Rick & Morty’s season 5 finale seemingly ended the show’s multiverse for good—which is why the Adult Swim series needs a live-action episode. Since its debut in 2013, Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty has never been averse to experimental storytelling. The series has featured some truly wild plotlines over the years and, particularly in its fifth season, Rick & Morty’s fixed its stories by focusing more on the supporting cast, resulted in the show pairing off all manner of characters for surreal adventures.
However, the season 5 finale took away one of the show’s most reliable storytelling devices by putting an end to the multiverse (or “Central Finite Curve”). Without the Central Finite Curve, Rick & Morty will likely be unable to maintain a cavalier attitude toward canon and continuity and will need to set some stakes in stone for season six. However, the animated series should do the exact opposite and wrong foot fans with a more experimental approach than ever before.
Shortly after the game-changing season 5 finale well and truly ended the multiverse, Adult Swim released a couple of brief clips starring Jaeden Martell (of Stephen King’s IT fame) as Morty and genre legend Christopher Lloyd as Rick. These live-action scenes set the Internet alight in an instant, even though the finale left many understandably expecting that Rick & Morty will now need to take canon more seriously going forward. However, a live-action episode (presumably achieved through inter-dimensional travel) would reassure viewers that Rick & Morty remains as anarchic as ever despite its newfound affinity for canon—not to mention the fact that it would be great fun to see more of Christopher Lloyd’s inspired casting as Rick Sanchez.
Establishing some real dramatic stakes by destroying the Central Finite Curve and taking away the show’s endless supply of disposable replacement Ricks and Mortys was a compelling choice, and season 6 should not ignore the implications of this twist outright. However, having already introduced inter-dimensional travel without portal guns, it is clear that Rick & Morty can still find ways to work around this development and offer typically zany, unpredictable storylines. A live-action episode that changes the very medium of the series would be the perfect way for Rick & Morty to prove this, while also being an interesting experiment in aesthetic terms.
The brief promos Adult Swim released online perfectly capture the show’s aesthetic, style, and pacing despite starring human actors rather than their animated counterparts, and viewers went wild when the clips arrived unexpectedly. It is clear there’s sufficient fan interest in a live-action outing for the show, and after season 5 of Rick & Morty spoofed Hellraiser, C.H.U.D, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, it’s not like the series is not ambitiously weird enough to pull off such an audacious stunt. To reassure fans the show is still as wild as ever, a live-action episode would be the perfect start to Rick & Morty season 6.