It appeared that Rick and Morty's main Rick (from universe C-137) would pull another fast one on the audience at the end of season 5, with Evil Morty destroying the multiverse as we knew it and putting the titular Rick and Morty in limbo as they tried to escape a destructing Council of Ricks, it wouldnt be the first time Rick managed to destroy the Galactic Federations' whole system at the beginning of season 3.
Rick C-137's backstory was much darker than we've ever seen up until now. After several years of trying to track him down, killing various Ricks, and generally getting messed up, Rick C-137 crashed into a timeline where a Rick had abandoned his grown-up daughter and settled in.
If you have some doubt that this is Rick and Mortys Rick's backstory, or if he still had another trick up his sleeve in the season 6 opener, Dan Harmon is here to remind us to take a breather.
Harmon tells Polygon that there's a lot more to the story. But im at ease saying that I don't like to be coy, and in situations where we're being ambiguous, we always say we're being ambiguous.
Harmon cites season 3's The Rickshank Rickdemption and what he calls the Shoneys Revelation, when Rick appeared to be trapped in a tragic memory to bait the Galactic Federation poking around in his head. At the time, Harmon claims it was shown as a plausible fabrication but one that Harmon himself liked as an actual history.
Harmon says he did not want to impose it at that early stage in the series run. So having established at the top of season 6, what of that is correct? I would never say that to an audience, Or maybe not! He showed Morty the truth; that's what it was. We can't retcon that.
Justin Roiland, who co-created the show with Harmon and plays Rick, Morty, and a smattering of other people in it, believes the change will benefit the audience more than the characters themselves. Ricks actions resonate differently with season 6.
How will this change how the audience perceives him now that they know the terrible mistake that happened to him is real? No. Because he's still going to be a fucking douchebag.
He's learned all this crap [where] he put these walls up, because he lost something enormously important to him. [...] But it's still fucking dark to carry it. So it'll be interesting to see the fans' reaction more than the character.
Harmon and Roiland say there's more time for them to concentrate on achieving the perfect balance of canonical storytelling and the wacky, one-off adventures that the show is famous for. They won't be removing the rug out of under us anytime soon.
Harmon concludes that there's certainly a lot more to the story than we could see unfold. [But] it's basically a confirmation that the Shoneys are genuine.