The end is nigh – after what felt like an eternity, Rick and Morty’s third season is over, been and gone in the blink of an eye. The season finishes with something that feels more in line with earlier episodes than some of the dark character exploration we’ve enjoyed this time round, but that’s no great issue. In fact, ‘The Rickchurian Mortydate’ ties up some of the series’ hanging threads, and offers us a lot of laughs along the way (and so many good lines – see below).
There’s something in the Kennedy Sex Tunnels under the White House, so the President (Keith David) calls in Rick and Morty for an adventure. It’s a very quick adventure, though, and the two are unhappy – they decide to head home and play some Minecraft. The Secret Service have been keeping an eye on them, though, and inform the President that the two ‘just blew off America.’ He gives them a chance, calling and asking for their progress – they lie, and an argument erupts. The two cut ties with the President.
Rick and Morty head to Brazil to deal with a miniature civilisation, but the US government arrives, claiming jurisdiction. The President shrinks down to deal with them democratically – Rick and Morty escape from his custody, and beat him to it. Growing to his full size, the President also hears that the two have also solved the Israel-Palestine situation (with the ‘Obvious If You Think About It’ accords), giving the President all the credit. Despite this, the politician is furious.
Some will feel that it is a bit of a let-down given some of the thrilling and emotionally complex episodes we’ve seen this season
At the White House, Rick and Morty are waiting in the Oval Office. Rick explains that he has given the President everything he wants, and asks for two things in return – to be left alone, and a selfie for Morty. But the President stubbornly refuses the second point. He orders the Secret Service to take Rick out, leading to successive ways of Secret Service agents being killed. In the end, the President and Rick fight themselves, in a fantastic action sequence. Rick wins, but Morty has gone.
Our other story deals with the fallout from ‘The ABCs of Beth’ and the question of whether Beth is a clone. Rick tells her, really straight up, that she isn’t, but she overthinks the situation to the point of madness. In her desperation, she turns to the most innocent person she knows – Jerry. Jerry inexplicably wins her back, and the two hide away with the kids.
Rick immediately finds them (apparently Morty chose the same hiding place as last time), but he acknowledges that he has lost – in his drive to install an independent spirit in Beth, he has driven her back to the person he despises most. And this is really the way this story needed to climax – Rick is almost a god earlier in the episode, but he is defeated by the weakest character in the show by being, for want of a better term, ‘out-valued.’ In this world, blissful ignorance has won over miserable intelligence. Then, a reset of sorts – Rick lies to the President, claiming to be a different Rick, to win him back round, before heading home to the family.
If Rick and Morty finishes here, that wouldn’t be too bad a thing nor would it feel the wrong place
There is going to be a mixed reaction to ‘The Rickchurian Mortydate’ – some will feel that it is a bit of a let-down given some of the thrilling and emotionally complex episodes we’ve seen this season, and I wouldn’t fault that. Although I really enjoyed this episode and it really made me laugh, it is nowhere near as technically good as an episode like ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’ or ‘The Rickshank Rickdemption,’ if that matters to you.
What it does feel like, however, is a logical emotional endpoint to this season. The Beth and Jerry situation is resolved in a way that, although a little bit rushed, feels earned, and the family are back to where they were at the start of season one (albeit with an increased level of understanding and awareness). If Rick and Morty finishes here, that wouldn’t be too bad a thing nor would it feel the wrong place. If Rick and Morty returns for a fourth season and is of similar quality to this one, however, I would welcome it eagerly.
‘So you’re mining stuff to craft with and crafting stuff to mine with?’ – Rick’s level of understanding of Minecraft is about the same as mine.
‘He didn’t free them all.’ – The President sombrely tells Rick and Morty about the Lincoln Slave Colosseum.
‘Orders drone strikes to cope with his insecurity?’ ‘Should we drone strike them?’
‘What doesn’t look bad through an illegal spy satellite?’
‘Don’t do it – the casualties would be in the Brazillions. Because you’re from Brazil – it’s a threat and a pun. Nobody gets me.’
‘Peace summits are important.’ ‘Oh yeah, they work great – we’re really drowning in peace.’
‘I made Sanchezium up, dumbasses – don’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia.’
‘They said you’d prefer just a shirt – apparently, you have a need to swing your dick around.’ – Rick and Morty use the tiny aliens to own the President.
‘What was that?’ ‘Death.’ ‘What kind?’ ‘Instant.’ – Rick did warn that secret agent.
‘This isn’t the woman you married, Jerry, because this woman loves you.’
‘The office of the President can’t coexist with a living God that won’t submit to it. Well, aside from Poseidon.’
President Keith David, who spends half the episode sniping and bickering with Rick. The hints of strain in his voice really enhance the character, and David manages to sell both the leader and the childish qualities in his President.
We conclude this season with the appearance of fan favourite Mr Poopybutthole. As with the end of season 2, he’s here to tell us when the next season will arrive – it will be, quote, ‘a long time.’ But he takes the moment to shoot the breeze first – while we were waiting for season 3, he got married, had a baby, went back to school and got a GEEED. What have we, the audience been up to, he asks – he hopes that we haven’t been wasting our time. Oh, he will be disappointed.