New season of ‘Rick and Morty’ darker than ever

The return of Adult Swim’s animated show “Rick and Morty” was long awaited by many fans.

It was an 18-month wait between seasons, since the last episode of season 2, “The Wedding Squanchers” came out Oct. 4, 2015.

The first episode of season 3, “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” streamed online on April 1, 2017.

Season 3 has been by far the darkest season fans have seen yet, with each character having a mental break in one way or another, and leaving many unanswered questions about events that occurred.

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In “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” the main character, Rick Sanchez, is in galactic prison, seemingly abandoning his family to an Earth under federation rule.

The episode opens with a happy reunion with his family in Shoney’s, though it is nothing more than a mental construct created as the Federation’s scientists attempt to mine his brain for useful scientific secrets. But Rick proves to be very difficult to get any information out of. He takes the Federation agent to McDonald’s, circa 1998, when McDonald’s was still serving the Mulan Szechuan sauce, a nugget sauce promoting the Disney movie “Mulan.” This part was honestly my favorite, because, like always, Rick was blowing off something serious for something pointless that most people had forgotten about.

Meanwhile, his grandson, Morty Smith, and his family are back on Earth, which is now being run by the Galactic Federation. Unhappy with their current way of life, Summer Smith, Rick’s other grandkid, decides to save Rick, and digs up the portal gun buried by Rick in the backyard next to his own alternate-dimension corpse.

Morty tries to prevent Summer from doing so. They end up transported to his “cronenburg-world” family, which he and Rick had abandoned previously. After they arrive and destroy Conroy, Morty explains to Summer during dinner this world is proof that Rick does not care about anyone, especially his family. Morty trying to convince his sister, Summer, that Rick doesn’t care about anyone made me upset. It seemed he had given up all faith in Rick.

In the end, Rick comes through, proving he didn’t abandon his family, and destroying the Rick Citadel, a group of Ricks from other timelines who have created their own government.

In episode 2, “Rickmancing the Stone,” the family dynamic starts to change and the dark side of  the characters starts to come out. Morty and Summer are trying to deal with the divorce of their parents. Rick takes them to a “Mad Max”-style world to work out anger while he tries to steal a green crystal from this world. In this episode, more of Summer’s involvement with Rick is more notable, probably because of all the abandonment she has seen lately. I think this is one of the worst episodes of the season. It doesn’t offer as much substance as the others.

Episode 3, “Pickle Rick,” has to be one of the best of the season, because of the comedy and a look at how far Rick will go to avoid his feelings. In this episode, Rick changes himself into a pickle to get out of family therapy with his daughter, Beth Smith, and his grandkids. They figure out what he’s doing and take the anti-pickle serum. Rick goes through an adventure in the sewer to survive and to get to Beth, who took the serum.

In episode 4, “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender,” Rick starts to get jealous when Morty idolizes these so-called heroes, the Vindicators. Rick and Morty are summoned by the Vindicators to stop Worldender but end up in a deathtrap conceived by Drunk Rick. This is one of the episodes where you can really tell how messed up Rick is. He gets drunk and plans out a crazy “Saw”-like maze for the Vindicators, just for the sake of proving how much better he is than them.

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Throughout the season, each character gets their own episode, giving the fans a view of how they’re all affected throughout the season. Episode 5 gives Jerry Smith, Rick’s son-in-law, his very own episode. After the divorce, Jerry goes into a depression, and Rick takes Jerry on a sympathy adventure to a resort where everyone is immortal when there. While there, Jerry meets some old acquaintances of Rick’s who want payback. They try to convince him to help kill Rick. I enjoyed this episode because it’s different from the normal main characters. It shows that the writers can do more than the normal dynamic.

In “Rest and Ricklaxation,” episode 6, Rick and Morty go on a break to a spa where they remove their toxins, which in turn take a form of their own. This is a wonderful episode, because it literally shows their dark sides and the absolute worst things about themselves. They have to confront these problems and realize that they need all the negative parts of themselves as well for their dynamic to truly work.

Episode 7, “The Ricklantis Mixup,”  gives a look at how the Citadel has rebuilt itself since Rick destroyed it and kill all of the leaders. I suppose some people wondered what had become of the Citadel, but I found the episode pointless. I’m not saying it wasn’t well written, but it was pointless to the story arc of the season.

“Morty’s Mind Blowers,” episode 8, was a fantastic episode. It looks back on all the memories Morty has asked Rick to get rid of for him. At some point, while going through all of these memories, both Rick and Morty lose their memories and have no idea what is happening. Their only clues are all the memories. As Morty is going through them to figure out what’s going on, he starts to get angry at Rick. That makes me wonder if this is foreshadowing and soon their dynamic is no longer going to work, tearing apart their relationship. In the end, their memories get put back to before the whole event.

Episode 9, “The ABC’s of Beth,” is by far my favorite of the season. Rick brings Beth to a world he created for her when she was younger. Beth looks for a long-lost childhood friend trapped there for years. This episode gives more context to their relationship. Beth deals with her abandonment issues with Rick, and realizes that her and Rick aren’t that much different after all. Beth is just as smart as her dad, ever since she was a kid. It also shows how dark of a child she was. During this episode, Rick gives Beth an option to leave her life and explore her potential, telling her he can make a clone and no one, not even the clone, will know she had left.

In the season finale, “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” a lot happens while still maintaining a seemingly pointless adventure. Rick gets tangled up in a confrontation with the President, after he and Morty blow off a mission he requested them for. During this episode, Beth is questioning if she’s the real Beth or not.

The confrontation escalates further and further as Rick tries to prove that nothing, not even the president, can stop him. In this process, Morty steals his portal gun and takes his family, his father included, to somewhere safe. Between Beth questioning herself and the drama of the day, Beth and Jerry get back together. This puts the whole family back to the beginning again, even saying they are “hitting the reset button, it’ll be like nothing changed.” I honestly don’t know how I feel about this ending. So much had happened, and now everyone is going right back to where they started.

Season 3 ending leaves me with a lot of questions. Some of those are what does “hitting the reset button” mean for the next season of ‘Rick and Morty’? Is Beth Smith even the real Beth, or is she a clone? Most importantly, when will Season 4 begin? Are fans going to have to wait another 18 months?

Hopefully the wait won’t last too long for fans to find what season 4 will bring for “Rick and Morty.”

Author: Autumn Bippert

Editor-in-Chief of the Plainsman Press, this is my second semester as Editor-in-Chief. I am a Sophomore Photojournalism student at SPC, from the Austin area.

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