Rick and Morty Recap: Tales From the Citadel

Rick and Morty

The Ricklantis Mixup
Season 3 Episode 7
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Adult Swim

Rick and Morty go to Atlantis and have a great time! Morty gets it on with a mermaid! Rick and Morty don’t care about politics! They can’t wait to go back and have another adventure! Five stars.

Dispatches From the Multiverse

• Given how “The Ricklantis Mixup” unfolds, I’m going to recap it through bullet points to break up each story line. The episode pulls an unexpected sleight of hand early on, switching out what sounds like one of Rick and Morty’s few uncomplicatedly fun adventures with deftly interwoven tales from the Citadel. It took me a minute to figure out exactly what was happening, so be prepared: There are a lot of Ricks and a lot of Mortys.

• On the Citadel morning news, Rick D716 and D716-B report all the big events relevant to the Citadel, throwing immediately to a commercial for Simple Rick’s Simple Wafer Cookie: “Come home to the impossible flavor of your own completion.” These wafers are made from the happy thoughts of Simple Rick, a Rick who chooses to enjoy and appreciate his family.

• A Citadel-wide presidential election has come down to a wide variety of Ricks and one Morty candidate, who seems to be included because all the Ricks find him adorable. At the presidential debate, the Rick candidates refuse to take the prompts seriously, but Candidate Morty gives a thoughtful answer to a question about the division between the Ricks and Mortys in the Citadel. He doesn’t see that division: He just sees people with common goals. After he finishes his speech to rousing applause, Candidate Morty walks offstage and promptly fires his campaign manager.

• Candidate Morty soars to the top of the polls, and he gives a press conference in which he evades questions about his dimension of origin. Meanwhile, Campaign Manager Morty drinks at a bar and is confronted by a Mysterious Rick who slides him a dossier about Candidate Morty. (“It’s secrets, look at how I’m dressed.”) Campaign Manager Morty then shows up at a political rally and shoots Candidate Morty point blank. He’s thrown into prison, where the Secret Service Ricks tell him that Candidate Morty is still alive and he won the election. Campaign Manager Morty tries to show them the secret dossier, but is sucked into the vacuum of space.

• Meanwhile, a grizzled old Cop Morty takes on a Rookie Rick as his partner. Cop Morty hates other Mortys, and he dismisses Rookie Rick’s sympathy for them as a weakness. They are called to investigate a robbery in Morty-town, the bad part of the Citadel where the Rick-less Mortys live. As Cop Morty puts it, “They were raised to be sidekicks. Without a side to kick, they just start kickin’.” Shop Owner Morty tries to describe the suspects to the cops, but obviously all Mortys look pretty much the same. Cop Morty tries to buddy up to some local Mortys, and ends up with a gun pointed at one of them. The Mortys direct him toward a gang called the Morty-town Locos, and Cop Rick and Cop Morty burst in, guns drawn. They search the facilities and find a sad, Childlike Morty, whom Rookie Rick picks up out of sympathy. Childlike Morty stabs him in the shoulder. Cop Morty helps Rookie Rick out of the building, and while Rookie Rick waits by the car, Cop Morty vaporizes the entire building. “Same old story,” he says. “Mortys killing Mortys.”

• Cop Duo Rick and Morty head to “The Creepy Morty,” a perfectly named strip club where Cop Morty does under-the-table business with a drug lord named Big Morty. Rookie Rick questions Cop Morty’s methods and tries to arrest Big Morty. Things get heated quickly and Cop Morty pulls a gun on Big Morty before Rookie Rick pulls a gun on Cop Morty. Rookie Rick tells him to do the right thing, and Cop Morty tries to garner Rookie Rick’s sympathy. Rookie Rick drops his gun just long enough for Cop Morty to shoot Big Morty, and Rookie Rick shoots Cop Morty in turn. Rookie Rick leaves the Creepy Morty and tells the other cops, “Same old story: Ricks killing Mortys.” Back at the station, Rookie Rick waits to be sentenced, but he’s quickly let go. He’s told, “New department, new codes, new Citadel.”

• In a classroom lead by a Teacher Rick, a group of Mortys are taught how to correctly respond to their Ricks. One of the Mortys is a class clown nicknamed Slick, who’s already lost five Ricks. After class, Slick, Glasses Morty, Lizard Morty, and Fat Morty make plans to go to the Wishing Portal, which may or may not be a myth. They go on a Stand by Me–esque journey out into the woods, during which Slick reveals that he’s part of an experimental line of Mortys with a drama implant. They finally arrive at the Wishing Portal, where according to the myth, you have to give up something really important to make your wish come true. Fat Morty throws in his panini maker and wishes for a million sandwiches. (“Yes, I see the irony.) Lizard Morty throws in his “dumb-ass surfer necklace” and wishes for a cooler one. Glasses Morty throws in a harmonica and wishes incest porn had more mainstream appeal. Slick tells the rest of them that Morty wishes never come true, makes his big wish — “I wish anything about this life would change” — and then he throws himself in. That’s when it’s revealed that the Wishing Portal is a garbage dump. When Glasses Morty, Lizard Morty, and Fat Morty arrive back at school, Teacher Rick has been fired and the school’s curriculum is changing. The three Mortys marvel that Slick’s wish came true.

• At the Simple Rick’s Simple Wafer Cookie factory, Supervisor Rick announces his promotion to regional manager, and introduces the new supervisor: “K83, affectionately known as Cool Rick.” Cool Rick hasn’t put in the work, but he sure is cool. Inspired by Candidate Morty’s speech at the debate, one of the Worker Ricks who hoped for the promotion bursts into Supervisor Rick’s office and shoots him in the head. He then escapes into the chamber where Simple Rick is happily dreaming of the ingredients for the wafers. A SWAT team of Ricks try to talk Worker Rick into giving up without harming Simple Rick. Worker Rick demands a portal gun, and when they give it to him, he creates a portal and pushes in Simple Rick, who immediately dies in the blender dimension. Worker Rick tells the SWAT team that he’s “more Rick than any of you.” The SWAT team prepares to arrest him, but they’re stopped by Rick D. Sanchez III, the factory owner who escorts Worker Rick off to what he promises will be a new life … before shooting him in the head. (Lotta head shots in this episode.) We see a commercial for Simple Rick’s brand-new Freedom Wafers, made from Worker Rick’s happy memories of his one moment of freedom.

• At the end of all of this, we see a council of Powerful Ricks sitting at a table with now-President Morty. They tell him that they’ve run the Citadel since before the council, and they’re going to continue to run it. President Morty has the Powerful Ricks raise their hands if they believe this. The ones who raise their hands are shot. President Morty goes to the window and gazes into his whiskey glass. The entire Citadel begins adopting a fascist-style logo, and out in the vacuum of space we see all the Ricks and Mortys who make up the body count of the episode.

• Floating in the vacuum of space, too, is the dossier — and it reveals that we’ve seen President Morty before. He is actually Evil Morty, who previously appeared in “Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind.”

• This episode was masterful and unexpected, and I am so excited to see how it pays off later this season.

Rick and Morty Recap: Tales From the Citadel