As entertaining the premiere for the second block of episodes was, it did leave us hanging on one key issue from the first six episodes: what about the Very Large Man? Well, as with a few episodes in the last run, Clifford Richter shows up for a brief update on his whereabouts early in the episode, but is nowhere to be seen the rest of the way. Essentially, his fate is left as something to be hanging in the background while we deal with the more immediate details of the storyline. Still, as we grow closer to season finale, it’s hard not to wonder how large (sorry) of a role he’ll play when the entire thread has unfolded.
After our VLM update, we see Tick and Overkill are safe after the explosion in The Terror’s lair, apparently because Tick saved Overkill’s life. Terror, however, has gone and is planning his next move once again. After Jackie Earle Haley’s excellent performance in the previous episode, it was a bit of a letdown to see him vanish entirely from this one, but thankfully, there’s more than enough going on to make up for it. Arthur is still learning more about his situation and how to handle, so it’s hard to empathize with him when he quickly realizes that Lint setting him free was part of Terror’s plan. Still, he’s nonetheless liberated, and has a stronger sense of purpose than ever. When Dot tells Overkill that Arthur can handle himself, it’s a stark contrast from how much she feared for him at the beginning. When Arthur tells Dot noyto follow him along on his pursuit anymore, it’s a reminder of how their roles have reversed.
Elsewhere, Lint reveals to the rest of the Pyramid Gang that she killed Ramses, and posits that she should now be the leader. When this is met with resistance, she electrocutes one of the other members, and that more or less settles the dispute. With Ramses gone, the show faces an interesting conundrum. Of the show’s main three villains (well, the ones we know are villains, anyway), Ramses was by far the least likable, mostly for the way the way he took Lint’s work for granted. He got what he deserved at the end of the first run, and it was a satisfying moment. Now, we’re left with Lint and Terror, who are both pretty damn enjoyable characters. A question going forward is if the show will make an effort to make them more loathsome, or reveal anything more damning about their pasts. This show did a wonderful job of creating intriguing villains, but now, it may have to handle the task of reminding us that we’re supposed to be rooting against them.
With Tick and Arthur looking for a plan to tell Superian that the Terror is still alive, they find a way through a book signing by Onward, aka Midnight, the German Shepherd/Flag Five member who Arthur’s stepdad, Walter, has become fascinated with. We see some unresolved resentment that Arthur has for Walter when he repeatedly says that he’s not his father. He ultimately apologizes, but it leaves the door open for future exploration of the issue. Unfortunately, when he attempts to tell Midnight what’s going on, he’s dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, and thrown out of the signing. This sets us up for Arthur to come back later, with Tick and Overkill, who has been revealed to be ex-Flag Five member Straight Shooter. Then, Overkill has his most vital moment on the show yet, and reveals himself to be an essential character.
When Midnight isn’t any more receptive to Arthur’s notions about Superian still being alive when they come from Overkill, it leads to a confrontation, it leads to a confrontation, as neither Overkill nor Midnight consider the other one to be a true member of the Flag Five. Overkill has always been brooding and angry, but often, it’s played for laughs. here, we see the source of his rage revealed, and it becomes far more real. Even more intense is later, on Dangerboat, when Overkill posits that he and Arthur are exactly alike, both motivated by their inability to move on from the day they both lost their families. Their personalities could not be further apart, but revenge drives both of them. Arthur cannot necessarily refute this, and the scene is equally revelatory about Arthur and Overkill. Everyone’s motives are gradually becoming clearer.
This episode had enough laughs to satisfy the need for humor, but it was considerably more serious in tone than its predecessor. It’s a rewarding episode because it gives us more knowledge as to who Overkill is, rather than just playing him up as the super-serious guy. With this episode, the stakes have been firmly established, and the viewer’s appetite has been thoroughly whetted for what’s to come next.
-”It’s weird you have a landline.” (Fun fact: I have the exact same phone that we see in that scene.)
-”Well, aren’t you a piece of work, I mean Jesus!” (I can’t say enough about how fun Alan Tudyk is as Dangerboat)
-Towards the end of the episode, we see a super-intense scene of Dot shooting a target at a firing range. The bullet flies in slow-motion, and....misses by a mile, to which she exclaims “shit.”
“I don’t think my life is worth not killing anymore.”