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SYFY WIRE Rick and Morty

The crimes of Broderick-cat: Rick and Morty's Chris Parnell explains what scared Jerry and Rick

By Josh Weiss
Rick and Morty Season 4 Broderick cat

Rick and Morty's fourth season returned for its second half this week, but Episode 6 had a noticeable lack of Jerry Smith (voiced by Chris Parnell). Last we saw of the character, he had traveled to the desert with Rick (series co-creator Justin Roiland) to learn the truth about a mysterious talking cat (guest star Matthew Broderick), who convinced Jerry to party it up in Florida.

They scan the animal's mind but soon wish they hadn't, because the computer's resulting images prompt a profoundly disgusted response from both Rick and Jerry. The latter vomits several times before crawling into the fetal position to cry, while the former nearly kills himself with his own blaster.

Rick and Morty Broderick cat

Jerry's reaction isn't very shocking, since he's not so privy to the unending horrors of the multiverse. But what about Rick? What could drive an unfeeling mega-genius, the most powerful being in the known universe, to the brink of suicidal insanity? With the images left up to the imagination, our only real clue is some brief sound design that includes people and babies crying out.

Speaking with SYFY WIRE earlier this week, Parnell exclusively shed some light on the pressing feline mystery.

"I guess an image of horrific carnage came to my mind while we were recording, and then I chose not to explore it further because what’s the point?" he told us. That said, the actor's still got some ideas.

"It would either be something like on [a] Hitler scale of ordering the mass murders of millions of people and seeing that acted out," the SNL vet continued. "Or just some sort of horrific, murderous, sexual thing. Maybe something Caligula-esque, something so grotesque involving bodily fluid and excrement. And then maybe murder on top of that, or eating people. Whatever the most horrific things you can think of are. I guess that’s what it would have to be for Jerry and Rick to react that way."

Rick and Morty Broderick cat

Uh ... forget we asked. In the end, Rick shoos the cat away and wipes Jerry's mind of what he's just witnessed. By leaving the notorious kitty alive, though, the show is able to bring Broderick back for future episodes. Who knows? The whiskered criminal may one day be out for revenge.

Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 7, "Promortyus," airs on Adult Swim this Sunday (May 10) at 11:30 p.m. EST.