Rick and Morty season 5 surprised fans in the backstretch, as the series took on some unusually heavy (and canonized) storylines that a lot of fans have been waiting a long time to see. One of the final episodes of the season was "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort", a play on the Charlie Kaufman film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The episode saw Rick Sanchez resume his attempt to free the mind of his best friend Birdperson from brainwashing by The Galactic Federation. To do that, Rick has to venture inside of Birdperson's psyche and track his friend down from the inside out.
"Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort" was an unusually deep and introspective episode of Rick and Morty, that went into some more honest backstory for Rick Sanchez than we've arguably ever seen before. And because this is Rick and Morty we're talking about, the showrunners couldn't just coast on the emotional impact of Rick and Birdperson's revelatory reunion, they had to pull that feat off in the midst of the surrealist playground of the mind - a setting that has pushed filmmakers like Chris Nolan or (obviously) Charlie Kaufman to the creative brink. And as Rick and Morty showrunner and executive producer Scott Marder tells it, it was pretty much the same kind of massive headache for the creators of Rick and Morty to pull off:
"That episode was super challenging in so many ways," Marder told Interdimensional RSS. "A lot of us have timelines and maps in our head, but really forced everyone to put our heads together and really confirm that we agree upon points and timelines that all line up together for continuity...
On top of that, wanting to write up to everyone's expectation of that. That was an open ended thing that we haven't gone back to since [Season 4, Episode 10] so we wanted to make sure that we were able to touch on that. Rick doesn't have a lot of important relationships in his life, so it was important to hit that one. And then it was also fun for us, sci-fi wise."
After airing "Rickternal Friendshine of the Spotless Mort", Rick and Morty Season 5 ended with the mega-finale event "Rickamurai Jack", which basically brought all of the series' main continuity together for a game-changing development. Now the makers of Rick and Morty have a new challenge: moving the series forward in a brand new context:
We always kind of want to keep reinventing the wheel, breaking it, rebuilding it. Like how could we go through someone's mind in a way...the chase in Act 2 was such a fun way to get our clips, but have it be high octane action through that."
Rick and Morty Season 6 is now in production.