What do you get when you combine Guardians of the Galaxy and Saw with Rick and Morty? “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” is what you get. This episode was not what I expected and that’s a good thing. It starts out one way, changes halfway through, and ends with something totally unexpected. Morty is excited when he and Rick get a call to join the Vindicators on a mission. Rick quickly declines, but Morty invokes his right to choose one in every ten of their adventures. Something Rick agreed to in the season one episode “Meeseeks and Destroy”. The title of the episode comes from the fact that this is the third big Vindicators mission. Morty thinks it is the second, but soon finds out that they were passed over for the second mission due to Rick’s overwhelming personality. The great part about this episode is how it constantly spoofs the superhero movies, more specifically the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Rick alludes to the surprising success of the first film and how a sequel was not necessary. Then, later in the episode, he talks about how much lamer the Vindicators are the second time around. This is a nod to some critics thinking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 being not as good as the first film. As the episode goes on we learn that Rick, while a member of the Vindicators, does not like them very much. He even has his own superhero name that perfectly matches his skillset. He wishes that his grandson looked up to him as he looks up to the other Vindicators. I love how this episode also sets up the fact that Rick and Morty actually go on numerous adventures and the episodes we see are only are only just a few of them. Morty pretty much knows Rick to a fault at this point and kind of saves the day just by knowing how messed up his grandfather’s thought process is. Apparently Rick has gotten Morty in many similar situations during his drunken blackouts. Sadly, during the course of the episode, Morty has to watch as his childhood heroes are broken down in front of him. Proving that he placed them on a pedestal when they aren’t all that special. It was almost if Rick was the Joker and the rest of the Vindicators were Harvey Dent. With just a little push he brought them down to his level of insanity. In the end, Rick’s numerous points are made and Morty becomes a little more depressed about the universe. I give “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” a Good 4.6/5. There were a good few laughs to be had during this episode, especially when Rick breaks down how stupid each Vindicator’s names and powers are. Also it was nice seeing Revolio Clockberg Jr. aka Gearhead again as I thought he was dead.
Wow, this is the episode of Rick and Morty we have been waiting for. Ever since season 3 started back in April we’ve all been waiting to see “Pickle” Rick on screen. Now that I have seen the episode I can say that it did not disappoint! “Pickle Rick” shows us the Smith family, minus Jerry, going to therapy to find out the root of all of their issues. Rick gets out of the session by turning himself into a pickle. He set it up so that he could change back into a human as soon as the family left, but of course his plan is changed when Beth takes his serum with her to the therapy session. “Pickle Rick” was an overall great episode filled with action and comedy. Once again Rick proves how intelligent he is by surviving the day as an immobile pickle. While it is not explicitly stated, we are also enlightened to the fact that Rick needs adventure like its a drug. The writer of the episode, Jessica Gao, doesn’t go into detail exactly how he created all the things he did, but we get enough tidbits so that we can just go along on the adventure with him. We also get to learn more about Rick and Beth’s psyche through their interactions with their therapist and each other. This episode contains one of the few times we hear Rick praying to God to save his life. Yet, in the after credits stinger — which is a must watch — he once again goes back on his belief. This is a very interesting aspect of Rick’s character, as we really don’t know what he truly believes in. We are also reminded how little Rick cares about Beth, since he has infinite Beths to choose from. This ties back to Rick telling Morty in “Rickmancing the Stone” about how they have infinite Summers to choose from. This means technically everyone has infinite relatives in different dimensions. A fact that Rick accidentally let slip to his new friend Jaguar, who is voiced by the ever so cool Danny Trejo, and immediately retracted. Going back to Beth, we see how her relationship with her Rick affects her and her children. She knows that Rick doesn’t actually need her in his life, but hungers so much for his approval and respect. This clearly stems from him not being apart of her childhood. This may actually be true for every Beth in every timeline/dimension. She clearly needs therapy, but my not continue going. Morty and Summer understand this fact, but can’t do anything to change it. I give “Pickle Rick” a Superb 5/5. This episode was funny from start to finish. Clearly mimicking action movies such as Die Hard and Rambo.
If you have never seen Rick and Morty then you need to get on it because that show is hilarious! Also, you should probably stop reading this article because it will contain SPOILERS for the show. Full episodes can be found on the Adult Swim website. For those who have seen the show, you know how crazy and nonsensical it is. Also, while watching, you may have thought the premise was somewhat familiar. Even for younger audiences, something about the show may have reminded you of something you couldn’t quite put your finger on. This is because the show is a strange parody of Back to the Future. (A lot of bells just went off in your heads, I’m sure.) The show clearly takes that plot and stretches it out into crazier adventures.
The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti
The basis for Rick and Morty was a short-lived web series spoof created by Justin Roiland known as The Real Adventures of Doc and Mharti. The web series was designed to parody the characters of Doc Brown and Marty McFly, from the Back to the Future film trilogy. The fans reacted to it wildly, and Roiland began creating more shorts involving the characters. Soon, the shorts evolved beyond Roiland’s original intentions of being a Back to the Future parody, leaving behind the premise and the obvious origins of the characters from the film series from which was its inspiration. After releasing the short for Channel 101, Adult Swim approached Harmon for television show ideas. He and Roiland developed the program based on the short, eventually replacing the characters of Doc and Mharti with Rick and Morty, respectively.
The general structure of a Rick and Morty episode usually consists of the apposition of two conflicting scenarios. Rick, an extremely selfish, alcoholic grandfather drags his grandson, Morty, across space and time for intergalactic and/or interdimensional adventures, while also dealing with domestic family drama. The show has been described as a combination between Back to the Future and Matt Groening’s two shows: The Simpsons and Futurama. The show often ignores continuity but, at the same time, doesn’t break it. This is because of the multiple universes and timelines that Rick and Morty explore. A prime example of this is when Rick mutates the world in the episode “Rick Potion #9” and decides to take Morty to a separate “earth” where the versions of them have just died, so they can take their place and start over. Morty even mentions this to his newly replaced sister a few episodes later. This format allows the creators to do whatever they want because there are infinite timelines and universes for them to work with.
“On one of our adventures, Rick and I basically destroyed the whole world, so we bailed on that reality and we came to this one, because in this one, the world wasn’t destroyed and in this one, we were dead. So we came here, a- a- and we buried ourselves and we took their place. And every morning, Summer, I eat breakfast twenty yards away from my own rotting corpse. […] Nobody exists on purpose, nobody belongs anywhere, everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
Rick and Morty is known for its kooky characters. The namesake characters’ family is basically what it would be like if Doc Brown was a drunk and a member of Marty McFly’s family, with a few tweaks for good measure. From the generally level-headed Beth, to the very insecure and sometimes idiotic Jerry, the show has a wide range of characters to choose from. Rick has a strong influence over the characters’ lives, whether they like it or not. This is mostly because he is the “smartest being in the universe,” but also because he selfishly involves them in his schemes. Even though new and recurring characters appear almost every episode, the Smith family is the main focus. And even though Morty gets the brunt of it, he has recently started including his niece, Summer, in the adventures as well. Rick’s daughter, Beth, longs for her father’s attention, while his son-in-law, Jerry, just wants Rick out of their lives.
We should thank director Robert Zemeckis, as his Back to the Future trilogy inspired one of the craziest cartoons of our generation. The first episode of the third season of Rick and Morty was aired on April 1st as an April Fools’ Day joke. You can find my review of that episode here. The rest of the season is set to premiere on July 30th at 11:30 pm ET.
What are your thoughts on Rick and Morty? What is your favorite episode? Are you excited for Season 3? Leave your thoughts below.