Holy Rick! They’ve done it again!
The Ricklantis Mixup is about the fifth time this season that I’ve watched an episode and thought “wow, this might be the best Rick and Morty episode they’ve ever made!” Not bad when you’re only seven episodes in.
There’s so much to unpack from this episode that it’s hard to know where to even start. After some classic Rick and Morty misdirection, our main characters are off on another crazy adventure, except this time we’re ditching them to explore life on the rebuilt Rick and Morty Citadel.
That’s right, every character in this episode is some version of either Rick or Morty which means that Justin Roiland voices every single line of the episode – and he’s up for the challenge as each character has their own unique voice whilst still staying true to their inherent Rick or Morty-ness. It’s actually quite a masterful performance, which you’ll notice if you go back and watch the episode with that in mind.
It’s actually quite interesting that all these Rick and Mortys would come together to rebuild the citadel considering how anti-Rick the whole idea is (as our main Rick has pointed out before) and this episode really explores the fallacy of such a society existing.
Even if everyone is a super-genius, someone needs to fill all the manual labour jobs. Just like in our world, societies are made up of an elite few who have the majority of power and wealth whilst everyone else does the menial work necessary for civilisation to flourish. So of course, in a world full of super-geniuses, there’s going to be a lot of dissent.
It isn’t just Ricks that are suffering, but Mortys as well, as we see them treated, basically, as second rate citizens. The idea that a Morty’s purpose is limited to being a sidekick to a Rick is heavily reinforced. We get a glimpse into ‘Mortytown,’ which is basically a slum full of Rick-less Mortys who have gone off the rails, and it isn’t pretty.
The Ricklantis Mixup focuses on four main storylines
Each of the storylines explored show Rick and Mortys breaking free from the restrictions the rules of the citadel have placed upon them, and in most cases it ends in disaster. A Morty who’s lost five Rick partners jumps to his death because he’s so sick of the cycle he’s stuck in (“I wish anything about this life would change”).
A novice cop Rick ends up shooting his partner, a jaded-cop Morty, due to his corruption and willingness to so easily kill off other Mortys (“Call me a sidekick one more time!”). A factory worker Rick ends up shooting his boss and taking Simple Rick (who’s stuck reliving happy memories in order to produce the secret ingredient for wafers!) hostage after being passed on for a promotion. In the end, he gets tRICKed into thinking he will be getting a better life, but instead becomes a replacement for Simple Rick.
The other storyline is perhaps the most interesting one of all, as it shows a very capable Morty attempting to run for President of the citadel. After enduring plenty of mockery from plenty of Ricks, he’s able to win everyone over with a populist speech that promises people a better life where everyone will be appreciated for their unique individual talents.
It’s what everyone wants to hear, but of course, it’s a lie. That’s just not how societies work, but a great example (and one we see in our own world all the time) of how democracy can be manipulated by a leader with a populist message.
His ex-campaign manager (another Morty) ends up coming across the truth about this Morty from a shady Rick (“It’s secrets, what do you think it is? Look at how I’m dressed”) and attempts to assassinate this dangerous Morty but doesn’t get the job done and is imprisoned and murdered.
The victorious Morty then begins his reign the way that any good dictator does – by murdering those in power who oppose him. He then begins “a cold calculated speech with sinister overtones,” while some of his immediate changes to society are shown. And, if you haven’t realised it by now, the music gives it away with one of those brilliant moments that’s bound to give you tingles down your back.
Evil Morty is back!
That’s right, it’s Blonde Redhead’s ‘For the Damaged Coda’, which means that it’s Evil Morty from all the way back in Season 1’s ‘Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind!’
He’s the one that was secretly controlling the most evil Rick and using him to kill off various Ricks throughout the multiverse, whilst framing our Rick for it. We’ve been anticipating his return for a long while now and he’s officially back and in charge of the citadel, which can only mean trouble for our favourite Rick and Morty pairing.
What does he want with the citadel? Does he plan to keep killing off more Ricks? Does he want to sever the Rick and Morty bond forever? Or does he just crave power for power’s sake? Chances are we won’t find out straight away as Dan Harmon likes to play the long game, so don’t be surprised if we don’t see a follow up this season.
What we do know is that there’s now a serious threat in the universe to our favourite Rick that hasn’t existed since he wiped out the Galactic Federation and blew up the old Citadel in the first episode of Season 3, ‘The Rickshank Rickdemption.’ Which now makes this the most anticipated showdown in Rick and Morty history.
Like I said at the start, it’s another absolutely brilliant episode in what’s now clearly the best season of Rick and Morty so far. There’s a lot of really dark stuff shown here, but of course there’s still plenty of humour (“You’re pitching the policemen’s ball to a black teenager here”).
It’s hard to see this episode being topped, but they’ve done it before and probably (hopefully) will do it again. Make sure to check out our reviews of Episode 5, Episode 4, Episode 3, Episode 2 and Episode 1!