Rick and Morty fans got the shock of their lives when Adult Swim unexpectedly released the premiere episode of the long-awaited Season 3 on April Fools’ Day. Rick and Morty Season 3, Episode 1, streamed on a loop Saturday night, giving fans the first new episode of the cult favorite adult animated series since October, 2015.
But while it’s no joke that Adult Swim has dropped an all-new episode of Rick and Morty Season 3, fans have been wondering if the episode itself was a prank — i.e. was it a legitimate Rick and Morty episode or some kind of April Fools’ Day meta hoax?
Since the streaming of the Rick and Morty Season 3 premiere, forums have been buzzing with spoilers, praise, comments, theories, and tons of unanswered questions. The biggest concern thus far seems to be whether or not what was shown on Saturday was the “real” first episode for Season 3 or just some elaborate joke, as many had been anticipating.
The episode, a 22-minute long piece about Rick’s escape from jail, was as kooky and exhilarating as fans expected. But some thought it was also somewhat confusing. For one thing, Rick’s escape and reunion with Morty and the rest was a bit too seamless for a regular Rick and Morty caper. Also, there was no sign of the Pickle Rick that was featured in an early leak of the premiere.
So why was the just-released Season 3 opener so different from what fans were expecting?
There are a bunch of theories. First, some fans have pointed out that the whole thing was occurring in Rick’s mind. A Redditor on the Rick and Morty subreddit suggests that perhaps Rick is hallucinating the whole thing as he sits in jail, and this is why the entire episode went in his favor.
“As we were exposed to peoples’ minds as a new medium through which we can travel, it stands to reason that the entire episode could be Rick’s bored mind planning out his escape scenario.”
In Rick and Morty Season 3, Episode 1, Rick outwits the Galactic Federation, does away with Jerry, and reunites with Summer.
“For Rick, this is perfect because he has Morty by the balls, Summer tricked, and Beth as his willing pawn.”
There are also those suggesting that the Season 3 premiere was “off” because it was happening in another dimension. This isn’t unprecedented as Rick and Morty has toyed with alternate dimensions before.
On Reddit, some fans are pointing to the ending of the Rick and Morty Season 3 premiere as proof that it wasn’t a “real” episode.
[T]he ending was way too fishy [for] me for it to be a legitimate first episode of [S]eason 3.”
Aside from the possibility that the Season 3 premiere was just an April Fools’ joke, some theorize that it could be a way of appeasing impatient fans until the actual season opener is released later this year.
“[It] is a way of tiding us over until the Summer by giving us a huge episode they can circumvent with some fancy wordplay and Pickle-Rick Tickling.”
Rick and Morty creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have toyed with the show’s fans for over a year. Harmon first said that the new season will be finished by the end of 2016, but later took it back, saying that he has no idea when Season 3 will be ready. Recently, Roiland teased fans on Twitter, saying that Season 3 is never coming.
Happy to have confused the world today. Or at least North America.— Rick (((and Morty))) (@RickandMorty) April 2, 2017
Since 2015, fans of the adult animated series have been bombarding the show’s creators with pleas and demands for Season 3. This weekend, Harmon responded to one of these fans, writing, “What if I waved a magic wand and made the first episode from season three premiere tonight. Is that what you’d want?”
For those who missed the Rick and Morty Season 3, Episode 1, stream, there’s still Seasons 1 and 2, which are currently available on Netflix. Also, Adult Swim will be broadcasting the episode every night this week at 10 p.m. (check local listings).
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[Featured Image by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.]