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Rick And Morty Season 6 Episode 10 Recap: The Rick-Pire Strikes Back

It's Christmas in the Sanchez-Smith house in the Season 6 finale of "Rick and Morty," and that can only mean one thing: fighting the President of the United States with lightsabers in outer space. By the end of the emotional and riotously funny season finale, entitled "Ricktional Mortpoon's Rickmas Mortcation," the season has come full circle and promises to deliver even more next year.

Over the course of Season 6, we've seen Rick (Justin Roiland) finally attempt to improve his relationships and mental health. From sticking by his family when things get rough to being kinder to Morty (Roiland) and even seeking therapy on his own, Rick is putting in the work he's avoided his entire life. But now, in the season finale, Rick's dark past threatens to cast a cloud over the Christmas cheer.

It's an episode that deftly blends the sci-fi nonsense "Rick and Morty" is known for with the heartbreaking emotionality it's best at, and it even manages to be a parody of the infamous "The Star Wars Holiday Special" as Morty uncovers what his grandpa has really been up to all this time. So hold on to your plumbuses as we break it all down.

Santa Rick is coming to town

We open on the Sanchez-Smith living room as Rick gives out Christmas gifts to the family, who all love him because he's finally being nice for a change (22% nicer, to be precise, as noted in last week's episode). Everyone gets a personalized gift, but the coolest one by far is reserved for Morty, who gets a lightsaber. Yes, it makes the noises.

But while playing real-life Fruit Ninja in the garage with Rick, Morty drops the Jedi weapon, which falls with the blade straight down and sinks through the floor, headed directly toward the center of the Earth and answering a long-running "Star Wars" fan debate. Rick and Morty chase after it through the many subterranean levels of Rick's underground lair, but when they get to level 10, Morty is confronted with a betrayal. There, analyzing the footage of Rick Prime he acquired in the season premiere, is Rick. The real Rick.

It turns out we've been following a robotic version of Rick since last week's episode, a decoy Rick built after Morty called him boring in last week's episode, programmed to be 22% nicer to the family in order to keep them occupied while the real Rick searches for the version of himself who killed his family.

It wouldn't be a "Rick and Morty" season finale if it didn't run on canon.

Rick and Morty's Star Wars Holiday Special

The real Rick explains that he built the robotic decoy because he's too consumed by his desire to kill Rick Prime (the version who, as we learned in the Season 5 finale, killed our Rick's wife and daughter) and doesn't believe he'll be useful to anyone until he finishes the job and puts it behind him. Rick wants to destroy Robot Rick, but Morty refuses to allow it, saying the family loves the robot, now.

But there's no time to further unpack the situation, as the lightsaber continues to fall. Refusing to let the real Rick ruin Christmas, Morty orders Robot Rick, who's consumed with guilt for deceiving the family, to keep doing what he's been doing. Then the President (Keith David) shows up, informing Morty that when the lightsaber reaches the Earth's core, the Kyber Crystals in its hilt (a deep cut of "Star Wars" trivia) will cause a reaction that blows up the planet.

It turns out the President has a lot of "Star Wars"-related grievances, ripping into the franchise until Morty is left sobbing. Down in real Rick's lair, the President wants to use a giant drill to reach the lightsaber, but Rick has a smart lightsaber of his own and sends it down. But Rick keeps requesting status updates and the lightsaber gets touchy with him. It emerges in Italy, where it slaughters people at a canal-side café.

Fed up with real Rick, Morty and the President use the drill ship to retrieve the lightsaber on their own. But once they're back in the lab, the President confiscates it and brings it back to the White House, revealing that he's always been a massive "Star Wars" fan who turned evil when "Return of the Jedi" introduced Ewoks to the franchise.


Back in the living room, Robot Rick is desperate to tell the family he's an android but is programmed not to be able to. Their adoration is torment to him, and he tries to clue them into what he really is, but to no avail. Finally, Morty comes back upstairs, disillusioned and angry with Rick, and reveals the truth to the family, who proceed to attack Robot Rick with wine bottles, kitchen utensils, and laser guns. Robot Rick is all too happy to die and escape the hell of his existence.

Meanwhile, the President accidentally drops the lightsaber vertically into the White House floor while playing with it, and it once again heads toward the Earth's core. He hermetically seals the White House and ejects it into space to save himself, so Morty rebuilds Robot Rick and once again retrieves the saber, then heads into space to confront the rogue POTUS.

After a protracted battle against the President's army of "Star Wars"-inspired robots (during which Robot Rick repeatedly tries to get himself re-killed), a hull breach in the White House sucks all three of them into space, but real Rick opens a portal that dumps them back in the garage. Robot Rick succumbs to his injuries but not before telling Morty that his existence demonstrates how much the real Rick cares about him.

Every Rick, Everywhere, All at Once

In the end, Rick acknowledges that he should have included Morty in his search for Rick Prime and invites him down to the lab. But though elated at first, Morty may have received more than he bargained for. Rick's work throughout the episode has led him to locate not just one, but uncountable versions of his enemy. In classic Rick style, the demented scientist breaks the fourth wall, telling Morty that the search for Rick Prime will take over his life and that all of Season 7 will revolve around the hunt for Rick's nemesis.

On the plus side, Rick suggests he'll try to stay healthy while doing it and that it might not be the focus of every episode. But it's clear from his rant that the show's writers have at least some idea of where they want to take Season 7. Or maybe they'll pull the rug out from under us as they have in past season premieres. We can't forget that a lot of this season closed off cliffhangers from the Season 5 finale. Expecting to be punked is a rule of engagement when you're a "Rick and Morty" viewer.

When does Rick and Morty Season 7 air?

That brings us to the end of the line for "Rick and Morty" Season 6. In the past, fans endured arduous waits between seasons, but co-showrunner Dan Harmon has managed to deliver this one on time and promises that will be the case going forward (via NME). While Season 7 hasn't been officially announced, the series was renewed for 70 more episodes in 2018 (via Deadline). If you subtract the ones that have aired since then, the show still has 40 more left to deliver. Additionally, Rick spends the final minutes of "Ricktional Mortpoon's Rickmas Mortcation" hyping the next season up. That means we can likely expect to see Season 7 of "Rick and Morty" sometime during the fall 2023 TV season.

In retrospect, Season 6 will likely stand as the best season the show has churned out in years, and for a sense of what the next batch of episodes might look like, we can observe how the plot has progressed in those 10 episodes. While it may seem like Rick's newfound dedication to improving his relationships and mental health was somewhat undercut by the reveal of Robot Rick in this "Star Wars" themed holiday special, the robot was only in place for the final two episodes. Much of the work Rick did, such as his emotional arc in the brilliant "Analyze Piss," remains fully intact. This is still a new, healthier Rick ... one who just so happens to be consumed by an inescapable need for vengeance. Yin and yang, the duality of man, etc.

Merry Rickmas, broh!