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Rick And Morty's Dan Harmon Reveals Surprising Insight Into Season 6 Premiere Twist, Plus An Update On Evil Morty

Rick and Morty shocked while watching large fire in Rick and Morty
(Image credit: Adult Swim)

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched Rick and Morty’s Season 6 premiere, so be warned!

In returning to Adult Swim for its sixth season opener, the Emmy-nominated Rick and Morty immediately adhered to the creative team’s revised approach to serialized storytelling, and paid off on the events of Season 5’s bonkers finale. The episode seemed to truly set Rick on course with his grand, overarching mission to take down the Murderer Rick that killed his wife Diane and daughter Beth, all while revealing that Murderer Rick is the true grandfather for Prime Morty. (Complete with a glorious return to the Cronenberg dimension for a quick catch-up with the most badass Jerry possible.) While fans might think this reveal was something that was cooked up by the show’s co-creators very early on in the run, Dan Harmon revealed that was basically the opposite of how it happened.

As Harmon explained it, the episode “Solaricks” and Season 6 as a whole mark a return to form for Rick and Morty, following a season that was dimmed by the 2019 death of producer and guiding light Mike Mendel, who received an on-screen tribute during the premiere. At this point, the co-creator and executive producer freely speaks to the fact that he’s not guiding the ship anymore, with showrunner Scott Marder handling such duties, and Harmon told Variety that the team was midway through figuring the ep’s storyline out before he realized the big reveal that was happening. In his words:

Well, a lot of times I’m very much at the mercy of younger writers who are actually fans of the show, and I trust them to keep track better than I can. But we’ll have lots of confusing conversations, and it was very late in the game when I realized, oh, based on the conversation we’re having right now, it almost sounds like Cronenberg World may, in fact, have been the home of the Original Rick that we’re talking about, which means that he’s actually Morty’s grandfather. And we were a good halfway through writing this story when I realized that. But it’s a committee thing keeping track of this stuff. I wouldn’t trust one person to do it.

I like to think that there’s a mythical tome in the Adult Swim offices that contains an as-easy-to-understand-as-possible breakdown of all Rick and Morty’s alt-dimensions and how everything has connected together over the years. (And yeah, the book probably floats above its pedestal, breaking the laws of physics as we know it.) So it’s amusingly understandable to hear Dan Harmon speaking about his chaotic creation evolving in ways that he’s not immediately privy to. 

It has to be an interesting feeling to be shocked by a reveal like Prime Morty’s origins for characters that he helped bring to life in the first place. But such as it goes with animated series whose creators have tons of other projects happening simultaneously. Plus, the Season 6 premiere was probably written 2+ years ago, so I’m sure there have been lots of other twists and turns that have come up in the meantime that Harmon obviously can’t speak to just yet. 

Evil Morty in Rick and Morty

(Image credit: Adult Swim)

Speaking of things that can’t be spoken about in super-specific detail, but can be addressed in more of a general sense, Dan Harmon did answer one of the biggest questions that fans had following Season 5’s conclusion. He confirmed that Evil Morty will be back on our screens at some point in Rick and Morty’s future, though it may be a while before it happens. Here’s how he put it:

You will definitely be seeing him again. I caution that we may not be seeing him soon. He’s an easy guy to forget about because he kind of took care of himself. He just wanted to get beyond the Central Finite Curve. (Laughs.) But we’ve written Season 7 and we’re working on Season 8 right now — that’s the only way for us to be able to stay on schedule — so I can say with 100% certainty that Evil Morty is coming back, but I can’t give a schedule on that.

It’s just like an Evil Morty to show up when others least expect it, as opposed to the other way around. He’s like the Spanish Inquisition in that way. [Waits for the Spanish Inquisition to burst through the door, which never happens.] Of course, now we can start theorizing that Murderer Rick is actually Evil Morty in disguise, and that Morty is 100% his own grandfather. That’s the only way this show ends. 

With the A+ nemesis Mr. Nimbus and other fan-favorite characters set to return, Rick and Morty’s dimension-hopping Season 6 mayhem continues every Sunday night on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. ET. While waiting for new episodes, head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.