When Arthur, Tick, and Overkill all agreed to live together, we could naturally assume things would be a bit awkward. What might be a tad surprising is that the awkwardness comes from Dangerboat, and his apparent attraction to Arthur. Two episodes earlier, he mentioned an attraction to men, but added that he didn’t see himself as “gay,” because the phrase “homosexual” meant to be attracted to same thing, which he obviously wasn’t. In this episode, we see that he is specifically interested in Arthur. This is where the show puts itself in a precarious position; if a gay character is portrayed is being sexually aggressive to someone who isn’t interested, it can send the wrong message. I’m curious as to what the response to this episode will be, but I would argue that the interactions between Arthur and Dangerboat don’t make it into “gay panic” territory, because it’s about the awkwardness of a robot trying to establish any relationship with a human as much as it is about the gay aspect, and Dangerboat is apologetic when he realizes he came on too strong. If nothing else, it provides some levity in an episode full of tense moments.
Of course, there is a more likely romance blooming in this one as well; Dot and Overkill. Two episodes earlier, they had some awkward interactions while searching for Arthur, but here, they’re revealed to be the good kind of awkward. When Dot wants to continue the hunt for The Terror in spite of Arthur’s wishes, Overkill is receptive, and becomes an encouraging presence. After she missed wildly at a shooting range in the last episode, Overkill gives her a gun better suited to her frame, and she becomes a better shot. When she attempts to send the signal that she’s interested in him, Overkill is reluctant, because of a past betrayal by a woman. We later learn that this was Miss Lint, setting us up for plenty of tension going forward. The chemistry between Dot and Overkill was well-established, and it will be interesting to see where the show takes things.
For Arthur, however, he’s faced with yet another nemesis: the Urmanian government, who is searching for Dr. Karamazov. When he is approached by them, he denies knowing him, while Tick is faced with a fascinating robot whom he (momentarily) finds some common ground with. We get some comic relief, as Karamazov’s giant head on a small body throws many off (when Arthur carries him around a stroller, a store owner momentarily thinks he stole a baby before hearing him speak). The perpetually high stakes of this show requires one character to develop empathy for another rather quickly. In this case, Karamazov remains a mystery, but Arthur is nonetheless very protective of him.
Arthur manages to keep Karamazov safe once again, this time by tricking the Urmanian spy into blowing up a turkey he’d been carrying in the stroller. Meanwhile, even after Tick learns that the Urmanian robot is a villain, he is nonetheless convinced through his interactions with him that he is a robot. At this point, it seems clear that Tick is so desperate for any information about who he really is that he’ll cling to whatever explanation might briefly make any sense. With so many things going on, the question of his identity has been pushed aside, and his brief bonding with the Urmanian robot gave him a brief bit of hope. It was an effective way of reminding us that in spite of his perpetual optimism, Tick is probably more lost than anyone else here.
At this point, we’re well into “every episode is a cliffhanger” mode, so naturally, we close with two bombshells: Tinfoil Kevin, who is homeless, but not officeless, has a very impressive office. He basically lives inside a giant robot. After we learn this, we’re hit with another surprise: Superian is right at their door...and he faints as soon as he arrives. Does he believe them? Has he been drugged by someone working for The Terror? The questions keep flying at our heads, and with three episodes left to go, we’re left with quite a lot to wonder about.
-”Did you have a nice sleep on Dangertable?”
-“Oh, I’ll be sure to jingle you.”
-Oh yeah, at the beginning, The Terror goes to...a soda company, and demands they market their next campaign around him? or something? Man, the number of threads we have going now.
-”Minions? Oh, that makes more sense than onions.”