Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!
Adult Swim streaming the Season 3 opener of Rick and Morty on their Facebook might just be the best April Fools Day joke ever done. Though barely anyone was able to watch it live due to an incredible amount of lag, it goes to show they hadn’t anticipated how many people would be watching – a testament to the show’s surprising popularity.
It’s been over a year since Season 2 ended, and Rick Sanchez (Justin Roiland) turned himself into the intergalactic jail. Since then, the Galactic Federation has taken over Earth, and Rick finds himself interrogated for his secrets by a gromflomite (played by Nathan Fillion), while Jerry (Chris Parnell) is making his way up the ranks in his job and everyone’s eating pills. With the gromflomites on the verge of pushing Rick to a psychotic breakdown, it’s only Summer (Spencer Grammer) who cares about getting Rick back.
Morty (Justin Roiland) has come to resent Rick because of everything he’s put them through, and Summer is told by both Beth (Sarah Chalke) and Morty that he’s not worth it. “Don’t deify the people who leave you,” says Beth; “The only grandpa who won’t let you down is buried in the backyard,” says Morty.
To escape, Rick fabricates a story from the gromflomites about versions of his ‘young Rick’ being visited by his ‘future Rick’, using clever trickery to break out of the simulation. Although they hadn’t actually gone anywhere, because “You can alter anything you want about a totally fabricated origin story.” They break out as Rick transfers his brain into other Ricks – first an invaded SEAL Rick, and then the Rick Chief Commander – but Rick still manages to shut down the government by ruining the intergalactic economy and making it worthless. Of course he did – is there a more Rickier move?
But that doesn’t mean all’s okay because Jerry gives Beth an ultimatum as soon as they’re all home – it’s him or Rick. Of course, Beth chooses to divorce Jerry instead of losing her father again, while the show seems to be regenerating itself as Rick promises Morty adventures akin to the first episode of the series. Rick’s now in charge of the family, the patriarch of the universe, although his only goal in life is to get the McDonald’s Mulan Szechuan sauce.
This episode has many believing that it’s not the real first episode of the season, but that’s just because everything feels a bit… off. It’s Summer who wants to save Rick, not Morty, who initially renounced Rick. And when Morty was pointing a gun at and shot Rick to stop him from letting Summer die, Morty had no idea that it was a fake gun – is this foreshadowing Morty actually killing Rick eventually? We know Morty has anger issues, seen clearly in ‘Look Who’s Purging Now’, and he’s been hysterical and homicidal before. Rick seems more unstable than before, which could just be because of his time in prison.
However, this episode would serve as a very strong start to the season, with Den of Geek calculating 205 jokes in total, an average of 9.13 jokes per minute. Hopefully, this was the real Season 3 Episode 1, because I can’t think of a better start to the season than this.
Rick and Morty‘s third season opener (if it even was that) aired first on Facebook Live.