12th Oct2017

‘Rick and Morty 3×10: The Rickchurian Mortydate’ Review

by Steven Riley


After the incredible end to season two, Rick and Morty had a huge act to follow with the culmination of their third entry.

Despite hinting that Evil Morty could become the antagonist as season three draws to a close, the last episode seemed to take a different tact by making Beth finding herself and the possible rectification of the family – broken up at the start of the season – the potential climax. Which makes the fact the majority of the episode focus on Rick and Morty’s feud with the President of the United States seem all the more unusual. While it contained the classic ludicrous premise and over-the-top violence that has come to characterise the series, it didn’t quite fit as a last episode.

The series so far has tackled a number of issues – Morty and Summer struggling with their parents divorce, Beth questioning what she wants from life, Jerry struggling to be Jerry; even Rick seemed to be wrestling with his own genius as he turned himself into a pickle – and reached a number of deep places most other animated shows wouldn’t.

It felt as though this episode could do the same after the revelation that Beth may be a clone with Rick’s real daughter possibly traversing the galaxy. It made the main adventure feel like an unnecessary distraction at times as we hoped to gain some closure. Instead it was only the final five minutes that did so, allowing Beth to realise where her loyalties and values lie as the Smiths reached the happy(ish) place we joined them at.

The problem with the episode wasn’t that it was of poor quality or unfunny – some of the scenes in the White House are superbly written with the jokes coming of breakneck speed – but that it mostly felt like a middle of the season filler episode than one designed to bring a major plot arc to an end.

If it has appeared alongside Rick and Jerry’s adventure or the Vindicators episode then perhaps the lack of depth wouldn’t have been so exposed, but as a finale it felt slightly underwhelming. If anything, the last episode ending on a cliffhanger where we don’t know which is the real Beth could have been more interesting and fitting.

Thankfully, the creators are one of the best when it comes to doing a 180 and turning the show on its head. Beth may have proclaimed that the next series will be ‘like season one but more streamlined’, but as we saw with the end of the last series and beginning of this one, Harmon and co. are no only happy to switch directions and change the dynamic of the show but also extremely skilled when executing it.

That’s not to say this episode gave us nothing in the way of character, as we saw how fed up Rick is tiring of constantly being the genius hero. It seems as though his family really is his biggest motivation, contrary to what we’ve often been led to believe, and is a theme the show will probably explore further. Arguably he’s taken the backseat in the series to empower other characters, but he is still central to the best parts.

In that sense, season three has undoubtedly been a triumph despite a lukewarm ending. What will be more interesting is where the show goes next. And with Rick still the show’s most conflicted and engaging character, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he returns to the fore again.


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