Rick and Morty's much anticipated third season is finally on the horizon, and the creators of the Adult Swim show are not only promising the darkest adventures for the show yet, but have reflected on what they believe are the show's most unsettling moments to date.
Created by Justin Roiland and Community mastermind Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty debuted on Adult Swim in 2013 to immediate success. The show revolves around the exploits of Rick Sanchez, a genius, alcoholic super scientist who drags his dimwitted grandson Morty on his bizarre adventures across time and space; it's like if Doctor Who was populated only by horrifyingly broken people. The show's mix of high concept science fiction plotting and scatological humor (with a dash of existential melancholy) has earned the show a rabid following. After a long hiatus following its second season, Rick and Morty will return to Adult Swim this month for its third season.
Harmon and series writer Ryan Ridley were in attendance at last week's San Diego Comic-Con and offered their thoughts on the series' darkest moments. Ridley, for his part, said he thinks the darkest moment is coming up this season.
As we've been leaking all day, there's an episode that deals with, all at once, in one concept, incest, beastiality, and cannibalism. But, as we keep saying, we nail it and you guys are going to be like 'It works!'
Harmon believes the show's darkest moment was in season two's "Mortynight Run," which saw Morty take part in an incredibly sad virtual reality game called "Roy: A Life Well Lived," at intergalactic arcade Blips & Chitz.
I think probably the darkest thing that we've done on the show, because of its implications is, that Rick takes Morty to an arcade and says 'Play this game.' And the game is that you live a human life. And that you die of cancer -- no you don't die of cancer; you beat cancer and you slip and fall at the carpet store. And then you come out and Morty's like 'Where's my wife?' I think that is the darkest thing that we've ever done.
Ostensibly a comedy, Rick and Morty has traded in some decidedly dark territory since its first season, where Morty had to bury the corpse of his own alternate reality doppleganger in his back yard. Season two went to some surprisingly dramatic places, as Rick ended up surrendering himself to an alien prison for his myriad crimes against the universe, in an effort to save his family. The show routinely pushes the envelope of good taste, but the truly dark moments tend to revolve around the emotional trauma its cast endures. Even when Rick claims his scheming is all down to some elusive McNuggets dipping sauce, the truth of his sad existence is the dark heart that propels one of TV's best shows.
Rick and Morty returns for its third season July 30th on Adult Swim.