Season 6 Episode 3 of “Rick and Morty,” titled “Bethic Twinstinic” largely focuses on Beth and Space Beth falling for one another, which leaves Morty and Summer perturbed. To figure out the extent and shelf-life of their relationship, the two enter Rick’s Holodeck, which allows users to create a simulated reality. Rick, Morty, and Summer intrude on the couple, who are seen as seniors, enjoying a beautiful moment on a boardwalk as the sun sets. “Holy ****, you did a full ‘San Junipero’ in here?” Rick exclaims while poring through the Holodeck’s programming.
Rick is referencing the “Black Mirror” episode, which is considered to be one of the best episodes in the sci-fi series. Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Mackenzie Davis, “San Junipero” is best remembered for trading away the show’s bleak views on technology by instead emphasizing the power of connection and hope that can manifest from scientific advancement. The episode follows two women who reside in the beautiful beachside town of San Junipero, where they fall in love. The idyllic escape they call home is actually a simulated reality, where one’s consciousness can live on, even after death.
More than just a surface level reference, the latest “Rick and Morty” endearingly plays with the idea of both Beth’s having the opportunity to see how their love can last, even as they grow old. “San Junipero” also briefly toys around with the concept of cheating on a significant other — despite said cheating happening in a virtual afterlife — a conundrum that falls over both Beths.
Ultimately, the two Beths resolve their differences and come to a mutual understanding with Jerry, which naturally traumatizes their children.