Rick and Morty Season 3 Review


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It’s well known that a high IQ is required to truly appreciate the art that is Rick and Morty, known as Richard and Mortimer to the non intellectually disabled. Or you could read this review of the third season and find out the meaning behind the intricacies of the show, such as “I’m pickle rick” or the obsession with szechuan sauce. Although tripping and stumbling at times, this season has been the most ambitious one by far. This season has been also been a tumultuous one for the viewers, the inclusion of a season arc is the likely cause for both of these.

 

Episode 1: The Rickshank Rickdemption

Rating (relative to the season): 7/10

A strong opening act, the episode aired on April Fool’s day, and neatly wrapped up most of the loose ends from the season two finale. The ending monologue by Rick summarizes the themes that the third season explores; power, intelligence, and family. The comedy was mediocre, although the plot line more than made up for it. Rick’s obsession with szechuan sauce, although only mentioned in this one episode, has memed the sauce back into reality.

 

Episode 2: Rickmancing the Stone

Rating (relative to the season): 7/10

This episode perfectly captures the experimentation going on in the season, touching on the story arc. The story line is a deeper than what you’d expect from Rick and Morty. Summer mirroring her mother’s relationship with her father, Morty trying to find control in his life, both consequences of the divorce. This episode starts a recurring theme as well; in family matters, Rick is as helpless as they are.

 

Episode 3: Pickle Rick

Rating (relative to the season): 5/10

The episode is mediocre, the comedy, weak, and the plot line, convoluted. Pickle Rick’s A and B story both fall flat, barely held up by the fight scenes. Brainlets will attempt to defend this episode, citing Wong’s monologue, in which she somehow explores Rick’s characteristics, which have been shown to the viewer slowly over the course of 2 seasons, by listening to his family reluctantly speak about him. Both the monologue and this defense are a bit of a reach; however, as the monologue was just a rehashed, condensed form of what Rick had already been shown to be.

 

Episode 4: “Vindicators 3: Return of Worldender”

Rating (relative to the season): 8/10

A return to “normalcy” after the previous two episodes, this one doesn’t touch on the season arc, and still manages to have a great story. The writers baited the viewers into this episode, hyping up Worldender to be this incredible villain, only to switch it out for character development. Rick’s “characterizations” are mostly used as comedic asides in the breaks of Morty’s development.  In this episode is the clearest and strongest evidence that Morty has changed due to his adventures with Rick, from his ability to save the world from his own grandfather, to his increasingly jaded views, Morty has grown as a person, and it’s hard to tell if it was for the better or worse.

 

Episode 5: “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy”

Rating (relative to the season): 7/10

The humor was mediocre, although saved by a few moments such as “Lisa?”. Both the A and B stories were uninspiring, with only character being shown to have been notably changed by it.  Although shuffled to the B story for once, Morty is ultimately the most interesting character to observe in this episode, he lies to Rick, undermining his authority, in order to get a day off from their adventures. His technological prowess, mentioned in the last episode, take the spotlight again, ultimately saving the day for his family by allowing his mother and sister to have a heart to heart. Morty’s actions at the very end though, reveal just how much Morty has shifted from bystander to action taker thanks to Rick’s adventures. In retaliation for Ethan causing the chain of events that would ruin his one day off from Rick, Morty mutates him.

 

Episode 6: “Rest and Ricklaxation”

Rating (relative to the season): 8/10

The humor and the storyline are both solid, with the episode once again taking more emphasis on the story and the character’s relations with each other than just pure humor. The toxic selves are nothing new, both Rick and Morty already live lives dominated by their lesser halves. What’s interesting to note is the differences that Rick and Morty undergo when free of their toxic selves, and how they act. Rick is seemingly no longer alcoholic and places more emphasis on his family. Contrast this with Morty, who undergoes a massive change, gaining more self confidence and a massively more successful life. Rick’s point halfway through the episode of the toxin remover only extracting what the user themselves consider to be toxic changes the entire meaning behind why the characters act the way they do, and tie characterization into previous episodes.  Due to his exposure to Rick, Morty now considers having a conscience and empathy a toxic characteristics. Due to his long exposure to other Ricks, Rick considers his care for his Morty to be a toxic characteristic.

 

Episode 7: “The Ricklantis Mixup”

Rating (relative to the season): 10/10

Quite easily the best episode of the season, if not the entire series, “The Ricklantis Mixup” follows four interconnected stories of Ricks and Mortys living in the citadel. The stories themselves are all well developed, and while the humor does take a backseat, it is still at a higher standard than the rest of the season. Police Morty’s callous catchphrase of “Just Mortys kiling Mortys” provides just enough social commentary in order for us to connect the joke, and considering how the episode is set up, this type of joke flies perfectly. The school Mortys show the perspective of the life of the lowest caste in the citadel, climaxing in the ironic irrelevance of Greaser Morty’s suicide. Factory Rick’s story of  transitioning from making Simple Rick bars into making Simple Rick formula doubles as social commentary for the evolution of aspirations of society, transitioning from wishing for a return to simpler times to wishing to be able to beat the system and come out on top. Evil Morty’s return to power and the storyline feature very little humor, running more like a drama that kept us at the edge of our seats. The climax of Evil Morty’s story feature two of the best lines from an episode full of them, his “Is that enough off the top?” and closing monologue both cement the fact that as far as the citadel is concerned, Evil Morty has full control.

 

Episode 8: “Morty’s Mindblowers”

Rating (relative to the season): 8/10

After the magnum opus that was the “The Ricklantis Mixup”, “Morty’s Mindblowers” represents a return to the norm, in more ways than one. The seasonal Interdimensional Cable episode, “Morty’s Mindblowers” earns its score for being able to better develop the characters given the nature of it’s anthology style storyline. Simple incidents like Rick saying “Taken for granite”, and his willingness to steal these memories from Morty in order to keep his image show how petty and prideful Rick truly is. The surprising aspect here is how low Morty’s opinion of Rick is, given the extent of which Rick is able to control his memory. This is examined again near the end of the episode, when Morty persuades Rick to undergo a suicide pact with him after seeing all of the ordeals that Rick has forced him to experience, only to wipe his memory.

 

Episode 9: “The ABCs of Beth”

Rating (relative to the season):  7/10

The singular Beth A-Story episode of the season, the storyline almost “solves” Beth as a character, as she is able to resolve most of her problems related to her marriage and her father by the end. The reader sees another bad side of an already flawed character, namely that she used her father as an invention machine in order satisfy her psychotic desires. This continues when it is revealed that Beth pushed Timmy into a swamp, trapping him inside Froopyland for over two decades. Meanwhile, Jerry’s new alien girlfriend at first seems to bring out his best characteristics, much to the delight of his children. His unseemly attempts to break up with her however, quickly lead to Beth and Morty to having the same opinion of him as before, if not even lower.

 

Episode 10: “The Rickchurian Mortydate”

Rating (relative to the season): 8.5/10

The episode does attempt to wrap up season 3, despite the fact that it was not originally written with the purpose of being the finale. Nonetheless, it is a solid, if underwhelming episode. Like “Pickle Rick”, the fight scenes in this episode help to bolster the story, but unlike “Pickle Rick”, the story isn’t a complete piece of trash. The very last few minutes were anti-climatic for a season finale, but some leniency should be allowed, since the season was originally slated to be 14 episodes, and it had to be cut short to 10 episodes. The creators cited their perfectionism as the main reason for this change.

 

“To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty. The humour is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of theoretical physics most of the jokes will go over a typical viewer’s head. There’s also Rick’s nihilistic outlook, which is deftly woven into his characterisation- his personal philosophy draws heavily from Narodnaya Volya literature, for instance. The fans understand this stuff; they have the intellectual capacity to truly appreciate the depths of these jokes, to realise that they’re not just funny- they say something deep about LIFE. As a consequence people who dislike Rick & Morty truly ARE idiots- of course they wouldn’t appreciate, for instance, the humour in Rick’s existential catchphrase “Wubba Lubba Dub Dub,” which itself is a cryptic reference to Turgenev’s Russian epic Fathers and Sons. I’m smirking right now just imagining one of those addlepated simpletons scratching their heads in confusion as Dan Harmon’s genius wit unfolds itself on their television screens. What fools.. how I pity them. 😂” – Anonymous

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Rick and Morty Season 3 Review