If knowledge is power, what does that make Rick Sanchez? An uber-genius, the smartest man in the universe by a number of lightyears? If it makes him all-powerful, does it make him God? This conundrum has been a theme of Rick and Morty from the earliest episodes, alluded to repeatedly. Finally, the finale of Season 3, "The Rickchurian Mortydate," is the closest we've got to an definitive answer.
The episode opens when Rick and Morty are approached by black-suited agents, asking for help on behalf of a "friend from Washington." The trouble is, the mission of searching "Kennedy Sex Tunnels" (don't ask) for an alien infestation is a bit of a chore compared to the usual standard of intergalactic adventure. Instead, they decide to play Minecraft, turning their back on America and in turn sticking the finger to the President.
Admittedly, for a strong season full of all sorts of quirky delights, "The Rickchurian Mortydate" is a lukewarm finale. But it does illustrate Rick's mindset when tackling Earth-based events; he's disillusioned and clearly sees himself above matters that are "trivial" to him (and trivial to Morty, for that matter). His petty falling out with the President exposes Rick's self-perception — it becomes a battle between two over-inflated egos.
In one telling scene, after teleporting into the White House, Rick is heavily surrounded by armed guards. But he's unafraid, using his eclectic range of inventions to make himself seemingly immortal. A force-field protects him from bullets, he can appear anywhere at any time, he kills a guard by touch. This leads to the President's General exclaiming: "Jesus, he's not a f*cking God," a comment that offends Rick. Clearly, he thinks he is. And who are we to argue?
"The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy" gave the biggest indication yet that he has somehow elevated to ultimate übermensch. During Jerry's trip, Rick is shown as an ancient Egyptian deity, sat near a pyramid, sided by two ram-headed creatures. Even if he isn't the ultimate creator, Rick's intellect and ability to freely travel through dimensions gives him a demigod status — a status he is clearly invested in.
The trouble is, in the #RickandMorty Season 3 finale Rick's shown his hand, and he's always holding pocket aces, with two jokers up his sleeve for good measure. For a show full of adventure, there needs to be a sense of danger, but where's the sense of danger if our protagonist is unbeatable?
How Will Rick's God Status Affect Season 4?
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Step forward Evil Morty. He was first introduced as the cold-blooded murderer of Ricks in "Close Rick-Counters of the Rick Kind." In a surprise return in "Tales from the Citadel," he was elected to become the new President of the Citadel of Ricks — an organization which is Rick's Achilles' heel, and one of the sources of his infinite wisdom.
Although "Tales from the Citadel" has more of a finale vibe than the finale itself, Dan Harmon may've deliberately chosen to emphasize Rick's overconfidence, which is only a few steps away from becoming complacency. Feeling like he's on the top of the world could leave him open to attack, and that's where Evil Morty steps in.
Rick and Morty Season 4 will have 14 episodes, rather than 10. With more time to play with, the #AdultSwim show would be wise to include more Evil Morty, slowly revealing his plan to instigate Rick's downfall. The beauty of the show is that there can still be sprinkles of the oddball randomness; with infinite universes, there will be time to drop into a different universe for a one-off adventure.
As the show evolves, it makes sense to add more consistency to the narrative. After all, if Rick is a God, that'd make Evil Morty the devil. And what better villain is there?
Would you like to see Evil Morty become more involved in Rick and Morty Season 4?