And so we come to the end of the first season of The Tick. For those who haven't heard, it has been renewed for season 2. Which is good, because the finale raised several questions that presumably Season 2 will start to answer. What is AEGiS doing, why is Walter so... superheroic, and was Terror really trying to save the world?

But let's recap the three episodes first.

"Risky Bismuth" - Mischa finally explains what Big Bismuth is, and the fact that it's poison to Superian. We start to learn that Tick's presence is toxic to Superian. Meanwhile, Terror prepares to relaunch himself after VLM kills Superian, and sends Lint and the new no-named Pyramid Gang to a radio station to set up a transmitter to attract VLM to the city. Overkill goes to the radio station and gets captured by Ms. Lint.


"The Beginning of the End" - Mischa explains why Tick's presence is toxic to Superian, and that Terror plans to use the moth suit to blow up VLM. Since VLM has a payload of Big Bismuth in his bloodstream, which would be bad for Superian although it's not explained exactly how if Superian isn't in the blast. Meanwhile, Ms. Lint tortures Overkill and we find out that they had a romantic past. Dot secretly listens in and rather cleverly uses water sprinklers to threaten Ms. Lint with a short circuit if she tries to use her electrical powers. Arthur and Tick go after VLM.

"The End of the Beginning (yada yada)" - Tick punches VLM's big toe, stopping him long enough for Arthur to fly up to VLM's face and activate the countdown Mischa put into the suit to un-shrink VLM. Superian shows up and acts like a jerk. After everything goes according to plan, Terror takes off in his T-Ship (it's the T in the BTC's building sign. He heads for the Flag Five memorial service, and Tick takes on the T-Ship while Arthur fights Terror's goons on the street. He gets an unseen assist from his stepfather Walter, who kicks some serious butt despite the fact that he's blinded by the hood on his head.


Arthur and Walter defeat the goons, Ms. Lint abandons Terror because he's engaged in super-villain schemes instead of robbing banks, and Tick takes out the T-Ship. Terror prepares to shoot Arthur, but Superian freezes him before Terror can explain that he was trying to save the world rather than control it. Dot manages to revive Overkill, who died under torture. Dangerboat secretly declares its love for Arthur. And an AEGIS drone watches everything and then flies off with a bunch of other drones.


So was The Tick mk. 3 successful? Well, it got renewed, so I guess Amazon Prime thinks so. As for me... well, it's The Tick. And it has Ben Edlund at the helm, sort of. So another version of The Tick is always welcome.

What hurt the first season? The weird-ass release schedule. First we had the pilot. Then we had five episodes. Then we had six more episodes. Going from 8/19//16 to 2/22/18. A year and a half is a pretty long time to drag 12 30-minute episodes out.

The pacing might have worked a little better if all 12 episodes had dropped at one time. A lot of season 1b seemed like padding and exposition. Mischa's explanation of Big Bismuth and Terror's plan took up most of episodes 10 and 11. I don't want or expect non-stop action, but not much happened here except a lot of planning and explanation of planning.


Superian was also pretty much a jerk throughout. I get that was the idea, but having Superian as an irredeemable jerk without any redeeming qualities (and who spent most of his time delirious because of Big Bismuth poisoning) made him really really annoying. Given that Terror's plan was to kill him, and Arthur and Tick were basically trying to save his life, it would have helped if Superian came across as worth saving. It's like if The Maltese Falcon was The Maltese Trashcan Filled With Rotting Banana Peels. Superian didn't have to be mysterious and exotic, but it would have helped if he was of some value.


What helped the first season? Pretty much everything else. Arthur quickly threw off his angst about his father dying and no one believing that Terror was alive. Yes, avenging his father's death and bring Terror to justice was still his motivation. But the mental illness issue got dropped pretty quickly. His sister Dot proved herself competent, and made a decent partner for Overkill. Yara Martinez as Ms. Lint didn't get a whole lot to do in the last three episodes. Her exasperation with Terror's megalomaniacal tendencies was hinted at, but it never seemed quite strong enough to justify her betrayal of him in the last episode.


The MVPs of the series were still Scott Speiser as Overkill and Jackie Earle Haley as Terror. Overkill continues to pound all the keys as a parody of Punisher. Who was already parodied in The Tick mk 1. animated as Big Shot.


He was pretty much the parody character of the series, as Superian rarely came across as the Superman clone that was presumably intended. Superian might have been a "realistic" version of Superman, i.e., a jerk. But he was almost too dickish. The best Tick parodies were the characters who emphasized their comic book counterparts' actual personalities. Sewer Urchin was useless outside of his environment, Die Fledermaus was obsessive about staying in the shadows (except when he wasn't), American Maid was super-patriotic and anti-feminist. A parody of Superman in the same vein would have played up his earnestness and Boy Scout nature.


Superian was more like Batmanuel from The Tick mk. 2: the opposite of Batman that the creative team was parodying. That's not to say Batmanuel was a dick: he wasn't. But they also made Batmanuel more of a central character in The Tick mk. 2. So we got to learn more about him. Superian we never saw much of other than that he was dick. Maybe they'll address that in season 2.

Jackie Earle Haley was good as always despite the weird makeup which I guess was supposed to make him look elderly and wrinkled. There were a few off notes: his takeover of BTC never amounted to much. But his drum solos and generally quirky nature meant the character was always entertaining if for no other reason than you never knew what to expect. As I recall, Haley is a comic book fan. If not, he should be. Haley seemed to grasp that he was playing a parody of the basic comic book villain and dug into the part.


That brings us to Peter Serafinowicz as Tick. Despite the show title, Tick was never quite the main character of the show. Serafinowiczhad the physique and the voice for the part. Tick's obsession with his identity got a little tiresome as he wandered around thinking he was a robot. But by the last couple of episodes he was reduced to punching things and providing weird dialogue. Serafinowicz was great with the weird Tick monologues, and when they just let him act weird in general. But they gave him an actual subplot. To borrow a phrase, Tick don't need no steenkin' subplots.


And the newest The Tick gave us Townsend Coleman as Midnight, and Tinfoil Kevin, and Francois Chau as Walter, and Alan Tudyk as Dangerboat, I wouldn't say that the show was made on a low budget: the few big action sequences we got were good, and VLM looked impressive enough. But clearly the creative team wasn't going for moonscaping , Chairface Chippendale, anti-Ticks, and sewer monsters, either. They wanted a smaller, more intimate Tick series, and that's what we got.

So I'm looking forward to Season 2. Hopefully they'll keep Haley on as Terror, explain Walter's secret, and give Tick a bit more to do.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
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