The ‘Rick And Morty’ Season 5 Premiere Offered A Clue To One Of The Show’s Biggest Unanswered Questions

Ahead of the Rick and Morty season five premiere, co-creator Dan Harmon gave an interview with Decider about whether this season will dive into Rick Sanchez’s mostly mysterious back story. “I can’t remember if there will be this season because we are sometimes working on three seasons at once. But it’s coming. I know that,” he replied. Fans of the Adult Swim series got the first hint of canon in last night’s episode.

In “Mort Dinner Rick Andre,” Rick “desecrates the sacred treaty” he has with his ocean-dwelling nemesis, Mr. Nimbus, so he begrudgingly invites Jerry and Beth’s dream threesome partner (I am respectfully skipping the B-plot) over for dinner to restore peace. The two do not get along, as nemeses are wont to do, with Rick calling Mr. Nimbus a “f*cking joke” and an “embarrassment.” Mr. Nimbus fires back, “Or maybe you hate me because I am the only man to see how far you have fallen. I used to fear you. Respect you. Now all that’s left is pity for a sad, drunk shell of a man too afraid to see how alone he truly is. If Diane were alive today, what would she think…” This triggers something in Rick, who dismisses the sea creature’s attempt to “establish canonical backstory.” It’s also one of the show’s biggest questions: is Diane real?

Diane is Rick’s ex-wife and Beth’s mother who was first mentioned and seen in season three’s “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” where she appears in a “sci-fi noises” flashback — ands ends up getting blown up with baby Beth. But it turns out the painful memory was Rick pulling a fast one on Galactic Federation agent Cornvelious Daniel. The vision of Diane was a “totally fabricated origin story.” Does that mean there is no Diane? The season four finale, “Star Mort Rickturn of the Jerri,” complicates things because we see a woman from behind who has the same character design as the Diane in “The Rickshank Rickdemption,” but it’s also an episode about Beth clones, so…

There are other scattered references to Diane throughout the series (in the pilot, Rick compliments Beth on her eggs and tells her “I wish your mother was here to eat them,” causing her to tear up), but it’s “Mort Dinner Rick Andre” that offers the best indication yet of whether she’s real. I choose to believe she is, because as Rick’s mortal nemesis, Mr. Nimbus is likely to know more about him, including his triggers, than most. Rick wouldn’t react with so furiously if she never existed. Or it could be Harmon and Justin Roiland f*cking with us. Either way, fans of the show are talking about it.

You can watch the season five premiere below.