Home Feature news 'Rick and Morty' Season 6 premiere explainer: All your mind-blower questions answered

‘Rick and Morty’ Season 6 premiere explainer: All your mind-blower questions answered

Rick and Morty has returned with a bonkers premiere episode, “Solaricks.” Packed with action, callbacks, and deep cuts, the first episode of Season 6 is a mind blower. So, let’s dive deep into spoilers and break it all down. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Rick and Morty’s Season 6 premiere. 

Where did Rick and Morty Season 5 leave off? 


Credit: Adult Swim

Season 5 built the canon for Rick Sanchez with a pair of intense episodes. “Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort” revealed the oft-mentioned Battle of Blood Ridge, and what really went down there between Rick and his bestie, Birdperson. They won the battle, but Rick lost Birdperson, who was uninterested in Rick’s self-sabotaging life of rootlessness and vengeance. 

This episode and “Rickmurai Jack” confirmed the mad scientist’s tragic backstory. As teased (then seemingly negated) in the prison-break episode, “The Rickshank Redemption,” Rick C-137 witnessed his wife Diane and his young daughter Beth die at the hands of a menacing alternate dimension Rick, who’d intruded on his garage and gave him the secret to his powerful portal gun. In ravenous grief, Rick C-137 set out across the dimensions, slaughtering any version of himself that he could find to kill the Rick who killed his family. 

This comes out in the Season 5 finale, when “Evil Morty” reveals that Rick’s quest ended not because he caught the killer, but because he made a deal with the surviving Ricks to create the Central Finite Curve, a collection of realities where Rick is the smartest man in the universe. Walled off from all other realities, Morties within this Curve are doomed to be sidekicks to their caustic grandfather. 

At the end of the episode, Evil Morty has successfully fled the Curve, leaping into a portal that is yellow (like his shirt) instead of Rick’s signature green portal. Rick and Morty were left behind in the crumbling Citadel of Ricks, from which they narrowly escaped after his portal gun fluid was contaminated by Evil Morty. 

Season 6 picks up with Rick and Morty stranded in space in a broken-down escape saucer. In the cold open, they are on the brink of starvation when Space Beth comes to the rescue.

Everything you need to remember about Space Beth.

In “The ABC’s of Beth,” as a twisted sign of his love for his daughter, Rick gave her a free pass to travel through space as whatever kind of main character she dreamed to be. So as not to disrupt her life back home, he’d create a clone to fill her spot. But who is the real Beth Sanchez: Space Beth or Domestic Beth? 

After Space Beth rocked the Smith family in “Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri,” it comes out that even Rick doesn’t know. However, the Beths ultimately decide they don’t care to know. They have bonded over their bad father and are content (enough) in the lives they have chosen, leaving room for reteams…and resentments with “sitcom fights.”

Can Rick still hop realities? 

Rick sits on the couch with Summer and Morty.

Credit: Adult Swim

To restore his portal gun to working order, Rick tells Beth(s) he needs to “reboot the portal index” and “do a hard reset on the fluid.” But in his haste, he makes a mistake. “Instead of resetting portal travel,” Rick says, “I may have reset portal travelers.” 

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This is why he and Morty are pulsing green, as both came from a different reality midway through Season 1. In “Rick Potion #9,” a love potion gone wrong turned everyone not related to Morty into a “Cronenberg” monster, hungry for Smith family flesh. Unable to fix this rampant devolution, Rick and Morty bailed to a reality where their alternate selves had just died, taking their places and burying the corpses in the backyard. This plotline was revisited in “Rickshank Redemption,” where Morty took Summer to his true homeworld to urge her not to idealize Rick by showing her the damage he can cause. 

Rick and Morty returns to Cronenberg World. 

Rick and Morty lie on the ground, looking at fire.

Credit: Adult Swim

Rick’s reset thereby pitches Morty back to an Earth plagued by monsters. But at least his family is there, right? Wrong. When the Citadel sent Ricks to reclaim C-137’s portal gun from Morty and Summer in “Rickshank Redemption,” they froze the surviving Smiths. In “Solaricks,” a bearded, badass Jerry informs Morty that this ice killed “Hunger Games Summer” and made Beth fatally ill. It’s little wonder Jerry then bails on the son, who bailed on him, twice before.

Notably, as much as Morty blames Cronenberg World on Rick, it was Morty’s gross request for a love potion that got the ball rolling. Then, it was Morty’s taking Summer to that hellscape, which led to the deaths of all of the family he left behind. If it weren’t for Morty’s homecoming in this episode, Cronenberg World Jerry may have lived to see another day. Instead, he didn’t make it past the end-credit scene. This Jerry “beat the apocalypse” but couldn’t survive the fallout from reuniting with his son. 

Rick C-137 isn’t Morty’s real grandfather. 

You might have put this together once Season 5 revealed that Rick’s Beth died as a child. However, in the Season 6 premiere, we learn that Rick didn’t pick a reality where a Rick had died (as he did with “Rick Potion #9”). He picked the planet of the Rick who murdered his wife and child. He was taking the killer’s place to lie in wait, and for all the time he’s been adventuring with Morty, Killer Rick never came back. 

So, Rick C-137 (if that even is his real designation!) returns to his old garage, where there’s still a dark mark on the floor from where his family was exploded. It’s like no time has passed. And that’s because, in a grim bid of self-torture, he created a time loop, forcing everyone on his Earth to relive this day, even as they grow older. Also bleak but on brand, Rick built an AI program of his wife’s voice, which taunts him for not avenging her. And yet, within that setup, Rick is granted a moment of comfort, telling his lost wife about his grandkids, and how Summer reminds him of her. It’s a “version of nice.” 

Why was Jerry glowing green? 

A father flips off his family as they eat dinner.

Credit: Adult Swim

“Why do I have a reality of origin?” Jerry hollers before vanishing. 

Deep cut! In Season 2, episode 2, “Mortynight Run,” Rick and Morty leave Jerry at a daycare for off-planet Jerries, so the doddering dads won’t die in an adventure. Their Jerry initially rebels. But being spooked by the weird world outside the daycare, he decides it’s best to return to the comforts of a playground made just for him(s). However, at the very end of the episode, there’s some confusion at pick-up. 

Too distracted by his fart friend rescue mission, Morty lost the coat-check ticket for his father (well, the father he came in with, anyway). So a tradeoff happens between two apathetic Ricks of two identical Jerrys. 

Turns out, the Jerry from that episode on was not the same one from the first season! So, while Morty got pitched back to Cronenberg World, Jerry got pitched to a planet with “real Season 2 vibes.” Faced with a family who endlessly berates him, Jerry stands up for himself, noting how he’s grown through his trials and the divorce. “I’m a goddamn interdimensional traveler now!” he declares, “And all of you can kiss my sci-fi ass!”

Summer to the rescue. Again. 

Summer and Morty high-five.

Credit: Adult Swim

“Every file is ‘booger AIDS!'” Summer complains when Rick makes her responsible for the sci-fi gadget that should help the glowing green travelers get back to their preferred Earth. This line of dialogue is a callback to “Morty’s Mind Blowers,” where a clip show of “clips you never saw” included nonsense file names because, yeah, Rick hates naming files. In that episode, as here, Summer was trusted with the instructions and devices to save Rick and Morty from their dumb choices. Just like she did in “Look, Who’s Purging Now” with that rocket that sent those impenetrable battle suits. 

But it’s not a bad deal! As Summer reveals in “Solaricks,” in exchange for her help, she gets cool doodads, like real, battle-ready Wolverine claws! 

Mr. Frundels explained! 

The Smith family’s OG Jerry is back home when they return from their dimension-hopping, and he’s not happy! He’s found a cute sentient blob called “Mr. Frundels” in Rick’s room. And like a real Season 2 Jerry, he messes with Rick’s stuff. Except instead of ice cream that sends him to an alien hospital (“Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate”), this “boogins” is a highly contagious critter who turns everything into a Mr. Frundels. One bite to Jerry’s ankle, and it sprouts wide eyes and a smile, and so the adorable plague spreads. The Earth that these Smiths have declared home is lost. It’s worse than On a Cob planet.

“We got to find a new timeline now,” Rick declares from the safety of a spaceship, “You know how hard that shit is without portals? We’ve got to do the thing with the rift and the beacon again. The whole episode all over again.” So, the Season 6 premiere ends with one last callback to “Rick Potion #9,” where the Smiths bury their alternate selves (slaughtered by unknown attackers) in their new backyard.

Killer Rick is the Big Bad of Season 6, right? 

Rick with a bunch of mechanical arms wielding weapons.

Credit: Adult Swim

It sure seems so! Despite Rick’s claims of his motivation being Szechuan Sauce (“Rickshank Redemption”), Killer Rick is his one-armed man. He spent untold years chasing him down. He stole his identity to lay in wait. He risked the lives of his Beths for a showdown in a stealth space station. 

Sure, as AI Diane suggested, Rick does seem like he’s finally trying to process his grief and move on. But….I mean, this is the guy who turned himself into a pickle rather than go to therapy (“Pickle Rick”). Progress is never a straight line, but Rick’s is a goddamn Etch A Sketch. 

Besides, the after-credit scene shows Killer Rick alive and as willing to murder as ever. (RIP Cronenberg World, Jerry). However, with portal travel broken, and no Summer to save him, this Rick is trapped in his original world. So, C-137 knows just where to find him. 

Rick and Morty Season 6 premieres Sept. 4 at 11 p.m. New episodes air every Sunday on Adult Swim.

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