Rick and Morty Season 6 Premiere Review – "Solaricks"

Warning: The below review contains full spoilers for the Season 6 premiere of Rick and Morty, which aired on Adult Swim on Sept. 4.

Avengers: Endgame opened with the heroes in a particularly bleak position before they reunited to try to set things right with a time-traveling scavenger hunt that allowed them to both revisit past plots and usher in a new phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Season 6 Rick and Morty premiere “Solaricks” explicitly parodies that film as it replays the same story beats with an excellent action-packed episode that demonstrates just how much the show has grown and hints at the depths it’s only beginning to explore.

Also see: our episode guide for Rick and Morty Season 6 for all your streaming info needs.

Rick and Morty (both Justin Roiland) take on the roles of Tony Stark and Nebula in Endgame, stranded in space after an evil Morty disabled all portal guns in Season 5’s dramatic finale. Rick’s monologue about drinking his own piss to survive is interrupted by a rescue from his maybe clone daughter Space Beth (Sarah Chalke), whom they meet with as much sarcasm as gratitude. The opening covers all the beats that make the show great with meta humor that both references other pop culture and the making of the show itself punctuated by the cantankerous characters bickering and delivering razor-sharp non sequiturs.

The episode gets even better after the opening credits as Rick aims to reset the portal technology and instead winds up shunting everyone back to their home realities after a surprisingly long countdown played for awkward laughs. Returning to old worlds lets the characters see things in new ways.

As Rick notes, this is an episode filled with “deep cuts” digging back to the Jerryboree in Season 2, which provides an opportunity to revisit the family dysfunction that culminated in Jerry and Beth separating in Season 3. Season 2 saw Jerry (Chris Parnell) embodied as a cowardly worm, but he’s one of the most improved characters in the show. Rick and Morty has morphed into more of an ensemble as Jerry and the rest of the family have learned to stand up to Rick, who in turn has become just a bit more willing to accept their help.

Case in point, Summer (Spencer Grammer) has evolved from a minor antagonist to Morty into Rick’s most trusted fixer. “Solaricks” lets her shine in a grotesque and bloody fight against phallic monsters while the two versions of Beth fight over her affection. The scene is a perfect example of how Rick and Morty has tightly blended its domestic and science fiction plots over the seasons by letting more characters in on the adventures.

“Solaricks” looks back at previous seasons as a way to demonstrate just how much it has grown.

“Solaricks” also provides an update on how the Smiths are faring in the Cronenberged dimension from Season 1. The reveal of where Rick’s adventures are taking place and the cold nihilism he sees in the multiverse was a turning point of the show, the first time Rick and Morty creators Justin Roilland and Dan Harmon revealed the deeper themes and mythology behind their gonzo parody of Back to the Future. The traumatic act of quite literally burying yourself is revisited here to show just how much the Smith family has come to accept over the years even as the series enters into a new phase of emotional depth.

That shift is led by Rick’s plot, continuing to build on the fan theories about his backstory that were finally confirmed in the Season 5 finale. Rick’s original world is a nightmare of his own making where he’s literally haunted by his dead wife and has kept his entire neighborhood trapped in his grief. The episode offers a riff on the classic trope of choosing between the possibility of vengeance and protecting those you still have, twisted through the lens of Rick seeking to destroy a version of himself he both hates and admires.

Rick’s toxic narcissism came to a head last season with the revelations about how he’s guaranteed his place as the smartest man in the world and ensured he’s always equipped with a devoted sidekick. Smug as he may be, Rick’s softened around the edges. Throughout the show’s run, fans have debated whether he’s a villain, a tragic antihero, or perfect as he is. In the Season 6 premiere, Roilland and Harmon show the appeal of the version of Rick that always gets the last laugh by not caring what anyone else thinks. A brief visit to Killer Rick’s base gives Rick a taste of his own arrogant medicine, reminiscent of his confrontations with President Curtis (Keith David) and the Vindicators. Having an unrepentant version of Rick serve as a villain provides a great way for the show’s writers to have an outlet for his most brutal lines and actions, even as the primary version of the character continues to change.


Rick and Morty Season 6 is off to a fantastic start with “Solaricks,” which looks back at previous seasons as a way to demonstrate just how much it has grown. The season premiere digs deeper into Rick’s backstory and the show’s mythology even as it continues to embrace its tried and true blend of science fiction action and family drama laced with biting meta humor.

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