The Tick and Arthur are back in action, and together with some new additions and familiar friends, they create a second season that will leave any fan with a smile on their face. Season Two quickly gets you up to speed if you missed the previous season, though you will get far more out of the relationships within the show if you are caught up, especially in regards to characters like Tin-Foil Kevin, Superian, Walter, and Dot. You can still enjoy it mind you, but one payoff, in particular, won't hit quite as hard without that familiarity.
There's quite a bit to like here, and it all begins with Tick and Arthur. Peter Serafinowicz and Griffin Newman have truly found their sweet spots in these characters, with the individual nuances and eccentric mannerisms often providing the most opportunities for laughs. Tick and Arthur's chemistry has also grown, but more importantly, so has Arthur as a character. It's easier to root for Arthur now that his approach towards Tick has softened, reacting to the blue hero more like family than the flustered and hesitant hero we saw last time around.
That growing friendship between Tick and Arthur is where much of the heart came from in the first season, but here much of it is found within growing one's understanding or concept of family, one that goes far beyond being simply related by blood. That concept is explored through Tick and Arthur, of course, but also through their interactions and growth with Overkill, Dangerboat, Kevin, and one surprising source that affects the entire family in an unexpected but delightful way. No spoiling here; you'll just have to watch.
Introducing AEGIS in a bigger way this season also gives the heroes several new characters and concepts to play off of, and just like the nano butter croissants, most of these elements are for the better. Heroes like Sage, Flexon, and Bronze Star let the Tick's bigger-than-life personality shine, and Arthur's struggle to find his place in an agency full of those with superhuman abilities and powers is a compelling one. It also bears mentioning that General Ty Rathbone commands just about every scene that he's in, and to say we're excited for one certain aspect of his character to be explored would be an understatement.
While Arthur's journey is satisfying, it is dwarfed by Dot's arc. It helps that Dot's path features much more of Overkill and Dangerboat, who make every scene they're in significantly better. Dot and Overkill's moments together are magnetic and sweet in often unexpected ways, and you need look no further than a turning point dance party for reference. Both characters dazzle on screen, but Kevin might just be the MVP.
Kevin was a consistent bright spot last season, but here he truly shines, not only providing sound comic relief (which is saying something when you've got someone like The Tick running around) but also thoughtful glimpses into the character underneath the tin-foil hat, and it makes for some of the most memorable moments in the show.
This season does have a few flaws though, mostly stemming from its villains. While the character arcs and subplots are much more involved and interesting than the previous season, that also results in the main antagonist being somewhat watered down. Ms. Lint is still around, but her role has shifted, so most of her time on the screen is focused on her internal struggles and less on her being an all-out villain. There's no Terror-like presence, and when the villain is finally put in the spotlight, it's a bit underwhelming.
Crazily enough though, I preferred this season's take on Tick and Arthur's adventures, despite not having someone as memorable as The Terror. This season's main sources of conflict allowed all the likable and endearing aspects of these characters to flourish, as the villain didn't command half the screen time. It's a trade-off to be sure, and while I wouldn't want this every season, I appreciated it here. From the Season Three hook, the show might just pivot toward more of a first season approach, and that every other year switch-up seems like the best of both worlds and should keep fans of each happy.
Season Two of The Tick does more of what you grew to love in Season One, but it's more refined in its humor and setups, and while you might not laugh out loud in every episode, I always found myself smiling throughout. The Tick's lovable attitude contrasts so well with the variety of characters surrounding him, and Arthur, Dot, and Overkill carry significantly more weight this time around without overshadowing their powerhouse blue hero.
The Tick continues to ooze charm and personality, but also manages to push its cast in new and often hilarious directions. The Tick wears its heart on its sleeve, and we can't help but love him for it.
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Tick Season Two, all 10 episodes of it, is scheduled to release on Amazon Prime Video on April 5th.