The long-awaited, and highly anticipated by the devout fanbase, season six premiere of Rick and Morty – “Solaricks” – aired exclusively on Adult Swim Sunday, September 4, at 11:00 p.m. Fans can also stream this season’s episodes 24 hours after their release on HBO Max.
The season premiere was somewhat underwhelming, considering the bang that concluded season five. Fans would be wise to turn down expectations for the season premiere, but have some cause to remain optimistic for what lies ahead.
For those unfamiliar with the show, it follows the nihilistic antihero Rich Sanchez, the universe’s smartest man, and his sidekick grandson from another universe, Morty. The show was created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, and debuted in 2013. Bouncing between domestic tensions plaguing the increasingly hodgepodged Smith family and off the rails sci-fi adventures, the series does not shy away from poking fun at itself, social conventions and even its own fan base.
Back to the review:
Before chastising the series, we must point out the strengths. “Solaricks” picks up after a gruesome season five finale. With the destruction of the central finite curve and the release of “Evil Morty,” the fan base was left to wonder, ‘What could be next?’
In releasing Evil Morty, the show’s creators were just as much releasing themselves from fan speculation on the character, a constant in the early stages of the show.
Would self-contained adventures or long, canon-building plot arcs win out in a franchise whose fans routinely take the misadventures of Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith far more seriously than the creators of the series ever envisioned or desired? Would season six be a reset, or a continuation?
We gain a glimpse of what is to come this season. The show seems more comfortable now using canon to propel plotlines forward, with “Space Beth” clearly offered up as a character we will see more of in episodes to come. This is a far cry from season four, episode one, when Morty’s usage of Mr.Meeseeks was seen as a metaphor for the quote-unquote lazy writing the showrunners were seeking to avoid.
The change in tune might speak to the maturity of the show, where they finally have a well far enough to draw on without seeming derivative of itself, or appearing as a writers’ room running out of fresh content.
Keeping in mind that the creators don’t want Rick to be seen as a hero, they continue to make decisions that show a softer side to the alcoholic fond of PG-13 and above escapades. The premiere concludes with the Smith family abandoning the universe they currently inhabit for another. One of the perks of infinite and easily traversable universes is that the characters have free reign to hop ship at any time, because nothing really matters at the end of the day to Sanchez.
But if Rick really thought that, why would he keep his adopted family together instead of relinquishing them from his oftentimes toxic personality?
We’d dig deeper into the meaning, but that would run quite contrary to the spirit of the show. Instead, we’ll stay tuned for what is to come as we analyze the remainder of the season. And that’s the way the news goes.