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Rick & Morty Season 6 Will Keep The Show’s Best Twist

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The news that Rick & Morty season 6 will pay off a plot thread established in the season 5 finale should be reassuring for fans of the Adult Swim hit.

Justin Roiland’s comments about Rick & Morty season 6 being “a bit more canonical” are welcome news for the future of the anarchic Adult Swim comedy. Rick & Morty has an unusual relationship with its canon. While early seasons of the series openly acknowledged the fact that the show’s self-referential approach to canon allowed Rick & Morty to ignore the implications of each episode’s misadventures, subsequent seasons involved more consistency between outings of the animated sitcom.

By the end of Rick & Morty season 5, Evil Morty destroying the Central Finite Curve had seemingly ended the show’s canon-free era. After much of Rick & Morty season 5 was devoted to depicting the results of Rick’s recklessness, the finale destroyed the show’s version of the multiverse and, in the process, deprived Rick and Morty of their convenient ability to hop into a new reality at any point. As such, the news that Rick & Morty season 6 will only be a “bit more canonical” (via IGN) is a nice surprise from series co-creator Justin Roiland.

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Related: Rick & Morty Chose The Perfect Time To End Its Multiverse

Roiland’s statement is promising for anyone who hoped to see more lore, but also for those who grew worried about season 6 potentially losing Rick & Morty’s signature wild sense of humor. Rick & Morty season 6 was always going to have a different tone from earlier outings of the series, both because of how much Evil Morty’s actions changed the show’s status quo story-wise and because of how much the darker, more mature seasons 4 and 5 have given the Adult Swim hit more of an edge over the last three years. However, Roiland’s confirmation that season 6 will only be slightly more reliant upon canon means that Rick & Morty’s tone hopefully won’t be completely altered by the introduction of some consistency between episodes, which is more than can be said for some comparable adult animation franchises.


Rick & Morty’s Canon Explained


Rick and morty fourth wall break meta franchise

Throughout seasons 1 and 2, Rick & Morty’s canon was playfully non-existent, with the show often leaning on the fourth wall and occasionally addressing the cheekiness of the shameless tricks that were used to keep the sitcom status quo going. Rick & Morty season 1 saw Rick foreshadow the events of the season 5 finale when he warned Morty that the characters could only escape to a new reality after irrevocably destroying their universe a few more times — only for season 5 to reveal that Rick has secretly been doing this countless times over the years. By Rick & Morty season 3, this silly approach to non-canon was starting to wear off with that outing and particularly season 4 featuring more and more consistency between episodes. By season 5, Rick & Morty was establishing a firm canon, and the season finale destroyed the Central Finite Curve, i.e the hitherto-unacknowledged multiverse that let characters undo actions and events at will.


Why Rick & Morty Season 5 Destroyed The Central Finite Curve


Rick and morty finale Central Finite Curve

Even before Rick & Morty‘s dark season 5 finale destroyed the Central Finite Curve, the series had been making it clearer and clearer that the show’s goofy, consequence-free adventures were coming to an end. Rick & Morty season 4 saw Rick and Morty face the consequences of gleefully destroying a planet, hinting at what was to come for the characters, while the dramatic season 4 finale saw Rick shunned by his family when they discovered that he had cloned Beth without telling her. Rick & Morty season 5 saw Rick overpowered as well as seeing him paired up with Summer instead of Morty (twice), proving that the show’s old formula was on its way out while also depicting the cracks beneath Rick’s implacable veneer more and more. As such, in the end, Rick & Morty’s season 5 finale needed to destroy the Central Finite Curve to pay off the show’s gradual deconstruction of its sitcom status quo.


What Justin Roiland Said About Rick & Morty Season 6’s Canon


Justin Roiland Gets Drunk Recording Rick and Morty

Roiland said season 6 would be “a bit more canonical,” implying that Rick & Morty won’t be entirely serialized all of a sudden, but also it won’t be as anarchic as before — at least not without consequences. This is the ideal outcome for Rick & Morty. It would have been very possible for Rick & Morty’s season 5 finale to become a shark-jumping moment if the once-silly series suddenly became an entirely serialized, more dramatic, and self-serious version of itself, but it would have been equally damaging if Rick & Morty season 6 ignored the finale’s events and returned to the goofy humor of earlier seasons. The best decision, then, was a version of Rick & Morty season 6 that is a bit more canonical but not entirely dramatic.


Related: Rick & Morty’s Most Hated Season 5 Plot Is Secretly Its Smartest Story

Why Rick & Morty Season 6 Needs Canon


Rick-Morty-Birdperson-Sanchez

Rick & Morty season 5’s most compelling drama came from the show abandoning its retcons and forcing characters to face the consequences of their actions, proving that Rick & Morty season 6 needs at least some of this more impactful storytelling. Rick & Morty season 6 could ideally do the same thing even more effectively without the Central Finite Curve, as the title characters will now need to face the consequences of each adventure without having the reliable option of bailing to another reality when the going gets tough. However, unlike the otherwise-comparable South Park (whose pointless Tegridy Farms plot proves that serialization alone can’t fix an adult animated comedy), Rick & Morty is still a sci-fi series where absurd measures can be relied on to save the day from time to time.

Why Rick & Morty Season 6 Shouldn’t Be Too Canonical


Morty stares in terror as Rick and Summer ignore a space monster in Rick & Morty season 5

While Rick & Morty season 6 should feature some season-long arcs and more serialized stories, the show shouldn’t lose sight of its status as a fun, episodic comedy. Rick & Morty is still a cartoon comedy first and foremost and, as South Park’s fully serialized seasons proved, ribald, silly cartoons don’t always benefit from trying to tell complicated long-form stories. Luckily for Rick & Morty, the series can still use its status as a sci-fi show to get out of any awkward storytelling jams. Rick & Morty’s lone time travel adventure proved the show could utilize even the most cliched sci-fi canards and make these hoary old tropes seem fresh, so there is no reason for fans to think that season 6 won’t still be able to get its antiheroes out of sticky situations without the existence of the Central Finite Curve. Provided Rick & Morty doesn’t become bogged down by its season-length arcs, there is no reason to think that season 6 becoming a “bit more canonical” will be anything but a good thing for the show.


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