At the end of season 5, Rick and Morty's main Rick (from universe C-137) appeared to be pulling another fast one on the audience. Though things seemed bleak at the end of season 5, with Evil Morty blowing up the multiverse as we knew it and leaving 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 break out of the Galactic Federations whole system. At the beginning of season 3, he
Rick C-137s backstory was much darker than we had expected up until now, and after some time spent trying to track him down, killing several Ricks, and generally getting messed up, landed himself into a timeline where a Rick had abandoned his grown-up daughter.
If you are dissatisfied 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 let the fuck out.
Harmon tells Polygon that there's a lot more to the story. But im quite comfortable saying I don't like to be coy, and in situations when we're being ambiguous, we always state we're being ambiguous.
Harmon compares Season 3's The Rickshank Rickdemption to what he refers to as the Shoneys Revelation, when Rick appeared to be trapped in a terrible memory to bait the Galactic Federation in his head. At the time, Harmon claims it was shown as a hypothetical fact, but one that Harmon himself liked as a true story.
Harmon explains that I 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 to an audience, Or maybe not! He showed Morty the truth, thats what it was. And we cant retcon that.
Justin Roiland, who co-created the show with Harmon and voices Rick, Morty, and a smattering of other people in it, believes the shift will benefit the audience more than the characters themselves. Ricks actions resonate differently.
Is it possible to change how the audience perceives him now that they know the horrible injustice that occurred to him is real? No, because he'll always be the same guy who's always been a fucking douchebag?
He's learned all this crap [where] he put these walls up, because he lost something very dear to him. And then he realized it didn't matter. [...] But it's still fucking dark to carry that. It'll be interesting to see the reaction of the viewers rather than the character.
Harmon and Roiland say there's more breathing room for them to focus on achieving the perfect balance of canonical storytelling and bizarre, one-off adventures that the show is famous for. They won't be removing the rug from under us anytime soon.
Harmon concludes that the story we only saw unfolding visually is a work in progress. [But] it is basically a confirmation that the Shoneys are not the real thing.