Created by animator and voice actor Justin Roiland (Adventure Time, Channel 101) and Dan Harmon (Community, Channel 101) the immensely quotable Back to the Future parody that is Adult Swim's Rick and Morty has proven to be the little show that could.
Received critical acclaim for its premiere season back in 2013, Season 2, which finished airing back in October of 2015, continued what was already a very strong run, providing the show's potential for longevity. Season 3 has been confirmed for a while now, but it's unlikely that we'll get any solid news on a release date any time soon.
Whilst the show creators have kept pretty quiet about what the next season of Rick and Morty will entail, they've also dropped more than a few hints about what to expect when it rolls around (in "a year and a half... or longer" if you believe Mr. Poopy Butthole).
The two creators spoke about the show's reception and their ideas for Season 3 in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. They didn't give much away though, as from the sounds of it there's not much to tell yet:
Roiland: "I've been jotting ideas down, yeah. Nothing super fleshed out, but there are definitely little seeds."
But here's what we do know so far about Rick and Morty Season 3...
We'll See A Return To Prior Narratives
Unlike other shows of Rick and Morty's ilk, the vulgar madcap sci-fi trades in episodic contained narratives without getting caught up in the strings of overarching plot strands. The episode wherein Rick destroys the world, sorry, Cronenbergs the world (S01E06: Rick Potion #9) is a good example of such; Rick and Morty move onto a new world and, apart from a brief conversation between Morty and Summer in the next episode, it's never mentioned again.
By disregarding an adherence to larger narratives Rick and Morty allows itself almost limitless creative freedoms in terms of story, so it's quite a clever tactic and works very well for this type of humour. But it's always nice to have a larger sense of things at times, and it looks like that's what we're going to get when Season 3 rolls around.
At the Rick and Morty San Diego Comic Con panel earlier this year an audience member posed the question to creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, "Will Evil Morty come back in Season 2?", prompting the creators to reflect upon revisiting previous stories.
Harmon: "Our instinct was; let’s not ruin this by curling back in on our own tail too soon. There are a couple of instances where the joyful TV viewer in me says we should’ve done another Meeseeks episode. But overall we had a very gun-shy approach of avoiding that temptation."
But whilst the show may have worked fantastically well by freeing itself from larger narrative restrictions, from the looks of things we can expect to see more callbacks to prior events and characters in Season 3 when it finally rolls around:
Roiland: "We’ve got a lot of little loose sweater threads we’ve sprinkled throughout [seasons] one and two that we’re going to come back and tie in a nice little bow in subsequent seasons."
Harmon: "I re-watched [Seasons 1 & 2] a couple nights ago, and now I'm excited about revisiting stuff in season three because I was so phobic about revisiting stuff in season two."
So maybe Evil Morty will show up again? Maybe Rick and Morty will return to Dog World in Season 3?
There's certainly a great deal of scope for revisiting and addressing events from previous seasons. Bringing back someone like Evil Morty, who was seemingly set up as a series villain, would be a really interesting change of tack for the show right now too (once Rick gets out of jail that is).
Whichever way Roiland and Harmon choose to play it let's hope that the quality keeps up at the standard it's been running so far, and if else all fails, at least we know we'll be seeing Mr. Meeseeks again...
Harmon: "I'm going to make that a personal promise to myself. (Laughs.) I'm going to force Mr. Meeseeks into season three."