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It’s that sad time for Rick and Morty where the season ends and we all have to begin the wait for a new one.
After being called by the President (Keith David) to act as alien pest-control, Rick and Morty decide not to answer the call from the leader of the free world. This action sets in motion the famous duo entering into conflict with the President. At the same time, Beth wonders if she is real or just a clone.
“The Rickchurian Mortydate” is hilarious episodes and if it was something like the seventh episode of the series it would have been great. But as a season finale, it doesn’t match the heights of “Ricksy Business” and especially “The Wedding Squanchers.” Both had a big emotional reveal or ending – in “Ricksy Business” Birdperson tells Morty what wubba lubba dub dub really means, and at the end of “The Wedding Squanchers” Rick surrenders himself to the Galactic Federation to save his family. “The Rickchurian Mortydate” attempts this at the end during the final five minutes with Beth and Jerry getting back together and Rick saying nothing really matters, but it was rushed and less earned than in the other finales.
The bulk of the episode is focused on Rick and the President trying to outdo each other, and this was when the episode is at its funniest. Keith David is a terrific actor and voice actor and it is great to see him reprise his role as The President, this time being more antagonistic. There is an authority in David’s voice (fans of Gargoyles can attest to that) and he has terrific comedic timing throughout the episode – one of the funniest moments was when The President and Morty trade insults with each other.
The relationship between The President and Rick is a cross between Rick’s interactions with The Devil and Zeep Xanflorp. The President and Zeep were powerful figures with arrogance to match Rick’s, leading to an unstoppable force facing a unmovable object – although The President doesn’t match Zeep or Rick’s intelligence. In the episode “Something Ricked This Way Comes,” Rick took away the Devil’s power by uncursing his items and Rick does the same with The President, beating him to any major accomplishments and achieving world peace – selfish assholes.
The conflict between Rick and The President had a fantastic end with one of the best action scenes in Rick and Morty‘s history, using all the technology they have access to. There are gravity guns, laser watches, hologram doubles, zombie kung-fu children, and a mech-suit with Gatling guns. A Youtube commenter, known as “Jay Jay,” described it as one of the top 10 Greatest Anime Battles, and I did think of Akira when the President used his giant space cannon.
The final scenes of episode continue a long-running theme of the series: that Morty would always choose his family over Rick. In “Get Schwifty,” Morty pleaded with Rick to abandon Earth with their family when the Cromulon demand Earth take part in a talent show and Morty was protective towards his older sister in “Rixty Minutes,” “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” and “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy.”
Beth’s storyline continues from the ambiguous ending of the previous episode and allows for the episode’s philosophical and existential quota. This part of the episode was not as joked filled as the Rick and Morty adventure, but it does allow Beth and Jerry to reconcile and it is revealed that the family is from Milwaukee or the nearby area. An amusing idea was Jerry talking about his first date with Beth and their first kiss being during a classical performance of the soundtrack of Volcano. Yet fans of the show know that Beth and Jerry seemingly saved their marriage in the previous episode just for it be on the rocks a few episodes later.
The episode continues to pour water over the fan theory that Rick is the only character to know he is a cartoon character. Rick and Morty make a reference to a South Park Minecraft episode, noting that South Park has a fast production schedule, or maybe Rick and Morty is just slow. The ending also states that the next season will be more like season one, but with Beth feeling more secure because she knows her dad won’t leave. However, there is speculation that there might be a Christmas special this year, which would be the true season finale.
The episode order for the show should have been different because “The Ricklantis Mixup” or “The ABC’s of Beth” would have a more fitting finale, but “The Rickchurian Mortydate” works well as a standalone episode.