The Tick won over audience members when it first premiered on Amazon Prime‘s video streaming service with its unique, meta-quirky, satirical—yet somewhat grounded—take on the golden age of superheroes. While the second half of the season still holds the laughs, sadly it’s plot and characters can become frustrating and predictable.
When it comes to the plot of the season, The Terror is back and he’s planning something big. That big plan is…well it’s a mess. As a character says in the show, “It’s the stupidest plan I’ve ever heard.” It’s all haphazardly strung together and executed. Now some of it works, in the silly self-awareness way that The Tick excels at. At the same time, the convoluted and extremely silly plot can do more harm than comedic good. Even the characters seem to get lost in what’s going on, as they spend plenty of time standing around in a room trying to figure everything out. Even then, once you get everything laid out for you, the events that follow are fairly predictable.
As was the case with the first half, Arthur (Griffin Newman) is still very much the focus of the story. He (and his sister) is one of the most grounded characters in a world surrounded by exaggerated and colorful personalities. While Arthur can still be a handful to watch (as I pointed out in my first review), he is easily the most relatable of the cast. It’s not hard to connect to his struggles, and the emotional turmoil that he is trudging through. The season is able to close and deliver a satisfying arc for Arthur, and his character. Now if only the show could give him a satisfying costume.
When it comes to the titular character in The Tick, the show stumbles. Peter Serafinowicz is still wonderful in the role, and his aloof oblivious humor holds strong. It’s how these final six episodes handle the character that becomes questionable. The focus starts to land on the many other cast members, leaving The Tick in the background of his own show. His development stays relatively stationary, and even his brief identity crisis passes without much of an impact. There were times that I found myself far more interested in the other cast members than The Tick, who far too often served only to deliver one-liners, then do anything of note. While his behavior hasn’t changed from the first half of the season, where it worked quite well, it hit a stagnant point in these final episodes. Where as everyone else had development, growth, and change throughout, The Tick remained unchanged.
Jackie Earle Haley as The Terror does gets more time to shine here. He clearly has fun in the role, and it’s great to actually see the Terror at play. His crazy villainous persona is a joy to watch, especially in the later episodes. I do wish that we got to see more of our heroes interacting with him, because at the end of the day, you don’t get too much. As great as The Terror was though, I do feel that he was overshadowed by the fantastic Ms. Lint.
I think that overall Ms. Lint made a bigger impression on me than The Terror did. Yara Martinez again does a fantastic job, and she brings a great presence and pazzaz to the character. As the right-hand to The Terror, she becomes a power player in the criminal world, and a feared roadblock to Arthur and company. To make things even more interesting, the show reveals that she has a complicated past with one of our heroes.
Along with Ms. Lint, the pairing of Dot (Valorie Curry) and Overkill (Scott Speiser)—and both of them as characters—became some of my favorite aspects of these new episodes. Both characters get substantial meat added to their metaphorical bones. Dot wants to prove that she can take care of herself, and that she has plenty to add in the struggle against The Terror. This brings her closer to Overkill, and she starts to feel that he and his intense crusade against The Terror is her way in. Especially since Arthur wants her as far away from the trouble as possible. When it comes to Overkill, on top of his story with Dot, some interesting twists come to light that make his character even stronger.
A nice surprise with Part 2 is that we are given more time with heroes and people that we only got fleeting moments with before. Both Superion and Midnight play key roles in the season’s convoluted plot, Tinfoil Kevin helps out the gang, and we even get some time with The Very Large Man. Another person we get introduced to is Doctor Karamazov, who provides some fun gags to the proceedings—even if he does drag in some of the plot convolution and exposition.
While the second half of The Tick’s freshman season isn’t as strong as the first, it still has good things to bring to the table. The humor holds steady, and the characters are colorful and fun. While the season’s closing hours weren’t the best, I’d still find it hard not to recommend the show as a whole—especially if you are a big fan of Superheroes and their landscape in today’s world.
What did you guys think about the first season of The Tick? Make sure to leave your thoughts down below in the comments!
The Tick Season 1 is available now to stream exclusively on Amazon Prime’s Video Streaming Service.