Disclaimer: This is less of a structured review and more of an informal rant.
Rick and Morty season 3 is not good. I?m surprised by how well received it was in spite of all its major flaws. However, it all comes down to one reason: the writing. Even though the animation, editing and voice acting is great, they pale in comparison to the lacklustre writing. It?s a shame that such a great TV show had such a mediocre season, but the only way to improve is to understand their mistakes, so let?s get into it.
Cheap Development of Main Characters
Everyone in the Smith family has gone through major changes. Were they good though? Well, the characters are only ever as good as the show. So that?s a no.
Rick has lost his way. The writers continue to discontinue continuity for a continuously cheap joke. Consistency is essential or else the character feels unnatural and unrelatable. Rick went from a charming, nihilistic asshole to your ?wacky grandpa who?s hip with internet trends.?
Pickle Rick?s syringe contraption is found lying in plain sight. It?s so clear that Morty calls him out on it. Are we to believe that Rick made such a pivotal device so obvious that his bumbling idiot grandson outwitted him? What happened to Rick?s genius?
After Rick?s discovered to be a fanatic about Israeli-Palestinian relations in Vindicators 3, he goes through a large effort to clarify he?s not antisemitic. Why? He kept insisting to Morty earlier in the episode that the Vindicators are a bunch of losers who ?write their own press releases.? His drunk-self went out of his way to create an entire contraption just to prove them wrong. Yet he still finds himself flabbergasted if they were to think he hated Jews. Not to mention his nihilistic attitude being present throughout the entire series. The writers thought it would be a good idea to abandon what we know about Rick for an unfunny gag, displaying their scarce knowledge of his character.
Another problem that Rick has is his reference to websites that are well known to be swarming with Rick and Morty fans. After the Smiths desert Pickle Rick, a cat jumps onto his desk and begins strolling towards him. Rick then replies ?I?m not a snake. I?ve seen the YouTube videos, I know cats are scared of cucumbers and pickles because they think they?re snakes.? Later on, in episode 9, Rick states ?a dad makes a toilet look like R2-D2 and it breaks the front page of Reddit.? In both cases, the writers allow us to believe that Rick uses the internet just like us and leads the audience to believe he?s one of them. But he?s not. Rick?s the smartest man in the universe, an intergalactic terrorist who regularly hangs out with alternate versions of himself, kills on a whim and disposes of Morty?s in the blink of an eye. Why would he ever waste his time on a site such as YouTube or Reddit?
Summer is the most erratic character in the show. Her core personality and traits changes between episodes without reason. In Rickmancing the Stone, Summer instantly becomes a total badass. She?s able to fire a perfect shot at a high-velocity car and soon enough, she?s the clan?s defunct Khaleesi. Summer went from a regular teenager to a rebel at the snap of a finger. The reason for this? A divorce. If a character is to undergo a rapid change, then an equally rapid plot point must occur, so it?s seen as natural progression. After all Summer has experienced through Flapja- I mean Rick?s miscellaneous adventures, it?s a divorce that causes her to suddenly change. In Catch Me If You Can, it?s already established that Frank is a spontaneous person who?s unafraid of risks, as evidenced by him acting as the French substitute teacher to the lengths of expulsion. The divorce didn?t change him as a person, but amplified his activities as a conman. The very concept of becoming a moody teenager with no signs of apathy (even though you could say that apathy automatically comes with being a teenager) to a stone-cold killer from something as relatively insignificant like a divorce is ridiculous. In Pickle Rick, she?s back to being a regular teenager who?s going through some struggle even though she was just married into a clan of savages. Oh, you?re smoking drugs as a coping mechanism? I?m sorry, what ever happened to murdering people in cold blood? By the Whirly Dirly Conspiracy, Summer experiences a breakup with her boyfriend, Ethan, causing her to become an insecure child. She goes to any lengths, even expanding her breasts, to get Ethan back. This time, the cause is a breakup. Huh? Speaking of which, why does Summer act as if this is Ethan?s fault? He was no longer interested in her, so he called it off, instead of secretly cheating on her like? I don?t know, maybe Summer did a few episodes earlier! Girl, what game you playing at here? Anyway, this act of desperation for Ethan sacrifices another core trait of Summer?s, her feminist outlook. She used to stand up against the objectification of women, such as in Raising Gazorpazorp, but now she views herself as merely a sexual device for men?s pleasure.
Summer?s personality keeps being changed for plot conveniences. Unfortunately, this is leaves her as a passive character, not an engaged one. With no genuine understanding of her true nature, Summer?s potential as a character will never be fully achieved.
Season 3 has been commended for upbringing Morty as a competent person rather than the bumbling idiot he was in the pilot. But at what cost?
The main goal of Rickmancing The Stone is establishing the difficulties Morty faces with his parent?s divorce. Perhaps he?s seen trembling or he?s stumbling over his words, minute yet important indications that aren?t overly done as to be in the way of the story. Perhaps we could view a parallel of a divorce in the Mad Max world they visit and how the people there deal with it. The writers opt for another route unfortunately. In one scene, Morty punches a man to death with his mutated arm while yelling the feelings he has about his father leaving out-loud. Try to read between the lines. Throughout Vindicators 3, Morty always saves the situation. This is because of a personality established between the seasons, who has disarmed Rick?s bombs countless times. There is no build-up in his persona from ?innocent Morty? to ?competent Morty.? It just happened. The show fails by having Morty explain that he?s constantly been through this, rather than letting the audience experience it with him.
The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy is Morty?s worst episode in the series by far, mostly because of the sudden shift in character he pulls at the end. The second plot of the episode is about Morty and his mother Beth attempting to shrink Summer down to her normal state. The majority of the sequence follows a conflict between Beth and Summer in which they argue about Beth?s controls and how she can?t admit wrongdoing or have herself be viewed as incompetent. Morty gets understandly emotional during these debates, which by the way, suffer the same boring exposition found in every other episode, but we?ll get to that later. He blandly states things such as ?you wanna be like Rick? Congratulations, you?re just as arrogant and just as irresponsible.? The audience can clearly see how much of an issue Morty has with his mother?s poor parenting skills. He?s very agitated and appears beyond forgiveness. Only a few hours later, with no explanation as to why, he has a calm conversation telling Ethan unironically that ?she?s a good mum.? They don?t show or tell as to why this change in Morty?s opinion occurred. After thorough investigation of the episode, I have it figured it out with reasonable certainty. Because the writers couldn?t be bothered finding a reasonable answer so they just let it happen hoping no one would register the absolute laziness! Well guess what, I did! You had Morty act as a slick dude, a personality opposite to his character, while saying something that went completely against everything he had yelled during the rest of the episode, just for a cheap gag where Ethan gets mutilated. This acts makes Morty a horrid asshole that can?t be sympathised with. That was Rick?s job. But he?s an even worse one than rick, cause at least Rick knows that he?s not doing anything righteous. Morty acts as if he?s the king of justice when he makes Ethan a mutant and the audience is supposed to buy it!
Morty went from the relatable protagonist to an unlikable asshat, without exploring any of the development between these two stages, leaving the viewer disconnected.
Beth has always been a character of very little focus, so it is refreshing to witness her being developed in the ABC?s of Beth. Did it do a decent job? Spoiler alert: Rey is Palpatine?s granddaughter. I mean seriously, it?s still makes sense as the Last Jedi didn?t truly reveal her parents? parents. What if the Emperor wanted one last night and his bastard child became a drunk scavenger? I?m off track now. What was the question? Oh, right: No, it didn?t do a good job.
Why is Beth suddenly a psychopath? In all the other episodes, she was simply a supreme jerk that couldn?t control her anger, but she was never a monster. The Beth we knew turns out to be just a mask that covers up a much darker version. This episode strikes a chord to ?The Principal and the Pauper,? which contradicts what we were led to believe about Seymour Skinner and how his admiration of authority was a result of the strict upbringing he received from his overbearing mother. Instead, he wasn?t her son and was instead an imposter. In a similar vein, Beth is always shown as a mother who lost her way and has severe daddy issues that cause her to blow up. The writers then decided to exaggerate these issues to such an extent that she would murder children and abandon them in lands as a young child. ?Has it occurred to you that I asked you to make those things because I wanted to spend time with you?? Besides the exposition, which isn?t pointless this time because no sane viewer would ever come to such a ridiculous conclusion, the writers expect us to believe this justification for Beth?s actions. There were two conditions to making this believable. First, keep Beth as a cold-hearted wreck with no emotional attachments, much like Rick. Second, don?t expect her to be viewed favourably by audiences anymore, let alone have them hope for her to remain relatable. Season 3 fails at both aspects. In the following episode, the season finale, Beth is left to ponder about her existence and whether she?s real or a clone. This is done with the expectation that the viewer is going to feel pity and empathy, when in reality, all emotional attachments have been cut from Beth?s realisation in ?The ABC?s of Beth.? If you still believe Beth is a nice person who you can relate to, please, for the love of God, please see a therapist for the safety of those who surround you. This leads me to my next point
Everyone?s becoming Rick
?If it ain?t broke, don?t fix it? is a rule that can be applied to many situations, including this one. Except in this case ?If it?s already great, don?t fix it by making every single goddamn character just like Rick because he seems to be the most-liked when he?s really just the rogue that brings entertainment to an otherwise boring family.?
Morty has become sadistic recently and finds no qualms in hurting those around him. In episode 5, with a false sense of justification, Morty beams Ethan into a mutant. This makes Morty simply an asshole, not a lovable one such as Rick. How is this the case? As stated before, it?s because Rick never pretends that he?s doing the righteous thing or that he?s ethically above others, he simply goes on with his extreme life with a casual manner. Morty, on the other hand, believes he is the good guy.
Summer (at least in some episodes) has become an independent woman because she don?t need no man. Instead of being the emotional and empathetic person she was, she?s become just as ruthless as Rick. Unlike Rick, her attitude changes whenever it suits the plot, so she?s a replica of Rick in one episode and then an antithesis to him in another.
Beth is a psychopath who slashes her way through life ( both figuratively and literally) with no real sign of empathy or remorse. She can?t ever admit her faults even if it leads to the immense harm of others, such as Summer?s expansion. Speaking of which, she never even learns from her mistakes that she was wrong. What?s the point of exploring a character if they didn?t have an arc or change?. She just walks in and hugs Summer or makes a clone with Rick as there?s happy-go-lucky music in the background showing that they?re bonding. AWWWWW! :3 A story should serve a purpose to a character, the ABC?s of Beth affects nothing and as such, it?s a useless story
The problem with all these characters becoming similar is that the family dynamics are less interesting, less? dynamic (?) and each character?s relationship is no longer special or unique. Imagine Summer calling Rick in the finale to tell him they were hiding with Beth rather than Morty. Would there be any difference in the character?s excecution? No. Because their actions are generic and unoriginal. If you can swap characters out and the plot remains practically the same, you?ve screwed up.
Boring Side Characters
Hello everybody! Today, we are going to play a game called ?Rick and Morty side characters: Who do we know? Do we know them? Let?s find out!? Our host, Stevie Wonder, will have 6 characters from season 2 lined up on the screen, and you will have to name them. Then, he?ll display 6 side characters from season 3, and you will have to name them. The aim is to see which season has more recognisable characters.
Season 2: Fart, Zeep Xanflorp, Unity, Krombopulous Michael, Reverse Giraffe, Sleepy Gary
Season 3: Noob-Noob, Tricia Lange, Alan Rails, Cornvelious Daniel, Haemorrhage, Supernova
Which season?s characters were more identifiable? Why am I asking this when the answer?s clearly season 2? All of the characters in season 3 were so boring and rudimentary that something as simple as their names is hard to remember. After spending an entire episode with Haemorrhage, are you able to name some of his key personality traits? Hell, all the side characters in Vindicators 3 were designed to be the same, and although it?s a clever idea, this sacrificed the episode?s potential engagement because now the viewer could only understand the characters on a shallow level, resulting in their deaths being meaningless. To be honest, I wouldn?t care as long as they didn?t kill the mailman guy. He was my man!
Exposition and Character Development
Along with plot and emotion, character development is one of the essential parts of storytelling. The characters and their actions are what cause stories to happen. Our emotional attachment with them causes us to feel pain when they do, and at the same time, experience joy when they do. Because of this, developing deep characters with complex dynamics and relationships is a key component when writing a narrative. Unfortunately for writers, it is a very laborious effort to craft well-defined characters, and to slack off, while much easier, causes cheap character development. Guess which route the characters took. Lessons from the Screenplay?s video on American Beauty (from 3:10 to 6:32) is incredible at explaining the importance of smart dialogue to reveal character.
Overused exposition is the backbone of season 3?s failure. Almost anything and everything has been oversaturated with characters explaining it, leaving the viewer with nothing to savour, nothing to ponder about. Ambiguity is what makes literature such an amazing subject, because it allows the audience to appreciate ideas on a more personal level. The audience is allowed to question, and they give stories their own meaning. The writers of Rick and Morty decided this idea is preposterous, what is the point of character development if not everyone fully comprehends it? Some people might not understand the nuances and then we?d have people left out. And that?s no fair! The problem is the writers have ignored the rule of ?show, not tell? and this has resulted in an unengaged viewer watching a show that feels unnatural. As Abby Finer puts it in Starting your Television Writing Career, ?if plot and character information can be shown through images rather than dialogue, it would be beneficial, as it is better to show than to tell. Exposition should be worked into a story in small doses so that the story can keep moving.? Keep this in mind.
Rick and Morty?s sluggish exposition is clearly evident in the writer?s attempts at ?character development.? One scene in Rickmancing the Stone focuses on Morty punching a death stalker with his mutated arm. Obviously, this is an important scene to convey Morty?s emotions. Don?t lay down subtle details for the attentive viewer to pick up on, because that would take effort and time. Instead, the audience is forced to watch Morty yelling to himself about his father?s marital problem with no reason, no resolution and no retrospection. He literally says ?All you had to do was go away. Stop standing in the driveway talking about custody and either tell her you want to get remarried or get on with your life, but whatever you do, stop being a baby about it and move on.? No one in real life would randomly spurt out their hidden feelings about something a serious as a divorce and then casually disregard this clarity of mind moments later, but Morty does as he never mentions it again. However, the following episode, Pickle Rick, is without a doubt, one of the worst cases of blatantly incompetent writing that I have ever witnessed. The cause of Pickle Rick?s exposition is the therapist. Her entire purpose is to reveal the Smith family?s relationships to us, the audience, as if we?re too moronic to not be able to interpret the show ourselves. ?Just because you think it?s boring that doesn?t mean it?s bad? is the most common response. Before I even begin, if it?s boring, it should be cut. Entertainment shouldn?t be boring, that?s the purpose of YouTube Rewind.
?I think it?s possible that you and your father have a very specific dynamic. I don?t think it?s one that rewards emotion or vulnerability. I think it may punish them. I think it?s possible that dynamic eroded your marriage and it?s infecting your kids with the tendency to misdirect their feelings.? This generic line of ?dialogue? from the therapist contains zero subtext or individuality and tells us something that was blindly obvious since episode 1. Beth had to choose between Rick and Jerry and she chose Rick because of her unwillingness to let him leave. When Beth retorts, ?He doesn?t need anything from anyone.? The therapist replies, ?you admire him for that.? This is some of the sloppiest and most insulting writing I have ever come across. How can a show with such a following and a (mostly) talented team allow the script to leaving the writing table as the steaming pile of crap that we had to endure? If you believe the therapist is a good character, name one trait about her that isn?t smart or Asian.
I?m going to insert the entire transcript of her big speech to Rick, some of you may skim through or do something else to distract yourself, thus proving my point of how pointless and boring this writing is. ?Everyone in your family, you included, use intelligence to justify sickness. You seem to alternate between viewing your own mind as an unstoppable force and as an inescapable curse. And I think it?s because the only truly unapproachable concept for you is that it?s your mind within your control. You chose to come here, you chose to talk to belittle my vocation, just as you chose to become a pickle. You are the master of your own universe and yet you are dripping with rat blood and faeces. Your enormous mind literally vegetating by your own hand. I have no doubt that you would be bored senseless by therapy, the same way I?m bored when I brush my teeth and wipe my ass because the thing about maintaining and cleaning is it?s not an adventure. There?s no way to do it so wrong you might die. It?s just work. And the bottom line is some people are okay going to work and some people? well, some people would rather die. Each of us gets to choose.? I have no words.
The trend of poorly constructed characters continues in Vindicators 3 BABYYYYYY. After Morty randomly solves drunk Rick?s game, something I?ll get into later, he says that ?it?s a bit, all of the descriptors apply to all of you.? Let?s indulge ourselves and pretend Morty stops speaking here and the group continues to the next level. What did it mean that all the descriptors apply? There would?ve been discussion and interpretation over the meaning of what he explained. But unfortunately, that isn?t the case. Instead, he finishes the sentence with ?drunk Rick?s point is that none of you are very special or different.? * audible sigh that it translates into writing* Viewers claim this show is smart yet all it does is cater to the minds at the bottom of the IQ scale. Will the writers ever allow us to decide things on our own or will we have to be spoon fed information the whole time? Leave that to CHIPS and Adam Sandler films.
The main message of episode 4 is that the heroes we once thought were great people are actually no better than us. Yet this is so poorly executed because the writers forgot the classic rule of ?show, not tell.? We never witness any of the vindicators perform any heroic actions, we are simply told they do. Before the ?big? reveal, we see the Vindicators in a meeting, then a dude flies in with a cocktail, then they go invade a dungeon before they?re finally confronted by drunk Rick. Where was the extraordinary heroism that the dialogue constantly threw at our faces? I would?ve been more shocking if the Vindicators were actually courageous and Rick was wrong!
The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy focuses on Jerry?s use of pity to manipulate others. We have it explained by Rick: ?You act like prey when you?re a predator. You use pity to lure in your victims.? Later on, the monster man reiterates Rick?s point. Ignoring the fact that they never established Jerry?s use of pity in the episode until Rick slam dunks him with a monologue, understanding Jerry?s use of pity wasn?t very difficult if you quickly analysed his character. Just because it wasn?t explicitly said, does NOT mean it didn?t exist. But thanks for focusing on something clearly available to the audience instead of exploring innovative ideas or themes.
In Rest and Ricklaxation, exposition appears before the title sequence is given a chance to begin. Morty questions to Rick about their space adventures, to which Rick replies ?I don?t know Morty. Maybe I hate myself or maybe I think I deserve to die.? Many small moments of laziness such as this are spread throughout the entire season. I wouldn?t be so critical of them if they once or twice, but their frequency throughout the season is astounding. In the end of the episode, it?s revealed that Rick does indeed care about Morty. The term ?actions speak louder than words? clearly doesn?t apply because clean Rick?s monologue mainly illustrates this message of love and not toxic Rick?s reaction.
The Ricklantis Mixup is hard to criticise because it doesn?t focus on the faulty dynamics of the Smith family. However, what?s put in place as a substitute is a wildly entertaining story that anyone can agree is one of the series? best. Yet even this episode couldn?t avoid the plague of obnoxious exposition found in the rest of the season. The climax of episode 7 is ?President Morty? eliminating the Ricks that oppose him. It?s pretty simple to connect the dots and realise what Morty?s true identity that caused his campaign manager to snap is. His alarming intelligence, his cunning and his apparent psychopathy are obvious clues. Give any fan of the show a few minutes and they can conclude that he is, indeed, Evil Morty. If only the screenwriters knew that. The final shot is a zoom-out of the citadel with Evil Morty?s theme, For the Damaged Coda, playing. Apparently, that still is not enough to decipher as the final thing the audience views is a picture of Morty, recognisable by his eyepatch. It?s surprising they didn?t have ?Evil Morty? written on the papers. What if it?s pirate Morty instead? Remember when Justin and Dan left many parts of the show ambiguous, so the conspiracy theorists went nuts? What happened to that?
Morty?s Mind Blowers, which, funnily enough, isn?t even a properly structured episode, illustrates how character development can be done right. Morty learns that the red memories are those removed by Rick because there are moments he?s ashamed of and can?t admit to. We discover that he wants to be seen as great by his grandson, as evidenced by his ?take things for granite? memory and we also recognise he doesn?t want Morty to remember his shortcomings such as when they murdered Bee Boo to stay warm. Later on, Summer reacts with a nonchalant manner in comparison to the situation?s absurdness. Her additional comment ?I don?t get paid enough for this shit? conveys how regular of an occurrence this is that she?s actually paid by Rick. Then they head off for a classic Rick and Morty adventure as the final joke before the credits roll. Are the writers taunting us?
?Are you saying Tommy survived here by having sex with Froopy creatures, creating Froopy-human hybrid offspring, and then consuming their proteins, sustaining himself with an endless cycle of cannibalistic incest?? This is a clear example of an info-dump disguised as a joke in ?The ABC?s of Beth, so it appears as if there was effort put into it. However, they later go on to have a play explaining the whole scenario again, with the same amount of subtlety as the actual show, so what was the point?! ?I am jealous of Tommy?s friends and his Nintendo and his dad who likes him.? ?Rick?s point is that none of you are special, that?s always his point.? ?You act like prey, but you?re a predator. You use pity to lure in your victims!? ?I think it?s possible that you and your father have a very specific dynamic. I don?t think it?s one that rewards emotion or vulnerability. I think it may punish them. I think it?s possible that dynamic eroded your marriage and it?s infecting your kids with the tendency to misdirect their feelings.? Slowly erodes into insanity ?I take it Tommy (Wiseau) wasn?t class playwright.?
Two episodes (out of ten) were exempt from this problem: The premiere and the finale. Coincidentally, they were the only episodes written by the show?s creators, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, respectively. However, this demonstrates that the season is overwhelmed with copious exposition that could?ve been circumvented had the writers done two things. First, they must use their creativity to find inventive ways of conveying character development. Unfortunately, they?d rather sacrifice the quality of the show if it meant using less effort. An artist should never, under any circumstances, sacrifice their work just because it?s less strenuous. For the second point, the writers need to recognise their audience?s intelligence. If the writers thought we were smart enough to comprehend subtle actions, they probably would?ve written key scenes through more nuanced methods. Hopefully. However, the scenes that we received are written with a simplistic style that displays their disrespect towards the viewer, as if he or she is too moronic to understand. This is the nail in the coffin for season 3. They dumbed down the show.
Filler is when there?s a scene or sequence that provides nothing to help develop character or move the plot forward. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke?s daily habits were shown with no purpose other than to lengthen the film?s time. It?s never a good thing to have filler as it slows down the pace of your story while almost always being boring. Luckily, comedies have a bit of leniency if the filler is funny and entertains the viewer. Horrible Bosses was full of filler but that doesn?t make it a bad comedy, it was great. The plot was straightforward and simple, invade their bosses? homes to get them out of their lives, and this allowed funny antics to come from it. This is what made Rick and Morty such a unique show, it was more than just a regular comedy. It had very clever plots and a diverse cast of characters, even if they weren?t that in depth, whose key attributes were well known and easy to distinguish. Season 3, unfortunately, has many unfunny scenes that stretch for way too long in the pure effort of filling up time.
After Pickle Rick is abandoned by the Smith family, he goes on to make mouth noises for fifteen seconds. In fast-paced episodes such as The Rickshank Redemption, this wasted time sacrifices what could?ve been used for a joke, a character moment or simply driving the plot forward.
In Vindicators 3 babyyyyyy, Vance becomes triggered and dashes for an escape, only to be immediately killed by drunk Rick?s weapons. How someone in the Vindicators that?s such a neurotic mess was able to survive this far is beyond me. Anyway, the following 20 seconds forces the viewer to witness a pair of legs being mutilated in the most boring way possible. Ran short on the animation budget there Justin? Couldn?t even afford the upper body?
During Morty?s dinner with Jessica, they have one of the most awkward conversation that became painful to watch very quickly. Its effect dropped quickly, and the rest of the scene was drawn out for way too long. It?s similar to hearing the same bad joke over and over with slight variations but the same punchline. This scene lasted one and a half minutes yet it felt like five. That?s the problem with filler, it appears way longer than it actually is due to the brain experiencing boredom or worse, recoil.
Another moment of filler is the fight scene between toxic and detox Rick. There?s no problem with fight scenes if they are short, sweet and to-the-point. The problem with this overuse of fight scenes in Rick and Morty is that the time they spend showing epic gadgets and gnarly devices is they could be spending that time on things such as character development or jokes. Then again, no one wants to listen to monotone exposition or experience another dead meme.
The absolute worst case of filler in the entire series was in the finale. Actually, there was no filler IN the finale. The filler WAS the finale. For 3 minutes, over 10% of the episode, Rick and Obama fight if off. Yet it feels like an eternity. The lengthening of the fight served no purpose to the narrative or the characters. Instead, it was a cheap cop-out, so the writers didn?t have to put any thought into the scene?s development. To make an action scene work, it requires tension. Because of this, I have never been a large fan of Marvel movies. The fights have no consequences and the viewer rarely has emotional attachments to the characters. In the rare case when action is performed correctly and there is emotional investment plus the appearance of danger to the loser, such as in the final fight of Captain America: Civil War, then the audience will naturally pay a lot more attention to who?s winning and who?s losing. This same concept can be applied to sports. Going back to Rick and Morty, the last fight contains none of that. The characters were at an obvious stalemate and because of the show?s existential nihilism, we know it doesn?t matter if the President dies because there are infinite versions of him. ?The Wedding Squanchers? contained a fight that was a major plot point to the entire series. The scene included having our beloved Birdperson be brutally murdered (because I will never accept Phoenix Person as canon until he appears in an episode) and it caused the Smiths to find a new home, inevitably leading to the events of season three. In ?The Rickchurian Mortydate?, the fight doesn?t even have a conclusion! It was so pointless to the plot that a phone call stopped it. The fight caused nothing other than Obama and Rick agreeing to a mutual dismemberment which only lasted for about 10 seconds before Rick came back and cancelled it. This is akin to Star Wars. Season 2?s finale is reminiscent of the originals while season 3?s is similar to the prequels. Obi-Wan?s confrontation with Darth Vader in A New Hope was highly intense. The battle was merely two awkwardly choreographed old guys tapping sticks but the emotional involvement and storyline that came with it caused you to lean on the edge of your seat. The fight was short, sweet and to-the-point. A 10-minute sequence would have ruined that effect. Speaking of 10-minute sequences, let?s move on the final lightsabre battle of Return of the Jedi, also between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader. This drawn-out action scene was a huge waste of time that didn?t do anything other than presenting a mind-numbing experience. CGI was in full effect and all the suspense was lost within a couple minutes. Almost everyone can agree there is a heavy contrast between the two fights? qualities. I?ll let you draw the parallels between them and the Rick and Morty finales.
I despise action scenes that overstay their welcome and just bore the viewer which is exactly what the finale did. (Play Plinkett clip about Rogue One) By the way, fight scenes aren?t the only time we experience pointless violence.
Pointless Violence that isn?t dark
Me: ?We don?t need to resort to over-the-top? Gets punched by Rick and Morty writers foot
?These are going to be the darkest years of our lives.? ? Rick
Season 3 is full of violence in its desperate attempt to be edgy. However, the only thematic darkness the writers could create was through over-the-top violence. Here?s a scene that shows cheap darkness: *Beth killing the creatures* This is lousily done as it can be easily filtered out of the brain as there?s no substance to consider.
The entire season contains a cataclysmic amount of gory details such as blood and intestines. In episode 2, there are long fights scenes in the dome where peoples? heads are punched off and things like that. Pickle Rick contained a huge amount of violence, including lots of gore, especially with the rats, yet had very little substance. Vindicators 3 was just an uncomfortable episode overall because there was so much violence, with some of it only wanting to fill up time. I can give this episode a semi-pass since the Saw franchise is known for being torture pawn. The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy and Rest and Ricklaxation refrained itself from brutality and focused on other themes. The same goes for episode 7 and 8. The ABC?s of Beth was unnecessarily extreme in its vulgarity, only causing the viewer to hate Beth (hopefully) more than encourage her. Episode 10 was a mixed bag in terms of violence. The problem with this violence being viewed as the ?dark? parts of Rick and Morty is that it takes away great potential for clever ideas of mental horror. The darkest moments were not when Rick annihilated a colony of rats of when Million Ants killed Alan Rails, it was when Robot Morty gained sentience only to be quickly shut down or when the young boy shot his sister unknowingly, ending the scene before his reaction causing us to have speculation of the aftermath haunt our minds. That is what made Rick and Morty dark, not this: Beth killing a bunch of animals
Finale Reverting Back to Normal (Dan Harmon Circle Betrayed)
The quick wrap up of the season 3 finale is a huge travesty. It questions the entire purpose of season three. The writers decided that character development should be the season?s main goal, yet all of the changes the characters went through, the dynamics of their relationships morphing, an entire divorce plot line is deserted so they could go back to their old ways. In my opinion, I?m very glad they brought back Rick and Morty to its classic ways, but this clearly displays how unfaithful the writers are to their own creation and how they?ll drop the ball on a whim. Because nothing important changes over the season, the only episodes that matter are The Rickshank Redemption, The Ricklantis Mixup and Morty?s Mindblowers. The rest of the episodes are not worth enough to sit through.
Season 3 of Rick and Morty is a wet paste, there is nothing of substance behind an already gooey mess. All the problems boil down to the sloppy writing, leaving the viewer feeling empty. Everything in season 3 is forced. The character development is forced. The violence is forced. The dark themes are forced. The memes are forced and the reversion back to normality at the end is forced. In the end, what we are left with is a bland season that no one even remembers. I probably won?t bother watching season 4, and hearing that come out of my mouth, is such a disappointment.