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What You Need To Remember Before Watching Rick And Morty Season 5

To say "Rick and Morty" is a strange show is a bit of an understatement. The Adult Swim series by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland goes to a lot of weird places, often for the purposes of bizarre comedy but also in many cases being strangely sad or philosophical. Along the way, there have been tons of new characters, storylines, and world-building elements, some of which only appear in one episodic story while others make reappearances through each season.

With 41 episodes to remember so far since its premiere in 2013 and a deal confirming at least 60 more episodes to go after Season 4, "Rick and Morty" has an increasingly long past and future ahead of it, so it can be difficult to recall every character and arc whenever they pop up again, especially with the show's long hiatuses. Since the creators are teasing that Season 5 will focus more heavily on these continuous story elements compared to the previous season's heavier emphasis on one-and-done episodes (via Digital Spy), here are some of the most important things to keep in mind going into the next season.

Rick and Morty live in a dysfunctional family, but they still love each other (usually)

Just to remind you of some of the basics, "Rick and Morty" is set on a version of Earth where Rick Sanchez (Roiland) lives with his daughter Beth (Sarah Chalke), son-in-law Jerry (Chris Parnell), grand-daughter Summer (Spencer Grammer) and of course his grandson Morty (also Roiland). All four family members appear in most episodes, and they all have their issues.

Beth and Jerry are often a toxic couple (once getting a divorce before reuniting), often due to Jerry's incompetence and spinelessness while Beth, like her father, struggles with alcoholism and fears being too attached to others. Summer is usually the most well-adjusted, although she also has her issues with self-image and friction with other family members. Morty is often traumatized by the adventures he and Rick go on and struggles with fitting in at school as well as his constant crush on his classmate, Jessica (Kari Wahlgren).

When not at home, Rick and Morty (and occasionally the other family members) go on adventures across planets and dimensions with the use of Rick's portal gun and space cruiser. Each dimension has its own version of each family member, with the main duo living in a nearly identical dimension and taking the place of its Rick and Morty after an episode in Season 1 effectively ruined the Earth. This means that no characters aside from Rick and Morty are the "original" characters, but although this is sometimes brought up, they try not to think about it too much.

Space Beth is the clone or the replacement dimension version of Beth, and it's a little confusing

As if the multiple dimensions weren't enough to give these characters identity crises, Beth has an even more complicated story. In the Season 3 episode "The ABC's of Beth," Rick clones his daughter so that one version of Beth can stay home with her family while the other can explore space. The latter is aptly named Space Beth (still voiced by Chalke) to distinguish between the two.

However, we later learn in the Season 4 finale that Rick swapped his original daughter (even though, as we previously discussed, not even that version of Beth is truly the original) and the clone so that not even he would know which is which. This drives both Beths mad, with Space Beth attempting to kill Rick and the other Beth before finally accepting their uncertainty and reconciling. It's unclear what Space Beth's role will be in Season 5, but creator Dan Harmon all but confirmed the character's return to Inverse (via Digital Spy). Hopefully, she can finally get to go on some adventures with the rest of the family, as her badass attitude and cool gadgets would make for some fun scenarios while also possibly humbling Rick as someone as talented and smart as him.

Phoenixperson is the cyborg version of who was once Rick's closest friend, Birdperson

Originally known as Birdperson (Harmon), one of Rick's oldest and closest friends and as one might guess, a cross between a bird and human, the character ends up marrying Tammy (Cassie Steele), a classmate and friend of Summer's. However, at the wedding in Season 3, it's revealed that Tammy was a deep undercover agent for the Galactic Federation, which is after both Rick and Birdperson for their crimes "in the name of freedom." Tammy shoots Birdperson multiple times, leaving the audience to presume the character was killed off.

However, it's later revealed that Tammy was able to resurrect Birdperson as a cyborg by augmenting him with robotic wings and limbs while also taking control of his mind, renaming him Phoenixperson. In the Season 4 finale, he reunites with Rick with orders to kill him, only for Rick and his family to manage to switch him off after finally killing Tammy. Now, Phoenixperson lies dormant in Rick's garage, still hostile to Rick if switched back on. Hopefully, in Season 5, Rick will find a way to return the character to normal and get his friend back.

Evil Morty is a ruthless dictator who might be a match for Rick

Normally, all Mortys in pretty much every dimension have the same qualities. They're easily scared, bad with girls, and act as cloaking mechanisms so their respective Ricks can't be tracked. However, the Morty we meet in the Season 1 episode of "Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind" is highly different. Initially believed to be the innocent victim of an "Evil Rick," it's revealed that he was actually controlling him behind the scenes, murdering 26 Ricks and enslaving and torturing unknown numbers of Mortys.

In the Season 3 episode "Tales From the Citadel," we see the same Morty rise to power within the Citadel of Ricks, a city where Ricks and Mortys of various dimensions live together, winning a democratic election but then assassinating all those who opposed him and forming a brutal dictatorship. We haven't seen anything of the character since, aside from a cameo in Season 4 that wasn't likely canon, but as one of the darkest and most intriguing villains in the show, we hope we get to see more of him soon.

The first episode of "Rick and Morty" Season 5 premieres on Adult Swim at 11:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 20.