Rick and Morty Venture Through The Eternal Nightmare Machine

With Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's Rick and Morty set to return to its dimension-hopping ways for a 10-episode fifth season on Adult Swim starting June 20, Cartoon Network's late-night comedy-animation block carved out Friday to give viewers a chance to enjoy a marathon of the fourth season. For some of you, it was a great opportunity to get caught up or t fill in some "viewing blanks"- especially if you have insomnia. For us, it's a chance to have something enjoyable to pass out to. Whichever side you land on, there was one thing everyone could agree on: artist/animator Paul Robertson (@probzz) blew viewers' minds with the "extras" short Rick and Morty in the Eternal Nightmare Machine– where (as the description reads) "the simulation is corrupt, repair the core. What results is a mix of familiar and never-before-seen, with some twisted takes on the show you only thought you knew (and good luck counting up all of the easter eggs).

rick and morty
Image: Adult Swim

In the creative spirit of anime "extras" shorts Samurai & Shogun by Kaichi Sato and Rick & Morty vs. Genocider from Takashi Sano (with hopes of more to come), here's a look at Rick and Morty in the Eternal Nightmare Machine– where even the "Rick-mobile" can prove deadly and you'll wonder like we do why Scary Terry isn't a downloadable character for a fighting game like Mortal Kombat:

Now here's a look back at the full-length version of the Rick and Morty Season 5 trailer, followed by a teaser for the main trailer that contained some additional scenes:

What We Know About Rick & Morty Seasons 5 & 6…& 7?!?

During a panel discussion last year, Harmon, Chalke, Chris Parnell, and Spencer Grammer offered fans insights via Twitch into what we can expect from the fifth season- and yes, that included a preview of what's to come. In the preview, Rick is near death so it's up to Morty to save the day- and get back in time for a date with Jessica? Things don't quite go as plan, as the dimension-hoping duo end up facing Rick's previously unknown nemesis, Mr. Nimbus:

Then in October 2020, The Paley Center for Media's 8th annual PaleyFest NY hosted a look behind the scenes of the two-time Emmy Award-winning Adult Swim series Rick and Morty. Chris Parnell, Chalke, Spencer Grammer, and Harmon joined panel moderator Mike Schneider (Senior Editor, Variety) to talk "Space Beth" and how things looked for the fifth and sixth (?!?) seasons.

Still not sure who the real Beth is, the Beth we saw throughout the fourth season or the season finale-returning "Space Beth"? Don't feel so bad: even Chalke doesn't know for sure- and she voices both characters. While still not offering a definitive answer, Harmon offered some background on his purpose for having such a personal twist thrown into the mix- and further teased that viewers might be getting more "Space Beth" in the near future. "You know as much as Rick knows. I don't want to keep secrets with the audience. She's Schrodinger's Beth right now," Harmon explained. "The fact she may or may not be a clone is actually the important thing. It's the profound revelation about Rick's commitment to non-commitment and how abusive that can be as a parent. That is the important thing here. We're adding aunts to the family. We're having fun looking at more options with space Beth."

Rick And Morty
Image: Screencaps

Harmon was asked what he could offer up about the fifth season– and it was definitely good news. After a brief pause to consider what he could and couldn't discuss (we were this close to getting a cryptic tease), Harmon admitted that he gets confused between the 5th and 6th seasons because of how far along they are with both seasons. He revealed that after the panel, he would be reviewing animatics for late-season 5 episodes while also in the middle of writing late-season 6 episodes (also joking about how he's working on two different season finales at the same time).

More specifically, Harmon teased an episode during the fifth season where Morty gets into a relationship with a female character who is not Jessica. Written by Rob Schrab, Harmon says the episode is "a great little story" and even looked ahead to next year's Emmys: "My Emmy's going to that one." Though jokingly not looking to curse the show's two-year run at the top of the Emmy animation mountain, Harmon wanted to clarify that he actually means his "heart Emmy" (so disregard the stuff that came before it, Emmy voters).

In mid-November 2020 during Adult Swim Fest's "'Rick and Morty' Global Celebration," Harmon, executive producer Scott Marder, as well as Parnell, Chalke, and Grammer, the session was meant to focus on the recently-wrapped fourth season but also looked ahead to the series' future. Harmon emphasized again that viewers should expect some "pretty groovy things coming." But Marder found a way to throw just the right amount of gasoline on the fanbase's dumpster fires of speculation by teasing that the fifth season will have "epic canon" and that viewers will "get knocked over with the canon." As for who they would like to have as guest stars, Ian McKellan and Jeff Goldblum top the list (with Harmon proposing an alien with McKellan's head and Goldblum's body). As for a musical episode, Harmon says it's "probably going to happen at some point" and there have been "conversations" in the past. Oh, and it looks like work on the seventh season is already underway (yes, you read that right).

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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