5 out of 5
Rick and Morty was a (relative) phenomenon by this point. Memes; viral nonsense sprang to life minutes after episodes; recaps were written with fanboy tinges to them; this was very much a season that would have the potential to prove itself capable ‘staying true,’ or to cross some line into semi-forgettable TV, with cries of “it changed” to follow.
That’s a lot to live up to, even if you’re trying to watch it casually. Which I did; which I was trying to. And yes, that did affect me: big ol’ wallops of episodes like Pickle Rick made me feel like some attempts at depth were forced, and maybe my laughs were a bit more cautious than those in response to season 2. Even now, I was a little hesitant to rewatch them on bluray.
But my oh my, this season was fantastic. Fantastically funny! and fantastically rich, from a character perspective – achieved by allowing these relationships to grow beyond confines that would make for easy episodic yuks, and then following up with each of those characters in satisfying ways. Beth, Jerry, Summer all have the spotlight at various points, and it’s not a distraction: these are great episodes on their own, and also great episodes in the rewarding narrative of the season, which somehow manages to deliver bottle-episode concept spins on Interdimensional Cable, and the Citadel, that also add to that narrative at the same time… Both Rick and Morty grow, and geez, the Pickle Rick episode deserved all the attention it got.
We also get the bestest bluray set yet: full, informative (and hilarious) commentaries on each episode; 2-3 minute snippet summaries / reflections on each episode; a behind the scenes on the recording booth; animatics; and a short, 8 minute ‘origin’ story for R & M that’s actually legit, covering how all these knuckleheads met and graduated to Adult Swim.