With the fifth season of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's Rick and Morty returning for a fifth season starting June 20 and the first official trailer already spreading across the interwebs, this would normally be the time when we would start covering what's to come from the righteously popular Adult Swim series. But this time, we're taking a cue from Cartoon Network's late-night programming block to recognize rapper, songwriter, and actor DMX (aka Earl Simmons)- who was pronounced dead on Friday after being on life-support for a week after a heart attack led to additional medical complications.
Most of you know what we're referring to: S01E09 "Something Ricked This Way Comes," directed by John Rice and written by Mike McMahan. In the main storyline, Rick goes to war with the Devil after he opens up a cursed items shop and hires Summer as his employee. After Rick drives him out of business by de-cursing the items, the Devil starts dot-com N33dful.com, which is a huge success. But with the Devil being the Devil, he screws over Summer- so Rick and Summer get juiced-jacked to the tune of DMX's 2003 song "X Gon' Give It to Ya" and proceed to beat the Hell out of the Devil during a public company event. But with all of that pent-up rage and strength, the pair decided to go out and "clean up" some other societal trash- like a Neo-Nazi, a school bully, a Westboro Baptist Church member holding an anti-LGBTQ sign, and a dog abuser. For a look back at that moment, here is the clip from the episode followed by Adult Swim posting the end credits scene where Rick and Summer go on an ass-kicking tour.
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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, 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."
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 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 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).