Rick and Morty’s Season 6 premiere – entitled “Solaricks” – finds the men transported to their reality of origin, and the women working together to rescue them. But who is saving who?
Season 6 of Rick and Morty begins where Season 5 left off, with the title characters stranded in space. Rick informs us via voiceover that this might be how it ends: with their saucer out of power, the extra Mortys feral, and our heroes now drinking their own urine.
It’s a riff on the start of Avengers: Endgame – which both Rick and Morty acknowledge – setting the scene for an Avengers-esque adventure that sends the characters to alternate dimensions to fight aliens and learn lessons before neatly reuniting at the end.
Which is all very Rick and Morty. But thanks to some revelations from Rick’s past, we see another side to his character which hints at hidden – and unexpected – depths. While an overarching story for the season is maybe, possibly, set in motion.
Rick and Morty Season 6 Episode 1 spoilers to follow…
Rebooting the portal index
First, Space Beth appears and delivers some corny lines before rescuing earth’s least mighty heroes. The trio head back to earth, and after some shenanigans with “digest-a-bot”, Rick endeavors to reboot the portal index.
Big mistake, as these efforts are what send Ricky and Morty to their realities of origin – with potentially devastating consequences.
Meanwhile the women – Domestic Beth, Space Beth, and a badass Summer who now has Wolverine-style claws – head to the citadel to protect the beacon that might get their loved ones home.
The haunting of Rick
Rick’s reality is miserable. The ghost of his wife, Diane, wants to know if he’s found their daughter’s killer. And keeps asking the question. Turns out, she’s a spirit that Rick built to haunt himself.
So like some waking nightmare, Diane is always just one room away, questioning – in relentlessly chipper fashion – why all the people Rick loves, die. Oh, and he’s also trapped this entire planet in a time loop so everyone has to repeat that moment his daughter died. Which is a very Rick thing to do. Or was.
As it’s here Rick reveals that Summer reminds him of Diane, suggesting he genuinely cares about the Smiths. Which is a big breakthrough for the character.
This revelation triggers something in Rick, so he flies off without co-ordinates, and “embraces the win-win” of risking his life to get back to his loved ones.
Morty meets post-apocalypse Jerry
Morty ends up on Cronenberg Earth – created in “Rick Potion #9”, revisited in “The Rickshank Redemption” – where he comes face-to-face with a savage version of his Dad while checking out a porn mag.
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A big freeze killed Beth and Summer – and everyone else it would seem – leaving Jerry to fend for himself. And he’s doing a pretty good job, with Savage Jerry now a brain-eating warrior who traps and robs Morty.
Jerry is angry that his boy bailed on the family and left them to die, which in turn allows Morty to see the pain and suffering his dimension-hopping actions can cause.
Meaning Morty has his own revelation in the season-opener. But he doesn’t have long to dwell on the thought, as Rick immediately rescues him.
Reuniting the Smiths
Morty now learns that his original Rick killed our Rick’s family, which is why our Rick is now trying to kill his original Rick. Got that? They end up on an invisible space station where Evil Rick – in a cool jacket – mocks them from a big screen, while a Naked Rick dances in a glass case.
Meanwhile, the Beths and Summer battle aliens while squabbling amongst themselves, Domestic Beth telling Space Beth, “I’m you with the patience to do laundry”, as they compete for Summer’s love. But the trio also prove a force to be reckoned with as they destroy every last alien.
Rick is also in action, battling killbots with lazer-whips while back-and-forthing with Morty. And during this conversation, Morty tells him how it is in reference to Evil Rick. “I don’t know him,” he says of his own ancestor. “You’re my Grandpa Rick.”
That seals the deal, and an episode that seemed to be about Rick letting go of his past becomes one about him grabbing hold of his present. So Rick halts his revenge mission to embark on another rescue mission – only to find the women have saved themselves.
The episode ends with everyone in the same reality, only for a cute creature called Mr. Frundles to spread like a virus across the time-line. Rather than save that dimension, the Smiths head to a new one, blandly accepting that their lives may now be spent burying alternate versions of themselves.
The Verdict – Is Rick and Morty “Solaricks” good?
At the end of this season premiere, Rick claims that the concept of family doesn’t matter to him. But thanks to the events of the episode, we know it does. Which might not mean a softening of the character, but does suggest we’ll see a slightly different Rick in this season.
Otherwise, it was en entertaining way to kick off Season 6, with clever callbacks to past episodes, and seeming confirmation that Evil Rick will be this season’s villain going forward.
Indeed, via an Avengers-style post-credit sting, Evil Rick appears to Savage Jerry, reveals that he was Naked Rick earlier in the episode (so he was pulling a Saw), and promptly murders him.
With Jerry’s dying breath, he asks: “Why are you here?” Evil Rick answers: “Buddy, I have been asking myself that exact same question.” And through Season 6, we should get that answer. Can’t wait!