A crucial part of the Rick and Morty alchemy is composer Ryan Elder, who develops the Adult Swim cartoon's compelling score and weird sci-fi sounds. The Season 4 finale aired on May 31, so has Elder begun work on Season 5 yet? The answer could be a clue as to when we might see Morty, Rick, and the rest of the family return for more adventures.
"I haven't seen anything for Season 5 yet, although I'm told I will soon," Elder tells Inverse. "But it seems like ... both Beths are going to be around?"
“It seems like ... both Beths are going to be around.”
The Season 4 finale, titled "Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri," introduced a second version of Rick's daughter Beth Smith, following up on a Season 3 plotline where Rick offered to clone Beth so she could go out and explore the universe while a clone stayed behind to take care of the family. But which Beth is a clone and which is the original?
We spoke with Elder about "Don't Look Back," the mournful track he produced in collaboration with Kotomi to play over the final moments of Season 4. In the season finale's closing moments, Rick watches his own deleted memory of cloning Beth, who told Rick to choose where to send the clone. He couldn't bear it, so he shuffled them in a way that means we'll never know who's who. Now, the show has to contend with two Beths.
Even though the Star Wars-style rebel Beth could very easily return to her spacefaring ways, leaving the other Beth to stick around as a horse surgeon and mother, the two could also swap places if they wanted — or they could both stick around on Earth or both go off on an intergalactic adventure. Elder acknowledges that any of these scenarios are possible, but because he hasn't seen anything, he doesn't know for sure.
Based on Elder's Season 5 progress, or lack thereof, when might we see more Rick and Morty?
Elder told Inverse in October 2018 that he was "not involved at all yet" involved in Season 4 production but expected his involvement to begin "soon." Season 4 premiered just over a year later on November 10, 2019.
"I’m working on it all the way up until right before it airs, usually," Elder said at the time. "They usually get me involved kind of in the middle." If we're still not at that point as of June 2020, that doesn't bode well for more episodes anytime soon.
Rick and Morty director Erica Hayes also told Inverse in November 2019 that most episodes take between nine and 12 months to complete from ideation to finished animation. If Elder does begin composing for episodes in the middle of the overall creative process, and he hasn't yet on Season 5, then we're at least six months away from even the first episodes being complete.
In other words, there's almost no chance that Rick and Morty Season 5 will begin airing this year, but the best-case scenario is that we might get a Christmas Special.
Rick and Morty Season 5 is confirmed with no release date.