Despite how long it took for fans to see Season 3 of Rick and Morty debut, the fantastic current run of episodes is already almost at its end. That said, it's not all bad, as Season 4 of the Adult Swim series may be longer than anything that preceded it. Although Rick and Morty has seen only 10-11 episodes air per season so far, Dan Harmon seems to think that the team will be able to bump the Season 4 count up to Season 3's previously considered total of 14 schwifty adventures. When asked if ten episodes was the ideal maximum, Harmon elaborated:
I don't think so, but you shouldn't trust me, because I mostly blame myself for doing 10 instead of 14 [for Season 3]. I'm still learning how to do the show efficiently while catering to the perfectionist in all of us. I would like to think I've learned enough from my mistakes in season 3 that we could definitely do 14 now, but then I have to say, 'Yeah but you're the guy who says we can do 14 who turned out to be wrong so we're not listening to you now.' The nice healthy way to approach this is I want to prove it with the first 10 of season 4 --- prove it to ourselves, to production, to the network --- that it's so easy that we'll earn additional episodes. Because I never got this far [working on NBC's] Community. I fell apart in season 3 of Community and got fired in season 4. Now I'm about to do season 4 of Rick and Morty and want to prove that I've grown.
So while there is no guarantee that Rick and Morty will get those extra four episodes, Dan Harmon seems to think that he has learned how to helm the show well enough to up the ante on the next season. That said, it is worth repeating the fact that taking the show into its fourth season is technically uncharted territory for Harmon. He did not successfully make it through four successive seasons of Community (or that long-awaited movie), returning after the meh fourth season, so he feels a particular impulse to deliver on the promise of 14 episodes when Rick and Morty finally re-returns.
In fact, it turns out that Season 3 was supposed to feature a full 14-episode arc, but Harmon and the crew had to morph the tenth episode into a proper season finale when they realized they wouldn't have enough time to keep things going. Now, with the lessons learned on Seasons 1-3 in his back pocket, Harmon and the rest are aiming to try and earn the extra story time on the next go-around, rather than plan for it initially.
It also sounds like the transition to Season 4 will begin this season. Having delivered all of the Pickle-tastic adventures, showdowns with Facehuggers, and courtroom drama, Dan Harmon told EW that Season 3 will culminate in a finale that sees Rick Sanchez going up against the United States government. Small potatoes for a guy who can destroy reality, but it seems that things are only going to get more complicated for the Smith Family as Rick and Morty eventually dives into its (hopefully longer) fourth season.
Rick and Morty Season 3 will air for one more Sunday night at 11:30 p.m. ET on Adult Swim. Although the beloved sci-fi/comedy's third season is drawing to a close, make sure to take a look at CinemaBlend's fall TV premiere guide to get yourself up to date on all of the TV shows set to debut within the next couple of months!