The season four premiere of Rick and Morty arrived this past Sunday, almost exactly two years since the season three finale. With the new episode came a bevy of crazy new ideas and bananas developments for the mythology of Rick and Morty, one of which has changed the status quo of the series' main storytelling device in a major way. Since the series began in 2013, most of the episodes have had a pretty similar set up: Rick has a task or mission or adventure in mind, and he brings Morty along for help. Now though, there's a wrinkle in that.
Revealed early on in the episode (available for free to watch online), we learn that the setup from the season three finale of Rick and Morty is still in play. As Rick prepares to leave the house to retrieve his death crystals from Forbodulon Prime with Morty in tow, Jerry and Beth stop him with his daughter saying: “Dad, there's a way we do this now.” Reluctantly, Rick grits his teeth and formally asks Morty if he will join him on the adventure.
As they kick-start their adventure to grab Death Crystals, Rick makes his disdain for this new “rule” very clear by acting even more reckless than usual. This development in Rick and Morty's relationship comes right from the fallout of the show's third season. At the end of that season, the Smith family was united together with Beth even telling Rick at the time: “In many ways, things will be like season 1 but more streamlined.” It's unclear how long this change will remain in effect for the series, but for now it's the new normal for Rick and Morty, so much so that it's even the same in the Wasp Universe that Rick visits.
Rick and Morty Season 4 will be 10 episodes in length, much like all of the other seasons of the show, save for the first (11 episodes). However, the release schedule of Season 4 will me much different than in years past. This time around, the season will be split into two halves.
There will only be five new episodes of Rick and Morty released in 2019, including Sunday night's premiere. Another five episodes, the second half of the season, will be released in 2020. While that's a little disappointing for those who wanted a ton of new Rick and Morty at once, it will at least keep the show from once again disappearing for years on end.
The next episode of Rick and Morty will air on Sunday, November 17 at 11:30 pm ET, it's titled "The Old Man and the Seat," a parody of the Ernest Hemingway novel.