It’s fair to say that Adult Swim didn’t expect “Rick and Morty” to become the global success that it most definitely is here in 2021. The company has launched dozens of animated shows over the years, and most of them have long since been forgotten. “Rick and Morty” appeared to be yet another adult-orientated animation aimed mostly at stoners and students when it first appeared in 2013, but word of mouth about the quality of the show soon spread. By the time the second season came along, it was already a pop culture sensation. We’ve had another two seasons since then, and it’s now a global brand.
Anyone who doubts the world-conquering power of “Rick and Morty” needs a reality check. The success of the original cartoon has spawned action figures, a virtual reality PlayStation game, and a pair of casino games. Historically, cartoons don’t make for a great game because they tend to be associated with children in a way that gambling most definitely isn’t. “Rick and Morty” isn’t like most cartoons or online slots. There was such a positive reception for the first slot that its designers followed it up with a “Megaways” variant that’s currently being played and enjoyed by thousands of people regularly at casinos promoted at sistersite.co.uk – a review website. Part of that might be down to the quality of the slot, but it’s also possible that the long wait between seasons of the show drives players to alternative media in the hunt for new content. If so, that relationship is about to be tested.
As the popularity of the show increases, the demand for the show’s creators to speed up production grows ever louder. That’s led to the gap between season 4 and season 5 being the shortest on record. The final episode of season 4 was broadcast on May 31st 2020. We’re now able to confirm that the first episode of season 5 will debut in June 2021. It’s officially time to get excited for fans of the offbeat dynamic duo’s comic exploits, and it looks like there’s going to be plenty to get excited about. Aside from confirming June 20th as a release date, there’s a short trailer for the season available online. We’ve seen it – and we strongly suggest you look it up yourself if you’re a fan. Once you’ve done that, come straight back here because we’re going to try to break it down.
All done? Good, let’s get into the content! The first thing we know for certain is that one episode of the show is going to parody the classic Clive Barker horror movie “Hellraiser,” which probably says a lot about the average age of a “Rick and Morty” viewer. The first film in the long-running series was released way back in 1987 and has been followed up by a variety of sequels of varying quality. More recently, we’ve seen rumours about a possible reboot of the film as a limited television series. “Rick and Morty” will be publishing new “Hellraiser” content long before that reboot gets up and running. We’ve seen Beth and Rick dressed up as Cenobites (the villains from the films), and we’re probably almost guaranteed some gruesome gore that the show’s writers will somehow manage to play for laughs.
More importantly for the overarching plot of the show, we’re going to see a little more of Mr Nimbus. He was one of the more popular one-off characters in season 4, so it’s good to know he’s becoming a recurring character. The trailer shows us Mr Nimbus showing up at the Smith house. As every sharp-eyed “Rick and Morty” fan knows, the true purpose of Mr Nimbus is to poke fun at Marvel characters. He should have plenty of opportunities to do so in the new season. Jessica is back for another appearance, too. We already knew this because of the very brief clip that was released at the end of 2020, but the more recent trailer shows us even more of Morty’s potential love interest. Fans of the show are divided on Jessica, whose character hasn’t been particularly well fleshed out by her past appearances, but if she’s given time to grow in season 5, she could resolve some of those concerns. The writers must see something in her to keep bringing her back like this.
The big talking point of the trailer is something that might, in the fullness of time, turn out to be nothing more than a throwaway line. We see a scene where Morty reminds Summer that Rick explicitly told them not to touch any of his stuff “while he’s gone.” That might mean nothing more than Rick being absent for a few minutes, or it could have a deeper meaning. After the end of season four, we’re not sure how much longer Rick intends to stay with the Smith family. We know that Rick’s around for the entire season because he’s in too much of the trailer for that not to be the case, but that doesn’t mean he’s living with the Smiths anymore. In fact, it could shake up the show’s dynamic if he didn’t. What would that mean for his relationship with Morty? Would it mean Beth turning her back on him for good? Does that matter if “our” version of Beth is a clone, as many viewers suspect to be the case? We don’t have answers to any of those questions yet, but we hope to get them in June.
The biggest thing we don’t know yet is how the season will be formatted. Season 4 was split in two, much to the dismay of everybody, with a significant gap between the airing of the first half and the second half. From a purely selfish point of view, we won’t want to experience that wait again. We know the first episode will be broadcast on June 20th, and we’d like one episode per week every week from then on. In fact, we’d like it very much if the whole season could be dumped online at once so we could binge-watch it, but we suspect that’s a little too much to ask for. The most important thing is that “Rick and Morty” is almost back, and we’re all on tenterhooks. Let’s hope that it’s the hit of the summer that we hope it will be!