Rick and Morty “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender”


Welcome to the darkest year of their adventures yet, as Rick gets blackout drunk and creates a “Saw”-style challenge for the Avengers the Vindicators to navigate in this week’s Rick and Morty.

If there was ever any doubt in your mind as to whether or not Rick is a villain, then this episode should put those doubts to rest. Morty cashes in his “I choose every tenth adventure” card (similar to a Starbucks loyalty card) and forces Rick to team up with the Vindicators, an Avengers and Justice League knockoff group.

Obviously, Rick hates it. Morty, however, is super into the idea of being a hero. So they stick around and hear all about how the greatest supervillain the universe has ever seen, Worldender, is back. And they need Rick’s scientific help to stop him, once and for all. Rick, of course, treats the whole thing like it’s a massive waste of his time, and constantly belittles the Vindicators and cracks mean jokes. The only person laughing is Noob-Noob, the cross-eyed janitor, who’s drawn out “dayums” at every pointed Rick-ism make it all worthwhile for Rick.

Morty then finds out that the reason the Vindicators haven’t called for their help in a while is that they hate Rick, which wouldn’t bother Rick much, except that Morty then lets slip that these guys are his heroes. This visually bothers Rick, who then goes on a bender that ends with him diarrhea-ing all over the Vindicators comm room table.

This means that Noob-Noob, the janitor that so desperately wants to help the Vindicators, has to stay back and clean up Rick’s mess.  The Vindicators give Morty a team vest, and they set off with passed out Rick being dragged behind to take on Worldender.

When they arrive, they find literally everyone, Worldender included, dead, their bodies posed post-mortem in sexual positions. The doors slam shut, and the room is sealed, and a video screen pops up, playing a video with an incredibly drunken Rick talking about the traps he’s set up for the Vindicators.

While everyone is looking at the screen, Rick checks his pocket and remembers that he left his portal gun in his room on the ship. Even though Rick has zero memory of killing Worldender and setting up this trap, his drunken plan clearly hinged on him and Morty using the portal gun to get out of the situation while leaving the Vindicators behind.

Now, instead, Morty goes about solving all of the puzzles for everyone, since this apparently isn’t the first time drunk Rick has set up neutrino bombs and complicated puzzles for people while in a blackout state.

This episode was a highlight for Morty, who is getting smarter every episode. He’s able to solve the puzzles, and he keeps telling the Vindicators what is going to come next. Of course, no one listens to Morty, so they end up getting killed or killing each other.

Morty was able to save himself and Rick but was unable to save his heroes, who couldn’t be stopped from killing themselves. All of this shows that Rick was right about the egotistical, self-involved ridiculousness of a group of people calling themselves heroes. But Morty doesn’t want to admit that Rick was right, because “When you’re an asshole, it doesn’t matter how right you are, nobody wants to give you the satisfaction.”

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At the end of it all, the final puzzle is another one that Morty thinks he can solve. The clue was to put on a platform, the one thing that the Vindicators have that Rick is envious of. Morty, who remembers Rick’s reaction to him saying the Vindicators are his heroes, goes to stand on the platform.

Rick starts to panic, thinking that in his drunken state, he got all emotional for Morty and set this whole thing up to show Morty how much he actually cares for him. He starts saying that the answer to the puzzle could be anything, not Morty. And that it doesn’t mean anything if it is Morty. So when Morty goes to stand on the platform, of course, it works. Rick is embarrassed to have been so emotional over a Morty, and Morty is cocky and feels pretty great to know just how much Rick actually cares for him.

Morty is the swept away on a toy rocket, and different videos of Rick express how much he enjoyed their times together, and how underappreciated he is. And then at the end, when Morty has tears in his eyes…Rick says this was all for Noob-Noob. Who is roughly the same height and weight as Morty.

Moments like that really show just how far Rick and Morty will go to make Rick out to be a prick. Don’t forget that in season 2, Rick sacrifices himself to save Morty when the timelines split. And in the first episode of season 3, he saves Summer and Morty from the council of Ricks. And even in this episode, it’s obvious that Rick THINKS the answer to the final puzzle is Morty, because what else could it be?

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But just like the Szechuan sauce rant, Rick immediately undercuts any amount of humanity with..well, with his own actions. By the end of the episode, Rick and Morty almost die at the hand of one of the Vindicators, but they can’t stop cracking jokes about it while their life is strangled away. In the end, they get through the Jigsaw-ish puzzles by laughing at the darkness, and it actually brings them somewhat together.

But how much longer can Morty deal with Rick before he snaps? Rick purposefully killed dozens of people to prove a point that heroes aren’t real, just to spite Morty out of jealousy, or a feeling of superiority, or probably a combination of both. Evil Morty is out there somewhere…and who knows how many more of them exist.