Recap / Rick And Morty S 3 E 10 The Rickchurian Mortydate

"You don’t know what I am. And you don’t know what I can do! I’m Doctor Who in this motherfucker! I could be a clone. I could be a hologram! We could be clones controlled by robots controlled with special headsets that the real Rick and Morty are wearing while they’re fucking your mother!"
Rick Sanchez

Rick and Morty help the President kill a monster.

Tropes:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: The US president gets this after Rick and Morty successfully negotiate peace between Palestine and Israel, but since it's a power-play by Rick, the president isn't happy about it.
  • Absurd Phobia: The US government creates defenses for countering Rick if necessary, but got their information reading off of Wikipedia, which Rick himself edited, so it turns out most of their defenses were useless. The one that wasn't? His fear of pirates.
    Rick: Run Morty! That part was true!
  • Action Politician: The President engages Rick in personal battle.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • Despite Rick's annoyance with being detained by the POTUS and his soldiers, he's clearly greatly enjoying Morty's belligerence towards the President, watching the whole thing with a wide grin on his face. He particularly likes Morty's "Commander-in-Queef" quip.
    • When Summer responds to Rick's Straw Nihilist rant at the end of the episode with a fart joke, Rick admits that yes, that happened across all realities too, but he's not trying to say that, subjectively, it wasn't funny.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The tiny nuclear aliens land in a Brazilian rainforest. When Rick and Morty go, the Brazilian military are already on site building a perimeter and then the Americans roll in with their tanks, more or less making another alien invasion be about them.
  • Always Someone Better: Rick finally admits that Jerry is better at being the patriarch of the Smith-Sanchez household than he is:
    Rick: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. You win, Jerry. You win! No amount of genius can stop your dumb mediocre vacuous roots from digging into everything and everyone around you and draining them of any ability to fend you off.
    Jerry: Well, it couldn't have been easy for you to say that. I appreciate it.
  • All for Nothing: Rick’s efforts since the season 3 premier to become The Patriarch are basically undone due to some misplaced words on Rick's part that have him cause Beth to doubt herself. This sets off the events that have her go back to Jerry and they reconcile while Beth feels at ease that regardless of whether or not she is a clone, she's at peace. Furthermore, Rick's shenanigans have driven Morty to a limit where he led the family to keep away from Rick (out of fear that Rick may go after Beth since she thinks she's a clone.) This leads to an Anti-Climax where the family reunites to embrace their mundane family dynamic from season 1, much to Rick's dismay.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Despite Rick's insistence, the family still holds doubt whether or not Beth is a clone. When Beth jokes that Rick would never actually tell them, Rick just gives a cold, unblinking stare.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The President's own teleportation technology requires the military to manually airlift the platform to its destination just for the President to step through it. At best, it just ensures that the President isn't in any danger during the transportation to the location, but he still has to wait for them to get there whether he flies with them or not.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When Rick shows up to the Smiths' hiding place with a gun, Beth assumes that she is a clone after all and Rick is there to terminate her. However, after she gives a long rant that ends with her telling Rick to leave and not kill her, Rick reveals that he was never planning to kill her and still sees her as his daughter; the gun was to kill Jerry with (though he doesn't even try to use it to do so).
    • Also near the end, the narrative seems to suggest that "our" Rick followed through on his words and decided to leave to a new dimension, and a new, much-nicer Rick who enjoys fishing and is friendly with the President has moved in with "our" version of the Smiths. Then we see that he is indeed "our Rick", who was just wearing a disguise he borrowed from Jerry to speak with the President. (Though this is probably easy for the audience to guess from the beginning, anyway.)
    • In Real Life, some people who read the brief teaser synopses stating that Rick would confront The President assumed that meant Rick would battle Evil Morty and felt the whole episode was this.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Rick asks Morty if Minecraft is popular with autistic people, seeming as if he's about to make a derogatory statement, then claims that must be why he likes it.
  • Book Ends: In regards to Season 3, the first episode ended with Rick becoming The Patriarch of the family, manipulating Beth into divorcing Jerry, and getting away with all of it. This episode shows Beth and Jerry resolving their divorce, being a happier family and causing no one else in the family to look up to Rick as superior.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Usually done by Rick, but this time by Beth when she states that "it'll be just like Season 1 again, but more streamlined."
  • Brick Joke: During their brawl, the President and Rick crash through the hooker dump and the cocaine lounge that the President mentioned at the start of the episode.
  • Call-Back:
  • Cloning Blues: Beth undergoes this as a result of the end of last week's episode, contrary to Rick's claim that there would be "no chance of [her] going Blade Runner", assuming of course if she is the clone. Rick flat-out tells her she isn't and reassures her, but then asks if she's worried he's only saying that because she knows he'd have to get rid of her otherwise.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Deconstructed as seen in the dynamic between the POTUS and Rick and Morty. Rick and Morty's rather long rap-sheet and history of collateral damage has been given light oversight by the government because they have helped them out, but their rather cavalier entitlement about them being vigilantes who are above the law and doing so in front of the President and his councillors upsets him too much, and that starts a civil war between them.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • One of the global problems that Rick and Morty resolved for the United States offscreen was the political tension between Palestine and Israel. As established in "Vindicators 3", Rick blathers about Israel's defense budget when drunk, and while sober is concerned enough about this habit that he feels the need to clarify that he's not anti-Semitic and cares about Israel's geopolitical well-being.
    • Jerry still has his telekinetic powers from the last episode.
  • Convenient Replacement Character: In order to smooth out the events of the episode with the President, Rick dresses up in fishing gear and poses as a different Rick who just moved in and was friends with his reality's POTUS.
  • Deconstruction: The episode is more or less a systematic attack on Rick and Morty's usual formula of adventures, deliberately making the usual gimmicks anti-climactic by exposing what happens when Rick doesn't have an obvious Eviler Than Thou enemy to offend, and when his own attitude and gimmicks get turned against him:
    • At the start of the episode, Rick irritates the US Government for really no reason, acting like a smartass when he really should keep his mouth shut. This leads to Serial Escalation because the POTUS is not an Arch-Enemy, but a Hero Antagonist who is closer to Sitcom Archnemesis, and Rick's behaviour comes across as Disproportionate Retribution precisely because as Dr. Wong notes, he can't handle mundane everyday life, and pretends he's in an adventure when he isn't.
      • Throughout the series, Rick has killed plenty of people with his inventions with casual indifference. When he has a secret service agent killed by his Touch of Death during the standoff, it sours the situation immediately, a cabinet member chides him for not just knocking him out, and the POTUS angrily calls him out for committing murder in the Oval Office.
    • His constant nihilism and Contemplate Our Navels attitude to the multiverse and expecting his family to share his attitude and get with his program and crazy schemes get turned back, when they decide to restore the status-quo, and when Rick insists about how meaningless and disposable the multiverse is, Beth simply asks why Rick doesn't go find an alternate version of them that shares his attitude, while Summer in response to his usual Straw Nihilist spiel reacts by farting, similar to how Rick usually reacts to other people's serious concerns by snide toilet humor. Rick's crazy adventures could only break apart the family, while at the same time, Rick does depend on the same family for some kind of connection since he can't do without them. This leads to the status-quo coming back.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The President says that Poseidon is imprisoned in Area 51.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: One of Rick's gadgets is a device that creates a couple dozen illusions of himself. For bonus points, they cartwheel while the President ineffectually blasts at them.
  • Eagleland: America's entitlement about being the leader of the free world and its casual imperialism, is parodied in this episode. The POTUS assumes that he is more or less the Lord of the World, he disregards the sovereignty of Brazil, and is known to order drone strikes to hide its insecurity.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Well, everybody except Rick and the President.
  • Fanservice: Summer's first appearance in this episode is her dressed in a scantily clad farmer girl outfit.
    • Also, the reptilian stripper in the lounge Rick takes some Arab officals to.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The ending; Jerry and Beth reunite, and Morty now has enough confidence not to be bullied into taking part of Rick's adventures anymore. Now, Rick is forced to live a normal life with his family.
  • For Want of a Nail: Had Rick had a little more tact in settling Beth's worries over (probably) being a clone, she wouldn't have gone back to Jerry.
  • Freak-Out: Beth has one when Rick accidentally convince her that she might be a clone.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • As Rick and the President crash through the McKinley Hooker Dump, sound stages can be seen containing a UFO, the Moon Landing, and a mockup of the painting Washington Crossing the Delaware. Oh, and many hooker skeletons.
    • When they crash through the ceiling after that escapade, between the floors is a Satanic circle and Tupac Shakur's corpse.
  • Gaslighting: It's accidental, but Rick's responses to Beth asking if she's a clone or the original Beth greatly undermine her identity and sense of self, making her paranoid and crazy, and finally leading her to return to Jerry.
  • Government Conspiracy: Apparently, a number of US Presidents have secret areas under the White House where they engaged in drugs, hookers, and slave fights. Poseidon is also currently locked up in Area 51.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Rick's incredible self-destructive behaviour ruins the very setup and situation that he had built for himself through Season 3:
    • He gets into a completely avoidable feud with the President of the United States and the American government for no reason at all, and ends up with Morty finally reaching his limit with Rick, right when his own sense of humor and anti-authoritarian streak was rubbing off his grandson (much to his happiness).
    • Despite stating that there wouldn't be any Blade Runner stuff that could happen at the end of the last episode, he rubs in and taunts Beth about Cloning Blues. Now if she's a clone, he's more or less admitting that he lied to the original Beth, and if she isn't a clone, he's psychologically abusing his own daughter and attacking her self-esteem, leading her to go to Jerry.
    • After Rick once again decides to rebel and taunt a government risking the loss of his citizenship, and making himself and his family Outlaws without any chance of normal life, Morty wanting to avoid a repeat of Rick's run-in with the Galactic Government, takes his portal gun deciding to maroon Rick in his own mess.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: McKinley had a hooker dump, Truman had a cocaine lounge, and Lincoln kept a slave colosseum.
    President: He didn't free them all
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: One of Rick's main goals (according to himself) in "The Rickshank Redemption" was to get Jerry kicked out of the family and become The Patriarch in his place, and he appeared to have succeeded in that. However, when Beth comes to him for help about her existential crisis, his words not only completely fail to re-assure her, they actually make it worse. This leads Beth to run to Jerry for reassurance instead, which in turn results in them getting back together, essentially reinstating Jerry to the family and undoing what Rick accomplished in the season premiere.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When the President is reviewing what Rick and Morty said about him, he is stunned that they say he drone strikes people because he's insecure. One of his advisors asks if he would like to drone strike them.
    President: That would prove them right!
  • Idiot Ball: Rick, of all people, didn't realize that The President was monitoring him?
  • Invisibility Cloak: The President has "Invisi-troopers", though Rick claims to have been able to see them.
  • Ironic Name: The people of the miniature civilization in the Brazilian rainforest call themselves "Mega Gargantuans". Their Presidentress says that they named themselves that before they discovered they were actually tiny.
  • Kill Sat: The president has a laser-shooting satellite he can control with a laser sight on his watch.
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: On top of staging the moon landing in a studio located beneath the White House, the US government also murdered Tupac Shakur, staged and filmed the JFK assassination, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and George Washington crossing the Delaware.
  • Non-Action Guy: Morty outright mocks the President as being this, saying that his underlings do all the work for him while the Prez himself "sits on his ass at peace summits". This ends up leading the President to defy this by taking the shrinking pill himself rather than having his employees do it, and he later proves he can hold his own in a fight during his battle with Rick.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Rick invokes this by not explaining how his Touch of Death killed the federal agent who tried to touch him, as doing so improves its intimidation factor. When the President asks why he couldn't just knock out the agent who just touched him, Rick states that knocking people out doesn't act as a deterrent.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: The President has access to invisible soldiers, a personal mecha battle suit, a transporter, and other hi-tech weaponry.
  • Physical God: The POTUS openly considers Rick to be this, and even addressing him as such during their fight.
  • Principles Zealot: The President is reminded by both Rick and Morty, and by his own advisers, that the titular pair have been helpful to him, and have helped him score high approval ratings (such as fixing the Arab-Israeli Conflict overnight) but he still wants war against them because both of them undermine his authority and sense of superiority as the "leader of the Free World", with Rick and Morty dismissing the POTUS and his complaints as minor stuff compared to their real adventures, with Rick's anarchist sentiments not likely to make him kowtow to patriotism.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Rick does manage to win his fight with the President and get him to submit to a selfie with Morty; however, by this time, Morty (who has long since stopped wanting the selfie) has taken Rick's portal gun and left him there, and the entire family is hiding from him due to the belief that he plans to kill (possibly clone-)Beth. This results in Rick giving up on his fight with the POTUS to go find them, so not only does he not get the selfie he was apparently fighting for all along, he's alienated his family enough that they're hiding from him, and he's branded a terrorist by the President and excommunicated from the country as a result of attacking him and killing at least a dozen of his men. Though he does manage to make it look like to the President that he left the universe and another Rick will be taking his place.
  • Refusal of the Call: After injuring the alien, Rick and Morty decide the adventure is lame and ignore the problem to play Minecraft.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The President shrinks himself down and goes to visit the Mega Gargantuans alone in the hopes of negotiating, only to find that their Presidentress already worked out a ceasefire with Rick and Morty, who claimed to be US ambassadors.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: The President's shrink pills don't shrink his clothing with them, a source of much mockery from Rick and Morty. They also apparently cause cancer. Rick and Morty show him up by shrinking themselves and negotiating peace with the aliens in the time it takes the President to fly his little shuttle over, even dropping off a "Best President Ever" shirt (but no pants) just to mock him.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Status Quo Is God: The entire finale is about the show returning to the status-quo of Season 1 as Beth Lampshades, with Beth and Jerry reuniting and remarrying, the kids under one roof, and Rick once again becoming the oddball in a family where Jerry is The Patriarch. The main differences are that:
    • A) The family is now genuinely happy (or at least happier than they started),
    • B) Jerry is now a respected member of the family,
    • C) Beth is no longer pining for her father's approval,
    • D) and Morty has become fully willing to stand-up to Rick which can mean a lot for the duo's future adventures.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When the family gets back together, Rick tries to tell them that nothing they think matters matters and that there are infinite versions of themselves playing out this very scenario. Summer responds by letting out a fart.
  • The Stinger: Mr. Poopy Butthole shows up like he did in last finale's stinger. Now, he's married and has a kid, promising another long hiatus.
  • Take That!:
    • Jokes are had at Minecraft's expense, such as it being popular with autistic people and Rick saying that it must be made by Jerry (although he does end up really enjoying the game after a while, to the point where he makes a virtual-reality version).
    • They also say that the president, among other things, orders drone strikes because he's insecure, though it's not clear which, if any, real-world president this is supposed to be.
    • The family celebrates their reunion with Panda Express, and it's said that pretty much everything they serve can be described as "sugar chicken".
  • Take That, Audience!: Mr. Poopybutthole's role in The Stinger has him brag about his many accomplishments in terms of life goals since last season and say that he's sure the viewers were just as productive in the time passed.
  • Take That, Us: After Rick and Morty abandon their VR Minecraft session, Rick points out that they were slow to reference it as South Park already did episodes on both Minecraft and VR four years ago.
    Morty: Boy, they're fast.
    Rick: Or we're slow.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The President has a teleporter which is a copy of the Nether Portal from Minecraft, complete with a soldier having to use a lighter to boot it up.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The POTUS in Get Schwifty was a weakling who came inches from being fragged by his own general. Here he's a Science Hero who is physically adept, and manages to score a draw with Rick Sanchez, becoming the only authority and government that Rick has opposed to still remain standing after getting in conflict with him. But...
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: ...The President here is far more stubborn and arrogant than he was in his debut, going so far as to declare war on Rick and Morty because they hurt his pride.
  • Touch of Death: A member of the Secret Service instantly dies when he touches Rick. The fact that there's no indication as to why or how is meant to terrify them, as Rick lampshades.
  • Tykebomb: The President has a pair of small children trained to be assassins who he can activate with a dog whistle. Rick manages to distract them with candy and they are later gunned down by the President in his Mini-Mecha.
  • The Un-Reveal: We still don't find out for certain if Rick was telling the truth about the Beth in this episode being the original Beth, or if he was lying and she is indeed a clone he created of her. Especially since Rick's words and actions make it pretty clear that even if she were the clone, he would not tell her so.

" Ooh-wee! What a season! Sorry I never showed up, but I got married. I had a baby. I went back to school and got my G-E-E-E-D. What did you do while you were waiting? Hopefully you didn't just fuck around and waste your life. Ooh-wee! See you for Season 4 in, like, a really long time! I might even have a big white Santa Claus beard and and and a And a couple of grandkids and all that kind of stuff. See you-see you then!"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/RickAndMortyS3E10TheRickchurianMortydate