Why Rick And Morty's Season 6 Finale Could Cause A Massive Divide In The Fandom

Rick shirtless in Rick and Morty
(Image credit: Adult Swim)

Rick and Morty Season 6 is almost over, bringing an end to one of the most interesting seasons of the series’ run. Rick lost access to his portal gun and, as a result, spent a lot more time with the Smith family than he has in the past.  He also did some serious work on himself and may even be changing as a character. It’s been an interesting ride, but with the Season 6 finale near, I’m wondering if the fandom might be divided by the upcoming choice the show will likely make with Rick. 

Rick has spent the majority of the series being a jaded, cynical and largely egotistical asshole. We’ve slowly seen him trying to get away from that this season, and with Season 6’s finale, we’ll see if that sticks. What I'm wondering about is whether or not that’s something all fans want to see, and how they’ll react if the Adult Swim series pulls the trigger on a new Rick. 

Rick Sanchez scowling on Rick and Morty

(Image credit: Adult Swim )

Changing Rick Is A Big Risk For Rick And Morty

Rick and Morty has been a huge success, and that’s thanks in no small part to the character of Rick Sanchez. His character is so hilarious, and a lot of that hinges on just how hilariously awful he can be. Rick has done some truly despicable things in his lifetime, a lot of them to his own grandson Morty, and it always seems like when Rick is at his most heartless, he’s at his funniest. 

Character development is not a novel concept for television, but I would say it’s not something you see a lot in adult animation. Homer Simpson, Stan Smith, Bob Belcher, and Peter Griffin have been on television for a long time, and despite that, they haven’t changed a ton over that time. Sure, there will be minor episodic changes, but more or less, they always revert back to the same person they were in the episode prior. 

Changing Rick is a bit risk for Rick and Morty, and I do wonder if the show’s continued commitment to changing Rick will ultimately alienate the fandom that fell in love with asshole Rick. Furthermore, I wonder if the writers of the show can make Rick as hilarious and funny with a personality shift, even if it is a gradual change. I guess we’ll see, assuming that’s what’s coming. 

Rick with abs on Rick and Morty

(Image credit: Adult Swim )

Not Changing Rick Could Be A Bigger Risk

Rick and Morty Season 6 has really been a rollercoaster ride for Rick Sanchez. He was humbled and defeated by Evil Morty last season, and thanks to the efforts of Dr. Wong and others, has really began to unpack some issues in his life. Now Rick has seemingly made real efforts to be a better person, and it’s shown in his dynamic with his family as of late. Who knows how much further he could progress in future seasons, which are already assured a future thanks to Adult Swim’s massive renewal order some time ago. 

Given there are a lot of more seasons of Rick and Morty on the way, I’ve wondered if fans might be headed for a massive surprise in the Season 6 finale. That is to say, perhaps Rick hasn’t really changed at all, and we’re going to ultimately see him revert to his usual asshole self just in time for Season 7. 

To Rick and Morty fans who have been begging and cheering on the show for leaning into serialized plots and fleshing out its world, I’d imagine it’d feel like a smack in the face. Sure, they’ve seen Jerry gain some confidence, and Beth entered a weird relationship with Space Beth, but all of that stuff is small potatoes due to what’s going on with Rick. He's the character audiences spend 90% of the show with, so his change means a lot more than what it means for everyone else. 

Let’s face it, much of the serialization in Rick and Morty is reliant on his ongoing quest for vengeance against the Rick who killed his original family. If Adult Swim is willing to change and evolve Rick, then it’s going to have a hard time progressing with its serialized plots. That’s what I think at least, and I imagine I’m not alone in that thought process that asshole Rick won’t get any closer to OG Rick than he has in the previous seasons.

Rick opening the portal in Rick and Morty

(Image credit: Adult Swim)

What Will Rick Do In The Season 6 Finale?

Rick and Morty fans might want to know if changed Rick is here to stay, and that answer might already be here thanks to the trailer for the Rick and Morty Season 6 finale. In it, we see him handing out some thoughtful gifts to the family and they seem pretty pleased by them. To some, this may seal the deal that changed Rick is here to stay and will only continue to shed his past asshole tendencies in the episodes that follow. 

With that said, I’d be very leery of Rick and Morty’s promo. I’ve covered this show long enough to know that the trailer for an upcoming episode isn’t always representative of what the entire episode is about, and obviously if some major twist is headed our way, it won’t be featured ahead of time. Does anyone really believe that this episode is just going to be one feel-good romp with the family together at Christmas? 

I believe that there’s something more to this episode, but can’t say what exactly. In fact, we could be headed towards some really sad ending that will drive Rick to embrace his darkest attributes once more before Season 7. Part of the fun of this series is just how much it has changed from where things were, but it’s reached a point where the changes might feel much more significant going forward. Personally, I’m along for the ride either way, but I can understand how this upcoming Season 6 finale could be a make-or-break moment for many fans. 

Rick and Morty’s Season 6 finale airs on Adult Swim Sunday, December 11th, at 11:00 p.m. ET. Tune in to see where Rick lands and what major teases could come up ahead of Season 7, and then binge the series with your HBO Max subscription afterwards to see how much the show has evolved since the beginning. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.