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Recap / Rick And Morty S 3 E 7 The Ricklantis Mixup

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"Anyone continuing to explore the Citadel is either stupid or one of the unfortunate millions held hostage by their terrible ideas."
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Rick and Morty head to Atlantis. Meanwhile, the Citadel of Ricks undergoes major changes under new leadership.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Rick and Morty are the only voiced characters in the entire episode, save the narrator for the Simple Rick Wafers commercials. Jerry and Summer are absent entirely and Beth only has a small cameo as a child in Simple Rick's memory/flashback.
  • Anyone Can Die: Half of this episode's main cast bites the dust.
  • Assimilation Academy: The Morty school seems to be mainly focused on teaching the Mortys not to fight their Ricks.
  • Asshole Victim: Most of the board of Ricks who purposely keep life crappy in the Citadel for the majority of Ricks and Mortys meet their end. Wonka Rick in particular dies after spending years profiting off Simple Rick.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Played with. The initial opening suggests that we'll be following Rick and Morty on their Atlantis adventure, but instead we follow the various Ricks and Mortys living at the Citadel of Ricks. However, the switch is pretty blatantly telegraphed.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Slick Morty wished for change. He got his wish. Though the Mortys seem to be doing alright, Evil Morty assumes control and has turned the Citadel's political landscape upside-down. It's clear in the long-term, it's not for the betterment of all Ricks and Mortys.
  • Being Good Sucks: The only Ricks with any amount of power and authority are outright megalomaniacs and scumbags, the Ricks who try to be more moral, righteously angry, and responsible end up being exploited by the multiverse's society, whether it's the Simple Rick who stayed with his family only to be exploited to make candy, or the factory rebel Rick who wants to quit the system noting that even in a world of Ricks, some are more equal than others, or Cop Rick who turns out to be far too idealistic for his job and vocation. Likewise, the many Ricks who voted for President Morty (including banners that say "Proud of my grandson" and "I love my Morty") end up having their sentiments exploited and put Evil Morty in charge. Seeing what happens to these Ricks gives us some sense as to why Rick is the way that he is.
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  • Board to Death: When a member of the board of Ricks that secretly runs the Citadel boasts that President Morty is just a figurehead, he asks who shares that opinion then has the Guard Ricks loyal to him murder those that raised their hands.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Cop Morty loathes other Mortys and calls them animals, or worse. Cop Rick is shocked by this.
  • Bond One-Liner: Discussing the results of the election, one of the Bodyguard Ricks sends Campaign Manager Morty out an airlock by saying, "It was a blowout."
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: When Cop Rick starts asking questions about Morty Town, Cop Morty tells him "What is it your kind is always saying? Don't think about it."
  • Brick Joke: In The Stinger, Rick and Morty come back from their Atlantis adventure.
  • The Bus Came Back: Evil Morty comes back to the scene and is going to take action.
  • Call-Back:
    • The entire episode deals with the fall-out of Rick killing the entire Council of Ricks and indirectly destroying the Citadel of Ricks in "The Rickshank Redemption", and it's outright discussed in the beginning.
    • Evil Morty from "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind" returns, and once again, his identity is The Reveal at the very end of the episode, complete with the same music playing as the episode ends and goes into the credits.
    • Dumb Rick first appeared in the comics, in which he killed his Morty, explaining how he ended up alone on the citadel.
    • Not necessarily a call back per se, but Lizard Morty is reminiscent of Lizard Rick seen in The Citadel in the background of one of the scenes in "The Rickshank Redemption".
    • One of the dancers at The Creepy Morty is Cowboy Morty from "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind".
    • Simple Rick's story is almost identical to the fake memory Rick created in "The Rickshank Redemption".
    • One of the campaign messages among Candidate Morty's supporters is Nobody Exists on Purpose. Vote Morty. Not exactly an inspiring campaign message, admittedly.
    • In the portal-fluid drugs den, you can see "Get Schwifty" written on one of the walls.
    • The Cop Morty and Cop Rick are quite similar to the Detoxed Rick and Morty from the previous episode.
  • Campfire Character Exploration: Slick Morty reveals his own background to Glasses Morty, Reptile Morty and Fat Morty during a campfire.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After the one Bodyguard Rick utters a Bond One-Liner about the election being a blowout, his partner notes how the election was actually very close.
  • The Conspiracy: The Citadel had a secret conspiracy that actually was The Man Behind the Man for the original Council of Ricks that Rick destroyed. These guys then try and assert power over Candidate Morty, but he usurps them instead.
    Garment District Rick: We don't care who sits in that seat. A Rick, a Morty, a goddamn Jerry. Doesn't matter. We've been running the Citadel since before the Council and you'll find we're still running it now.
  • Continuity Nod: There's a Mega-Fruit farm in the Citadel. These first appeared in the pilot, with Rick prizing their seeds for scientific research.
    • In the background of the room where Rookie Rick finds a Morty crying, there's graffiti on the wall that reads "Get Schwifty".
  • Corrupt Politician: Every politician in the citadel is this but Evil Morty is now the only survivor.
  • Creator Cameo: One of the Morty's in the bar was designed to look like Justin Roiland.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Implied after Candidate Morty has most of the Council of Ricks killed:
    Stylist Rick: (nervous; talking about Morty's haircut) Is... that enough off the top?
    Candidate Morty: (looks at self in mirror) I don't know... (turns around; pointedly directed to the remaining Council Ricks) Is it?
  • Decoy Protagonist: The episode starts with Rick and Morty going to Atlantis but focus quickly switches to the citadel.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Rick and Morty in The Teaser are going from dimension to dimension to raise money for rebuilding the citadel. It didn't occur to them that they'd encounter the Rick who destroyed the citadel in the first place. That Rick lampshades that they're barking up the wrong tree.
  • Dirty Cop: Cop Morty is pure scum.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The showrunners, Dan Harmon in particular, make it clear in the Inside the Episode video that it absolutely is political, and that the episode was developed during the climate of the 2016 Election. There's also a heavy dose of Fantastic Racism between Ricks and Mortys, paralleling Real Life issues, including Mortys living in a ghetto, and Cop Morty being a Boomerang Bigot against them.
  • The Dog Bites Back: The Stand by Me Mortys are chased away from a Mega-Fruit farm by Farmer Rick. After Evil Morty takes over, they've joined the Citadel security force and are happily carting off an entire wheelbarrow full of fruit while other security Ricks restrain the farmer.
  • Driven to Suicide: Slick Morty kills himself by jumping into the wishing portal.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: The "medipack" that Officer Rick uses to patch himself up is duct tape.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: Throughout the episode, Candidate Morty comes off as much more passionate, earnest, well-meaning, and likable than any of his Rick opponents, despite being a major underdog in the race, making him easy for the audience to root for to win the Presidency. Then the ending reveals that now-President Morty is actually Evil Morty, and he has his political opponents murdered, leading the audience to realize that we've been Rooting for the Empire all along.
  • Evil Plan: Evil Morty's plan to become the ruler of the Citadel of Ricks by pretending to be caring towards all Ricks and Mortys, thus earning their support, and being elected the new President of the Citadel, then reforming the Citadel as he pleases and essentially becoming its dictator while killing off Ricks and Mortys who oppose him.
  • Eviler Than Thou: The newly elected president of the Citadel proves himself to be this to the shadow council of Ricks that had been the real power behind the original Council of Ricks and attempted to control him as well.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Citadel Morning News, which the anchor Ricks lampshade on the spot.
  • Facial Horror: The Rick D716 series that serve as anchors/reporters. D716-A looks normal, D716-B has a large scar over his right eye, and D716-C looks like the right side of his face is melting.
  • Family-Friendly Stripper: The Stripper Mortys at the night club are all fully dressed.
  • Fantastic Ghetto: Morty Town, the slum area of the Citadel full of cast off Mortys.
  • Fantastic Racism: In a society consisting of entirely Ricks and Mortys, the two are practically treated as two races. It is not far-fetched to see Ricks as an analogy to white people and Mortys as an analogy to people of color.
  • Fantastic Slur: Cop Morty calls other Mortys "animals" and "yellowshirts".
  • Foreshadowing: Slick Morty tells the others that the wishing well doesn't exist. He's right. It was a garbage dump.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Cop Rick and Cop Morty respectively.
  • He Knows Too Much: Trenchcoat Rick is shown to have been spaced at the end, presumably because he had knowledge of Evil Morty's true identity.
  • His Name Is...: Campaign Manager Morty is spaced just before he can reveal Evil Morty's true nature to the Ricks.
  • Homage:
  • Hope Spot: For Factory Rick when Wonka Rick escorts him out of the building and into a new life. However, once outside, he gets hi-jacked and made to replace Simple Rick in a Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • Hyperlink Story: Dan Harmon cited Robert Altman as an influence on this episode, in that it's also a mosaic of multiple characters with their own stories intersecting each other and coming together at the end.
  • I Have This Friend...: At the Wishing Well site, Glasses Morty wishes for incest porn to get a more mainstream appeal. When everyone looks at him, he adds "It's for a friend of mine."
  • I Was Just Joking: When one of the Security Ricks gets Campaign Manager Morty Thrown Out the Airlock for attempting to assassinate Evil Morty, he comments that the latter's electoral victory "was a blowout". This prompts the following comment from his partner:
    Security Rick 1: I'd hardly call it a blowout, it was almost close enough to trigger a recount.
    Security Rick 2: Jesus, what are you, joke security now too?
  • Kilroy Was Here: At Mortytown, we see some Mortys spraying "Morty wuz here" on a wall.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Morty hopes his trip to Atlantis wasn't a one-shot thing and could go back again.
  • LEGO Genetics: Lizard Morty was spliced with lizard DNA.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Simple Rick is a family man who chose his family over science. The Wonka Rick captured him and stuck him in a repeating loop of his happiest memory to harvest his endorphins and turn it into snack food flavoring. At the end, the Rick who rebels against the system is tricked into thinking he's escaped, then shot and stuck in the machine with that thought being run through his head to produce the flavoring.
  • Man Behind the Man: There was a shadow council ruling over the original Citadel behind the Council of Ricks, and they try to be this to the new Citadel's democratically elected president as well. Unfortunately for them, Evil Morty is the new president.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Slick Morty sacrificed himself in the portal to wish for a change. At the end, his friends think that the wish came true. Of course given that it is Evil Morty in charge, Be Careful What You Wish For is in effect.
  • Mermaid Problem: Mermaids evidently do have vaginas, since both Rick and Morty enjoyed some quality time with them while in Atlantis.
  • Mister Big: Big Morty, a normal-sized Morty who lampshades that it's not literal when Cop Morty points it out.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Downer Ending with Evil Morty overlooking his new regime and the deceased Ricks and Mortys floating in the space around the new Citadel is followed by The Stinger having Rick and Morty cheerfully talking about getting laid by hot mermaids during their adventure in Atlantis.
  • Motif Merger: Once taking office, President Morty unveils a new sigil which is a giant M placed on top of the R that symbolizes the Citadel. He makes sure to Sigil Spam it in the closing montage.
  • Musical Spoiler: Just in case the viewer hadn't guessed, Evil Morty's theme, "For the Damaged Coda," starts playing immediately before his identity is revealed.
  • Mythology Gag: Garment District Rick gives a speech about the hidden council not caring who sits on the throne, even "a goddamn Jerry". In the comics, Jerry from dimension J-19ζ7 (Doofus Rick's dimension) had usurped the citadel temporarily.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The promo for this episode led the audience to believe that the episode was going to be about Atlantis.
  • New Era Speech: Discussed and subverted:
    Evil Morty: (pours himself a drink) This seems like a good time for a drink… and a cold, calculated speech with sinister overtones. A speech about politics. About order. Brotherhood. Power! But speeches are for campaigning; now is the time for action!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Rick killing off the Council of Ricks and destroying the old Citadel in "The Rickshank Redemption" led to Evil Morty taking over.
    • Campaign Manager Morty's failed attempt to assassinate his former candidate in public likely garnered just enough sympathy from the Citadel's population for the Morty candidate that an extremely close vote turned out in Evil Morty's favor.
    • Factory Worker Rick's attempt to save Simple Rick ends up killing him.
  • Noodle Incident: The actual Atlantis adventure of Rick and Morty turns out to have been one of their low-intensity happy adventures that involved a lot of sex with mermaids.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: Downplayed. When the shootout starts at the night club, Bartender Morty is briefly seen cleaning a glass.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In a certain context, anyway. During all the action on the Citadel, Rick and Morty visited Atlantis and both got laid by mermaids. Not surprising for Rick, but Morty getting some is pretty unusual.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Subverted (maybe) when Factory Worker Rick frees Simple Rick and sends him through a portal. You think it's because of what the factory's been doing to the poor guy, but then it's revealed the portal led to the blender dimension. Factory Worker Rick says that that's the oldest trick in the book and that he's a Rick, implying he knew it would happen, but it's unclear and he looks shocked when it happened.
    • Subverted again immediately afterwards when Wonka Rick decides to set Factory Worker Rick free. If you read the rest of this page, you know what really happens to him.
    • Played straight with some of Cop Morty's actions towards Cop Rick; he's very gentle with Cop Rick after the latter is stabbed by a Morty Loco. And despite being a Dirty Cop, he still ultimately sides with Cop Rick when the latter refuses to take a bribe from Big Morty. Sadly, though, it all amounts to naught, as Cop Rick is still forced to kill Cop Morty in self-defense.
    • In a twisted way, President Morty gets a minor one at the end when dealing with the Shadow Council of Ricks. He could have easily simply had the entire Shadow Council killed, with the reasoning that they were all part of the leadership that was making the Citadel life so awful, but he specifically asked who agreed with Garment District Rick's views that President Morty would just be a Puppet King, and only killed those who agreed with him, sparing the two Council members who didn't raise their hands.
  • Planet of Steves: There's naturally some confusion when everyone is named Rick and Morty. It gets lampshaded by Wonka Rick when he faces Factory Rebel Rick, and also twice when Cop Rick and Cop Morty face mob boss Big Morty. Due to this trope, most Ricks and Mortys have taken up some form of descriptor (or use a number) when referring to each other.
  • Police Brutality: Cop Morty. Also, the Rick police force encourages killing Gromflomites, even old and infirm ones.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: Parodied. A Rick creates an infant clone of himself to have Candidate Morty kiss it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Evil Morty spares the members of the Shadow Council who don't believe he's just a puppet. He also at least creates the illusion that he's keeping his word to create a better world for the Ricks and Mortys, by creating a new curriculum at the School of Mortys. Time will tell if the illusion has weight.
  • President Evil: Evil Morty is elected president of the Citadel.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • In a society where society normalizes around two IQs, even one where everyone is more or less the same, there's still going to be class division and someone is still going to have to do the unfulfilling working-class jobs.
    • Political assassination is a skill like any other, and if you are an amateur, you are a lot less likely to know how to effectively kill a target so that he will die immediately of gun wounds.
    • While "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick-Kind" suggested Rickless Mortys could lead normal and satisfying lives, this episode shows a number of them living in squalid conditions and doing awful things. While those in the school have it better, they still have to do what they're told. As the classroom scene noted, all of these Mortys have been raised to be sidekicks; without a Rick, they have no purpose or way to go back to their families, so they have to eke out a living however they can.
  • The Reveal: Candidate Morty turned out to be Evil Morty.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Candidate Morty dodges any questions pertaining to his background and his absent Rick. That's because he's really Evil Morty and his Rick has been dead for some time.
  • Rousing Speech: Candidate Morty gives a solid one to the crowd noting that the real divides are not between Ricks and Mortys but between Ricks and Mortys who want to keep things divided, and those who don't.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Cop Rick turns down a bribe from Big Morty and kills Cop Morty for breaking the rules, then turns himself in.
  • Screw Yourself: The seedy nightclub "The Creepy Morty" seems to be dedicated to Mortys who are sexually attracted to themselves.
  • Sequel Episode: Serves as one to both "The Rickshank Redemption" (by showing how the Citadel of Ricks is rebuilding after being nearly destroyed by Rick in that episode) and "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick-Kind" (by showing what Evil Morty's up to now after his Evil Plan was thwarted last time, and following him as he pulls off a new Evil Plan this time).
  • Sequel Hook: If Evil Morty's line "It's time for action" wasn't enough, Rick dismissively saying that whatever's happening in the Citadel won't affect them gives a good hint that Rick and Morty may be dealing with Evil Morty some time in the future.
  • Sidekick Glass Ceiling: Discussed throughout the episode:
    • The Mortys are deliberately given sub-par education that prevents them from getting any skills that could allow them to develop outside the Ricks' shadows. They are more or less raised to be house-elves for the Ricks assigned to them. Indeed, a Morty Bartender when seeing Candidate Morty's good show in the election, snarks that if Candidate Morty wins, it would merely amount to him being blamed for everything now that one of them took high office.
    • Cop Morty is so cynical about his lot in his life that he asserts authority and dominance over his Rick, goes berserk any time some of the ghetto Mortys taunt him about being a sidekick, and more or less has contempt for fellow Mortys. Indeed, on seeing Cop Rick being so uptight and idealistic, he taunts him repeatedly about how different he is from his usual type and even repeating Rickisms ("Don't think about it") back to him.
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: Candidate Morty's campaign is treated within the Citadel as an analogue for any minority candidate running for a general election. His campaign slogan is "Time for a Morty" and he becomes the first Morty to be in charge of the Citadel, complete with his own M-Sigil.
  • Stealth Pun: Teacher Rick is depicted as an Expy of Severus Snape, who was famously played by Alan RICKman.
  • Stepford Snarker: Slick Morty was introduced as cracking a joke in class and is generally shown to be fun loving. Then you get to his last scene and see how unhappy he really is.
  • Stripped to the Bone: The Loco Rick suffers this fate when his homemade portal fluid turns out to be brewed wrong.
  • Swapped Roles: Cop Morty is bitter, jaded and amoral whereas Cop Rick is naive, caring, and tries to do the right thing.
  • Take Our Word for It: We never see the Atlantis adventure, but afterwards, Rick and Morty make a big point to talk about it being really wonderful.
  • Take That, Us:
    • Just before cutting to the main plot of the episode, Rick mocks anyone who would want to revisit it rather than going on a self-contained adventure.
    • When the Factory Manager Rick introduces his replacement as "Cool Rick" (a Hipster-looking guy with orange shades and a goatee), said Rick introduces himself by saying, "I'm Cool Rick" in a manner quite similar to the Forced Meme catch-phrases of "Tiny Rick" and "Pickle Rick" which many fans had complained about before.
  • Tattooed Crook: The Loco Mortys share facial tattoos that have a flame motif that ends with teeth on the right side of their mouth.
  • Teleporter Accident:
    • The Loco Mortys have a Rick brewing homemade portal fluid. When he tries to use it to escape from Cop Morty, the portal collapses and skeletalizes him. Cop Morty then uses it to destroy their entire building rather than go through the trouble of booking them all.
    • Also, try to avoid the Blender dimension.
  • Tempting Fate: The Stinger for the episode has Morty asking Rick if he's curious what happened on the Citadel. Rick dismisses it as something that could never have any bearing on their lives ever again, then taunts the audience about how we never saw the Atlantis adventure, and will never see Rick and Morty go back to it, despite it being better than the Citadel story.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Campaign Manager Morty is blown out an airlock, along with other Ricks and Mortys that died over the course of the episode, and also those who were eliminated by Evil Morty.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The Stinger reveals that Morty lost his virginity to a mermaid in Atlantis.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In contrast to Cop Rick below, Cop Morty is plain scummy, because he doesn't respect the laws, threatens and needlessly kills people, takes bribes from a mob boss and finally betrays Cop Rick's trust. He's also a Boomerang Bigot against Mortys.
  • Token Good Teammate: Deputy Cop Rick is one of the nicest and most moral of the Ricks, being a stickler for laws, compassionate to his victims and honorable to his partner and his service.
  • Trenchcoat Brigade: Trenchcoat Rick gives Campaign Manager Morty the secret photos that made him try and assassinate Candidate Morty, then lampshades the whole Deep Throat act he's putting on. Though it happens off-screen, he got spaced along with all of Evil Morty's enemies.
  • Trivial Title: The adventure to Atlantis that's alluded to in the title is only mentioned in passing due to the entire episode being a Bait-and-Switch.
  • Villain Has a Point: Evil Morty points out how life on the Citadel is a Crapsaccharine World, where only a small number of Ricks live in luxury on the backs of less privileged Ricks and Mortys. Indeed, there's an entire slum called Mortytown where unwanted Mortys are dumped and left to fend for themselves. Rickless Mortys are forced to undergo an educational curriculum to be sent off to other Ricks who will potentially mistreat or experiment on them. Less privileged Ricks are ruthlessly exploited by their superiors, often through manual labor and with no prospect of advancement. It's little wonder Evil Morty's populist campaign carries him to the presidency, where he immediately begins enacting reforms that reverse the worst parts of Citadel life. On a lesser note, he had a valid reason to fire Campaign Manager Morty for encouraging him to not even try.
  • We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: Downplayed. Working class Ricks perform menial labor in the Citadel, despite this being a society of super-geniuses. Having robots handle the unpleasant jobs would make more sense, but of course it would also undercut the citadel being used as a parody of present day society.
  • Wham Episode: Candidate Morty is revealed to have been Evil Morty all along and having become the Citadel's new leader, he intends to take power into his own hands.
  • Wham Line:
    • Actually a Wham Song, for those who haven't already pieced together The Reveal: when Candidate Morty — now President Morty — gives his speech to the new council and looks out over all the Ricks and Mortys who were flushed out the airlock, Evil Morty's theme from "Close Rickcounters of the Rick Kind" begins playing.
    • More in-line with an actual Wham Line, after Candidate Morty is informed by the Council of Ricks that he's going to be more of a Puppet King than an actual President:
      Candidate Morty: Does [Garment District Rick] really speak for everyone here?
      (Various Ricks agree)
      Candidate Morty: (turns away from the Ricks; looks at them from his hand mirror) Well, I think it's important to be clear. Raise your hand if he speaks for you. (all Ricks but two do so; Candidate Morty snaps his fingers; the Guard Ricks gun them down)
  • Wham Shot: And for those who didn't also notice the Musical Spoiler, the contents of classified documents that Campaign Manager Morty had are shown to the audience while they are drifting in space: pictures of the Candidate Morty with a familiar eyepatch and a robotic Rick.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit:
    • A Loco Morty acts scared to Cop Rick to gain sympathy, then stabs him when Rick shows compassion.
    • Cop Morty tries this when Cop Rick turns on him, but Cop Rick has wised up and shoots him before Morty can do the same.
  • Wretched Hive: Morty Town, a slum where Mortys with no Ricks or families are relocated. It's all crime and poverty with the Mortys trying to make a living however they can.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Many Rick's seem to have either lost their portal guns or had them taken away from them.
  • You Will Be Spared: When having the Ricks loyal to him kill off the Shadow Council of Ricks, President Morty allows the two Ricks who did not raise their hands (to agree with Garment District Rick's assessment of President Morty being a Puppet King) to live.

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