Well, the entire run of ‘Rick and Morty’ until now has brought us down to this: The Ricklantis Mixup, the single best episode that has been produced for the series until now, also among the best 25 odd minutes I have spent in front of a screen watching a TV show. It is unbelievably well written, and the only other animated TV show that comes close to reaching that level of epic, in my opinion is the BoJack Horseman season 5 episode, ‘Free Churro’. The latter being a sad-com attained a level of depth and relevance that is rare for even TV shows, forget animated shows, while the former being primarily a sci-fi show soared and scored on its storytelling abilities, creating multiple interweaving narratives that seamlessly come together in the end to deliver a twist that I did not see coming from any direction. Goosebumps here are an obvious understatement.
The episode begins with Rick and Morty prepping for an adventure in the underwater city of Atlantis just when they are paid a visit by Rick and Morty from another dimension looking to secure contributions for the redevelopment of the Citadel of Ricks, only to realise that it was this Rick from C-137 that destroyed the Citadel in the first place, in the first episode of this season. While Rick and Morty concede their efforts to be fruitless and return, Rick and Morty from C-137 despise the idea of millions of Ricks and Mortys living in the Citadel, blinded by the idea of it, and leave for their adventure.
The focus then shifts to the Citadel of Ricks, now being reconstructed without a council of Ricks since they were murdered by Rick C-137. The divide between Ricks and Mortys grows wider, the Ricks in the citadel are dissatisfied owing to their own innate nature being stifled by Ricks in authority, Rick-less Mortys have turned to crime, and all this while the newly democratic Citadel preps for its presidential elections with five Ricks against one Morty from the Morty party facing impossible odds. The narrative from here branches off into four separate ones, and meets in the end for the big twist.
Simple Rick’s is a wafer company active in the Citadel, a rip-off of any big corporate conglomerate if you may, but one that produces wafers laced with secretions from a “simple Rick”, one who took to the simple joys of life and has a memory with his daughter fed and replayed to him for his brain to secrete the Simple Rick’s wafers secret ingredient. One of the Ricks that has been working in the factory for more than 15 years now rebels and shoots his supervisor, holding a vegetative Simple Rick hostage in exchange for his freedom.