Rick and Morty keeps highering the bar as the third season is yet three episodes to be complete. The latest episode called “The Ricklantis Mixup” was without a doubt, one of the best episodes of the show since its premiere in 2013. The episode is narrating the story of different characters from the Rick city AKA “Citadel” in the time of recovering from disastrous events of the season premiere.[Spoilers ahead] I think what really distinguishes this particular episode of Rick and Morty, is the brutal approach. We are facing a metropolitan crisis-faced city with numerous problems. Poverty, drugs, crime, and corruption is all over the Citadel. There are five different storylines in this episode:
1. The Original Rick and Morty Going to Atlantis
Here are Rick and Morty preparing to go on an adventure to the Atlantis. Although the episode’s title is referring to this but interestingly the whole rest of the episode is irrelevant to this timeline. As they are ready to go, A portal opens and K-22 version of Rick and Morty pop up. They are asking for donations for reconstructing Citadel which brings us to the main story of the episode. Morty wonders how the daily life of Citadel citizens is like, what we are about to understand.
2. Police Patrol Rick and Morty
This one is a classic cops patrol story where a Rick is being partners with a Bad Cop Morty. This corrupt Morty doesn’t care about the other Mortys. He is being paid by a drug dealer to keep things under control in the Mort Town (where Morty’s gang members and criminals live). His version of the old story is “Morty Killing Mortys” later on alternates with “Rick Killing Mortys” version from the Cop Rick. This is a reminder that no matter who is the killer, the ones who are getting killed are always Mortys. It is a major hint to the final reveal of the episode. Another interesting point of this storyline is the great references to the racism and brutality of the police in America. The behavior of the police toward African-Americans which is even Institutionalized in black police officers is portrayed perfectly in this episode as it is represented the divide between Ricks and Mortys.
3. Mortys’ School
Here’s the story of four student Mortys which are about to be graduated from Mortys’ school, where they learn how to be a better sidekick for Ricks. They start a pointless journey into finding the wishes chamber. Nothing too special about this chapter except for the ending which one of them sacrifices himself, wishing for a change in Citadel.
4. Simple Rick Hostage Situation
There is a hopeless Rick working in a cookie factory, the classic story of a worker tired of the routines and suddenly reaches the breaking point. He takes hostage the flavor source of its factory which is the brain of a Rick tricked to watch his daughter’s birthday clip believing it is his reality. The miserable life of the worker Rick has forced him to rise against the injustice. The final conclusion to this story is when Ricke the Sanchez the Third, one of the city elites, enters and offers the worker’s redemption and just when he gains his trusts, kills him and use his final feeling of freedom as a flavor for their new products. This dark ending just reveals more misery in the Citadel.
5. Citadel’s First Presidential Election
This one is the main story of the episode which holds the rest together, where five Ricks and a Morty are racing for the presidency. The candidate Morty is not taken seriously at first and even his campaign manager suggests to drop out of the race. The candidate Morty seems to be a hard-working believer who wants to heal the division between Ricks and Mortys. He manages to give an impressing speech at the final debate and turn the polls in his favor. Now that he leads in polls he fires his campaign manager for not having enough faith in him. The former campaign manager Morty gets access to information which reveals the true identity of the candidate Morty which motivates him to attempt to assassinate him. The interesting approach in this story is the signs that have been put together about the real identity of the candidate.
In a powerful ending with the most surprising reveal scene, The Morty which is now the President of Citadel gathers the most powerful Ricks of the city who supposedly have been running things around even before the council of Ricks. In a Game-of-Thrones-like event president Morty orders to kill many of them right there. A music starts playing which is pretty familiar. Yes, the Blonde Redhead’s For the Damaged Coda which was played at the end of episode 110, Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind. And Yes, President Morty is the Evil Morty we already known from the episode in which he was controlling the Evil Rick, capturing and torturing other Mortys. He is ruthless, confident, smart, and the most likely candidate for the villain of the series. His final words following a shot of all the murdered characters of the episode floating through space just paint the most horrifying picture of this Evil Morty:
Good, This seems like a good time for a drink and a cold callculated speech with a sinister overtones. A speech about politics, about order, brotherhood, power. But speeches are for campaigning, now is the time for action.