This isn’t a drill: Rick and Morty is back for a third season this Sunday.
After nearly two years, Rick Sanchez, Morty Smith and the rest of the family are back on Adult Swim. The show’s second season ran between July and October of 2015 and, since then, fans have been clamoring for any look at the delayed third season. Earlier this year, co-creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland released the third season’s first episode as an April Fool’s Day treat, but Adult Swim took the episode down less than 48 hours after airing.
It wasn’t until months later that Harmon and Roiland released the first trailer for the show alongside a confirmation that the show would return on July 30. The trailer gave fans their first real look at what the season was going to offer — including a Mad Max: Fury Road-themed episode. Paired with lengthy tweet-storms about why the show was delayed, it seemed like everything was finally moving forward.
Now that the third season is here, viewers are anxiously trying to remember everything that happened almost two years ago. So, that’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to catch everyone up before the new season kicks off.
Rick and Morty returns to Adult Swim on Sunday July 30 at 11:00 p.m. ET with two back-to-back episodes.
How did it all end?
“The Wedding Squanchers,” the finale to season two, was packed with jokes from the beginning. In it, Rick and Morty uses the mundane setting of a family wedding to explore some of the more dramatic and serious moments of the series.
When it’s revealed that Tammy is an undercover agent for the Galactic Federation, which Rick and Birdperson discovered prior, the episode takes a dark turn. Tammy kills Birdperson and Rick must help his family escape, realizing the Galactic Federation will never stop chasing them.
Rick and Morty has always been a show about philosophical conversations and hard decisions. Unable to cope with the idea of living their lives forever on the run, a family meeting is called. Jerry, who kickstarted the entire ordeal by accidentally being transported to Planet Squanch, votes in favor of turning Rick over to police. Beth, afraid to deal with another wave of abandonment from her father, votes the opposite.
It’s a complicated situation with no easy answer and this is where Rick’s newfound selflessness comes in. Rick decides that he’s tired of putting his family through the chaotic, unforgiving and challenging life that comes with being related to him. Rick calls in a tip to the Galactic Federation about his family’s whereabouts.
The scene, which finds Rick telling Morty he’s going to get some ice cream and is set to the tune of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt,” is one of the show’s most emotional. While the Smiths are returned to Earth and Rick is imprisoned in a maximum security facility. Rick’s family, accepting the sacrifice made by the prickly man they love, are left to deal with their feelings of abandonment.
The show ends with Rick in prison. As the third season is about to begin, the concentration is on freeing Rick and returning him to his family. The first episode has, technically, already aired — and there are synopses to read if you want more — but we’ll keep this spoiler-free for those who want to see what happens.