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

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"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.


  • 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 a 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.
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    • 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 is 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.
  • All for Nothing: Rick’s efforts since the season 3 premiere to become The Patriarch are basically undone due to some poorly-timed words on his part that cause Beth to doubt herself. This sets off the events that have her reconcile with Jerry, and Beth feels at peace regardless of whether or not she is a clone. Furthermore, Rick's shenanigans have driven Morty to a limit, and he tries to get the family away from Rick (out of fear that he 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.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • The main focus is how the President of the United States cannot accept that Rick is infinitely superior to him and the government. Even brokering the "Blatantly Obvious If You Think About It" peace accord between Israel and Palestine and giving him full credit pissed him off because he can't make Rick submit to him.
    The President: The office of the Presidency cannot coexist with an infinitely superior god who refuses to submit to him... well, except for Poseidon, but he's locked up in Area 51, so it doesn't count.
    • Near the end, Rick himself is forced to admit that, in terms of being The Patriarch to the Smith family, Jerry is better at it 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.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Politics: The President of the United States actively dismisses Brazil's sovereignty when he learns of first contact with an alien species that set up a settlement in the Amazon rainforest. He orders his forces to proceed to the site and activate their deficit-tripling portal technology just so that he can get the credit for making first contact. He openly touts that the United States is the dominant superpower and essentially rules the world, which gives him the clout to ignore other countries completely.
  • 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 asking Rick to leave and not kill her, Rick reveals that he was never planning to do so and, whether she's a clone or not (which still isn't made clear), still sees her as his daughter; the gun was to kill Jerry (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 "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.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Chinese character on the back of Jerry's robe means "weak/feeble".
  • Bittersweet Ending: The family is happy except for Rick. During the ending, Jerry and Beth reunite, and Morty now has enough confidence not to be bullied into taking part in Rick's adventures anymore. Now, Rick is forced to live a more normal life with his family or at least one where he has less control over them than he wants to.
  • 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 calling off their divorce, all four Smiths becoming a happier family, and none of them holding the same blind hero-worship for Rick that they once did (and that he wanted them to).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Done this time by Beth instead of Rick when she states that "it'll be like Season 1, 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:
  • Cessation of Existence: Rick warns the security guards that they will die if they touch him and there will be no afterlife to be looking forward to.
  • 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" (that is, if she is a clone at all). Rick flat-out tells her she isn't and reassures her, but then asks if she's only pretending to have accepted his explanation because she knows he'd have to get rid of her otherwise.
  • Combat Breakdown: The badass fight between the president and Rick ends with both parties out of weapons and Rick putting the president in a Headlock of Dominance.
  • 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.
  • Concealing Canvas: The opening scene reveals that there is a hidden door behind the painting of Lincoln at the White House, leading down to a tunnel system.
  • 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.
    • Rick also makes repeated references to the fact that he's moved to different realities 'like a hermit crab', seen in "Rick Potion Number Nine" and "Morty's Mind Blowers".
    • Rick is also branded a terrorist at the end of his fight with the President, a label he also had in dealing with the Galactic Federation.
  • Convenient Replacement Character: To smooth out the events of the episode with the President, Rick pretends to be one by dressing up in fishing gear and posing as a different Rick who just moved in and was friends with his reality's POTUS.
  • Cool Gate: 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.
  • 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 no real reason, acting like a smartass when he should probably 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 Arch-Nemesis, and Rick's behavior comes across as Disproportionate Retribution precisely because, as Dr. Wong noted, 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 a Secret Service agent is killed by his Touch of Death during the standoff, it sours the situation immediately, a Cabinet member lambasts him for not just knocking the agent out, and the POTUS angrily calls him out for murder 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 on him by the rest of his family. Rick tries to insist that the multiverse and everyone in it are meaningless and disposable, but Beth simply asks why Rick doesn't go find an alternate version of them that shares his attitude, while Summer responds to his usual Straw Nihilist spiel by farting, similar to how Rick usually reacts to other people's serious concerns with snide toilet humor. Rick does depend on the family for some kind of connection since he can't do without them, and decides not to leave, leading to the status quo coming back.
  • Delicious Distraction: Rick diverts the attention of the two Tyke Bombs by throwing candies at them.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The President says that Poseidon is imprisoned in Area 51.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: Rick feels the need to explain his "casualties in the Brazilians" joke.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: One of Rick's gadgets is a device that creates a couple of 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 Leader of the World, he disregards the sovereignty of Brazil, and he's known to order drone strikes to hide his insecurity.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Well, everybody except Rick.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: When Rick learns that Beth is getting back together with Jerry, he immediately assumes it's because she still thinks she's a clone, rather than because she actually loves him.
  • Fanservice:
    • Summer's first appearance in this episode is her dressed in a scantily clad Farmer's Daughter outfit.
    • The reptilian stripper in the lounge Rick takes some Arab officials to.
  • For Want of a Nail: Had Rick had a little more tact in settling Beth's worries over possibly being a clone, she wouldn't have gone back to Jerry.
  • Freak Out: Beth has one when Rick accidentally exacerbates her fear 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.
    • When the President is unloading a Gatling gun on Rick's holograms, it can be briefly seen that he also mulches the Tyke Bombs that Rick had disabled.
  • Furry Female Mane: Mr. Poopybutthole's wife in The Stinger has a ponytail while he and his son don't have any hair.
  • Government Conspiracy: Apparently, several 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.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Beth theorizes that she may be a clone, in which case this is happening to her and Rick might want to kill her for it.
  • A Handful for an Eye: During combat, the president throws a bowl of cocaine into Rick's face.
  • Heavy Voice: Inverted. The president's voice gets higher and becomes Helium Speech as he shrinks in size.
  • Hero Insurance: Lampshaded by the president who notes that in return for their favors of saving America now and then, Rick and Morty were never held accountable to its laws.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Rick's incredibly self-destructive behavior ruins the family situation and dynamic 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 petty reasons, and Morty finally reaches his limit with Rick, right when Rick's own sense of humor and anti-authoritarian streak was rubbing off his grandson.
    • Despite stating that there wouldn't be any Blade Runner stuff that could happen at the end of the last episode, he taunts Beth about her possible Cloning Blues. 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 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 Federation, takes the portal gun and maroons 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
  • 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!
  • I Choose to Stay: When Rick decides to jump dimensions once again, Morty refuses to come with him, telling him that he’s staying with the rest of his family. Rick eventually decides to stay as well and tricks the President into thinking he’s a different Rick so they are on friendly terms again, but he’s clearly not happy about the whole situation.
  • Idiot Ball: Rick, of all people, didn't realize that the President was monitoring him?
  • I Do Not Like Green Eggs and Ham: Rick is dismissive of Minecraft at first, but later admits that the game has grown on 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 such before they discovered they were actually tiny.
  • I Warned You: Unlike most episodes where Rick causing the deaths of others and disregarding the damage he's done is Played for Laughs, here it's played chillingly straight when he warns a federal agent that if the agent touches him, he'll die and then, sure enough, the agent promptly dies after touching Rick. While everyone is horrified (even Morty), Rick did in fact warn them, and given his personality, was surprisingly insistent with his warning.
    Rick: Son, you have a right to refuse his order and I guarantee you're going to die if you touch me and there's no afterlife, everything just goes black. Don't do it. (cue the agent touching him and then falling dead)
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Mentioned by the president; he's tolerated Rick and Morty's illegal antics because they saved the planet several times. He can't just ignore them killing a Secret Service Agent, however.
  • Kill Sat: The president has a laser-shooting satellite he can control with a laser sight on his watch.
  • Kiss of Distraction: In Jerry's recounting of his date with Beth, he reveals that the first time he kissed her was to avoid her noticing the Snickers wrapper that stuck to his palm.
  • Mini-Mecha: The president goes after Rick in one of these.
  • Monster Munch: A cleaner is killed by the monster in the opening scene.
  • 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.
  • Noodle Incident: When Rick arrives at the family's hideout, Summer complains that they shouldn't have gone to the same cabin as "last time", implying that this isn't the first time they've had to hide out from 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.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The President displays quite a bit of advanced technology in this episode, all of which would be cutting edge 20 Minutes into the Future technology by modern standards. It just doesn't measure up to Rick's Physical God-level technology.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Rick as Fly-Fishing Rick. It still works.
  • Paranoia Gambit: 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.
  • Physical God: The POTUS openly considers Rick to be this, and even addressing him as such during their fight.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: At the Amazon, Rick breaks free from his handcuffs with ease after pretending to be captured for some time.
  • 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 helped him score high approval ratings (such as fixing the Arab–Israeli Conflict overnight). However, 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 and Rick's anarchist sentiments not likely to make him kowtow to patriotism. It's zigzagged that the President just wants them out of the White House and won't bother them anymore up until the point where Rick kills a Secret Service agent.
  • 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. Rick thus ditches his fight with the POTUS to go find them, so not only does he not get the selfie for Morty that he was apparently fighting for all along, he's alienated his family, and he's branded a terrorist by the President and excommunicated from the country thanks to attacking him and killing at least a dozen of his men. At least he does manage to make it appear to the President that he left this dimension and another Rick will be taking his place.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The President is relatively the sanest leader to cooperate with Rick and Morty. While he's furious with them for leaving the White House to face the monster as previously agreed. He then decides to, instead of blasting the hell out of them, to try and conduct missions without them and tells them Rick is a free agent. Rick to spite him starts doing the President's job better while giving him the credit. While the President is annoyed about this because he knows Rick is doing it to get his goat, he just orders Rick and Morty to leave the White House. It's not until Rick kills a Secret Service agent that the President pulls out the big guns and the mecha suit.
  • Reclining Reigner: The Presidentress receives the President in this pose.
  • Refusal of the Call: After injuring the alien in the Kennedy Sex Tunnels, Rick and Morty decide the adventure is lame and leave before finishing the job to play Minecraft.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Rick and Morty return home, tired of fulfilling the president's requests.
    • Morty leaves while Rick and the President fight, no longer interested in a selfie with the latter.
  • Selective Obliviousness: According to DVD Commentary, the President does suspect when meeting "Fly-Fishing Rick" that he's still dealing with the same Rick, but decides to play dumb for the sake of his own ego.
  • Sentimental Music Cue: In-universe. The President turns on sad music in his Oval Office after declaring his relationship with Rick and Morty to be finished.
  • "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:
    • Rick says the President treats him and Morty like Ghostbusters. Morty also compares the monster they were asked to slay as to those in The X-Files.
    • Morty convinces Rick to play Minecraft with him.
    • In his A God Am I speech to the President, Rick equates himself with Doctor Who.
    • The two Tyke Bomb weapons the President sends after Rick are both dressed like The Six Million Dollar Man, and even make the classic "tch-ch-ch-ch-ch" sound when they start to attack Rick.
    • Another Minecraft nod: The President's portal requires a lighter to activate.
    • Rick references the Minecraft episode of South Park to convince Morty that they missed the bandwagon by several years and are free to move on to the next plot point.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When the family gets back together, Rick tries to tell them that nothing they think matters actually matters and that there are infinite versions of themselves playing out this very scenario. Summer responds by letting out a fart.
  • 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. Played With, however, in that there are some key differences:
    • A) The family is now genuinely happy (or at least happier than they started),
    • B) Jerry is now a respected member of the family, and has become a better person after some soul searching,
    • C) Beth is no longer pining for her father's approval,
    • D) and Morty has apparently become fully willing to stand up to Rick, which could mean a lot for the duo's future adventures.
  • The Stinger: Mr. Poopybutthole shows up as he did in the 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, who bears some resemblance to Barack Obama, 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 Beth says that pretty much everything they serve can be described as "sugar chicken".
    • Rick's Straw Nihilist attitude, which is something that the show makes fun of very often, finally comes to a head in this episode. After all the crap that the family has been through, they find their own meaning in life while Rick continues to think of it all as meaningless. This culminates in the family ignoring Rick's attitude and not caring if he actually stays or goes. This is one of the central premises in the show: "The knowledge that nothing matters—while accurate—gets you nowhere".
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In "Get Schwifty", the POTUS 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 remain standing after getting in conflict with him. But...
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: ...The President is far more stubborn and arrogant here than he was in his debut, going so far as to declare war on Rick and Morty because they hurt his pride, left before completing a job, and are undermining his authority.
  • 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.
  • Tyke-Bomb: 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.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rick reacts furiously when he realizes that Morty has stolen his portal gun and left him to deal with the consequences of his feud with the President. When he learns that Beth and Jerry are back together, he abandons his usual attempts at manipulation and simply turns up with a gun to try and kill Jerry. Finally, when Morty stands up to him along with the rest of the family, Rick responds with yet another nihilistic rant.

" 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!"


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