Some fans were expecting to see Phoenix Person return. Others wanted more Evil Morty. And some were expecting another fakeout just three episodes after “The Ricklantis Mixup.” But instead, Rick and Morty fans got a good ole’ fashioned Keith David guest spot and a return to the status quo of Season One.
The producers and writers spoke about the Season Three finale, revealing their thoughts on the episode and providing insight into the creative decisions they made in the last episode for a looooooooong time, as Mr. Poopy Butthole would say. Check out the clip above.
“No matter what Rick does to try and consolidate his power, he’s learning about the futility of it,” said writer Ryan Ridley. “There’s always going to be something that’s going to get in the way.”
The episode called “The Rickchurian Mortydate” dealt with the fallout of Rick’s proposition to Beth at the end of the penultimate episode, in which he offers to clone her so she can live her own life while her carbon copy stays behind to continue being a part of the family.
“Jerry went on a journey this season and really worked on himself and became a better person, and that was personified in that moment when he wanted to recreate the innocents of Jerry and Beth’s first date instead of just taking advantage of a confused Beth,” Ridley explained. “In the course of doing that, they reconnect and she’s convinced these feelings she has for Jerry are real.”
Though Jerry is as stupid as he’s always been, that affable and unconditional love appeals to Beth and results in the family’s reunion.
“His stupidity allows for concepts like romance,” said co-creator Dan Harmon. “‘He loves me. Only an idiot could love me.’”
Writer Mike McMahan (who looks suspiciously like the janitor in the Kennedy Sex Tunnels at the beginning of the episode) said Jerry’s love trumping Rick’s machinations is how the season came to a head after it began with Rick attempting to destroy his daughter’s marriage.
“Jerry is back where he belongs and happily, and everyone wants him to be there. And it’s Rick who’s out of step with the family,” Ridley said. “Now the real question of the episode is, is Beth a clone or isn’t she? Rick is repeatedly asked the answer to that question but everybody knows that Rick can’t necessarily be honest.”
After the family reunites, Summer, Morty and their parents go into hiding while the President of the United States and Rick have a fist fight in the White House. Morty demands Rick leave them alone, indicating that they’re happy being a family even if his mom is a clone.
“Morty’s putting his foot down and saying, ‘You go on from here, you become a spinoff, you go find a new Morty, and you start over, but without this instance of me,” Harmon said. “What we see is that Rick concedes and he actually bothers to put effort into a stupid relationship with a dumb president, thereby committing to this timeline.”
“Rick is now the lowest status person of the family and can’t do anything about it,” McMahon said. “The real question mark going into the next season is, when you’re bragging that your family is great and everything is going to be streamlined? What stories are we going to tell that makes people like that get upset?”
“We see that he’s doing pretty good,” said co-creator Justin Roiland. “He’s got a wife, he’s got a little kid. Seems to be in pretty good health. I think he’s off the meds. We’ve got a real problem, epidemic in this country with pharmaceutical addiction. So it’s good to see that he’s curbed that issue.”
In Poopy Butthole’s debut episode “Total Rickall,” Beth shoots him after thinking he’s one of the memory parasites that embed themselves into the family’s history. He appears in the post-credits scene of the finale, popping pills and using the aid of a cane to walk.
“I really like that character and I’m really happy for him, and we’re going to probably check in with him again later on,” Roiland added. “You mark my words.”
As Poopy Butthole himself states, we’ll see you for Rick and Morty Season Four in, like, a really long time!