‘Rick and Morty’ Season 3, Episode 4 Review: Vindicators 3

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Rick and Morty Take On The Superhero Genre With “Vindicators 3.”

Ever since Rick and Morty returned, the show is tackling different genres each week. First, it was the post-apocalyptic action with “Rickmancing The Stone.” Last week played like a John Wick or Die Hard movie with Pickle Rick fighting his way to freedom. Now with “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender,” superhero team-up movies seem to be the next target. The beauty is that Rick and Morty not only mocks the genre but successfully make a fun entry into that genre at the same time. That skill is something satire masters like Wes Craven and Mel Brooks took years to perfect and is something we see on display almost weekly with this show.

Some of the comic book movie tropes in this episode were Morty feeling left out after finding out he missed a Vindicators mission. You don’t often see the POV of characters not included in certain superhero team-ups. This concept is something briefly touched on in Spider-Man: Homecoming and expanded hilariously in Rick and Morty. It’s also hilarious to hear some of the Vindicators killed in the missing mission; most share the name of Suicide Squad members.

Another trope tackled is the cookie-cutter characters. Maximus Renegade Starsoldier is the Starlord/Iron-Man of the group. There is a man made up entirely of ants, a character that plays like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. The big evil villain is named Worldender, and the creators describe him as “Thanos had sex with Darkseid.” Worldender doesn’t matter much in this episode though, much like the baddies in Marvel/DC movies.

“I was also late because of my drinking and mentioned it to zero applause.”
-Rick is addressing the Vindicators.

There is more than just fun comic book references in this episode. “Vindicators 3,” continues the deconstruction of Rick. Due to his jealousy and lack of power, Rick gets blackout drunk and sets up the crew in a Saw-like trap. This stupid move follows Rick’s Pickle-related cry for help but continues his ignorance. There might’ve been a real breakthrough in this episode when a drunk Rick delivered a heartfelt message to Morty, but it might not last long if you know Rick.

Vindicators 3” also addresses Morty’s rise in knowledge & power. Instead of just giving up when things get too insane, he calmly gets the group through the situation. One of the Vindicators labels Morty a drunk Rick expert, and that describes him well. Even if he hates his role as this sidekick, Morty is the only one that knows what’s going on. There’s a moment of self-sacrifice that’s becoming all too common for this kid, but that’s what makes Morty the real hero of the show.

What did you think of this week’s episode?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


Tune in next week on Adult Swim for a new episode of Rick and Morty.

The show airs at 11:30 pm on Sunday.

EJ Morenohttp://Vimeo.com/EJMoreno
Who is EJ Moreno? Is he a trained physician? No. Is he a former Miss Universe contestant? Possibly. With a bachelors degree in film and a love of pop culture, he brings an alternative view to the world of pop culture journalism. Follow him on Twitter @EJKhryst and check out his film work at Vimeo.com/ejmoreno