Holy shit, Atlantis motherfuckers! I imply, I do know I’ve been hyperbolic about this present prior to now, however no joke, watching Rick and Morty make a journey below the ocean was the absolute best factor that might’ve occurred to me, otherwise you, or any sentient creature with the flexibility to course of visible and aural stimuli. It’s been form of a tough week, I gained’t lie, however these 20-some odd minutes of aquatic innovation greater than made up for all the things. Honesty, I’m type of at a loss. I don’t know the way I may potential evaluate any of that. I can barely describe it. My mind continues to be tingling. Atlantis! Who would’ve thought they’d ever go to Atlantis.
Aw man. Jeez. Truly… dammit, I don’t actually know the place to begin. I suppose I may simply, I dunno, faux one thing else occurred? Like, some strategy to distinction utter, mindboggling brilliance by describing that was additionally sensible however at the very least, y’know, exists in a framework that we are able to acknowledge, if not totally—not shopping for it? You’re not shopping for any of this. Fantastic. Typically I attempt to put a bit of effort into these, is all.
So: our Rick and Morty spend all of “The Ricklantis Mixup” having adventures in Atlantis, the place Morty will get some “mermaid puss” (he’s hoping it’ll be an everyday factor) and Rick does regardless of the hell Rick does, which most likely entails stealing some fancy science factor and/or heavy medication. Whereas they’re off having enjoyable, we’re caught checking in with the brand new and improved Citadel Of Ricks, rebuilt after our Rick murdered everybody within the season premiere. And issues get sophisticated. All of it comes collectively fairly properly in the long run, however that is a type of tightrope episodes the place I spent more often than not ready for somebody to fall.
Let’s try to unpack this, we could? Even getting the names proper goes to be a visit. The Citadel Of Ricks was launched again within the present’s first season: It’s a spot the place Ricks and Mortys from the multiverse go to dwell to be with different individuals who perceive precisely what they’re going via always. An extrapolation of infinite universe idea mixed with a parody of the comedian e book trope of benevolent galactic organizations watching us from afar, the Citadel was the type of “let’s push this to its logical conclusion” concept that the present had already made its hallmark. It labored in season one as a result of it didn’t overstay its welcome, and since the episode was largely about distinguishing our Rick and Morty from the remainder of them.
As ideas go, it’s each extremely intelligent and damnably onerous to make work as a story system. Arising with myriad iterations in your two predominant characters (and it’s solely Ricks and Mortys on the Citadel, which suggests when you don’t like Justin Roiland’s voice, you’re fucked) with out ever repeating your self or stretching plausibility previous all hope of return isn’t a problem for the faint of coronary heart. “The Ricklantis Mixup” roughly solves this drawback by not worrying a lot about plausibility in any respect. When you settle for that the multiverse is feasible, that there are a close to infinite (or simply infinite) variety of potential variations of Rick and Morty, then you must roll with it. This can be a present that had a world stuffed with speaking pizza. (And sure, I understand I’m underselling the weirdness of that gag.)
That’s high quality so far as it goes, however you push this too far and it turns into troublesome to inform a compelling story within the span of twenty-something minutes. As a result of regardless of how weird the present’s actuality will get, it nonetheless must work as a TV present; it nonetheless must have a acknowledge narrative with starting, center, and finish, and it nonetheless must have stakes and character battle. Inventive freedom in a story kind can solely elaborate as far out a its inherent construction permits.
“The Ricklantis Mixup” solves this drawback by utilizing the weird, mind-melting weirdness of the brand new Citadel to undergo a handful of plotlines that, stripped of their strangeness, are all fairly acquainted. Now we have a rookie cop on his first day at work with a grizzled, bigoted associate who may also be corrupt; we’ve a gaggle of boys happening a really Stand By Me-style coming of age quest; we’ve a manufacturing facility employee cracking below the strain of a dehumanizing job and holding his office hostage; and we’ve an underdog politician who, it seems, may not be such an underdog in spite of everything. The truth that these tales are all populated by varied Ricks and varied Mortys doesn’t alter the trajectory of those plots. It means the clichés are joke as a substitute of simply clichés.
And it really works, though if I’m being sincere, I’ll admit that for some time, I used to be making an attempt to determine if possibly the present had lastly made the error of disappearing up its personal ass. That’s all the time a danger with one thing this self-aware and decided to withstand being predictable. I used to be impressed by the inventiveness—ah, so the grizzled cop is definitely a Morty who hates different Morties, and there’s a creepy pseudo-strip membership the place Mortys dance; and hey, that manufacturing facility the employee holds hostage makes wafer cookies flavored with the happiness of a easy Rick appreciating his daughter—however with out the core bitterness or perception that runs via the present’s finest mindfuck episodes, this was enjoyable however possibly only a tad indulgent.
But this does all join collectively in a really satisfying manner, with the return of the opposite essential determine from that season one Citadel episode: the Evil Morty. The character has been gone lengthy sufficient that his return right here has weight. It’s not onerous to guess the place the Morty for president story goes, however that doesn’t make the decision any much less satisfying, and the best way that decision roughly ties all the things into one huge, humorous/creepy finale rescues the episode from simply being an prolonged goof. Evil Morty is such an odd idea that it’s thrilling to know the writers haven’t deserted him, and he may even present one thing the present goes to want sooner or later sooner or later: a risk past Rick and Morty’s inherent dysfunctional natures.
That’s for later, although. For proper now, what issues is the playful, sudden worldbuilding that dangers collapsing below the load of its ambition however manages to stay the touchdown. The technical bravado is spectacular, and the truth that this finally simply managed to make our Rick and Morty appear that rather more distinct and essential would be the neatest trick of all of them. It could’ve been good to see Atlantis, although*.
- Man, the Citadel acquired rebuilt quick. Though that’s how the extrapolation works; you probably have portal weapons and a gaggle of tremendous geniuses, shit will get completed.
- There’s a Snape-esque Rick at Morty Academy. Or at the very least, there was earlier than President Morty shut the place down. There may be additionally a Willy Wonka-esque Rick, though he’s useless now.
- Okay, so the truth that all of the Ricks and Mortys are imagined to be the identical age implies that even when there’s a multiverse, all the things exists on the identical timeline? It’s onerous to not overthink these items.
- “Consider him as a ‘drug lord’ and us as cops on his payroll.” Even when grizzled, a Morty isn’t all that intelligent.
- “I want incest porn had a extra mainstream attraction.” -glasses sporting Morty
- *-that’s a joke, I’m joking, nobody cares about Atlantis.