Rick and Morty Season 3 Episodes 1: The Rickshank Redemption Review
By Randy Mootooveran
Wow. Just wow. Only one episode in, and it already feels like I’ve gone across the world, bought a house, sold it, bought another house, burned it to the ground, won the lottery, spent all the money, faked my death to escape my enemies, and ended up right back home with the memories still vivid inside my head. That’s my immediate feelings right after finishing the episode. Having not watched either of the previous seasons, I have no idea if the rest of the episodes are as outlandish, surreal, and nonstop rapid fire as this episode. That being said, this is absolutely a premiere to a season you need to experience at least once.
It’s utter madness. I feel like someone took The Twilight Zone, Futurama, and Invader Zim, got rid of all ties to reality, morality, and subtlety, cut out all the slow moments, mixed them together, and sped up the footage by 25 percent. It starts with a Galactic Federation of fly people taking over the world because of something Rick created, with the beginning depicting them probing his mind to find an interdimensional teleportation device. You may think that’s a climax, but don’t worry. That’s only the beginning. All of a sudden, Morty and his sister are thrown into conflicts involving feral alternate versions of themselves, mind manipulation, an entire multiverse of infinite Ricks that have formed their own empire, and an all out space battle. I mean, goddamn Rick and Morty! Star Wars and Bioshock Infinite at least took their time before introducing stuff that blew the audiences minds. The Rickshank Redemption blows through each plot point before you can say, “Booker is Comstock?”
But here is where I encountered my main issue with the episode (this being my first, I don’t know if the rest have the same issue.) While it’s incredibly engaging and always makes you wonder how things could get more outlandish, it becomes hard to really feel connected to what’s happening. One second, Morty is telling his sister he wants nothing to do with Rick in fear of what could happen to her. The next they’re being held on trial by alternate versions of Rick for housing a rogue Rick in their universe. It wouldn’t hurt if they stopped in one place for more than 5 minutes so we can understand Morty’s plight. In the brief time I had to analyze Rick, I think I would have liked to see what he had to say given that Rick steals every frame he’s in. Also, the title baffles me. Sure, Rick begins the episode imprisoned, but what exactly was the redemption? Was it causing the Federation to leave, or making up with his daughter but driving Morty’s father away so they can find that Mulan sponsored McDonald’s sauce? All of the madness just stops too suddenly, and I couldn’t help thinking it was anticlimactic. I suppose this could be a starting point for another episode to be more grounded, but we’ll have to wait and see.
But don’t let me stop you from seeing it. The Rickshank Redemption convinced me that not everything on TV is predictable.