(SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Solaricks,” the Season 6 premiere of “Rick and Morty.”)

“Rick and Morty” kicked off its sixth season with an even bigger reveal than it dropped in its fifth season finale: Rick Sanchez is not Morty’s grandfather — at least this Rick (C-137) is not this Morty’s grandfather.

Due to an accidental “reset” in portal travelers on the Season 6 opener, “Solaricks,” rather than Rick’s intended reset of port travel after the collapse of the Citadel and Evil Morty’s escape through the Central Finite Curve blew it all to hell in the Season 5 finale, Rick, Morty and Jerry were each pulled back into their original worlds/realities.

It was through Rick, Morty and Jerry’s return to places we’ve seen on previous seasons of “Rick and Morty” — Rick to his heartbreaking origins, Morty to Cronenberg World and Jerry to where they got him from in his Season 2 hell — that viewers learn that our Morty is actually the grandson of the Rick who killed our Rick’s wife Diane and daughter Beth.

Rick Prime found that murderous Rick’s world, which Murderer Rick had abandoned, where an adult Beth was alive and lived with her husband Jerry, and children Morty (Morty Prime) and Summer. Rick Prime and Morty Prime have been together ever since, though they did abandon Murder Rick’s world for an exact replica when it was Cronenberg-ed half way through “Rick and Morty” Season 1.

Here, Dan Harmon, who co-created “Rick and Morty” with Justin Roiland, breaks down the Season 6 premiere’s big reveal and how it came about.

With this premiere episode taking our Rick, Morty and Jerry back to each of their original worlds/realities, how did you keep it straight where each one came from in the first place and what would have happened to their respective realities while they’ve been gone?

Dan Harmon: Well, a lot of times I’m very much at the mercy of younger writers who are actually fans of the show, and I trust them to keep track better than I can. But we’ll have lots of confusing conversations and it was very late in the game when I realized, oh, based on the conversation we’re having right now, it almost sounds like Cronenberg World may, in fact, have been the home of the Original Rick that we’re talking about, which means that he’s actually Morty’s grandfather. And we were a good halfway through writing this story when I realized that. But it’s a committee thing keeping track of this stuff. I wouldn’t trust one person to do it.

How did you decide the Season 6 premiere was the time to finally give the fleshed out story of Rick’s past and Diane’s death?

From a behind-the-scenes perspective, Season 5 was very much a dark point for our show. We lost our father figure, Mike Mendel, who was the master over at “The Simpsons,” and then he was the reason why “Rick and Morty,” in spite of its kind of punk rock-ness, was still able to compete in an adult business. It’s very tricky, because people respected him so much. He was very much the dad to everybody in that office and then he was gone, and no one, not even him, could have predicted it. On screen then, there was this sort of willful attempt to be ordinary, the way you might grieve by going shopping, because you’re just like, I’m just gonna act normal. And then your behavior can be so frenetic and compulsive that people are like, what is wrong with that person? 

Well, their grandpa died and they’re going to Bed, Bath & Beyond because they don’t want to deal with it and they’re sorting those candles in kind of a crazy way. That’s the way I look at Season 5. And we did amazing work, but as far as the embrace of “Rick and Morty” as this massive franchise with a natural canon and serialization to it, that spoke of drama to me on an emotional level, and in the midst of all this tumult, I think there was an unconscious desire to avoid that. So the long answer to your question is then, going into Season 6, when there was a little bit more stability, a little feeling of getting to start now, again, in a post-Mendel world, I think the first thing that came up was, are we going to tell an overarching story here about Rick’s one-armed man and his “Fugitive” kind of thing? That’s why it became time to do that. Also, you do a huge cliffhanger at the end of Season 5, that’s fandom faith bought on credit and you’ve got to pay that bill. So that means you’re going deep.

Speaking of the Season 5 finale cliffhanger — have we seen the last of Evil Morty?

You will definitely be seeing him again. I caution that we may not be seeing him soon. He’s an easy guy to forget about because he kind of took care of himself. He just wanted to get beyond the Central Finite Curve (Laughs). But we’ve written Season 7 and we’re working on Season 8 right now — that’s the only way for us to be able to stay on schedule — so I can say with 100% certainty that Evil Morty is coming back, but I can’t give a schedule on that.