THE WHITE HOUSE
The season finale of Rick and Morty Season Three has already shocked us by starting in the middle of the White House – one of Rick’s least favourite places in the world – as a hapless cleaner goes to work the night shift.
He descends a secret elevator behind a portrait of Abe Lincoln, only to be attacked by some kind of monster.
THE SMITH RESIDENCE
Rick and Morty sit on the couch at home, playing a game of Minecraft on Morty’s laptop. While Rick points out the pointless “mining, crafting and mining with what you crafted” cycle, a Secret Service chopper arrives at their front door to escort them to the White House.
Clearly, these guys didn’t get the memo about Rick’s Portal Gun…
Rick and Morty portal to the White House, just in time to meet
Keith David the President himself. The President briefs them on the situation, that some alien “gagoo” has infested the Kennedy Sex Tunnels and he wants Rick and Morty to deal with them.
While Morty points out the suspicion of the tunnels namesake, he is told to forget he saw them, along with the existence of other “national embarrassments” like the Truman Cocaine Lounge, The McKinley Hooker Dump and most frightening of all, the Lincoln Slave Coliseum.
Wow, hypocrisies of power much?
Morty tries to take a selfie with the President, only for the latter to dismiss him and head off to a ‘normal’ peace summit. Things only get worse for the boy as he and Rick descend the Sex Tunnels, grumbling at the (quote and un-quote) “spoiled control freak that thinks he runs the world and orders drone strikes to cope with his insecurity” and how lowly he treats them.
The two leave and go back to playing Minecraft, unaware that two Secret Service agents have been watching the whole exchange…
Rick and Morty have just blown off America!
The President and his staff keep an eye on Rick and Morty via satellite as the former peruse the transcripts of the Sex Tunnel chat Rick and Morty had. Furious that they challenged his insecurity, he confronts them via a phone call. Rick attempts the moral high road by attacking the President for using an illegal satellite, but the latter reminds him that the two of them break thousands of federal laws a day and their presence is only allowed because they save the world once in a while.
Rick disagrees, reminding the President he won’t arrest them, not because he can’t, but because he would be incapable of doing so.
Rick and Morty have defeated planet-swallowing monsters and unhinged galaxy-wide governments. What could the President of America do?
Well, he does one thing: announce the government’s new anti-Rick and Morty policy, that they never needed them and never will need them again.
Beth takes Summer clothes shopping and even more shockingly, lets her buy a… provocative outfit without any arguments. Summer is overjoyed with her mother and admits its like she is
a whole new person. Beth, recalling her conversation with Rick about cloning herself, reflects on the comment worriedly.
A mini, nuclear-capable nation is found in the Amazon, attracting the attention of Rick and Morty. But when the two arrive to deal with the threat, the President gets there first and not only orders them to leave but, as he shrinks himself to talk to the mini-nation, denounces their rights as American citizens. The next time they set foot on American soil, it will be treated as an invasion.
The President leaves for the mini-nation via a shrunken space shuttle and orders his soldiers to take Rick and Morty down, only for the two to make a fool out of them and escape.
The President meets with the mini-nation, only to find out that Rick and Morty have already successfully negotiated a ceasefire, as they have with Israel, Palestine and the whole world too. This act secures world peace (and boosts the President’s approval rating to one-hundred percent) but the Commander in Chief is unable to let his grudge go. He orders ‘legal’ surveillance over every possible region to locate Rick and Morty, only to discover that they are actually in the Oval Office.
Turns out Rick didn’t create world peace for free (did we really expect he would?) and he’s come to collect his reward; a pardon for his ‘crimes’ and a selfie for Morty. The President vehemently refuses and calls in his guards to take Rick down, only for them all to die in the process…
The tension at the Oval Office is cut by Jerry ‘learning’ to flip signs like a human billboard, only to be interrupted by the arrival of Beth.
Beth has been replaying the events of the last episode in her mind and is worried she may be the clone Rick promised to make for her, ‘her’ being the real Beth, while ‘she’/Real Beth is taking a sabbatical from life on Earth.
Jerry doesn’t seem to understand the situation, much less find it problematic, until it’s revealed that Rick’s policy on self-aware clones is to kill them.
Jerry soothes her fears the only way he knows how; a cringe-y, but well-intended trip down memory lane to their first date together. From Jerry’s anxiety to the disturbing details of their first holding hands, no detail is spared, prompting Beth to tearfully kiss him.
THE WHITE HOUSE
While Beth and Jerry get it on, the fight of the century is going on in the Oval Office, the fight that all Rick and Morty fans have been waiting for:
Rick Sanchez VS The President!
With almost all of the Secret Service dead, the President is left with no other option but to fight for himself, employing countless booby-traps and weapons in an attempt to take Rick down. Laser-rigged spy
satellites, energy blades, two-legged turrets, holograms, even candy-addled children; all bets are off as Rick attempts to force the President into submission for Morty’s selfie. After levelling a good portion of the President’s rooms, the fight finally ends with Rick choking the Commander in Chief on the White House lawn, only for the former to realise Morty disappeared during the chaos.
As revealed via a phone call, Morty has gone to join his parents and Summer at an undisclosed location to protect the self-aware Clone Beth from Rick’s wrath. The ‘undisclosed location’ is already known to Rick, a log cabin in some mountains, and teleports in with a machine gun.
Much to Rick – and everyone else’s – chagrin, Beth and Jerry are getting back together and Morty is adamant that he doesn’t want any more adventures while Rick is undermining the US government’s authority – at least more so than usual – and is out to kill Clone Beth with a machine gun.
Rick explains the Beth that’s with them isn’t a clone, she’s just normal Beth with a better attitude towards things. The machine gun was for Jerry if he “tried anything”.
Realising his actions have brought him and his family to an insurmountable impasse, Rick dons a disguise as ‘Fisherman Rick’ and apologises to the President, lying that “the first Rick of this dimension” has gone away forever. The two shake hands and Rick returns home, having no choice but to endure a ‘happy’ family dinner with Panda Pizza…
REVIEW: This was the last episode for the long-awaited Season Three of Rick and Morty and finally saw Rick paying the penalties for getting under the skin of world leaders. The dysfunctional dynamic between Rick and the President as well as the latter’s potential to change the world was put on full display this episode, with Rick undermining the President and arranging world peace and the President unable to do anything about it. This puts Rick’s character on full display – a man with incredible intelligence and a blase opinion on every crisis across Earth – arranging worldwide peace deals not because he wants to, but just because he can. Rick is a total nihilist that doesn’t give a damn about world peace but is willing to be a total Gandhi if it will show up his enemies.
Rick has always hated authority and bureaucracy, so him facing off with the US Government was inevitable. The fight was a little downplayed and slapstick, but still satisfying nonetheless.
Unfortunately, this episode wasn’t as impactful as past season finales and was riddled with many pointless sub-plots like Morty’s selfie and Beth’s clone existential crisis. My biggest gripe with this episode was the final scene in which the Smith family is brought back together, effectively ending Jerry and Beth’s divorce and completely uprooting the stakes that made this season so entertaining and giving them the characterisation they so desperately needed beyond the bickering parents in the last two seasons.
I give this episode 3/5 Morty Selfies
Onward with the next season!