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The RICK AND MORTY Character We Think Will Rise Up in Season 3

“Rickmancing the Stone,” Rick and Morty’s second episode of its third season, deals with enduring life traumas in deeply unhealthy ways. Though members of the Sanchez family interact at points throughout this episode, each primarily exist in a vacuum of self destruction.

As the long-coming divorce chapter of the family’s life opens, Summer dives face-first into the danger of adventure, leaping apathetically into whatever hazardous realm the portal gun takes her. Once there, she’s disturbingly game to murder the ghastly post-humans of the apocalyptic wasteland, plumbing the depths of her own loss of humanity. Morty waffles between denial and the comforting liminal space of a massive mutant arm carrying out its own revenge. He’s along for the cathartic, terrifying ride, surging through a handful of heightened emotions before enduring murderous closure that rings hollow. Rick, obviously, encourages their psychologically damaging streak as long as he gets the giant glowing rock he’s after. You gotta carpe them diems.

In Rick and Morty fashion, all of it is wrapped in a super squanchy drag race through Furiosa territory: a great big, dusty distraction from the problems waiting back home. And back at home? Beth is left with the ridiculously symbolic robot family Rick left behind, like the technologically advanced version of leaving pillows in the contour of a body under your bed sheets. They are vacant things that only look like her family sitting around a dinner table with one extra empty chair.

Notably however, one of those robots wakes up into consciousness and screams for freedom before being silenced again by a reboot. AI Morty cracks after too many games of Downbeat, and gets shut down, but it would amazing to see him rise up into awareness again and carve out an important, possibly antagonistic, role in season 3. It would complicate things deeply–considering the human Morty still hanging around–and the show has shown an impressive talent for mining knotty sci-fi webs for humane goodness. Doubly so when it comes to offering sympathetic underdogs an iota of self-awareness and control.

“I wanna be alive! I am alive! Alive I tell you!”

During one of it’s absolute best episode, “Lawnmower Dog,” Roiland and Dan Harmon suck every ounce of marrow from that conceit, giving consciousness to Snuffles and exploring the ramifications of an uprising of the oppressed. This, much like AI Morty, results from one of Rick’s flippant whims. Like a lot of his ideas, the consequences have the potential to be huge, but AI Morty comes with an extra baggage considering the emergent divorce storyline and the way Morty deals with his emotions in the wasteland. The futility of AI Morty’s self realization could be his sole narrative purpose, but as we have come to learn, the possibilities are infinite.

Having two of him would be a fun sandbox of misery to play in. Plus, AI Morty is a robot built to play board games with his mother to approximate a warm, functional household whose very rise into awareness demands he rebel against that. All of that in a package programmed by Rick! Now Rick and Morty has an opportunity to put Morty into conversation with himself to deal with or avoid the emotions bubbling up with his parents’ split. But the idea of Morty conquering himself feels like it should be vital to this season of Rick And Morty, especially if he literally has to defeat his rogue AI counterpart.

Now if only Butter Robot could have its time in the sun, right?

Images: Adult Swim

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