[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Rick and Morty ahead.]
Adult Swim TV shows follow an established formula of starting out with deceptively simple comedy premises before opening up into deeper thematic territory and Rick and Morty is no different. While pitched as a single-joke R-rated send-up of Back to the Future and Doctor Who, the series soon revealed itself to be a genuinely smart sci-fi comedy with surprisingly rich moments of human emotion; culminating in a downbeat season 2 finale that teased a major shift in the show’s status quo.
Rick and Morty’s first season established a sprawling sci-fi setting to be explored by the titular main characters: a time/space-traversing mad scientist and the youngest grandson of the suburban family he has recently re-established contact with under suspicious circumstances. Season 2 introduced greater complications in the form of a Galactic government and allusions to Rick being not just an unhinged renegade but an outlaw and onetime revolutionary – ultimately leading to a finale where Rick went to space-prison to save his family and Earth from being colonized by an alien bureaucracy.
While fans are understandably eager to each new scrap of information about Rick and Morty season 3, the above sneak peek (from Adult Swim’s livestream) avoids answering any story-related question and instead presents a scenario that suggests things have returned to normal on the show – with Rick abducting Morty from an ordinary day at school to partake in a Star Wars-esque space adventure. While said adventure concludes in an atypical fashion (with the usually unflappable protagonists being shell-shocked by their experience), it still looks to be a “typical” adventure for the series.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that normality will end up being fully restored in season 3. Part of Rick and Morty’s core setup is that characters move between dimensions, realities and timelines at will, and multiple episodes in the first two seasons have opted to resolve seemingly world-upending events by way of sci-fi reset buttons (such as leaping to a mirror-universe to replace one’s alternate self). Hence, getting into or out of dark timelines is easier for this series than many others.
On the other hand, it’s also true that the show doesn’t let its characters escape the emotional or psychological consequences of their sci-fi meddling; with Rick being portrayed as suffering from severe depression and addiction from his actions and Morty being well on the way there. Whatever happens, its unlikely that any of the show’s characters will emerge from season 2 entirely unshaken.
Rick and Morty season 3 premieres in 2017 on Adult Swim.
Source: Adult Swim