Aquaman, Hellraiser, Voltron: Nothing is safe in Rick & Morty’s season 5 trailer, which teases Rick’s new nemesis Mr. Nimbus and Jessica’s return.
Rick and Morty’s season 5 trailer promises all manner of new adventures for the Smith family and the titular duo, but what are the exact reveals contained in this new teaser? Debuting in 2013, Adult Swim’s hit series Rick & Morty is an anarchic fusion of sci-fi TV tropes and sitcom conventions that upends the cliches of both genres to create a unique brand of televised insanity.
The story of Rick Sanchez, a tortured, amoral super-genius scientist, and Morty, his well-meaning, dim-witted grandson, Rick & Morty has spent the last four seasons spoofing everything from Game of Thrones to Jurassic Park to Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel Prometheus. No subject is too sacred for the series but, no matter what the show parodies, Rick & Morty consistently brings a surreal spin to the subject of each episode’s spoof and upends viewer’s expectations. That unpredictable writing is a big part of why the show’s large fanbase is excitedly awaiting the upcoming fifth season of Rick & Morty.
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Rick & Morty’s first full trailer for season 5 (which is set to be released in late June) arrived online last week and is full of hints at the coming season’s strange events. The trailer, which follows an animatic teaser that arrived online last year shortly after Rick & Morty‘s fourth season ended, shows that the coming season will incorporate parodies of everything from the classic horror Hellraiser to Aquaman to the cult animated hit Voltron. The trailer also includes screen time for Beth, Jerry, and Morty’s sister Summer as well as the titular duo, so there’s no better time to dissect everything that can be gleaned from the brief, action-packed two-minute tease.
Rick & Morty Season 5 Will Parody Hellraiser
The Cenobite-style villains, the S&M attire donned by both Beth and Rick, and the line “let’s raise some Hell” all imply that at least one episode of the new season will see Rick & Morty spoofing Clive Barker’s famously gory Hellraiser franchise. A Hellraiser parody is almost overdue given the fondness that the show’s creators have displayed for ’80s horror. Earlier seasons of Rick & Morty spoofed Wes Craven’s iconic dream demon Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare On Elm Street fame and the works of body horror maestro David Cronenberg, so Barker’s blackly comic supernatural horror is a perfect fit for the series to parody. Rick & Morty has never shied away from using gross-out gore for comic effect, and many horror parodies have shirked away from spoofing Hellraiser due to the frequent depiction of grotesque torture featured in the movies. As a result, Hellraiser isn’t parodied as much as more conventional franchises such as Friday the 13th or Halloween, making the franchise ripe for spoofing. If any show has a dark enough sense of humor to make Pinhead and company funny, it is Rick & Morty, and the show’s earlier Mad Max parody in season 3’s “Rickmancing The Stone” proved that even brutal violence can be hilarious in the hands of Rick & Morty.
More Of Rick’s Nemesis, Mr. Nimbus
When the animatic teaser for Rick & Morty season 5 dropped last year, it was unclear whether the campy sea-based character Mr. Nimbus would really be Rick’s arch-nemesis, or if he would simply be a one-off joke. However, his arrival at the Smith house in this trailer proves he’ll be a real antagonist in at least one outing of the show, providing the series ample opportunity to parody both Aquaman and Marvel’s Namor. The goofy appearance and aloof demeanor of Mr. Nimbus appear to owe more to the classic Golden Age heroes of comic books, rather than their more recent, self-aware reinventions featured in the MCU and DCEU, meaning Rick & Morty would have a chance to parody the goofy conventions of older superhero media rather than spoofing the uber-popular franchises that are already being deconstructed on television by the likes of The Boys, Invincible, Birdgirl, and The Tick.
Another Appearance From Jessica
Morty’s would-be love interest, the thinly-sketched Jessica, had a significant role in the brief animatic teaser for season 5, and another shot of her and Morty during a perilous adventure implies this season of Rick & Morty will follow up on its promise of paying off the pair’s potential romance. It’s good news for fans of Rick & Morty, as Jessica has been the longest-lasting of Morty’s many love interests but until now has been a two-dimensional figure without much character of her own. The Jessica of seasons 1–4 is mostly a blank canvas for Morty to project an unrequited crush onto, so here’s hoping this season sees more development for the recurring figure.
Rick & Morty’s Voltron Spoof
The classic 80’s animated series Voltron won’t be familiar to every viewer of Rick & Morty, and nor will its recent Netflix reboot. However, this doesn’t mean Rick & Morty won’t be spoofing the show, with the sight of the entire Smith family combining to pilot a giant automobile being a direct lift from both versions of the series. Voltron follows the exploits of five scientists who combine their mechanical super-suits to create a Transformers-style giant car/robot, and a few scenes from the new season’s trailer see the Smith do just that in an obvious nod to the cult show. Interestingly, this looks to be one of few Rick & Morty adventures that include the whole family working together toward a common goal, something that season 4’s finale hinted at but the show rarely dwells on in favor of A-plots that center around Rick and Morty and B-plots that focus on the rest of the family.
Rick May Leave The Smiths (For A While)
The Rick & Morty season 4 finale left it unclear whether the despondent Rick would actually leave the Smith family in Rick & Morty season 5 or continue to live with them despite his daughter Beth resenting him and the rest of the family being horrified by his history of poor parenting. However, the scene in this recent Rick & Morty season 5 trailer that features Morty telling Summer that Rick warned the pair to stay away from his stuff “while he’s gone” could imply that the character will (at least temporarily) move on from the clan. Admittedly, Rick may also just be briefly absent from the house and the throwaway line might not refer to his actual exit from the Smith clan. However, this is nonetheless a potentially interesting development for the Smith family dynamic in the coming season, even though Rick working together with Morty, Summer, Beth, and even Jerry throughout the rest of the season 5 trailer proves that the classic set-up of Rick & Morty won’t be too massively altered in this coming outing.
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