With the long-awaited rest of Rick and Morty Season 3 slated to kick off on July 30, there’s no better time to revisit the stories we can expect in Episode 2 and beyond. There were a few teases to come out of San Diego Comic-Con 2017 and an extensive trailer that came out on June 30, but many of the stories remain unclear.
The Season 3 premiere — “The Rickshank Rickdemption” — on April 1 included a lot of revelations about this season’s ongoing plot: Rick is out of prison, Earth is back to normal following occupation by the Galactic Federation, and Morty’s parents are getting a divorce. And though Rick himself promised that his new character arc was all about the hunt for McDonald’s enigmatic Mulan Szechuan dipping sauce, the show’s creators confirmed that the obsession with the sauce was just a joke.
Based on what we know so far — especially what’s been shown via trailers — here are eight storylines we can expect in Season 3:
1. “Rickmancing the Stone,” aka The Mad Max Episode
We’ve long known that Season 3, Episode 2 would be titled “Rickmancing the Stone” and at least vaguely reference Romancing the Stone (1984), which is already an Indiana Jones knock-off. But in the above Design Sneak Peak video, co-creator Dan Harmon confirms that Episode 2 is also the previously teased Mad Max-style episode that’s set in “a diesel-powered vehicular field of death and nihilism.”
There are tons of grungy vehicles, mohawks, BDSM outfits, and even a sawed-off, double-barrel shotgun that Summer uses to mercy-kill somebody.
The Season 3 trailer that debuted June 29 showed a lot of footage from this episode already. It seems like Rick steals a large green crystal from the raiders, which leads to an extended chase sequence.
Chances are, this is the titular “Stone” referenced in the episode’s title. Based on the color, it’s possible that this is the same type of bright-green rock that powers Rick’s Portal Gun, but that’s purely conjecture.
Eventually, Rick and Morty learn to play nice and actually share a meal with the raiders.
2. The Pickle Rick Episode
The story’s been called a survivalist tale akin to 127 Hours, and in it, Rick will somehow become a pickle and struggle to survive without his usual arsenal of resources.
Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley described the episode with the following:
He turns himself into a pickle, and then he sort of gets trapped, and he ends up involved in a situation … One twist leads to another, and he’s totally screwed. And he doesn’t have the same resources that he usually has access to. He’s a pickle, so he’s not himself. He can’t reach into his lab coat and pull out his portal gun or any of his other infinite inventions he has hidden in there, and yet he’s in the most mundane of circumstances. He’s just on Earth, a few hundred feet from the house … so he has to figure out how to get himself out of that with really basic ingenuity.
That “really basic ingenuity” involves Rick fending off an army of wild rats by setting traps and building some mecha armor out of trash and rat body parts. When he does make it back to the surface world, he busts right out of a toilet and then has to deal with generic-looking armed agents. Even when he’s only inches tall, Rick is somehow still able to blow them all up.
The B-plot of “Pickle Rick” — based on Morty’s outfit — will most likely show Morty, Summer, and Beth in therapy with a Dr. Wong. They’ll have a brief but hilarious encounter with Mr. Goldenfold in the waiting room.
3. Adventure With the Avengers Knock-offs: The Vindicators
When a purple crystal in Rick’s workshop glows and rings, Morty excitedly says, “We’re being called to assemble by the Vindicators!” Rick refuses to answer “a literal call to adventure.” He wants Morty to let it go to voicemail, but it seems they’ll answer the call nonetheless — or at least Morty will.
In a brief shot from the Season 3 trailer, we see Morty with a colorful team of weirdo superheroes navigating through a literally hellish landscape. They encounter some kind of burly gladiator strung up from the ceiling. The Vindicators includes a guy with glowing chains and a steel I-beam, a purple woman akin to Vision, a leader with robotic armor (Star-Lord?), some kind of gator with tech enhancements, and a creepy sludge monster thing.
Rick is conspicuously absent, but Morty gets a sweet Vindicators-branded vest with a “V” logo deeply reminiscent of the “A” logo for Avengers.
4. Medieval Times With a Morty Hulk Arm
Somewhere along the way in Season 3, Morty’s left arm will become the size and strength of the Incredible Hulk while he and Rick are in what looks like Medieval times. Rick farts around with some potions while Morty’s arm — which apparently has a mind of its own — chokes out some poor man in a bathtub.
5. Rick and Jerry Get Some Quality Bonding Time
It’s hard to imagine Rick willingly spending time with Jerry Smith considering the utter disdain he has for his son-in-law. All the same, Rick and Jerry will spend some time together this season at some kind of amusement park where they ride a roller coaster together … unless it’s not really Rick.
If you look closely at the “Rick” riding the roller coaster, you might notice the bloody hole in his shirt — which the above Cyborg Rick also as. Could the hilarious explanation be that this Cyborg Rick isn’t Rick at all, and the imposter is being nice to Jerry for more sinister reasons?
The park itself is seemingly located atop a plateau in an alien-looking forest. In a separate shot, Jerry is tied down as a monstrous beast runs towards him. These are all likely part of the same episode, but it’s clear Jerry will still have his fair share of screentime in Season 3.
6. Summer Teams Up With Cyborg Summer
Summer’s steadily becoming more of a badass this season, especially considering her impending team-up with a buff cyborg version of herself from another dimension. It’s unclear how or even if Cyborg Summer might relate to the Cyborg Rick from the storyline with Jerry. Either way, something is definitely up with Rick in this episode.
Rick has consistently shown nothing but disdain for any and all Gromflomites, the bug-like alien race at the head of the Galactic Federation. The one exception to this was the delightfully cheery assassin Krombopulos Michael, so why would Rick stand and chat with a Gromflomite here? All signs point to an alternate and perhaps evil Rick, unless this alien is a friendly civilian.
If Summer does indeed get her own solo adventure with an alternate version of herself, this could be the B-plot to another episode.
7. Regular Rick and Morty vs. Swampy, Irradiated Rick and Morty
At the very end of the Season 3 trailer, Rick and Morty stand in what looks like an irradiated swamp. Rick boasts, “It takes more than that to kill Rick and Morty!” Right on cue, a handful of Cronenberg-esque mutated swamp monsters lurch towards them. “But this might do it,” Rick admits, before urging Morty to run.
In separate shots from the trailer, both Rick and Morty fight irradiated versions of themselves. Rick and Swampy Rick fist-fight in the backyard before Swampy Rick throws Rick right through the sliding glass door and into the living room while Summer watches TV.
In Morty’s more destructive battle with himself, the two of them fight in the cockpit to Rick’s ship, crashing it through the Smith house and into the living room.
8. Honey, I Blew Up the Summer
Rick’s nowhere to be seen when Morty and Beth mess around with a device called the MORPHIZER-XE. It’s unclear what they were trying to do, but it turns Summer into a veritable giant, destroying the garage in the process.
All the commotion attracts the attention of their neighbor Gene: “Everything okay here?” Morty shouts, “Mind your own goddamned business Gene!”
Gene is voiced by Tom Kenny, who’s famous for voicing SpongeBob Squarepants and has previously voiced characters on Rick and Morty like King Jellybean and Squanchy.
Judging from the absence of Rick, it’s entirely possible that this could be the B-plot to Pickle Rick’s A-plot.
Rick and Morty Season 2 continues on Sunday, July 30 at 11:30 p.m. Eastern on Adult Swim with “Rickmancing the Stone,” and eight mor episodes will follow.