Rick and Morty season 3 episode 4 review: Guardians of the Galaxy meets Saw in Vindicators 3

**Spoilers for 'Vindicators 3: The Return Of Worldender’ ahead**

Jack Shepherd
Monday 14 August 2017 08:09
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Welcome to the freakin' Vindicators, the first line of defence against evil, the Guardians of the Unguarded, the writers of their own press releases. This week saw our beloved duo head off on one of their funniest, most deranged adventures yet, mixing superhero film tropes with family drama, sprinkled with unhealthy nihilism. Classic Rick and Morty.

Whereas the previous two episodes have focussed on Beth and Jerry’s divorce, ‘Vindicators 3: The Return Of Worldender’ leaves that problem behind for a brief minute, instead spotlighting Rick and Morty’s own relationship. Of course, things are as f**ked up (if not more so) than ever before. By the end. at least, there’s some movement towards a revelation between the two.

Let’s first talk about the Vindicators. Million Ants Man, Supernova, Alan Rails, Crocubot, and Maximus Renegade Star Soldier are a messed up version of the Guardians of the Galaxy, all having weirdly specific powers and cliché origin stories, all of which — as you would expect — leads to some very meta jokes poking fun at Marvel's various sequels and phases.

Rick and Morty Season 3 trailer

The Vindicators, like every superhero team, need an arch-nemesis: Worldender, the Ender of Worlds. Yet, despite the ominous villain, they soon discover the real ultimate villain og this story: the Tinkerer of Terror, Rick Sanchez. Yes, our main man Rick got so blackout drunk that he defeated their Worldender and set up a Saw-like game merely created to prove himself better than the Vindicators. Well, that's how Rick would explain the situation anyway. Really, the mad scientist has been left almost heartbroken after Morty — with his teenage sensibility — said he no longer sees his Grandfather as a hero but this group of mad-powered aliens.

If you’re not the hero, then, you’re the villain. And Rick proves himself an merciless enemy for our Avengers, offering no escape and killing both Crocubot and Maximus pretty quickly.

Come the easiest challenge, though, and Rick’s not the one pulling the team apart. Former husband and wife, Alan Rails and Supernova, have a fight, the Ghost Train wielder accusing the half-galaxy of having an affair with Million Ants Man, leading to Alan’s death. Supernova is arguably another villain. After finishing snuffles, AKA Ants Man, she’s killed just as many vindicators as Rick. Everyone's a villain, even Gearhead.

Before that final death, though, there’s some revelation between our beloved pair. Morty realises what we all really know — that Rick really does care about his family (or this version of his family). Even when drunk, though, Rick can’t admit to loving Morty and instead directs his feelings towards Noop Noop, a Mr Poopy Butthole-type character who steals the show.

Come the final scene, Logic — voiced by the rapper himself — performs on stage at a celebratory concert, the likes of Beth, Summer, and Gearhead all making an appearance. Should we worry that Rick may have blown up everyone at the concert had Morty not been trapped with the Vindicators? Or should we worry more that Morty likely feels even more replaceable than ever, falsely believing Rick could swap him with Noop Noop at any moment?

Either way, their complicated relationship has taken a few steps sideways. Perhaps they should thinking about going back to therapy rather than going on almost life-ending adventures around the world. That wouldn’t be half as fun though, would it?

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