Arthur! er The Tick! Season 2 – Review

tick-arthurLast September I watched and reviewed The Tick on Amazon. Season 2 just dropped, and I just finished watching it. Just like the 1st season, season 2 is just 6 episodes long, and each episode is about 30 minutes. So once again another short season. It picks up right where season 1 leaves off. Arthur has been captured by The Terror, the Tick spends a few minutes jumping around the city yelling Arthur! trying to find him. This includes a trip back to a convenience store that they keep visiting throughout both seasons. A store about as big as your typical 7-11 and screaming for Arthur when he can clearly see he’s not there.

Soon after we go back to the Terror’s lair, where he is playing the drums. No seriously, he’s playing the drums. If you’re confused you aren’t alone, even Ms. Lint and his henchmen are confused. Alexa makes a reappearance (Terror tells it to play music, then to shut up. Yay more product placement!) Some strange contrivances happen, Arthur escapes with a tiny scientist cradled in his arms like a baby and the plot moves on.

I won’t go on much further about the plot, not because of spoilers. But hey, spoilers! But because there isn’t much point, season 2 does a pretty good job of wrapping up season 1. The arc of the story is clearly about Arthur. I didn’t review season 1 very well, and after re-reading my review, yeah I stand by it. Season 2 is an improvement, I laughed a bit more this time around and actually looked forward to watching it and was disappointed that it was only 6 short episodes again. Hopefully season 3 will remedy this.

Towards the end of season 1 we see Arthur and The Tick rescue a bus full of people, this is the start of Arthur moving to become a superhero. Season 2 fulfills that promise. In it, Arthur goes back delaying his escape from The Terror to save a tiny scientist. He saves the scientist (I forget his name and don’t feel like looking it up) again from his government. The VLM (Very Large Man) shows up and actually makes some sort of sense in the story. Season 1 didn’t really have a reason for this guy to be there. Arthur is instrumental in saving the VLM, and even Superman….er Superion!

Overkill is back mostly aside Arthurs sister Dot. Overkill is actually wonderfully overplayed by Sean Speiser. I found myself enjoying his part and looking forward to it. From his interactions with Ms. Lint (A former lovers quarrel of sorts broken up by Dot telling them they have some serious issues they need to work out. But not in couples therapy.) To him confronting his old teammate Midnight (talking dog that was part of the flag five) I never thought I’d enjoy seeing a man fighting a dog, but there it is. (Note, in my season 1 review, I kept referring to the superhero team The Terror kills as the Fab Five. It’s actually the Flag Five, I’m not really sure that’s an improvement.)

Dangerboat also returns and has a larger part. Early in the season he informs The Tick that he knows he’s a boat but that he identifies as a male boat. And that he is in love with Arthur. So I take back my Jarvis comment. In the MCU Jarvis becomes The Vision and does end up with a romantic relationship with Scarlett Witch, but he needed an Infinity Stone to do that. Dangerboat can do it all on his own. Also he apparently is great at massages in the shower, which is actually as creepy as it sounds. And hats off once again to Alan Tudyk, the voice of Dangerboat for making these scenes enjoyable.

 

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I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.

 

The season culminates in a callback to Arthurs story. The Terror makes his return flying around the city in a giant T ship. Because sure, why not. I know its a trope and they’re making fun of it, but yeah, giant T ship. I did find it funny when the escape pod is hijacked before The Terror can use it and a little t, seriously it’s a lowercase t, jets off. It was also kind of satisfying to watch Ms. Lint give The Terror the bird. She’s a much more fascinating character and I look forward to more of her in the future.

When The Tick manages to bring the T ship down, it very nearly falls on a man who is too dumbstruck to move. He’s saved by Arthur and right in more or less the same place where his father was killed. It was predictable, but still a nice touch and closes the circle for Arthur.

We see Arthur continuing his transformation into a hero when he confronts The Terror. And when The Terror points a gun right at Arthurs face, we get to hear Arthur muter with his eyes closed, “Not in the face. Not in the face.” finally giving us Arthurs battle cry. (The Tick does hold up a spoon looking at it longingly and mutters spoon. But he never yells it out, and never mentions it again. I was looking forward to hearing him cry out Spoooooon! Maybe next season.) Ultimately Arthur opens his eyes and stares The Terror down, telling him that it doesn’t matter what he does.

Season 2 of The Tick does a nice job of wrapping it up. There’s more to see. Dot and Overkill, Ms. Lint has escaped, an ominous message from Midnight and even Arthurs annoying stepdad is apparently harboring some secret. Things to look forward to in seasons 3 and 4 I suppose. Season 2 isn’t so much a new season, as it is a continuation and wrap up of season 1. I think it’d be more accurate to describe it as season 1.5. I still feel like it’s not quite managing to live up to the idea of The Tick as a parody of the superhero genre, trying to be both funny and serious while parodying and honoring the superhero and comic book origins. It’s possible to do it (Once again see Thor: Ragnarok) but The Tick isn’t quite there.

I enjoyed season 1.5 here better than the first, and I find myself looking forward to season 3. I hope for more Overkill and Dot, and kinda want to see whats up with Arthurs stepdad. Also Dangerboat, cause Alan Tudyk is awesome.

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