‘Rick and Morty’ season three keeps up the pace

Megan Fenwick, Social media Editor

The comedic adult cartoon “Rick and Morty” is in the middle of airing its third season and it’s better than it’s ever been. The show’s strength this season has definitely been the way the writing has delved into Rick and the Smith family’s flaws and development, particularly in the most recent episode, “Rest and Ricklaxation.” When Rick and Morty almost die on a six-day long adventure in space, they decide to its time to destress at an intergalactic spa. They choose to get into a detox machine, and unknowingly get separated into two versions of themselves: a “healthy” version and a “toxic” version.

Healthy Rick and Morty waltz out of the detox machine, where Rick apologizes to a spa employee for being rude earlier. As the two fly home, Rick tells his grandson that he’s proud of him and Morty tells his grandpa that he loves him: a rare moment of affection between the characters that rings false for the audience, and is supposed to. Meanwhile, toxic Rick and Morty, who are green and covered with gunk, remain trapped inside the detox machine. Toxic Rick is meaner than ever, berating Morty and calling him worthless while proclaiming himself God and superior to all. Toxic Morty cowers, cries, and agrees with Rick that he’s useless.

Anyone who has been paying any attention to the show at all is familiar with the unhealthy aspects of its eponymous characters. What really made this episode fascinating was that the detox machine separated the  “toxic” personality traits based on the users’ own definition of toxic, which healthy Rick and Morty discover after their toxic versions have been released. It’s this kind of fun sci-fi plot that has allowed the writers, especially in season three, to analyze their characters at depths that aren’t always possible in other genres.

While healthy Rick is shown to care about Morty, he later shows no hesitation in shooting toxic Morty to force toxic Rick – who, despite mistreating his grandson, shows great concern and anger when he is hurt – to agree to join their personalities back together. It’s clear that Rick, who has tried sacrificed his life for Morty in the past, sees his “irrational attachments,” as he calls them, as unhealthy. Yet, healthy Rick still wants to rejoin his personality and face his flaws on his own terms, and I think that says a lot about how far his character has come. Healthy Morty, on the other hand, flies away on a jetpack before he can merge with his toxic counterpart. The new, confident Morty goes on to be a successful businessman with an apartment and an adult girlfriend, before Rick finally forces him to accept his toxic counterpart.

In addition to the incredible character development, the animation, comedy, and voice acting was phenomenal in this episode. The way Justin Roiland, who voices both Rick and Morty, used his voice to exaggerate the differences between the healthy and toxic versions of the two characters while still remaining true to the way they sound was great.