If you felt a little shocked — or indeed like you'd just been gut punched by that jolly flippant guy who hangs around your favourite pub — when you saw the Rick and Morty Season 2 finale, well you weren't the only one buddy.
The typically tongue-in-cheek animated sci-fi parody show certainly kicked everything into high gear last season. The typical genital-based monsters and fart jokes were suddenly punctuated by devastatingly hard-hitting emotional scenes, and incredible character development you didn't know you needed from a show with a character named Mr. Poopy Butthole.
Indeed it seems like the darkest timeline is starting to leak though now, don't think we don't see you there Evil Abed (obligatory Community reference, check).
And then there was the Rick and Morty Season 2 finale "The Wedding Squanchers" which — tinged with the melodic sounds of Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt" — played out amongst the death of Birdperson and Rick sacrificing his precious freedom to allow his family to return home.
But don't worry so, we've known for a while now that Rick won't be spending all that much time in jail when Season 3 rolls around — as according to show co-creator Dan Harmon. He's also hinted that the new season will start bending back to revisit earlier plot-lines and characters, so perhaps we'll get to see more of Harmon's favorite character?
But did you know that the Rick and Morty Season 2 finale was nearly very different? A new Collider interview with show creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon gives us some interesting insight into how different the finale could've been.
It Was Originally Going To Be A Two-Parter
The Rick and Morty Season 2 DVD commentary reveals that the finale was originally intended as a two-parter: the first part being the events of "The Wedding Squanchers" — with Rick giving himself over to the Galactic Federation and ending up in jail — and the second resolving this storyline.
As Harmon tells Collider:
"The truth is what we wanted to do was have ["The Wedding Squanchers"] be the second-to-last episode and almost have it be part of the joke that the finale would basically wrap that story up. That "just kidding, we wouldn’t do that to you, we’d never end a season on a cliffhanger. We’re not Breaking Bad we’re just a cartoon," but it just proved so challenging trying to figure out a resolution."
Roiland elaborates on why the two-parter never came to fruition. The creative team behind Rick and Morty have never been one to do things by halves, and so was the case when it came to the finale episode.
Reaching the end of the season, Roiland describes the creative team as "all burned out" and "fucking exhausted". Faced with the loss of a number of the season writers due to scheduling conflicts, the creators were left juggling many different ideas around without finding what they believed to be a satisfying resolution to this story.
At this point it was down to Harmon, Roiland and Rick and Morty Producer Ryan Ridley to tie all these threads together in the finale episode. Then — as Harmon explains — someone suggested that leaving the series on the note of "The Wedding Squanchers" would actually be a good way to play out the series, a little different from what we've seen on the show before.
The notes that they'd put together for the finale then became "Look Who's Purging Now", which Roiland describes as his favorite episode of the series.
Rick and Morty Will Make You "Hurt"...
And not only was the Season 2 finale originally intended to play out over two episodes, the pièce de résistance of the final episode was nearly very different too. You know what we're talking about.
Roiland tells Collider that — despite the inherent emotional devastation always associated with the use of Johnny Cash's "Hurt" — that they originally had "much grander plans" for the song.
"The origin for that ending was we wanted to get the sync rights to the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt" and then we wanted to get a Johnny Cash sound alike and we wanted to replace a bunch of words with squanch. It was really funny the idea they were on planet Squanch for the wedding so Rick steals the ship and they take off. We liked the idea of almost it’s playing to the radio and it crossfades into full and it’s like [singing] "I squanched myself today." You know just replace every so often a word with squanch and we wrote it all out and it was fucking hilarious."
So why didn't this happen? The same old story, it all came down to the troubles of obtaining rights to do so. Roiland says that they were very lucky to get clearance to use the song in the first place — something which happened at the "very very eleventh hour" of the episode's production.
But when it came to seeking permission to do their own version of the song, it was either outright denied or they ran out of time to do so, Roiland doesn't elaborate as to exactly what the outcome was. But he's incredibly happy with the finished product, as well he should be:
"I just don’t think it would have even been possible to do what we wanted to do but we’re still really proud of it. It turned out great. And that’s one of my favorite songs so…"
As for how Season 2 would have wrapped, we'll just have to wait and see the resolution to the Rick-in-jail storyline when Rick and Morty Season 3 rolls around. Keep your fingers squanched. Ooh-whee!
For more Rick and Morty news check out Everything We Know So Far About 'Rick and Morty' Season 3.
What — or who — do you want to see in Rick and Morty Season 3? Tell us in the comments below!