by Ryan Fine
Warning: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of Rick and Morty.
On the newest installment of this turbulent season of Rick and Morty, the dynamic duo gets a call from the Vindicators, a group of Avenger-like superheroes, who have apparently sought their help before. Rick sees them as fake heroes and would rather stay home and stop a loose virus from entering the food chain, but Morty has a punch card that allows him to choose one in every ten Rick and Morty adventures, so Rick reluctantly obliges and transports them away.
Upon arrival at the Vindicators’ space station, the spectacle of the newly introduced characters is immediately apparent. The de facto leader of the group is Supernova, a woman who appears to be made of stars. Among her ranks are the cyborg crocodile Crocubot, the train-obsessed tragic hero Alan Rails, and a being made of one million ants, creatively named Million Ants.
And then there’s Noob Noob, the new character loved by fans but generally underappreciated by the characters in the story. He’s basically the janitor on the starship, and his main shtick is to react in impressed shock every time someone dishes out a particularly sick burn. In this episode, he is nearly promoted to regular membership as a Vindicator until Rick’s night of irresponsible drunkenness leaves a mess of diarrhea for him to clean up.
The Vindicators arrive at their destination to find that their arch-nemesis Worldender has already been killed by something incredibly powerful. The dark force in question? A blacked-out Rick from the night before, feeding pre-recorded clues to the gang through a screen. This plot twist is pretty expected for Rick and Morty, but since it’s never been done exactly like this, it remains interesting enough to keep watching.
Though the drunken Rick’s games are often none too interesting (making free throws, locating Israel on a map, etc.), the real meat of the story takes place in the interactions between the Vindicators. The vigilante characters are picked off one by one both by Rick’s antics and by internal conflict in a spectacular Willy Wonka-esque survival match. By the point of the last major plot twist, only a few original Vindicators are even left to witness it.
Like some other episodes this season, “Vindicators 3” can be predictable at times, but as a whole it’s highly worth it for the character development. Morty’s major revelation this season seems to be that he shouldn’t regard anyone as a hero, because eventually they are bound to disappoint him. This callous lesson fits right in with the vibe of Rick and Morty, and even though there haven’t been any of the usual near-perfect episodes so far this season, this new one once again proves that there is endless potential for the next few weeks.
All images from Rickipedia
Rick and Morty Season 3, Episode 4: "Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender"
Season 3 has yet to give us a truly classic episode of 'Rick and Morty', but “Vindicators 3” is about as close as it’s gotten so far. Morty’s character is evolving as he continues to slowly learn that all of his heroes are empty and horribly flawed, and the rest of the season promises to be interesting as the show potentially heads to its most nihilistic point yet.