After seeing him on TV reports in the last two episodes, we finally get a look at the Very Large Man in action. Superian is clueless as to how to stop him, and in a nod to Love Actually, can only send him a message that says “you are too big!” Having seen the VLM calmly walk the streets without much payoff, it was satisfying to see this episode start by showing the scene of his surprisingly peaceful rampage as he approaches civilization. We even learn his name, Clifford Richter. Sadly, that’s all we know, and all we will know until sometime in 2018, because for the rest of “Rising,” the half-season finale, he’s nowhere to be seen.
Thankfully, this episode proves gloriously entertaining in other ways. We begin in Overkill’s smart-alecky boat once again, where the crew are still trying to figure out what to do with Ramses, who wakes up, but is neutralized with a shot of sodium ambertheissen, and is a bit goofy as a result. Once learning of The Terror’s whereabouts, Overkill wants to go take him on directly, while Arthur wants to go to AEGIS, which is essentially a bureaucratic agency dealing with superheroes. Arthur continues to be more assertive, as he actually confronts Overkill directly about this, and with The Tick’s help, the two ditch him, and continue the quest as a duo. As enjoyable as it is to see Arthur’s newfound courage to continue to flourish, Overkill might have had the right idea, as New York’s AEGIS office has been shut down due to a lack of superheroes.
Of course, had they gone to where The Terror had been staying, they would have came up empty handed anyway, because he’s at dinner with Miss Lint, who only recently began to believe he was still alive, and is now shocked to see him right in front of her. Terror is surprised and disappointed that Lint is still under Ramses’ thumb, telling her straight up that he thought she would have killed him by now. In those first few episodes, when Ramses berated Lint, and she simply took it, it was hard not to wonder why someone both more evil and more intelligent would put up with it, and this scene more or less confirms that she had lost her mojo, mostly as a result of losing her mentor. In the episode’s closing minutes, she gets it back quite thoroughly, however, sending a electroshock to Ramses that just might have killed him (it certainly wouldn’t be surprising). It was one of the most satisfying moments of the season so far; while Lint is a villain you can empathize with, and even root for, Ramses is pretty much a garden variety asshole.
That being said, he does still manage to do some important damage before the episode is done. When Arthur is temporarily distracted by a phone call from Dot (who now wants in on the action, and is rebuffed by Arthur, in a role-reversal from the last episode), Ramses sneaks away, and only crosses the street to find the Pyramid Gang waiting for him. Rather than attack Tick and Arthur directly, he distracts them by attacking a crowded public bus (“I’ll hit him where it hurts, right in the civilians”). In a thrilling sequence, Tick and Arthur save the day, and Arthur gets extra points for saving someone’s “baby,” which turns out to be a dog (though Tick apparently can’t tell the difference). Arthur’s courage in this scene is the culmination of everything we have seen so far. He now truly embodies a superhero, and watching him become one was incredibly cathartic. Indeed, he and Tick are celebrated throughout town as a news report proclaims that New York once again has superheroes. The accolades are nice, but as Overkill warns, it leaves Arthur a sitting duck.
Overkill calls Arthur, and tells him that the message from Dr. Karamazov, when translated, reveals that the suit was developed to fight aliens, namely Superian. But Arthur can’t even finish that phone call before he is taken away, dragged to the lair of The Terror. In a bit of product placement that I’m torn between being annoyed by, and admiring the brilliance of, he asks Alexa to “play ominous music” before showing Arthur his face. When he does, his anguished scream being the last thing we hear before the credits roll, and this all-too-brief run of episodes comes to an end. Tick doesn’t take long to realize that something has gone wrong, and lets out a Calculon-worthy “ARTHUUUURRRRRR!” when he grasps the severity of the situation. The show has set up several cliff-hangers to explore when the next set of episodes comes out - is Ramses alive? What are The Terror’s plans for Arthur? Will Tick and Overkill team up to find him? What’s happening with Superian that we don’t know yet? Seriously, what is going on with the Very Tall Man?
This was the best episode of an inspired run, and it’s a shame we’ll have to wait indefinitely (presumably until early 2018) for the payoff of the first season. Peter Serafinowicz is a flawless Tick, and Griffin Newman was adept in portraying Arthur’s growth from someone too neurotic to be sure of much of anything to someone who can assert himself against someone as intimidating as Overkill. Lint is a fascinatingly complex character, and it was great to see Dot worry for her little brother without infantilizing him. The first six episodes of The Tick did everything right, and waiting for its return (especially when we were supposed to be getting ten episodes) will be brutal.
-When The Terror is shocked to learn that Lint married Derek (who he neutralizes with platypus venom), Lint says “I thought you were following my every move?” His response? “I tried to, but you got so boring so fast.”
-His hiding place is right near the church of Sacred Mother Of Infinite Misery.
-One of Superian’s powers is that he can he can make weak coffee taste good. Naturally, he opts for pumpkin spice. Hey, fall is just around the corner.