The Season 5 trailer, released Tuesday, hints at a full-on Voltron parody, some kind of Hellraiser BDSM dungeon-crawling, and a “strange horny ocean man.” But one scene about 30 seconds in could be the setup for another foray into Interdimensional Cable, an anthological clip show episode format where Morty and Rick watch TV shows and commercials from other dimensions. You know, stuff like ice cream being served out of butts and children murdering cereal mascots.
Over on the Rick and Morty subreddit, redditor u/robinsons_lsd posted a still shot from the Season 5 trailer with a simple title that says it all: “INTERDIMENSIONAL CABLE 3?????” It’s possible, even probable, but there’s a chance this could be a fakeout or the opening scene to an episode that doesn’t really go anywhere.
Here’s a look at the full clip:
The Interdimensional Cable box is prominently placed while Morty and Rick settle in with some popcorn to watch something. Rick activates the house’s defense shielding, but Jerry is locked outside with a purple praying mantis kaiju. So is that the premise of an entire episode?
Comments on the Reddit post are mixed, ranging from enthusiastic to dismayed. One user was quick to point out that Interdimensional Cable is sort of the status quo whenever any member of the Smith family watches TV. “That's basically their regular cable box at this point,” they wrote. “Pretty much any scene with them watching TV now is weird ID stuff. Might just be a continuity thing.”
In Season 4, Episode 4: “Claw and Hoarder: Special Ricktim's Morty” — which you might remember as the “Morty gets a dragon” episode — Summer watches a show call Ass. “It's like Bones but they solve ass crimes,” she explains. Ass could be a “real” TV show in the world of Rick and Morty, but the more common assumption is that this is an Interdimensional Cable TV show from a reality where “ass crimes” are a thing. That might invalidate this new theory.
In the new clip, however, the cable box does take up a prominent place in the framing of the shot. Is that itself a big clue?
It sure seems like every time a character watches television on Rick and Morty in random scenes like this, they’re watching Interdimensional shows. Maybe it’s the status quo and Rick and Morty won’t ever devote an entire episode to this bit again.
Interdimensional Cable began back in Season 1 with “Rixty Minutes,” when Rick hijacks the family cable box to play TV from weird alternate realities. Then in Season 2, Jerry is hospitalized during “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate” while the family watches different but equally as bizarre programming in the waiting area.
The approach of creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland has been to include a “somewhat anthological episode” every single season, but they mixed things up in more recent seasons.
Season 3 and Season 4 eschewed the format to instead focus on Morty’s Mind Blowers and the Story Train. In the former, we saw memories that had been removed from Morty’s brain. In the latter, it was a collection of potential Rick and Morty adventures. The Story-Lord trapped the duo inside a literal anthology to harness their narrative potential energy. After a brain-melting highbrow concept like that, maybe the next anthology could stand to be a bit more grounded.
A return to Interdimensional Cable would be a refreshing change of pace for Season 5.
Back in February 2019, Roiland teased “Idc3 (maybe)” — Interdimensional Cable 3 — via Instagram. In retrospect, he was referring to "Never Ricking Morty” and the Story Train concept instead. But if Interdimensional Cable is still on his mind, that increases the odds that the show might revisit the concept in a future episode.
Whether it’s Interdimensional Cable or something else, fans can safely expect something like it in Season 5.
Let’s just hope Jerry survives this kaiju attack.
Rick and Morty Season 5 premieres June 20, 2021.