Liam Hoofe reviews the first episode of Rick and Morty season 3…
Rick and Morty made its surprise return this April Fool’s Day when Adult Swim just began streaming the first episode of season 3 unannounced live on their website back to back for several hours, with the caption ‘you can stop bugging us now.’ Season 3 itself will not be arriving until the summer but this small slice of the pie was very, very sweet.
‘The Rickshank Redemption’ had a lot of work on its hands. At the end of season 2, Rick had been arrested by The Galatic Federation and the sinister organisation had also taken over earth, imprisoning everybody who lived there. The episode’s main focus should have just been about getting everything back to normality, but in such a short run time it still managed to achieve so much more than was expected of it.
The episode started with a simulation of Rick’s mind, where the galactic federation was trying to find out when he had invented the portal gun. This led us down a hilariously dragged out origin story where we finally got a first glimpse at Rick’s Wife and Beth’s Mum Diane. Of course, it was all nonsense and Rick had just simulated the story to trick the federation into his escape. Following this Rick jumps from body to body and all hells breaks loose as he works his way back to his garage at the end of the episode.
What is most impressive about ‘The Rickshank Redemption’ is its commitment to continuity and fan service. Dan Harmon and co have talked about the multiple universes many times over the last few years and the first episode showed us that they are likely to be even more important this season than ever before. Clever little throwbacks were littered throughout the episode: Summer digging up dead Rick to get the portal gun was a great moment, while Morty and Summer ending up in the universe that Rick and Morty Cronenberged was just perfect. Also, for fans of Pocket Mortys there were plenty of little appearances taking place during the scenes at The Citadel of Ricks.
That isn’t to say that the episode relied solely on throwbacks and fan service, though, there was plenty of brilliant new gags here as well. The running gag about Rick needing to take a dump was hilarious, and the final scene may well have been one of the funniest in the history of the show. Having finally arrived back home, and with Jerry and Beth potentially getting divorced, Rick explains to Morty that this was his plan all along; rambling on about being the man of the house and explaining his true motive – to bring back the Mulan Szechuan Chicken McNuggets Dipping Sauce from the year 1998.
There was also some nice character development over the course of the episode as well. Morty revealing his real motive was to protect his sister was a really sweet character beat while Summer herself began to show a different side to her character, pushing Morty into helping her save Rick earlier in the episode. Jerry and Beth’s storyline looks as though it will develop a lot this year, with Jerry finally standing up for himself only for it to backfire horrendously at the end. Rick’s final speech also promised that the adventures would be a lot darker from now on. Though, it also promised that the show would run for another 9 seasons, so take that with a pinch of salt.
The episode also had a nice little post-credits stinger where we got to find out the fate of Bird Person and Tammy. Which sets up a nice storyline arch for when the season finally returns this summer. Ahhhh, I’m so excited.
‘The Rickshaw Redemption’ was pretty much everything I could have asked for, and more, from a Rick and Morty season premiere. It may also be one of the best Rick and Morty episodes of all time. Bravo guys, bravo.
What did you think of Rick and Morty’s surprise return? Let us know in the comments and let Liam know on Twitter here – @liamhoofe