbus’s home and it’s implied that they accept his invitation for a threesome.
Why Is Mr. Nimbus So Important?
It seems that Mr. Nimbus may have a far greater role in the Rick and Morty multiverse than it appears at first sight. Nimbus and Rick seem to go back a long way, and Nimbus may actually know more about Rick than any other character in the show (with the exception of perhaps Bird Person). Nimbus claims to be able to see Rick for what he really is, which infuriates Rick and heightens the tension between the two of them. And while little is actually known about the history between Rick and Nimbus, we can say for sure that Nimbus knows something about Rick’s ex-wife (and Beth’s mother), Diane, as he references her at one point in the episode.
In an interview, Jeff Loveness, one of the writers of the show, said, “Nimbus is kind of the antithesis of Rick. Maybe he’s the purest form of Rick. Nimbus actually is happy with himself because he knows he’s the king of the ocean and he controls the police.” Rick, on the other hand, is rife with self-loathing and seems to be perpetually unhappy. This seems to be why Rick can’t stand to be around Nimbus: because Nimbus’s happiness casts a bad reflection on his own unhappiness.
Indeed, Nimbus is sort of what Rick would be like if he learned to love himself. Both of them are sexually promiscuous, although the “horny ocean guy” probably outranks Rick in that department. They both drink to excess, although Nimbus prefers wine while Rick prefers whatever he’s got in that metal flask of his. And, most of all, both of them are extremely powerful. The greatest difference between these two characters seems to be that Nimbus is able to love himself whereas Rick is not.
Where Did Mr. Nimbus Come From?
Apparently, the writers of Rick and Morty have been cooking up the character of Mr. Nimbus for some time now. The co-creator of the series, Dan Harmon, said in an interview, “Mr. Nimbus has been talked about here and there for a while.” And Jeff Loveness revealed, “He was in another episode that died. But we all loved Nimbus so much we were just waiting for a chance to use him.” While we don’t know the nature of Nimbus’s appearance in this lost episode, I think we can all be glad that the writers decided to bring him back for Season 5.
Regardless of where you stand on whether or not Season 5 of Rick and Morty holds up to the standard set by the rest of the series, I think we can all come to the unanimous decision that the character of Mr. Nimbus is absolutely hilarious. He’s a sex-crazed, overconfident, police-controlling ocean god that somehow has the ability to get under Rick’s skin more than any other character yet to appear in the series. Whatever’s next for Rick and Morty, I sure do hope that we get to see some more of Nimbus.