Season 3 Episode 7 of Rick and Morty was a true surprise from beginning to end. It began as normal with Rick and Morty about to head off on a classic zany adventure that would inevitably lead to a lesson learned towards the end followed by a lewd, cynical joke from Rick. You can’t beat a classic, right? Turns out you can.
This episode instead focuses on the Citadel, a city comprising entirely of Ricks and Mortys. They come in all shapes and sizes with deformations and ‘aw jeez’ aplenty. As expected, the Ricks generally hold all the power and the Mortys are reduced to sidekicks and petty criminals. When one police officer Morty breaks the mould and holds a more senior position, he’s discriminatory and calloused and inevitably gets taken down. It’s a bleak, capitalist society in which corruption and societal divides are just as prevalent as in the real world.
The divide between Ricks and Mortys was one of the most interesting facets of the episode. Even within the Rick community there were divisions between the superiors and inferiors. In the Simple Rick’s chocolate factory, the hardworking Rick is frustrated by Cool Rick receiving an unjust promotion and goes on a killing spree as a result. He then receives his comeuppance in a truly depressing way, showing the futility of uprising in a world controlled by the elite. It is a very cynical view that is not surprising from the famously dark show. Let us not forget that it provided us with the only quote to live your life by – “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Now, come watch TV”.
The bleak reality of the situation in the Citadel hits hard when you realise what could be viewed as a dystopia is not dissimilar from real life right now. Police brutality, discrimination towards the lower classes, high level corruption, societal divides, frustration with the monotony of blue collar work, a dangerous man as president of a powerful country, a strip club consisting entirely of creepy Mortys. The episode mirrored our real life.
In what could be considered the show’s darkest season, this episode slotted right in with the others. The totalitarian ending with evil Morty taking power was just the plot twist needed to bring back the Citadel after it was so epically destroyed at the beginning of season 3. It was the necessary shakeup to solidify the plot of this season after a few episodes with no solitary focus. While the laughs were indeed had, it’s time to crack down on destroying a corrupt society. Boy do those two love to have a good time.