Last weekend saw the season finale of smash-hit sci-fi animation Rick and Morty’s latest series over in America (the final episode will stream on Netflix UK from this Saturday), and it’s safe to say fans weren’t entirely satisfied.
There wasn’t much wrong with the episode itself – most agreed that The Rickchurian Mortydate, which saw the pair take on the US President, was a fun enough romp – but the die-hard fans of the dark-humoured cult hit were expecting more. Maybe some pay-off to the ‘Evil Morty’ revelation of earlier series three episode The Ricklantis Mix-up, or a return for the resurrected Phoenix Person, who knows – but certainly not the vaguely anticlimactic ending they actually got, which saw the Smith family reunited after Beth decided she was a clone after all.
Yes, that does sound weird when you write it out.
Anyway, this had led some fans to wonder whether that really was the series finale after all. This IS Rick and Morty, remember, the series that dropped its series premiere several months early on April Fools’ Day as a kind of anti-prank. And the series HAD initially been planned to be 14 episodes before it was cut back to a more manageable 10 by creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon – so who’s to say there weren’t one or two secretly held back this time?
Now, this might sound like mad, wish-fulfilment speculation from fans who just got a disappointing end to their favourite show (possibly for ever – it’s unclear if there will be any future series at this point). However, there could actually be some truth in this theory.
To explain why, we have to cast our minds back to season two, where previously-featured character Mr Poopybutthole (it’s a serious show, we promise) crops up after the series finale’s credits to promise that the series will return around a year and a half later – a prediction kept to within a couple of days by series three’s premiere in April (which aired one year, five months and 28 days after the series two finale).
This year, we dropped in on Mr Poopybutthole again (now with a wife and kid), and he had a different prediction.
“See ya for season four in like, a really long time!” he says in the footage. “I might even have a big white Santa Claus beard.”
And while the most obvious interpretation of this statement is that season four is a while off – potentially several years – some fans have instead taken it as an oblique hint that we’re actually getting a surprise Christmas episode this December.
After all, they reason, this year Christmas Eve is on a Sunday, the usual day for Rick and Morty episodes to be aired on Adult Swim in the US. And given Mr Poopybutthole was so literal the last time he predicted the series’ next episode (to the point where it was aired out of sequence with the rest of the series) who’s to say he won’t be again?
Plus, in several behind-the-scenes videos released on YouTube for the series this year, writer Ryan Ridley can be seen sporting a specially-made Rick and Morty-themed Christmas jumper for his talking head segments. Just a weird fashion choice? Or a hint at what’s to come?
Not to mention the fact that Father Christmas himself turned up briefly in the most recent series, albeit in one of the deleted memories in Morty’s Mind-Blowers where the spacefaring pair appeared to have accidentally killed him (main image).
So could this rumour be true? Well, sadly the intense secrecy around Rick and Morty is such that we probably wouldn’t know if such an episode was incoming until December 24th itself, but like these desperate fans we can live in hope.
Or at least hope our job never forces us to type the words “Mr Poopybutthole” in an article ever again.
Rick and Morty season three is currently streaming on Netflix UK