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Unhinged inventor Rick Sanchez cemented his deep-seated hatred for the time travel genre in the latest season of Rick and Morty. When the hit cartoon comedy returns to Adult Swim and Netflix, the fifth instalment could finally delve into his past to explain one of his biggest grievances.
The Vat of Acid Episode in season four not only won Rick and Morty its second Emmy award, it also established one of Rick Sanchez’s (played by Justin Roiland) most important character traits.
After being pleaded by his whiny grandson Morty (also Roiland), Rick caves in and constructs a device which will allow him to travel back through time to redo past mistakes.
However, the invention was revealed to be part of an elaborate scheme to take revenge on his own grandson after Morty berated one of Rick’s ludicrous plans at the start of the episode.
Before making the do-over device, Rick reaffirms his infamous hatred of all things time travel.
Despite originating as a parody of Back to the Future’s Doc Brown and Marty McFly, showrunners Dan Harmon and Roiland avoid the popular sci-fi trope as much as possible.
Rick often leans on the fourth wall to explain to Morty (and the audience) he finds the plot device the lazy work of hack writers with no imagination.
In the first part of season four, in fact, the pair embark on a rare time travel adventure on a planet ruled by snakes, which served as a ruthless parody of everything from Doctor Who to The Terminator.
Although most fans accept Rick’s reasoning as a throwaway explanation for the series’ dimension-hopping premise, others are certain his hatred goes deeper.
Only brief moments of Rick’s past have been glimpsed so far, but one viewer took to Reddit to propose his resentment of time travel lies somewhere within his mysterious origin story.
Redditor Partytimer178 posted: “I started thinking it had something to do with his wife, Beth’s mother, who we barely know much about.”
The first season began with Rick finally reconciling with his daughter, Beth (Sarah Chalke), after several years of absence.
While nothing is revealed of Beth’s mother initially, a hypothetical version of Rick’s wife named Diane (Kari Wahlgren) briefly appears in implanted memories during the opening of season three.
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However, these memories are soon revealed to be fabricated in order for Rick to escape from the simulated prison within his own mind.
Diane is probably just a misdirect, but Beth has to have a mother somewhere.
This thoughtful fan went on, and suggested Rick and his wife’s tumultuous separation could be the driving force behind the scientist’s reluctance to mess with time.
They continued: “I was thinking maybe she was a scientist too, and they were working on something like that. But he started to get too much into it and she had to stop.”
“So then they started to fight and he left but without her work he couldn’t finish it and decided to go with the interdimensional stuff.”
Rick may have the power to hop between parallel dimensions at his fingertips, but without his equally brilliant wife’s research time travel may have, until recently, proven too difficult to master.
This year’s spectacular season finale finally answered a number of overarching questions, so Rick and Morty fans could get the insight into Rick’s past they’ve been looking for all these years when the show returns.
Rick and Morty Season 4, Part 1 is available to stream on Netflix.
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