In case you've been living under a rock this past weekend, Rick and Morty basically won April Fools' Day. After waiting a year and a half (just as Mr. Poopybutthole predicted!), Adult Swim shocked us all by unexpectedly releasing the first episode of Season 3 on April 1st.
Even the most diehard Rick and Morty fans thought it was nothing more than an elaborate prank, most likely thanks to that god damn Rick-roll video. Thankfully, there was indeed one full-length episode of Rick and Morty in all its squanchy glory, restoring the entire fanbase's faith in Dan Harmon's twisted sense of humor.
The first episode of #RickAndMorty Season 3 showed Rick busting out of prison, the Galactic Federation being overthrown and Jerry getting thrown to the curb, which sets up for a cracker of a season.
But as exciting as that all ways, there's a theory that suggests the episode wasn't actually the first episode of Season 3 at all. In fact, it's entirely possible that it really was nothing more than an elaborate April Fools' Day prank.
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Is Rick Still In Prison?
Rick and Morty definitely has one of the most theory-obsessed fanbases of any TV show. Considering its very real scientific themes such as interdimensional travel, anything is theoretically possible. But have the writers used that excuse to pull off the cruellest April Fools' Day prank yet?
This theory was first suggested in a comment by Redditor LazerTV, then later discussed in more detail by Redditor MoronToTheKore. The consensus is this: Rick never actually escaped prison. Rather, he's still in prison being "mindscraped" by the brainalyzer, and the entire episode has just been a simulation. Why? Because the whole thing seems a little, well, fake.
First of all, let's look at all the events of the episode. Rick is kicking ass and taking names the whole time, and neither the Galactic Federation nor the other Ricks can seem to score a single point against him. He gets his Szechuan sauce, he destroys his two greatest foes in the universe (the Galactic Empire and the Council of Ricks), and he even gets Beth to divorce Jerry. Looks like everything's coming up Rick, right? Or maybe it's too good to be true.
Rick's Family Is Acting Totally Out-Of-Character
For all we know, this is all just some fantasy that's happening inside Rick's mind. Didn't it seem a little out of character for Jerry to stand up to Beth like that? Would Jerry really just accept his marriage was over and move out?
More importantly, Beth's whole reaction to getting her father back seemed a little too cheerful. Sure, she has some serious emotional wounds related to feeling abandoned by her father, but her response seemed like the exact reaction Rick would want from her— just like Summer calling Rick her "hero".
Speaking of Beth, take a look at her reaction when Jerry delivers his ultimatum. Sure, she might just be shocked at his outburst. But Redditor themortiestrachel noticed that her expression looks identical to the simulated version of Beth from Season 1. This might be grasping at straws, but it also might be a big hint that none of this is real:
Morty was really the only person not reacting the way Rick might expect to him. But remember: Morty has been unknowingly trapped in a simulation with Rick before.
If this is true, then that whole epic Rick-a-thon of a first episode was just another troll from the show writers. Rick's still in prison, Beth's an unemployed alcoholic trapped in a bad marriage, and the Council of Ricks are still competing with the Galactic Federation for the title of the biggest buzzkills in the universe.
The Gromflomite Panic Is Real
While there's a lot of evidence to support this theory, there's also some things that don't quite add up.
If you've been keeping tabs on the Galactic Federation ARG, then you probably saw the panicked posts from Gromflomites working at the prison. They reported their bank accounts being emptied (a consequence of Rick crippling their economy), and the prison being broken into. If that was all a simulation, then why is there evidence of it all over the Gromflomites' social media network?
And what about that post-credits scene? If no one in the Galactic Federation is willing to work for free, and their entire currency is now worthless, then how the hell is Tammy able to get an entire team to rebuild Bird Person for her?
Of course, creator Dan Harmon had a simple explanation of how Tammy was paying her subordinates:
Does It Even Matter?
Would it make any difference at all if this really was an April Fools' Day prank? Not really. After all, we finally got what we've all been demanding for 18 months: a new episode of Rick and Morty. And Rick? Well, he finally got a taste of that McDonald's Szechuan sauce.
Do you think the new Rick and Morty episode was actually an April Fools' Day prank?