Welcome to Multiversity Comics’ “Five Thoughts” on The Tick. Amazon Prime may have dumped the entire series out to us all at once, but this column will be coming out once a week, covering one episode a week, until we reach the end of the season. As is customary here at Multiversity Comics, these “5 Thoughts” will regard generally anything that crosses my mind while watching the episode, along with a dash of criticism here and there as I deem necessary. However, the 5th thought is always a collection of the episode’s most quotable lines: perhaps the strongest aspect of any iteration of “The Tick.” Keep in mind that there will be spoilers, so tread lightly. All that said, please enjoy my thoughts on the seventh episode of season two: “Lei-Lo, Ho!”
1. Walter Gets His Groove Back
I’ve intimated in this column before that François Chau as “Walter” is stealthily one of my favorite aspects of the show. His character, who at the end of the first season was revealed to be a highly skilled ex-A.E.G.I.S. agent in his own right, is just so pleasant that you can’t help but smile whenever he’s doing something on-screen. We know now that part of his overly sunny disposition was no doubt being employed by the show to subvert his true identity. That said, I really don’t think Chau is playing it as deception, and that’s the key to the performance working so well. I think, without a doubt, Walter is supposed to just be delighted that he gets to live a simple life now and that he truly relishes it. The first time we see him in this episode, he’s cheerfully looking at paint swatches at a hardware store and meticulously weighing the pros and cons of each choice while on the phone with his wife. One gets a sense that he truly enjoys the mundanity of everyday life. But when he receives a mysterious call containing an activation phrase that means it’s time for him to go back into the field, Chau plays him with a sense of solemn duty. He’s not happy or unhappy to be needed again, but simply feels that work must be done and they need him to do it. When he calls up Ty Rathbone from within his ragged garden shed/secret agent safe house, he remarks on the fact that when they were both younger they were much more idealistic than they are now, and with a heavy sigh, he agrees to go back into the field. Chau’s Walter has only been given a few minutes of total screen time throughout the entirety of this series thus far, and yet his performance creates the feel of an entire life lived without us ever having seen most of it.
2. Overkill Grooves Too
While Dot Everest has undergone perhaps the biggest development of any character in The Tick season 2, Overkill has had a very interesting arc himself, it’s just that it’s mostly been filtered through the actions and development of other characters. That’s fine for a character like Overkill, who is decidedly not one of the main characters (The Tick/the Everest family), but one with whom we nonetheless spend tons of time with. In just 7 episodes, we’ve seen Overkill struggle with his “no kill” vow, his phoenix-like rise to being a righteous killing machine again, and his personal softening to Dot and his role as a mentor to her. Before their climactic mission begins, he and Dangerboat let Dot in on one of their pre-mission rituals: a techno dance party. That sounds silly, but The Tick is silly, and it’s the show’s unique way of showing a slightly sweet and goofy side to a character who uses lethal means to take out his enemies. It all culminates in an explosive end for him in this episode, wherein he’s trapped in a glass cage as the villain’s evil base self-destructs around him. This sequence is one of The Tick’s most visually impressive yet, as it involves Dot’s precognition abilities showing the explosion happen a few seconds in the future, then zoom out of Dot’s eyes and back into the present, where it begins to happen all over again. She realizes her only way out is to leave Overkill behind and run. If this is truly Overkill’s last stand, this episode will have been a fitting and cathartic end. But I suspect that because we never actually see Overkill die, it just might not be the end of him after all.Continued below
3. Miss Lint’s Weekly Face-Turn Watch
Not much to speculate on with Miss Lint/Joan of Arc this week, but there was a new wrinkle thrown into her potential heroic turn: she’s beginning to hear her own conscience in her head, as it eggs her on for becoming the very thing she once hated. It’s too early to say whether this is her good conscience trying to get her to make a full turn over to the side of justice, or whether it’s her evil conscience trying to mock her for going soft. Either way, she reacts in resistance to the idea that she’s no longer a villain, but her good conscience clearly has a stronger and stronger pull as the series goes on.
Well folks, it is with a heavy heart that I must bring up the fact that it was announced this week that Amazon is declining to pick up The Tick for a third season. While the chances that some other service picks the show up are slim, it’s worth mentioning that several of the show’s stars, most notably (and most vigorously) Arthur Everest actor Griffin Newman are campaigning for another streaming service or network to pick the show up. It’s not dead and buried just yet, but I’m not getting my hopes up. At the end of the day, I have to imagine that the cost of keeping The Tick going was outweighing the viewership, though I do not know what Amazon considers to be “good numbers” for that particular statistic and I also don’t think they’ll probably break the numbers down for us, as that’s just the nature of streaming television now. I can’t imagine a show as niche as The Tick being super successful, but surely whatever fanbase that it had was a devotional one. I’ll continue to write about The Tick for as long as it’s around, and I thank you for reading.
5. “Spoon!” Watch
The Tick: “Destiny is the one doing the folding, chum, and we are her origami swans”
The Tick: “Nougat, eh? I like a candy bar that…fights back.”
The Tick: “Goodnight, you dinks of Maine.”