‘Rick and Morty’ Season 3 Blu-ray Review: More Than Pickle Rick and Szechuan Sauce

     May 15, 2018

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If you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, you probably already know this, but the Season 3 Blu-ray is now available. (Amazon should be dropping it off on your doorstep as we speak.) But in case you haven’t already pre-ordered the home video or 1-click’d it today, we took at look at the Blu-ray contents and special features to give you an idea of what’s waiting for you inside the “Pickle Rick”-themed packaging. (By the way, if you want to get your hands on a custom, one-of-a-kind Pickle Rick, head on over to this site here and cross your fingers.)

Hot off Adult Swim ordering 70 new episodes of Rick and Morty–which is over twice the number of episodes that already exist–the latest season of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland‘s co-creation is now yours to own on home video. Not only does it include these 10 episodes of animated insanity, the Blu-ray also features episode animatics for animation enthusiasts (like yours truly); commentary from the creative team that includes Harmon, Roiland, writers and directors, and special guests; guest commentary from some truly ridiculous names; episode featurettes that dig into the plots a bit more; and even a behind-the-scenes look at the voice-recording process. It’s a must-buy for Rick and Morty fans and a worthy addition to the collection for just about everyone.

Special Features:

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Image via Adult Swim

Commentary Tracks:

  • “The Rickshank Rickdemption” – Harmon, Roiland, McMahan, director Juan Meza-León, and John Mayer. Roiland jokes (maybe?) about the time they made a Christmas special but never aired it… And for you Szechuan sauce-heads out there, it almost ended up in Season 2. Lots of details here about everything from the early conversations about Rick and Morty to discussions about alt-Rick’s hair styles. This episode was originally intended as a two-parter and as the Season 2 finale.
  • “Rickmancing the Stone” – Harmon, Roiland, Omaze contest winner Jordan Brock and Lance Wehrly
  • “Pickle Rick” – Harmon, Roiland, writer Jessica Gao, and director Anthony Chun; also, Harmon, Roiland and Russell Brand
  • “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” – Harmon, Roiland, writer Sarah Carbiener, writer Erica Rosbe, and McMahan. Originally this episode had a much bigger cast of characters and a wildly different storyline including superheroes like Arrow Girl/Quiver, “three stretchy dudes”, “two girls kind of Siamese-twin’d together”, a knitting grandma, and more. They also all had sidekicks at one time, forming a B story with Morty as a team member. A “D” story involved the Worldender moving from place to place through a series of pneumatic tubes.
  • “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy” – Harmon, actor Chris Parnell, and storyboard artist Erica Hayes. Harmon admits that some writing delays complicated things for the artists on this one (and other episodes, of course), especially during the roller coaster sequence.
  • “Rest and Ricklaxation” – Harmon, Roiland, writer Tom Kauffman and actor Kari Wahlgren. This episode’s concept grew out of the idea of “Shadow Morty”, an evil version of the character who was floating around near him. Some Star Trek influences–like when teleporters malfunction and split the characters into multiple people–made their way into the crafting of this story, too. A part that didn’t make the cut was a device that didn’t allow adolescents to go through it due to their swirling emotional miasma. Roiland spent about 30 minutes coming up with the “Terryfolds” lyrics and recorded it with “Chaos Chaos” the week before the episode aired. The end-credits song went on to place #33 at Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs.
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    Image via Adult Swim

    “The Ricklantis Mixup” – Harmon, Roiland, director Dominic Polcino, and McMahan. The tie-in to the Evil Morty canon happened somewhere in the middle of breaking this episode. There also used to be a visual connection in the season premiere related to the Citadel, but that scene was moved to this episode instead. Creepy Morty shows up in this episode, though originally meant to appear in the premiere, but no “Mortyfeld” just yet.

  • “Morty’s Mind Blowers” – Harmon, Roiland, writers assistant James Siciliano, and director Bryan Newton. The shorter Asian astronaut was based on one of the series’ directors, and the TV in the background of that scene was in the office of one of their board artist teams. This episode also features an Omaze winner playing an alien overlord who gets killed by Rick.
  • “The ABCs of Beth” – Harmon, Roiland, and McMahan. This is, according to the team, the episode that was probably most-rewritten in the editing bay. A scene in the middle of the show with the little kid aliens in Froopyland was originally part of the narrative, then moved to the tag sequence at the end, and then pulled back into the narrative again; the gang spends a good amount of time wondering why they even mentioned this fact. They’re mum on whether or not current Beth is a clone, but they also sneak in a zinger against Turner, saying they didn’t want to pay for a fourth season; we know how that worked out.
  • “The Rickchurian Mortydate” – Harmon, Roiland, director Wes Archer, and Jeffrey Thompson. Harmon confirms that the original plan was for a 14-episode season but they “fucked up” so they had to turn this episode into a season finale. Regarding the theory about whether or not Beth is a clone, even the writing team hasn’t finally decided on what is canon at the time of this commentary.

Episode Guest Commentary:

  • “The Rickshank Rickdemption” – Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson participate in an episode commentary for the Season 3 premiere and it’s as insane as you might expect. Here’s a sample from Manson: “I recently experimented with pouring Equal, the sugar substitute, on my genitals and had an oral sexual encounter, and it made me have ball-and-dick brûlée. I regretted it automatically because I couldn’t get it off. Because I don’t like to shower.” Manson also has lots of uses for duct tape in case of apocalypse, thoughts on McDonald’s hamburgers, giving girls crushed-up Plan B pills, and wants to bring back the diet supplement Ayds. Love details the vagina, explaining how difficult it would be to draw accurately on an Etch A Sketch. Apparently Manson saw the late El Duce punch a manatee in the face and later drink an entire bottle of Jack Daniels out of his dressing room, probably in unrelated events. Probably.
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    Image via Adult Swim

    “Pickle Rick” – David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Peter Dinklage, who are self-professed fans of the show, are basically just geek out during this episode. They make some comments on camera angles, Die HardThe Rock and Speed references, and question the decision to show Rick and Morty to a seven-year-old. Dinklage suggests that the Game of Thrones series finale should be a live-action version of “Pickle Rick.”

Animatics:

  • “The Rickshank Rickdemption”
  • “Rickmancing the Stone”
  • “Pickle Rick”
  • “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender”
  • “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy”
  • “Rest and Ricklaxation”
  • “The Ricklantis Mixup”
  • “Morty’s Mind Blowers”
  • “The ABCs of Beth”
  • “The Rickchurian Mortydate”

Inside the Recording Booth (8 minutes) – Justin Roiland (co-creator), James Siciliano (writer’s assistant) and Sydney Ryan (co-producer) go through scripts while Chris Parnell is in the voice booth performing various lines of dialogue. Spencer Grammer next steps into the booth. Fans get to see not only the faces behind the voices of their characters, but also Roiland’s direction and a real experience of how the voice-acting sessions are done. Plus fun back-and-forths between Roiland and the cast members that approach Tim and Eric levels of surrealism.

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Image via Adult Swim

Rick and Morty Origins: Part One (5 minutes) – Roiland talking about meeting Sevan Najarian and Abed Gheith, which started their creative storytelling and filmmaking process. Lots of looks at their early animation work, behind-the-scenes videos. Then, Harmon talks about meeting Rob Schrab and performing improv sketches in their early days, before they both moved to LA. The two teams came together through Channel 101 and its open-submission process. Myke Chilian commented on Roiland’s rapid animation process, which includes a look at “House of Cosbys” and early collaborations between Harmon and Roiland.

Rick and Morty Origins: Part Two (5 minutes) – Starting with “The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti”, Roiland revisits the next step in Rick and Morty‘s genesis. Mike Lazzo comments on his initial suggestion of recasting Morty since he didn’t like Roiland’s take and was going to be annoyed by it. Harmon and Roiland walk through the awkwardness of the casting process and the issues Lazzo had, which were with the character, not the voice. Lazzo wanted Morty to be less of a punching bag for Rick, so Roiland reshaped Morty to have slightly more of a backbone. The rest is history.

Inside the Episode: Two to three-minute featurettes exploring each episode’s plot with Roiland, Harmon, Mike McMahan (writer) and Ryan Ridley (writer):

  • “The Rickshank Rickdemption” – The team digs into the episode in this featurette, from the tropes of origin stories, to the character arc for Summer, to the balance of Rick as a hero of a psycho.
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    Image via Adult Swim

    “Rickmancing the Stone”  – Roiland, Harmon, McMahan, and Ridley explore the family drama that follows the divorce of Beth and Jerry, including the issues that Summer and Morty are facing because of it.

  • “Pickle Rick” – The idea that Rick literally and physically turning himself into a pickle rather than going to family counseling is explored, along with the conflict arising from Beth’s father issues. Ridley says that the therapist Dr. Wong is Rick’s greatest antagonist. “Therapy is a real pickle,” says Roiland, summing it up.
  • “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender” – The team looks at what happens when the Rick and Morty franchise butts up against the Vindicators franchise, which are Morty’s heroes, which Rick takes issue with. Rick’s tough life lessons continue here, told through the lenses of Harmon and Roiland and their experiences.
  • “The Whirly Dirly Conspiracy” – Rather than settle for the basic conflict between Rick and Jerry, this episode shows how their relationship grows through working some stuff out in absolutely bizarre ways.
  • “Rest and Ricklaxation” – Focusing on the psychological concept of evil, toxic parts inside of each of us, those parts are removed and anthropomorphized. Rather than make these characters better, it just makes them weirder, because the “toxic” particles are actually emotions.
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    Image via Adult Swim

    “The Ricklantis Mixup” – This episode aired after the political climate in the U.S. and the world had changed. It explores the Citadel more and exploring the relationship between the powerful Ricks and the subordinate Mortys. It also introduces a powerful and unexpected candidate…

  • “Morty’s Mind Blowers” – Rather than an “Interdimensional Cable” episode, Morty discovered the mind-blowers vault and wanted to explore that instead. The team discusses whether or not they’d remove some of their memories if they could.
  • “The ABCs of Beth” – An exploration of Rick’s actions taken to protect and care for his daughter, and a look at the relationship between the two of them. If Rick is the smartest being in the known universe, his eternal frustration with everyone else’s relative dumbness is understandable, but it’s the emotional connection to his intelligent daughter that’s highlighted here.
  • “The Rickchurian Mortydate” – Beth and Jerry reconnect after a season of existential crisis and their love overcomes Rick’s rational plans. Rick concedes and puts some effort into relationships he truly deems worthless, only to end up at the bottom of the pecking order. And Roiland closes things out by revisiting Mr. Poopybutthole, promising we’ll visit him again.
rick-and-morty-season-3-bluray-review

Image via Adult Swim

rick-and-morty-season-3-bluray

Image via Adult Swim

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