On April Fools' Day 2017, the world received the greatest trick of all-time: the surprise release of the season 3 premiere of Rick & Morty, "The Rickshank Rickdemption." And it was glorious - we got to return to the Cronenberg World abandoned in "Rick Potion #9", the fruition of Rick's plan to overthrow the government (and Jerry), the return of Bird-Person (now Phoenix-Person), and the introduction of Rick's series arc to obtain the Szechuan McNugget dipping sauce.
And, as usual, the episode was chock full of references, secrets, and Easter eggs - and here are some of the best:
In general, Ricks hate Jerrys, or at the very least are disdainful of them. Jerrys are stupid, ignorant, and resentful of Ricks (on the whole), and Ricks are mean-spirited, self-involved, and condescending to the extreme - they're just not well-suited to one another.
Except for Doofus Rick - the gentlest, kindest, and slowest of all Ricks. He and Jerry met and became fast friends in Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind - as both were outcasts from the other Ricks, but found solace in their own friendship.
And when Doofus Rick had to go, Jerry was left back where he had been before - disrespected and belittled by his Rick, generally ignored by his own family, and iemasculated by life. Doofus Rick was Jerry's one true friend - and it's heartwarming to know Jerry keeps him close to his heart now.
There's a lot different about 1998 Rick - he's got shorter hair, bluer pants, and a living wife...also, he lives in a replica of Walter White's house from Breaking Bad, right down to the bush placement and the rock-lawn out front.
...well, maybe. Of course, the entire scenario shown here (Rick working in his garage, the method of him discovering the portal gun, the death of his wife and daughter) was a false memory created by Rick to trick Galactic Federation mind-interrogator Cornvelious Daniel ("WE NEVER LEFT THE SHONEY'S!"). So, while this whole thing might be made-up in every way, there's also the possibility that the details of the day are made up, but the appearance of Rick, his wife Diane, and their home are all accurate.
Of course, it's also possible (and more likely) that Rick had just been watching Breaking Bad recently and had it on his mind.
The Citadel of Ricks include every kind of Rick imaginable - from Lizard-Rick to Black-Rick to even Morty-Rick, and a Rick that is either a genetic splice of or possibly a grown-up version of a former Morty. Maybe a bold Rick from another dimension decided hauling his Morty everywhere for protection was too cumbersome, so spliced their genes together to save some effort? It might sound crazy, but then again this episode ended with a rant about a discontinued nugget dipping sauce from 1998, so anything's possible.
Pretty much every scene on the Citadel of Ricks is chock-full of little hidden gems and Easter eggs - and that same frame where we find Morty-Rick, we ALSO find another Morty holding onto what is clearly Journal #3 from Gravity Falls, the journal of Gravity Falls lore written by Stanford Pines that contains information on all of the supernatural creatures and goings-on of the series.
Of course, this isn't the first time we've seen a Gravity Falls reference in Rick & Morty (R&M creator Justin Roiland is buds with Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch), and it won't be the last....even in THIS SAME FRAME.
Since there's every conceivable version of Rick in the Citadel of Ricks, there's also every conceivable version of Morty - including two Mortys that look suspiciously like the protagonists of Gravity Falls. Is their Rick a Grunkle Stan-Rick? Maybe we'll find out in season 9 (when Rick finally gets that Szechuan sauce).
IT'S TINY DIIIIIIIIIIIICK!
Well, here's a less-than-fun Easter egg in the episode - Dan Harmon's end-screen logo has gotten significantly more grim since October 2015, as he's gotten divorced and (presumably) more depressed in the meantime. His logo now has him laying on the couch, disheveled, grayer, and surrounded by garbage and liquor.
Here was his previous end-screen:
Keep your head up, Dan. We - a bunch of strangers on the internet - still love you.
The final, post-story scene in the season 2 finale saw Mr. Poopybutthole (still recovering from the gunshot wound received in Total Rick-all) hanging out in his apartment, watching the finale, and receiving a pizza delivery...and going on a meta, 4th-wall-breaking rant about what would happen next - specifically that we could expect season 3 to premiere "in, like, a year and a half!"
That was October 4th, 2015.
Season 3 premiered on April 1st, 2017.
The difference between dates is exactly 1 year, 5 months, and 29 days.
In other words: ALMOST EXACTLY A YEAR AND A HALF.
All of that wondering when season 3 would premiere was for naught - Mr. Poopybutthole's prediction was right the whole time. We should have listened to you, Mr. Poopybutthole. We should have listened...