When we last saw Rick Sanchez (to be specific, Rick C137, the Rickiest Rick), he had just willingly surrendered himself to the Galactic Federation only to be charged with having committed numerous crimes and sent to a prison planet. Meanwhile, Morty and the rest of the Smith family returned to Earth, no longer harboring Rick, to live "peacefully" in its new alien-run dystopian society.
That's how the season two finale of Rick and Morty wrapped up: On a note that's both heavy and optimistic, the latter in terms of potential plot points for the third season. Co-creator Dan Harmon recently said that the delayed season three is taking so long to make because he and Justin Roiland are just moving more slowly this time around, and they're not entirely sure why that's the case. It looks like it's going to take a minute until we know what's actually going to happen in the upcoming episodes of Rick and Morty, so until then, let's ask questions and speculate.
The show actually breaks the fourth wall to ask a few questions of itself in the second season finale (spoilers ahead). The post-credits scene features Mr. Poopy Butthole recovering from his Beth-inflicted gunshot wound, speaking directly to the camera about the just-finished episode ("Hi, I'm Mr. Poopy Butthole from Episode 204"). When a pizza guy is at the door with Mr. Poopy Butthole's food, the Smith family friend asks him, "What'd you think of that finale, huh? You think the Smith family's gonna be okaaaay? Hoo-wee, you think Rick's gonna get out of jail? Hoo-wee, you think the family's gonna rescue him?"
These are questions the show's going to have to answer, unless it pulls some sort of meta stunt and decides to act like everything's fine and all that family drama never happened. Anything's possible with Rick and Morty, but that would also feel like a real cop-out. So, is the Smith family going to be OK?
Functionally, the Smith family could be better than ever following the events of the season two finale, actually. Almost immediately upon returning to Earth, Jerry landed himself a job thanks to a pill-dispensing robot, so the family now has two sources of income. Beth's income could even stand to increase as well: Earth is now filled with alien tourists, and if some medical tragedy were to befall them, who would treat these creatures? Being a horse doctor, perhaps Beth would be more medically experienced with non-human anatomy and be the caregiver to call in that situation. The Smith family in general is more familiar with alien life than the rest of the planet, so they'd probably be among the first people to adjust to a more intergalactically connected Earth as well.
There's more to it than that, though. Rick was a relatively new addition to the core family, yes, but he became part of the gang quickly and deeply, so you know, they're going to miss him and have that lingering sadness hanging over them. So, to Mr. Poopy Butthole's two other questions: Is Rick going to get out of jail? Is the family going to rescue him?
That could happen, sure, but it would be tough. Presumably, Rick would regain the fire that seemed to disappear from behind his eyes and want his freedom, but he seemed locked up pretty tightly. Then again, he's gotten out of two seasons' worth of hairy situations, so of course he could pull it off. And if the family was going to do anything about it, Morty would likely have to lead the charge; More so than probably any human besides Rick, Morty is the best equipped to navigate across planets and dimensions because he's done it before, and because he has access to Rick's garage of gizmos. The question is whether Morty could do it on his own, and that's a tough one, because while Morty is generally unintelligent, he often has flashes of brilliance (or at least competence) that suggest that if cornered, he could potentially make something unexpected happen.
Beyond that, there are plenty of questions we'd like to see Rick and Morty answer in its third season; questions we could try to think through now, but that would be little more than fan fiction based on nothing at this point, so we'll just give them to you straight:
- Is Mr. Poopy Butthole real? (There are so many fan theories about this one that we couldn't possibly break new ground on them, so if you have some time to kill, read through a few deep and fascinating Reddit threads.)
- Another interesting fan theory that could be addressed in the show: Given how often he breaks the fourth wall, is Rick aware that he's the main protagonist of an Adult Swim cartoon? (Further reading here and here.)
- What's the deal with Rick's wife, Beth's mother? She's rarely mentioned, if at all; Did she pass away, or wrong the family (or get wronged by the family) in some unspeakable way?
- Will we ever see Mr. Meeseeks again? He was a one-episode character, and Rick's non-central inventions are rarely seen more than once, yet he's so popular that he appears on a ton of show merchandise, so maybe he could come back? He does have his own dice game.
There are so many more questions to be asked and topics to be addressed, so we must have missed some. What are your favorite Season 3 theories? What unanswered questions do you want to have resolved the most? Who or what from the show's canon would you like to see again? Let us know, and all together, let's wait patiently for Harmon and Roiland to speed it up and get us more Rick and Morty.
Featured image: Adult Swim
Let's get real sciencey with Richard and Mortimer.
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