With only seven episodes under its belt, “Rick and Morty” has managed to become arguably Adult Swim’s best new show — and earned itself a second season. Now that the show’s back from its hiatus, co-creator Justin Roiland says that dark times are ahead for Rick and Morty.
In the past two episodes — “Rick Potion #9” and “Raising Gazorpazorp” — Morty has increasingly been standing his ground against his grandfather Rick. Though the repercussions haven’t been too negative yet, Roiland tells Zap2it that could be changing soon.
“We are seeing Morty test his boundaries and stand up for himself and become more assertive, and he’s learning that he’s able to. If he puts his foot down, Rick will roll his eyes and sigh and go along with Morty, even if it’s just to show him how f***ed up his decision is ultimately going to become. That continues,” Roiland says.
He adds that Morty’s independent streak will all come to the forefront in an episode coming up that’s “really, really hinged on that relationship between Rick and Morty,” “It really blows things open,” Roiland says. “It just answers a lot of questions and maybe poses many more, but the thing that’s up front and center is the relationship between Rick and Morty, how they’re connected and why that relationship is important — and also how Morty being assertive and standing up for himself could potentially be a bad thing, too.”
Additionally, viewers can expect to see Summer go on more adventures with Rick like she did in “Raising Gazorpazorp.” She also stood up to Rick but was correct in her stance, which makes her an interesting foil to Morty.
“Morty is still very easily manipulated by Rick. Summer is not at all. The difference between Summer and Morty is that Summer doesn’t put up with Rick’s s***,” Roiland says. “She stands up for herself. She knows what she wants and she’s not manipulated by Rick in any way, shape or form. She definitely is in awe of what he’s capable of.
“Rick doesn’t particularly like her because of the fact that he can’t manipulate her and she doesn’t put up with his s***, and there are more episodes this season where we hit that even more. There’s a really fun episode coming up later that’s another Rick and Summer-based episode that kind of takes their relationship a couple steps farther than what we already saw in ‘Raising Gazorpazorp.'”
Just don’t expect too much of Rick’s backstory to be explored in the rest of Season 1’s episodes. Roiland and his co-creator Dan Harmon have found that the mysteries of who Rick was and what adventures he went on and what his relationship with his family was before the audience met him are some of the biggest questions fans have about the show, and the two men want to keep it that way.
“Part of the intrigue of the show is all the fans that are watching are fantasizing about, ‘What was this guy’s life like?’ When did he have Beth? What was he up to when he had Beth? Why did he leave? What has he been doing? He’s god-like almost in his scientific ability to create and kind of just do whatever he wants on a sci-fi level,” Roiland says. “We’re sort of leaking little bits of pieces and giving insight into his history and into who he is, but we’re very, very wary of getting too specific and really going into a backstory thing because I feel like you run the risk of ruining some of the mystique.
“Right now everyone’s watching this show and they’re so enamored with this character, partly because they have all these questions. As soon as you start answering them — and more to the point, answering them incorrectly for the fans — I think it’s going to just shatter that magic.”
As for what’s coming up in the end of Season 1, Roiland teases, “There are some amazing stories that really give glimpses into Rick’s inner psyche, who he is. I mean, obviously we know he’s seen some s***. He’s seen so much. He’s almost flipped a switch. That switch that cares or gets affected has been turned off in his mind as a result of the stuff he’s experienced. I mean, he just knows nothing matters. Nothing really truly matters.
“He’s a fascinating character, and we’re being careful about how we handle the canon of his backstory and filling that stuff in,” Roiland continues. “It’s one of those things where we really don’t want to take that away from the fans too soon because they’re having a field day with it, and I think it’s making the show that much more poignant and deep.”
Additionally, the story is being set for Season 2, which Roiland and Harmon are currently writing.
“Going into Season 2, there are things we know about this universe and facts we are aware of about this show that we are keeping in mind,” Roiland says. “We wrote Season 1 in a vaccuum, and now we’re writing Season 2 knowing how much love it has. Dan keeps reminding me — and himself, even — ‘Let’s just put it out of your head; let’s not think about that. Let’s not think about the ratings; let’s not think about how popular it is. Let’s just write the same way we did Season 1 and do what we want to do,’ and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
“Rick and Morty” airs Mondays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim.