Rick and Morty: “The Rickshank Redemption” Season 3 Premiere Review

Photo Credit:http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/rick-and-morty/263381/rick-and-morty-season-3-episode-1-review-the-rickshank-rickdemption

In case anyone missed the news, in an anti-April Fool’s Day drop, Rick and Morty‘s third season premiere is here, with the rest of the season debuting this summer. The best part? This premiere is absolutely terrific.

In a fun bit of narrative trickery, the episode opens on Rick having dinner with the family at a diner, as if the show was going to just brush over last season’s grim cliffhanger. I realized in that moment, however, that the show could have gotten away with just that. Season two’s finale wasn’t the strongest of episodes, with the cliffhanger in particular setting the show on a very different tone. Well, “The Rickshank Rickdemption” doesn’t really give a shit about that, but it does spend the entirety of its time resolving that cliffhanger.

With their new alien overlords, Jerry is of course benefiting, but the rest of the family is struggling under enslavement. Summer takes matters into her own hands, digging up the grave of a different Rick in their backyard and taking his portal gun. She and Morty then go to the Citadel of Ricks to get them to try and break their version out.

Meanwhile, Rick is using the brain device his guards have him on to his advantage. If there’s one problem with the premiere, it’s how overpowered it makes Rick. But it does amount to an enormously fun escape. Rick switching and swapping bodies from the aliens to different Ricks was a joyful way to re-immerse us into the world of the show. How it inevitably weaved in Summer and Morty was also strong, as the tension relied on Rick’s morals.

The most delightful surprise of the premiere is how to brings back the question of Rick’s nature. Morty disparages him to his family, not even looking to go save his grandfather until Summer forces him. But this question of character, especially as Rick goes on to murder probably a hundred different versions of himself, gives the epic, hilarious escape the dash of substance it needs to elevate the episode to greatness. Do things seem a little bit too easy for Rick throughout? Sure, but the show only does so without us knowing whether he’ll care enough to save his grandkids this time.

He does, of course, but not without sacrificing the show’s cold take on familial connections. That’s what makes this premiere so wonderful: it’s a surplus of everything great about Rick and Morty. Throw in a hint of introspection and you have a series primed for greatness heading into its new season. The wait for more somehow seems longer than ever now. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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