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Why The Council Of Ricks Makes No Sense To Rick & Morty Fans

The hit Adult Swim series Rick and Morty is one of the most entertaining shows on television for many reasons, one of which is that it never stops working overtime in the interest of breaking viewers' brains. The misadventures of the alcoholic, dimension-hopping "smartest man in the universe" Rick Sanchez and his beleaguered, increasingly jaded grandson Morty Smith have featured all manner of bizarre, high-concept plot devices over the course of the series' four seasons. We've seen time police literally shaped like parts of the male human anatomy; the insane, non-sequitur-laden programming of interdimensional cable; and a virtual reality video game that allows a player to live an entire lifetime within its world, and that's really just scratching the surface.

One reliable source of conflict throughout the series (up until its eventual dismantling) is the Galactic Federation — a universe-spanning government which considers Rick and his cohorts to be terrorists — and its opposition by the Citadel — a multidimensional society comprised of a seemingly infinite number of Ricks and Morties from across all possible realities. First appearing in the season 1 episode "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind," the Citadel is ruled over by the Council of Ricks, a panel of six versions of Rick who are introduced attempting to bring the series' main Rick (who is referred to by the alphanumerical designation of his home reality, C-137) to justice after he is suspected in a series of murders of other Ricks from different realities. 

The Council of Ricks, of which C-137 steadfastly refuses to be a part, is a hilarious device — though not wholly original, as it was likely heavily inspired by Marvel Comics' Interdimensional Council of Reeds, which is comprised of several different versions of Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. For some fans, though, the entire concept of a Council of Ricks just doesn't add up — owing to C-137's disdain for the idea.

Some fans think the Council of Ricks seems to go against Rick's nature

These fans' puzzlement kind of makes sense: each of the six Ricks on the council is, well, Rick, and Rick has no use for authority of any type. Over on Reddit, Rick and Morty aficionados have gotten into some pretty involved discussions around this very point. On a thread discussing why there would be any class inequities in the Citadel if everybody is either a Rick or a Morty, user TheZunker27 spoke to the fandom's confusion over the Council. "The first time we see the Citadel there was the Council of Ricks but that makes no sense [...] since they're all supposedly the same," they wrote, going on to opine that "It's a joke about how no matter what there will always be people who think they are better than everyone else and want to rule and oppress."

User raven0usvampire pointed out that one Rick states explicitly that all the Ricks on the Council have the same IQ, writing that the line "really underlines the difference in class when literally they're the same." They went on to say, "I don't think most Ricks are that much different from one another" — but is that really the case? We don't think it necessarily is, and user unknownpoltroon pretty much nailed the reason why: "Rick is the smartest guy in the world, in our universe," they wrote. "Multiply that by infinite universes with a bell curve, you get a lot of Ricks who are kinda functional."

Ricks might always be Rick, but C-137 is the "Rickest Rick"

This is one of two important points that could be made as to why the Council of Ricks does make sense. First, it's been demonstrated explicitly within the series that all Ricks are not, in fact, equal. That same episode in which the Council makes its debut depicts a team of Ricks waiting at C-137's home in case he attempts to contact his family — a team that includes Rick J19 Zeta 7, also known as "Doofus Rick." This Rick is kindly, has a notably lower IQ than his counterparts, and actually bonds with Rick's son-in-law Jerry, for whom C-137 has never-ending contempt. The season 3 episode "Tales from the Citadel," which takes place entirely within the interdimensional stronghold, also shows us "Simple Rick" — a far more laid-back version of Rick whose happiest memory (of his daughter Beth's third birthday) is exploited by other Ricks, who keep him hooked up to a kind of endorphin-mining machine in order to produce the happiness-inducing "Simple Rick's Wafers."

Indeed, it appears that all Ricks are definitively not alike — meaning that while the six Ricks making up the Council might be similar in their level of smarts and general low opinion of humanity, it's completely possible that they possess an affinity for order and governance that C-137 does not. This brings us to our second point: C-137 is described by the Council as a "malcontent" and a "rogue," to which he replies, "So were the rest of you before you formed this stupid alliance. You wanted to be safe from the government so you became a stupid government. That makes every Rick here less Rick than me." Indeed, as he himself later succinctly explained to Morty, C-137 is the "Rickest Rick" of them all, and it stands to reason that there can only be one of those.