Rick and Morty has never been one for following a straight path with season five undoubtedly being the most lore the series has ever delivered, nevertheless, the season six premiere doubles down on that idea as it lays the ground for massive implications within its storyline and establishes who the real villain is.
All that comes with the usual share of widespread pop culture references, more than a few callbacks to past episodes, and the classic Rick and Morty humor fans have grown to love, thus making “Solaricks” fulfill the promise that comes with new entries. Still, in the long term, while this episode may not go down as one of Rick and Morty’s best of all time, Rick Prime’s (aka Weird Rick or Flashback Rick) presence is enough to make it a must-watch for fans of the show.
Things kick off with a clear Avengers: Endgame reference as Rick shares his regrets with Morty after becoming the latest sorrowful voice trapped in space to find themselves narrating the tale of their demise, though Morty has no problem pointing out why he doesn’t refer to Iron Man directly. More than anything, the scene probably symbolizes the before and after nature of Evil Morty’s deeds, just like Infinity War and Endgame marked the end of an era for the MCU — and in case that wasn’t enough, Space Beth flies to the rescue à la Captain Marvel.
Still, Rick has no issue telling the audience that Evil Morty’s scheme wasn’t all that impressive since he just blurted out a speech and took off, which shouldn’t really rule out a potential appearance from the one-eyed Morty, but is enough to ensure he’s out of mind for now. Once the pair get back home, Rick screws up his attempt to fix portal travel, instead resetting everyone to their original universes, a smart multiverse trick that might have even the die-hard Rick and Morty fans browsing through their notes.
Rick, Morty, and Jerry are all transported away, whereas Summer and her two moms remain with a nice MCU and X-Men easter egg waiting in the basement. Despite Summer’s increasingly important role and how fun the chemistry between the Smith women is, the real gist is Rick being back to dimension C-137, the reality where Rick Prime murdered the protagonist’s wife Diane and a young Beth, a sequence that pretty much acts like a therapy session with Rick and all his trauma.
It goes a step further in establishing why mainline Rick (Rick C-137) started his adventures and builds on season’s five revelations; though having Morty fall back to the pilot’s Cronenberg dimension and then finding out this is where Rick Prime hails from is a much bigger moment. As it turns out, Cronenberg Jerry is quite the badass, and he also happens to be quite the Batman fan, making this variant’s dialogue some of the best in the episode.
As Rick rescues Morty from the Cronenberg apocalypse and the two hunt down Rick Prime, the episode’s overarching lesson starts creeping in: that this Morty and the entire family being together is enough, that it’s sort of irrelevant which variants are present, as long as they act as a family and, well, aren’t viciously homicidal or infected by some rare disease, of course. At the same time, Rick Prime is shown to be a formidable foe for mainline Rick, and naturally, fans will want to see more of that conflict this season.
Summer and the two Beths’ final stance lasts long enough for the moms to start ironing out their issues, and better yet for Rick and Morty to rescue them, though with the episode nearing its end also means it’s time to get Jerry. This less impressive Jerry was sent to one of his most miserable realities, one where his family absolutely disparages him, however, season two Jerry brings the most shame when he ruins this reality by letting loose the cute but deadly Mr. Frundles, possibly one of the funniest jokes in this entry.
As the family hijacks another dimension where the family absolutely died of natural causes, viewers get another season one callback to “Rick Potion”, only now it’s the entire family burying their dead variants in the backyard. Overall, coming off such an impactful finale last season, “Solaricks” puts Rick and Morty back on track, plus it outlines a straightforward plot (at least in Rick and Morty terms) as the show progresses towards a more streamlined storyline.
Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have mocked the nature of multiversal plots, but regardless of that, they’ve done a great job putting Rick and Morty where it is right now. Mortal Kombat easter eggs aside, the post-credits scene is there to strengthen the idea that Rick Prime won’t be going away anytime soon, which is perfect, because like Rick himself mentioned: Evil Morty wasn’t nearly as evil as his family’s murderer.
Rick and Morty season 6 episodes premiere on Adult Swim every Sunday.
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