In season three episode seven of Rick and Morty, known alternately as ‘The Ricklantis Mixup’ and ‘Tales From The Citadel’, the fractures in a divided and unbalanced society grate against one other unbearably. The upshot – a brutal mirroring of America’s woes – earned the show its highest-ever rated episode, with an average score of 9.9/10 on IMDb.
‘The Ricklantis Mixup’ ignores our own Rick and Morty (from dimension C-137), instead heading to The Citadel of Ricks – which was torn apart by Rick C-137’s catastrophic attack in season three, episode one. Here, Mortys from innumerate dimensions play second-class citizens who are constantly under the boot of their corresponding Ricks.
As well as the institutionalised discrimination and police brutality that this scenario entails, the 22-minute episode manages to pack in populist politics, adolescent directionlessness (via Stand By Me) and dissatisfaction, crafting an improbably searing critique of real-world America, and reintroducing a formidable villain – Evil Morty – to set-up season three’s endgame.
It was a classic Rick & Morty episode, containing a beautiful mix of the show’s strongpoints. Wackiness, parody, science-fiction, tragedy, humour – they were all here in spades. In addition to rating the episode an unprecedented 9.8/10, fans have also lavished praise on the writing and voice acting – because 98% of this episode was voiced by Justin Roiland, who played dozens of variations of just two characters.
Kumail Nanjiani, star of The Big Sick, was among the most vocal proponents of the episode:
The show’s treatment of police brutality and corruption struck a chord with thousands of viewers:
Rick and Morty talking about police brutality , corruption, Government and discrimination all in one episode. #RickandMorty
— ✼ Sofia ✼ (@ana_sofia53) September 11, 2017
Tonight's episode of Rick & Morty was just about the best 30 minutes of TV I've seen in my life.
Watch this show. It *matters*. pic.twitter.com/UbVNnyxecW
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) September 11, 2017
THIS SHOW IS LITERALLY TACKLING RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION WITH RICK AND MORTY. SERIOUSLY THIS SHOW. #RickandMorty
— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) September 11, 2017
Did… did Rick N Morty just comment on institutional racism and the various ways it intersects with class???? Fuck. #RickandMorty
— B (@vvcoolperson) September 11, 2017
New Rick & Morty holy shit. Callback character, derailed plot, sociopolitical commentary, subversive humour how did that fit in 22 minutes??
— Feed Me (@feedme) September 11, 2017
Some noted that the show didn’t even need ‘our’ Rick and Morty – the ones from dimension C-137 – to succeed:
That might have been the best Rick and Morty episode ever. And it didn't even involve "our" Rick and Morty.
— Useless Sequels (@USELESS_SEQUELS) September 11, 2017
And many seem to think it’s one of the best episodes of animated TV ever:
Season 3 episode 7 of Rick and Morty is not only their all-time best episode but one of the best episodes of animated TV ever
— C Lvnsn (@LvnsnC) September 11, 2017
What do you think? Is it the best animation you’ve ever seen? How does it compare to the recently released fifth season of BoJack Horseman? Let us know your thoughts via social media.