The third season of Rick and Morty has been a bit of a hit and miss for me. When the first episode of Season 3 aired, I was pumped just like everyone else. I jumped on the bang wagon just like everyone else and demanded the Mulan szechuan sauce make a return! But as the series kept going, I felt I was laughing at jokes I didn’t feel deserved it. I felt like I was going through the motions.
That is until this episode.
(SPOILERS WARNING: Review is going to get into spoilers from here on out)
“The Ricklantis Mixup” starts off with Rick and Morty getting ready to head out on another adventure. This time their destination is the lost city of Atlantis. The pair are interrupted when another Rick and Morty portal in asking for donations for the rebuilding of the Citadel, which was destroyed at the start of the season. The Citadel is basically a Rick-run city where other Ricks and Mortys live. It was established in earlier seasons and proved to be a real annoyance to the Rick we follow throughout the series.
Our Rick brushes them off and the other Rick and Morty head back into their portal. Its here that the episode does a switch-ah-roo and we the audience follow them to the Citadel.
There’s a ton of Ricks and Mortys in this episode but they all feel different. We also learn that there’s dumb Ricks and smart Mortys. There’s also a lot of prejudice against Mortys and this is explored really well by a police officer Morty who doesn’t give two shits about other Mortys and their problems. He’s joined by a rookie Rick as his partner and their portion plays out like a cop drama. It’s a real highlight of the episode.
The cop stuff isn’t the only gem in the episode. There’s a Stand By Me parody with four student Mortys and a Truman Show/ Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factor mix up that really hits home.
These stories all converge on the main story, which is the presidential election. Since we’re already into spoilers, the Citadel elects its first Morty president but we quickly learn this Morty isn’t as nice as he pretends to be. In fact, he takes out the “real power” at the Citadelin his first 5 minutes in office. This kid isn’t playing around and it’s a Morty we have already seen — Evil Morty.
This guy hasn’t been seen since his debut in Season 1 as the true mastermind behind a plot to assassinate Ricks.
Obviously, the creators are building towards a show down between our Rick and Morty.
Rick and Morty is the best when it twists audience expectations and put a new spin on it. My favourite episode was their take on the Purge but I think that’s been replaced with this guy.
“The Ricklantis Mixup” brings a lot of freshness and world building that Pickle Rick, despite being funny, just doesn’t’ deliver.
I really hope we get to see more of this.