[The following includes spoilers for the Rick & Morty season 3 premiere.]
Rick & Morty has become one of Adult Swim's signature series and one of the hottest sci-fi comedies on TV, filling a hole left in the genre by the loss of Futurama and winning legions of devotees with its clever use of high-concept science fiction storytelling, hilariously dark comedy sensibilities and surprisingly strong emotional core. But while fans and critics alike clamor for more episodes, seasons have followed a schedule typical of the low-budget late-night cable network's famously slow production schedule with very little transparency as to the speed at which it would return.
But while Adult Swim's production schedule may be infamous, what they're even better known for is elaborate April Fool's pranks - and this year they outdid themselves.
Beginning on their streaming site and then carrying over into a nightlong marathon re-airing on the main channel, Adult Swim has begun broadcasting the long-awaited season 3 premiere of Rick & Morty with no advance warning that this was the plan until it was already underway. The episode can be viewed streaming HERE.
— Rick (((and Morty))) (@RickandMorty) April 2, 2017
While fans of the series (which centers on the misadventures of a teenage boy and his grandfather, a Doctor Who-esque dimension-hopping alcoholic mad scientist who has mysteriously reappeared in his family's life after decades of unexplained absence) had been equally eager for a return after the end of the landmark first season, season 2 upped the ante by ending on an unexpected cliffhanger. Hunted by the universe-spanning authoritarian Galactic Federation, Rick turned himself in seemingly in order to spare Morty and the rest of his family from the same fate, ultimately leading to his sentencing to an intergalactic prison and the conquest of Earth by the Federation.
Fittingly, the new season follows up on that closer in epic fashion, with an action-heavy storyline featuring return appearances from The Council of Ricks, "Cronenberg World," the "original" (in several senses of the word) Rick and even more obfuscation as to Rick's still-unknown origin story - which now may or may not actually revolve around a 1998 McDonald's promotional tie-in to Disney's Mulan. In true Rick & Morty fashion, all of this leads to something of a reset-to-zero for the series' main setup (including a callback to the famously manic ending of the original pilot) but with a major shakeup: One member of the main cast may actually be gone for good.
At this time it's not yet clear if this means the rest of season 3 will be forthcoming or if fans will have longer to wait still. Traditionally, Rick & Morty had aired on Sunday evenings on Adult Swim.
Source: Adult Swim