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Rick And Morty Season 6 Episode 1 Finally Explains What Happened To The Original Beth And Summer

Relatively early on in its run, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon's hit animated comedy "Rick and Morty" introduces the idea that the show takes place in an a world comprised of an infinite number of possible universes. Rick (voiced by Roiland), of course, can freely travel between universes with his signature portal gun. Each member of the Smith family that's introduced in the series' pilot, then, is not the only incarnation of their character, but merely one of infinite possible variations of the same individual.

In a Season 1, Episode 6 moment that forever ingrains multiverse jumping into the "Rick and Morty" story, Rick and Morty leave the universe in which they begin the series after it's overcome by a virus that mutates its inhabitants in a manner reminiscent of a David Cronenberg film. They land in a functionally identical universe just after the death of its Rick and Morty, allowing the original duo to replace their dead counterparts. The series from that point on takes place in an entirely new universe full of effectively indistinguishable but technically distinct inhabitants from those of the series' start. Morty and that universe's Summer (Spencer Grammer) then visit Morty's original universe briefly in the Season 3 premiere.

For the first time since that episode, "Rick and Morty" Season 6, Episode 1 reveals just what happened to the versions of Beth (Sarah Chalke) and Summer from the show's first six episodes after their brief Season 3 appearance.

The original Beth and Summer are dead

Shortly after the start of "Rick and Morty" Season 6, Episode 1, Rick triggers a protocol that sends every multiverse traveler back to their home universe. This means that Morty returns to the Cronenberg universe from the show's first six episodes.

There, he runs into his father Jerry (Chris Parnell), who reveals that the versions of Beth and Summer from that first string of episodes are dead. When viewers last saw this universe's Jerry, Beth, and Summer, a couple of multiverse Ricks appeared and froze the three of them in ice. Jerry explains to Morty in the Season 6 premiere that a mutant licked each of them free, but Beth and Summer died soon after.

In an interview with ComicBook.com about the show's approach to its multiverse, Justin Roiland highlighted the original version of Jerry as an example of why he finds writing a multiverse story fun. "We were able to have characters... like... the Cronenberg version of Jerry. It's like, he's just a different person. He's not the same at all. And it's sort of fun that we got to do that and still go back to what the show is, you know?" he said.

Of course, Season 6, Episode 1 is now likely the last viewers will see of these versions of Summer and Beth — and Jerry too, as revealed in a post-credits scene — given their inability to survive the Cronenberg universe's horrors.