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Recap / Rick And Morty S 3 E 1 The Rickshank Redemption

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Rick goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Galactic Government, the Council of Ricks and Jerry.


  • Anachronism Stew: Although McDonald's did issue a special Schezuan sauce to promote Mulan, in 1998, Rick orders it alongside a ten-piece order of McNuggets, which were only available in six-, nine-, or twenty-piece orders at the time. Justified, since Rick made up the memory in the first place.
  • And the Adventure Continues: During his concluding rant, Rick says he and Morty will go on more adventures—sometimes with Summer or Beth, but never with Jerry.
  • April Fools' Day: This episode was the prime focus of [adult swim]'s 2017 prank, with it showing up unannounced after a more traditional gag in the early evening and running on repeat for the entire night. This spilled over onto McDonalds' April Fools' Day gags, with fans ignoring the official ones to demand that McDonalds re-issue the Schezuan sauce.
    • Even better, this airing proudly showed their Carl's Jr. commercial during breaks, featuring Carl's Jr. creations messing up Morty's room and rifling through it for stuff to steal. Not only did the show essentially trick McDonalds's into advertising Rick & Morty for free, the Carl's Jr. commercial also worked hard at making Carl's Jr. look unappetizing.
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  • Armor-Piercing Response: Morty gives an epic one to the council of Ricks that's enough to unnerve them:
    Oh yeah? If you think my Rick's dead, he's alive and if you think you're safe, he's coming for you!
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Summer gives this based on the Galactic Federation occupying Earth, with Jaywalking preceding Murder.
    We're miserable, Morty! We have a mandatory curfew, their weird calendar made me 47, and they weaponized the Eiffel Tower!
  • Artistic License – Economics: Rick turning the Galactic Federation currency to nothing. While not impossible in real life, it would be highly unlikely that any currency could be made to value absolutely nothing as supply and demand are a factor as well as relation to other forms of currency. A treasury is far more complex than a single computer so there isn't one source that could make the value worth nothing and it certainly couldn't be done by one person.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • One of the Federation leaders wonders why Rick turned himself in. Apparently Rick anticipated being thrown in that prison containing sensitive Federation information, and planned his breakout to destroy the Federation from the inside. Unfortunately SEAL Team Ricks crashes the party, forcing Rick to improvise.
    • Also, during the standoff with the Rick holding Summer at gunpoint, Rick ends up goading Morty into shooting him with the stun gun he handed him, knowing it would get the other Rick to drop his guard and allow Rick a clear shot at his rival.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Young Rick when his wife and kid die in the explosion. Accompanied by a Futile Hand Reach.
    • Later the interrogator screams "Nooooo" when Rick leaves him behind.
  • Pass the Popcorn: The interrogator enjoys his food while watching Young Rick lose wife and daughter in the explosion.
  • Big Sister Instinct: After Summer refuses to renounce Rick herself, she tells the Council of Ricks that they can do whatever they want with her, but demands that they let Morty go, insisting that he's already renounced Rick anyway, but Morty then inverts this and shows Little Brother Instinct by clarifying that he wasn't really renouncing Rick, and never has; he was just trying to protect Summer, who has a hero-worship for Rick and, unlike Morty, doesn't seem to recognize the full extent of how destructive a presence Rick can be. He was trying to get her to give up on him in an attempt to help Summer have a normal life.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Morty more or less describes Rick as this to Summer, saying that while Rick's not a villain he's also not a hero.
  • Body Horror: Rick makes Jerry fold himself twelve times to demonstrate that he knows he's in a simulation. Jerry gets to six before the simulation can't keep up, and Rick mocks his captors for cheaping out on the hardware.
  • Body Surf: Rick hijacks the Brainalyzer to move his mind into the body of his interrogator to gain high security clearance. When SEAL Team Ricks screws up that plan and kills his original body, he hijacks one of them to escape, then moves through two more Ricks to get revenge and breach the high security area.
  • Brick Joke: Summer, desperate for any tech to help save Rick, starts rearranging dead flies on a table thinking they're a key to redeploy Rick's lab. After Rick returns home, he rearranges the same flies, which turn out to actually be a key that redeploys his lab.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: When Morty takes the portal gun so he can show Summer Cronenberg world, he stretches out her name in the same fashion that Rick says "Morty" whenever he's annoyed with Morty.
  • Call-Back:
    • Remember the Rick and Morty that died and got replaced by our Rick and Morty? That Rick still had his portal gun.
    • Cronenberg Earth is back, and Morty's old folks are still alive, although not exactly in the same state of mind.
    • Rick's rant at the end of this episode strongly mimics his rant at the end of the pilot. The same "inspirational" music is even playing in the background.
    • Rick is trapped in another simulation like in "M. Night Shyamaliens" — with similarly catastrophic consequences for his captors.
    "He's manifested some sort of butt!"
    • When Rick depletes the worth of the galactic currency, the aliens all instantly turn on each other over worrying how they're gonna get paid for their work, then start trying to steal from and murder each other, similar to the cat aliens from 'Look Who's Purging Now,' only without the Purge coming in as a solution to their problems.
  • Captured on Purpose: By way of Batman Gambit. Rick turning himself in at the end of the last episode turns out to have been a gambit to infiltrate the Galactic Federation from the inside given the opportunity and destroy it from the inside.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literal one in the form of the portal gun that belongs to the original Rick of this dimension.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: The episode starts with Rick and his family in a Shoney's, with Rick finishing up telling how he escaped from Federation Prison. Then he tells Jerry to take off his clothes and fold himself 12 times, revealing that Rick knew he was in a Virtual Reality Interrogation.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Galactic Federation didn't consider or prepare for the economy collapsing.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: As revenge for suggesting that he turn himself in to the authorities, Rick breaks up Jerry's marriage to his daughter.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • During the standoff, Morty is insulted one time too many by Rick, and blasts him in the head. Rick had actually planned for Morty to shoot him to break the standoff, revealing that he had written instructions for Morty to shoot him. Instructions that Morty probably didn't read...
    • Jerry finally has the courage to insist Beth choose between him and Rick. It doesn't turn out as he hopes.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Rolls when Summer unearthes Rick's bones and picks up the portal gun.
  • Driven to Suicide: Upon learning that their money is now completely worthless, the president of the Galactic Federation shoots himself in the head.
  • Eureka Moment: Remember when Rick and Morty replaced the dead versions of them? Remember when Morty explained all that to Summer later? Summer does and thus, knows that the dead Rick still has his Portal Gun.
  • Evil Is Petty: Jerry wanted to hand Rick off to the Federation and have Rick pay for his crimes so his family could be free, so Rick decides to destroy Jerry's marriage.
  • Exotic Equipment: After Rick swaps out of the body of his alien captor and slaughters the SEAL team sent to assassinate him, he laments that he didn't even get to give his captor's "insect dick a test drive".
  • Flat "What": Morty's only response to Rick's Motive Rant about everything he does being for the sake of getting his hands on more McDonalds Szechuan dipping sauce is to keep blankly asking what he's talking about.
    Morty: What are you talking about? Szechuan? Nuggets? Mulan? What're you talking about, Rick? What're you talking about? Szechuan sauce? What is that? What are you talking about!?
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Rick first switches bodies with the Galactic agent, he remarks casually that anyone with access to Level 9 could collapse the government. That's exactly what Rick does when he gains access during the ending.
    • Several clues tip off that Rick's memories of inventing the portal gun are fake. Starting with Bluepants!Rick talking with one of his alternate selves and the alternate self saying that Rick is the only person Ricks like. In truth, Rick has deep seated and severe self-loathing. There is no one Rick hates more than himself. But, Fridge Logic dictates that as the show runs on infinite universes, there are also multiple Council of Ricks where Ricks also like each other the most, which our own Rick is also capable of doing, so this point might need some clarification.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • If it weren't for Tammy's sting to arrest the terrorists, Rick wouldn't have been able to infiltrate and destroy the Galactic Federation from the inside.
    • Also, assuming Rick's rant is in fact true and not just him rambling, then Beth and Jerry's breakup could've been avoided had Jerry not suggested turning Rick in.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Rick hands Morty the pistol, you can see a piece of tape with the message scrawled on it.
    • When Rick body surfs into someone else, he gains some drool on his lip. When one of the Council of Ricks runs in to warn the others, he has some drool on his lip.
  • Gambit Roulette:
    • Rick claims to be responsible for breaking his daughter's marriage as revenge for Jerry intending to sell him out, but does so little (asking Jerry for booze) it's difficult to buy.
    • Also, teleporting the Citadel into the Galactic Federation prison in order to save Morty and Summer and access the control room where he causes the collapse of the Federation. Even though the act of teleportation into the facility sends it exploding in pieces, none of the above are destroyed, which would have resulted in an instant fail.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Rick betrays the illusion of the Brainalyzer by telling Jerry to take off his clothes and fold himself, causing him to derezz when the software can't handle the order.
  • Greed: The Galactic Federation leadership are so insanely greedy that they refuse to do anything at all when they aren't being paid. Rick disabling their currency collapses their entire government in hours.
  • Happy Ending Override: ...For what is considered "happy" in their circumstances. The original Jerry from "Rick Potion #9", even after taking a level in badass, is no match for a Freeze Ray wielded by an alternate Rick. Unless the Ricks bothered to unfreeze them on the way out, he, Beth, and alternate Summer are ice statues in a ruined world. Additionally, the original Beth actually felt quite happy at the end of that episode—only to have become feral.
  • He Knows Too Much: Upon being informed that Rick has been captured, the Council of Ricks dispatches SEAL Team Ricks to assassinate him so their knowledge won't fall into Federation hands.
  • Hero-Worshipper:
    • Summer confirms before the Council of Ricks that (her) Rick is her hero.
    • Beth knows that Rick is bad not just for her or her family, but for all of reality. She still needs his approval and affection.
  • Indy Ploy: Discussed by Summer when she mentions that Rick, like all heroes, makes things up as he goes.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Jerry is the only one who actually likes the fact that the Earth is under a Police State, as he is working in a job that makes him feel rewarded for doing nothing. Later, he immediately blames Rick for the problems that the collapse of the Galactic Federation causes for him alone. He demands Beth choose between them when Rick returns, even when it appears that Rick acted selflessly for the family. Beth herself decides to talk him out of backing down on his threat to divorce her over Rick.
    • Rick's no better, toppling governments, crushing marriages, and enslaving Morty, all so he can find a discontinued condiment. Provided that last part wasn't just him ranting off-topic.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Destroying his son in law's marriage as revenge for threatening to turn him in to the authorities was surely a petty thing to do, but considering Beth and Jerry's unwillingness to accept how toxic they are for one another, it almost feels like a relief.
    • Jerry surely demanding divorce from Beth due to her choosing Rick over him is It's All About Me mentality sure, but Rick did put the family under trouble due to insignificant causes, destroyed his own world without any care, and topples two different organizations in a single episode due to him craving for an outdated sauce and getting back at Jerry for daring to suggest to turn him to the Federation though the latter two are debatable, Jerry surely had some points stating that continuing to follow Rick meant a lot of trouble for their family.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The end indicates Rick has gone full blown mental.
  • Kangaroo Court: Morty and Summer are dragged before the Council of Ricks and put on a trial that the Ricks openly admit is blatantly unfair, including giving them a "lawyer" in the form of a Morty in a suit that they keep around because he's funny.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: At the end of the episode Rick says he won't be able to have any more of the Mulan promotional sauce, then says that won't be for another 97 years. A nod to the fact that three of the 100 years have gone by since then.
  • Let No Crisis Go to Waste: Rick going through with the capture gambit after the Galactic Federation infiltrated via the wedding in the second season finale.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Rick and Birdperson were considered terrorists by the Galactic Federation. Now that we see the Galactic Federation in detail, Rick's violent contempt for them proves well-founded.
  • Medium Awareness: During his rant at Morty at the end of the episode, he says that he will get that dipping sauce, even if it takes 9 more seasons.
  • Mêlée à Trois: During the climax where Rick transports the entire Citadel to the Galactic Federal Prison, the three factions that have it out are the Citadel of Ricks, the Galactic Federation, and Rick C-137 himself.
  • Mood Whiplash: One happens at the end of the episode. Everything is going great as the Federation is destroyed, Rick is free and the family reunited. The only downside is that Jerry wants to divorce Beth, but when Morty expresses concern about it, Rick angrily reveals he planned for the divorce to happen ever since he overheard Jerry suggesting that they turn him into the Federation, Morty can only express horror and shock. And then Rick rants on about how it and everything else he does is for highly problematic but delicious McDonald's promotional Schezuan Teriyaki McNugget dipping sauce for the 1998 Disney film Mulan. Morty can only respond to that with complete confusion.
  • Motive Rant: Rick's rambling at the end has him declare his reason for his actions as the McNugget dipping sauce.
  • Mundane Solution: Rather than nuking the Federation or turning their tech on them, Rick simply reduces the value of their currency to nothing, causing complete and total societal collapse that drives the aliens off of Earth.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Rick claims his vast intellect won't fit in the mind of his interrogator, so he leaves behind some useless information like his improv comedy experience.
  • Myth Arc: Parodied, when Rick mentions everything he's done is simply to gain access to a discontinued dipping sauce.
    Rick: That's my series arc, Morty! If it takes nine seasons, I want my McNugget dipping sauce!
  • Never My Fault:
    • Morty apparently blames Rick for destroying the previous world when showing it to Summer. While Rick did do that, it never would've happened if Morty hadn't asked Rick to make a love potion for him. Of course, there was no way for Morty to know the danger while Rick should have known and taken precautions. He could also just be telling Summer the short version since he doesn't explain how it happened, and probably doesn't want to.
    • After Morty shoots Rick when he's insulted one too many times, Summer is heartbroken and yells they just got Rick back, ignoring she was insulting Morty along with Rick and the council Rick.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Not only did SEAL team Ricks' arrival to assassinate C-137 Rick fail, but they also gave the Main!Rick a spare body to live in instead of his interrogator, and effectively straightforward access to take over the Council of Ricks' commander-in-chief, which ultimately led to their downfall.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Federation, the Council of Ricks, and Jerry — the show's three primary antagonists for Rick — are all written out. Only Tammy's survived.
  • Not So Above It All: Morty tries to murder Rick after being insulted one too many times, showing he can be just as cruel as his grandfather. Fortunately Rick knew he would react as such and gave him a fake gun to throw off the Rick holding Summer at gunpoint. Or rather, Rick gave him a fake gun with a note attached telling Morty what to do. Morty was just too pissed at Rick to notice.
  • Oh, Crap!: Cornvelious Daniel, when he realizes Rick has sabotaged the interrogation by uploading a virus and leaving him stranded in the virtual world, and Rick's comatose body.
    Cornvelious Daniel: It's a trap! Abort! I'm still in his Shoney's! Repeat — we never left his Shoney's!
  • Pajama-Clad Hero: Morty is forced into the adventure while preparing for sleep. We see him in his yellow pajama for the rest of the episode.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Rick taking down both the Galactic Federation and the Citadel of Ricks, the latter of whom tried to kill him.
  • Police State: The Galactic Government turns Earth into this, with humans being given pills as currency and even force-fed them to keep them complacent. The scene with Mister Goldenfold also indicates many humans were either forced to live or chose to hide in the sewers.
  • Punny Name: SEAL Team Ricks.
  • Reality Ensues: When money becomes literally worthless, people begin to riot once the news spreads, as the ending shows. That being said, reality would (hopefully) not devolve into total anarchy and government collapse in a matter of hours.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: This entire episode. Rick proceeds to dismantle the Galactic Federation, destroys the Council of Ricks, and gets Jerry to divorce Beth all in one fell swoop.
  • Rule of Three: Invoked by Rick when he explains to the interrogator that he'll be leaving behind his fear of wicker furniture, desire to play the trumpet, plans to buy a hat, and six years of improv workshop.
    Rick: Comedy comes in threes.
    • After taking over the interrogator's body, Rick tries to get the level 9 access code under the pretense of using the bathroom. Later, he hijacks the commander-in-chief of the Citadel of Rick's militia, orders his former host to be blown up and then leaves, claiming that he's "gonna go take a shit". He uses the same line again after teleporting the Citadel into the prison.
  • Sanity Slippage: Morty's family in Cronenberg world. Beth has become feral, as Summer puts it, while Jerry barely speaks. Alternate Summer seems a little better, but still joins her family in deciding to destroy the current Summer because she "stinks of Rick".
  • Sarcastic Confession: When one government agent wonders aloud why Rick would turn himself in, the interrogator (who is actually Rick in the interrogator's body) gives a possible explanation that he would do it to get Level 9 access to a government facility so he can topple it from within, and then asks for the Level 9 access code directly afterwards, and essentially receives it.
  • Shoot the Hostage: One member of the Council of Ricks takes Summer hostage, and dares Rick to do this. Rick counters by claiming that shooting Summer would "add recoil" and only make the Council Rick's death more painful, so he should let her go for a quicker death. Subverted in that Rick was bluffing about shooting Summer and just trying to trick his counterpart.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Summer calls the version of herself from the universe Rick "Cronenberged" a Hunger Games version of herself.
    • Rick also makes one to Mulan and talks about the McDonald's dipping sauce used to promote the film.
    • In the Council of Ricks, one of the background Mortys can be seen wearing Dipper Pines' hat, with a Morticia next to him standing in for Mabel.
    • The house Rick lives in his memory of creating the Portal Gun closely resembles Walter White's house from Breaking Bad. It also doubles as a hint that the memory is actually faked by Rick.
    • Rick's phony Origin Story includes a scene where Rick is given interdimensional travel technology by an alternate version of himself who had already developed it. This is exactly what happened to Quinn Mallory in the Pilot Episode of Sliders.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • The entire point of Rick's obsession with McDonald's Szechuan sauce. The fact that he's willing to let his brain melt in a simulation, bring down an entire intergalactic, multi-dimensional government, slaughter millions and break up his daughter's marriage all to get a fast food condiment shows just how utterly petty and insane he is, assuming his rant is to be taken at face value. It's all too elaborate for something that just exists in the periphery.
    • Jerry meanwhile actually enjoys life under the Galactic Federation. He gets paid for doing nothing, but the planet is turned into a Police State by aliens who impose their norms upon humans.
  • Space Opera: Has shades of this.
  • The Stinger: Tammy's back. And so is BirdPerson.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Rick congrats Morty for following the instructions pinned to the laser gun, Morty seems confused first but then decides to pretend he has actually read the note.
  • Tele-Frag: Rick teleports the entire Citadel right into the Galactic Federal Prison.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The G-Fed government are so greedy that they'd rather let their state fall to ruins than work without pay until they can repair Rick's interference with their currency.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Rick gives petty reasons for his escape and revenge, but he is after all a Consummate Liar. His past protectiveness of Morty and Summer, and his actions in the episode indicate that he might really be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who makes sure nobody ever believes it. His extreme contempt for Jerry is genuine, however.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Rick played the interrogator like a fiddle.
  • Vichy Earth: The Galactic Federation turned Earth into one of these, with Gromflomites meddling in human customs and even their rights.
  • Virtual Reality Interrogation: The Federation uses one to interrogate Rick and sift through his memories. Rick quickly takes advantage of the fact that the world responds to anything he thinks up in order to escape.
  • Voices Are Not Mental: When Rick takes over the interrogator's body, his voice sounds distinctly different.
  • Weaponized Landmark: The Galactic Federation apparently weaponized the Eiffel Tower.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The Stinger shows that Tammy has revived BirdPerson into a half-robotic "PhoenixPerson".
  • Wham Episode: Rick apparently destroys both the Galactic Federation and, after Morty and Summer bungle an attempt to rescue him, the Council of Ricks, too. For a chaser, Rick destroys his daughter's marriage, points out that he's now the center of Morty's universe, AND that he cares more about dipping sauces than his own family.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Morty's original family from dimension C-137 is last seen being frozen by the Ricks that are investigating the destroyed portal gun. They are not seen or referred to for the rest of the episode so it is unknown if they were left frozen to die or if they were unfrozen before the Ricks took Morty and Summer to the Citadel of Ricks.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Morty after shooting Rick.
    "Who's stupid now, bitch?"
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Rick's original plan is: Get captured by the Galactic Federation, get level 9 access, electronically devalue their currency, destroying the Federation from within, and thusly get Beth to divorce Jerry for crossing him. His chance came to get the codes when they used a brainalyzer on him. He got to reexperience the McDonald's Sczuchen dipping sauce, falsify his memories of creating the portal gun, trick the aliens into uploading a virus that would give him control of the brainalyzer, and hijack the alien's body with the brainalyzer. Unfortunately, Summer and Morty bungled a rescue attempt, alerting the Council of Ricks that Rick C-137 (our Rick) had been captured, and they sent an assassination Rick team to bust the interrogation, just as Rick was about to get the level 9 codes. Rick managed to redirect the brainalyzer beam into one of the SEAL Ricks and hijack his body. Having lost his chance for the level 9 codes, he took the brainalyzer and stole the SEAL Team's ship, using them to hijack a Rick with a high security clearance, infiltrating the Council of Rick's space station, use its teleporter to teleport it right back into the space prison he escaped from, rearm himself with armor and weaponry, disguise himself as a member of the council, assassinate the council, give Morty a fake gun to shoot him with later, have a stand-off with the surviving council member who had taken Summer hostage, piss Morty off to the point of trying to shoot him, play dead long enough for the council member to release Summer, kill the council member, use the ensuing chaos to get past the Federation's level 9 security systems, THEN electronically devalue their currency, destroying the Federation from within, and thusly get Beth to divorce Jerry for crossing him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The interrogator decides to leave Rick plugged into the Brainalizer until his brain melts, as he has the portal gun formula and no longer needs Rick. It doesn't work because Rick tricked him into uploading a virus that allows Rick to Body Surf into the interrogator.


Example of: