This weekend, Adult Swim's latest promo for Rick and Morty Season 4 coincided with "Alien day" — the unofficial holiday dedicated to Ridley Scott's Alien franchise. The timing was perfect, as one of Rick and Morty's upcoming new episodes is titled "Promortyus" — presumably a play on the Alien prequel Prometheus. A new still image from Season 4 was published by IGN, and it seemed to come from that episode.
"Alien day" is a promotional holiday established by 20th Century Fox and Dark Horse Comics back in 2009. Every year, it falls on April 26 because of the moon on which Aliens is set — LV-426. This time around, the sci-fi genre's irreverent grandfather-grandson duo Rick and Morty got in on the fun with a new still from an upcoming episode. It showed the two characters with tentacled monsters gripping their faces, both carrying what looked like over-sized alien eggs through some kind of teeming space setting.
It was not much of a leap for fans to associate these face masks with the Alien franchise's face-huggers, and the eggs with the larval state of a zenomorph. In addition, many connected this with the recently-announced episode title "Promortyus," which will air on May 10.
This still may come from "Promortyus," but it may just as easily not. Rick and Morty's parody episode titles do not always denote a one-to-one relation their subject matter, and the series could just as easily sneak the face-huggers into another episode to throw fans off. The midseason premiere is titled "Never Ricking Morty."
Fans have already seen Rick and Morty's version of these parasites once before. Adult Swim released a trailer for the second half of Season 4, which included a scene where Rick actually tried to convince Morty to put the alien on his face. However, the mad scientist's exact words were: "alright Morty, put this back on your face," perhaps hinting that the aliens did get the drop on them before they could react.
"I'm not putting that back on my face!" Morty shrieked at his grandfather. Rick responded: "relax, it's dead," just as the alien began twitching again. Rick quickly shot it with some kind of sci-fi gun, then said: "Okay, now it's dead."
Another scene that may have been related showed Rick and Morty flying in their makeshift spaceship, with swarms of face-hugger like aliens clinging to the outside. Beyond that, the trailer is too chaotic to draw many plot-specific conclusions.
Rick and Morty Season 4 returns on Sunday, May 3 at 11:30 p.m. ET on Adult Swim.