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Why Rick And Morty's Season 5 Premiere Has Fans Worried About Rick

On June 20, "Rick and Morty" returned for its fifth season. In the opening of its premiere, Rick and Morty (both voiced by series co-creator Justin Roiland) are in the midst of escaping an unspecified threat on a remote planet. With Rick unconscious, Morty single-handedly tries to pilot Rick's damaged ship back to Earth. While doing so, he calls his crush, Jessica (Kari Wahlgren), and confesses his feelings to her. She reveals that she feels the same way about him, and they set up a chill movie hang for later that night. With renewed vigor, Morty navigates the damaged ship to a crash landing in the ocean, saving his and his grandfather's lives.

As it turns out, Rick's arch nemesis Mr. Nimbus (voiced by series co-creator Dan Harmon) perceives the crash landing into the ocean as a slight against him, since he's an Aquaman-like erotic fish-man with apparent plenary authority over the Earth's seas. Rick invites Mr. Nimbus to a dinner summit in order to smooth things over. Rick puts Morty in charge of a few bottles of what he calls "ocean wine." He places those in an alternate dimension through a portal that jumps ahead in time by decades whenever it's opened, thus rapidly aging the wine. It's a Narnia, time-dilation thing, and it mostly makes sense in the context of the episode. Morty then has to juggle spending time with Jessica and serving Mr. Nimbus his inter-dimensionally aged ocean wine.

Some inevitable time travel hijinks ensue, and soon those that live in the Narnia-dimension devote themselves to a generational quest to defeat Morty. The extra-dimensional beings — known as "Hooveys" — end up getting a hold of Morty and Jessica, and during an attempt to rescue them, Rick is maimed by their now-advanced technology. While story-wise, this is a setup for Mr. Nimbus to rescue Rick and Morty, the moment has also left some fans of the series worried about Rick's future, and their concern is not unfounded. Here's why.

Rick lost one of his signature moves

Rick has always relied on a series of cybernetic implants that allow him to withdraw advanced weaponry from his body at a moment's notice. During his visit to the futuristic ocean wine-aging dimension to rescue Morty and Jessica, Rick attempts to use those cybernetic implants to rapidly dispatch the now-space-age Hooveys. The Hooveys counter with their own widget, extracting Rick's cybernetics in an instant, leaving him with open wounds over the cavities where his various augmentations were once housed.

In a Reddit thread in which users were invited to discuss the season premiere, topic creator BarnyardCruz suggested that the destruction of Rick's cybernetic implants might be a plot line moving forward in Season 5. At this point, of course, this is purely conjecture. Rick could ultimately reinstall his cybernetic implants in the time before Season 5, Episode 2, but "Rick and Morty" is certainly a show predisposed to embracing the Oulipian constraints of its prior storylines, so a recurring element may have been established.

In response, user gonzowandering proposed that, following the damage sustained by Rick's ship, the destruction of his implants could be part of a broader story arc chronicling Rick's decline. A reply by user _evil_overlord_ argued that even if that turns out to be the case, he'll likely be okay. As they rightly pointed out, Rick turned himself into a pickle and made it out alive, so odds are he can handle a season-long arc about his inevitable decline just as easily.