[WARNING: This recap/review contains spoilers regarding Season 3 Episode 4 of Rick and Morty]
So far Season 3 of Rick and Morty has centered around the aftermath of Beth and Jerry’s divorce and how it has affected the family. What the newest episode, Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender, gave us was a classic Rick and Morty adventure. With only Rick and Morty along for the journey the show returned to its roots while also touching on Rick’s personal issues as we have seen throughout Season 3.
The episode beginnings with Morty receiving a call from the Vindicators, a Justice League/ Avengers like team of superheroes from across the multiverse asking for help from the pair. Rick, wanting no part of the Vindicators tells Morty to ignore the call. Morty wanting to aid the Vindicators uses his “Morty Adventure Card” which gives him the power to choose 1 out of every 10 adventures. Arriving at the Vindicators HQ, Rick is openly un-welcomed by the group. The only Vindicator who seems to have a liking to Rick is Noob-Noob, who is nothing more than the groups water boy.
The Vindicators are made up of Vance Maximus, Alan Rails, Supernova, Million Ants Man (Yes, he’s made of one million ants) and Crocubot. They called upon Rick and Morty to help eliminate the evil “Worldender”. Upset and jealous of the Vindicators, Rick, in a drunken rage kills “Worldender” and creates a Saw like game for the Vindicators to play. Unwilling to play Rick’s game, Vance Maximus attempts to escape and gets himself killed in one of Rick’s traps. Morty is able to solve Rick’s riddle and the group is able to continue on to his next game.
At the next stage Crocubot is killed and it is learned that the Vindicators committed a mass genocide on their last adventure to save the universe. Once again Morty is able to solve Rick’s riddle and the group continues but the remaining Vindicators, Alan Rails, Supernova and Million Ants Man begin to turn on each other. We find out that Alan Rails and Supernova were once married but she had an affair with Million Ants Man. Alan Rails and Million Ants Man begin to fight with each other and Rails is killed in the fight.
With only Supernova, Million Ants Man, Rick and Morty remaining they reach Rick’s last riddle. Unsure of what the answer is Rick suggests that Morty may be the answer to his last riddle. Thinking that Rick is trying to apologize to him Morty sends himself on an attraction like ride with Rick apologizing for his actions (At least thats what it seems). It ends up that Rick in his drunken state is apologizing to Noob-Noob and not Morty. When Morty arrives back Supernova kills Million Ants Man and attempts to kill Morty and Rick. But before she is able to the trio is transported into a giant concert/party that Rick had put together while he was drunk. The episode ends with Supernova escaping and special guest artist Logic performing to end the show.
‘Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender’ is taking a shot at the typical superhero team dynamic that we see in films released by studios such as DC and Marvel. We see how superheroes aren’t always “super” and they have the potential to be extremely terrible people actually. We see this when the Vindicators begin to turn on one another once they are trapped in Rick’s crazy Saw like scenarios. The writers did a great job at creating a parody while also sending a clear message, something that is always done very well in every episode of Rick and Morty.
Like every episode in Season 3, the emotional state of the family is explored, while this episode did hit on that topic it was held back compared to the previous three. We see Rick battle his inner demons and how he is able to basically do whatever he wants without many consequences. This felt like a classic Rick and Morty adventure with its typical craziness, but Morty is who we see saving the day instead of Rick due to the fact that he doesn’t have his portal gun for nearly this entire episode.
Once again Jerry was not present until we were given the preview for next week’s episode. From the short preview given it looks like it is going to be a Rick and Jerry adventure. This looks like it may be the best episode of the season as we are going to see Jerry and Rick’s relationship and if it has changed in anyway.
Final Grade: B-