Rick and Morty is mostly an adventure-of-the-week-style romp through space and alternate dimensions, but it does have an overarching narrative, one that will no doubt determine the fate of the multiverse in Season 3. It’ll be important to re-familiarize yourself with what went down over the past two seasons, and to brush up on all your favorite characters.
After a plot-heavy Season 2 finale, you can bet your grepples — and your smidgens and your flurbos — that the Season 3 premiere will launch right into some epic adventures. That’s why we put together a list of the most important Rick and Morty episodes for you to rewatch before Season 3 hits sometime before the end of this year.
“Rick Potion #9” — Season 1, Episode 6
Morty pleads with Rick to make him a love potion that he can use on his crush, Jessica, at the school dance. He’s somewhat innocently just looking for love, broh. Of course, all hell breaks loose when it’s revealed that Jessica has the flu, causing the love potion to mutate on the flu virus, transforming everyone but the Smith family into Cronenberg-ed versions of themselves. This episode is important to revisit mainly because the OG Rick and Morty are forced to find a parallel universe in which the other Morty and Rick have died in a lab accident gone awry. They literally have to bury their alternate universe selves and go on living in their places just to, you know, keep existing.
This universe-switching has come up a few times and might have ongoing repercussions, particularly as the series continues exploring the multiverse.
“Ricksy Business” — Season 1, Episode 11
In the Season 1 finale, Summer and Rick throw a joint party at the house while Beth and Jerry are out of town. We get to meet several of Rick’s alien friends, including Squanchy and Birdperson, the latter of which tells us the truth behind Rick’s apparent catchphrase “Wubalubadubdub” (“I am in great pain. Please help me.”).
We get an important glimpse into Rick’s turbulent personality, as he begins to rekindle some kind of tenderness he lost at some point in his past. Also, a number of Rick’s buddies, whom we meet here, play an ongoing role in Rick’s battle against the Galactic Federation. As it’s revealed in later episodes, Rick, Birdperson, and Squanchy have a long history fighting as intergalactic political insurgents.
“Auto Erotic Assimilation” — Season 2, Episode 3
While largely a one-off adventure about Rick’s ex-girlfriend, a hive-mind consciousness named Unity, “Auto Erotic Assimilation” also grapples with Rick’s emotional state more than most episodes. After a drug- and booze-fueled fuckfest with Unity involving dozens of people and even animals (?), Rick sobers up only to build himself a euthanasia device back in the garage. He treats a shrieking blob with surprising tenderness before putting it out of its misery (gotta make sure it can do the job properly, amirite?) and seemingly plans on using the device to kill himself too, but he passes out drunk at the last second.
Most episodes present Rick’s alcoholism in a comedic light, but in this episode more than any other, we’re truly led to wonder what past tragedy wrecked Rick so badly that he now drinks to forget and bristles with cynicism.
“Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” — Season 1, Episode 10
In one of the first episodes to dabble in any kind of focused, ongoing continuity outside of recurring jokes, the Trans-Dimensional Council of Ricks orders the capture of Rick C137 (our Rick) after 27 other Ricks from alternate universes are murdered and their Mortys kidnapped. Our Rick escapes and tries to clear his name by capturing the real culprit. The “Evil” Rick winds up being a robot controlled by none other than the one-eyed Evil Morty who seems hellbent on taking down the Council of Ricks … but then doesn’t show up ever again! If there’s one plotline that desperately needs returning to in Season 3, it is this one.
We also learn that Morty brainwaves somehow neutralize Rick’s genius brainwaves, thus camouflaging Rick from unwanted attention, which explains why in so many universes, Ricks are always pairing up with Mortys.
“The Wedding Squanchers” — Season 2, Episode 10
Definitely the most relevant as it’s Season 2 finale, “The Wedding Squanchers” killed off some recurring characters and gave us perhaps the most details about Rick’s life before he showed up at his daughter’s house and began whisking his grandson away on adventures. At the wedding of Birdperson and Tammy (who met in the first season finale), we learn that Birdperson, Squanchy, Rick, and 14 of their compatriots are all wanted terrorists in the eyes of the Galactic Federation for committing “numerous atrocities in the name of freedom.”
Tammy turns out to be a Galactic Federation agent who reveals that the wedding was a trick to capture or kill the many wanted “criminals.” Rick was, of course, able to get the family to safety on a secluded inhabitable planet but decided to turn himself in to protect his family.
Per a popular fan theory about Krombopulos Michael breaking Rick out of jail following his capture in the Season 2 finale, it also can’t hurt to give “Mortynight Run” (Season 2, Episode 2) a rewatch too.
Rick and Morty Season 3 will squanch off sometime before the end of this year.