The Tick recap: ‘After Midnight’


Arthur and Tick might be the protagonists of the series, but “After Midnight” shows how interesting some of the other characters are.

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In fact, the show is at its best when the villains or Overkill get to take the spotlight. This hour focuses on the latter where it explores his tragic backstory and how he became a killing machine. While the series continues to be hilarious, the second half of this season is beginning to show how The Terror has ruined so many lives.

The Tick is the only show on television that would introduce a talking dog but he would end up being a narcissistic jerk. Midnight is hosting an event for his recent novel, where Arthur hopes to convince him to pass on a message to Superian. Of course, he’s written off as another crazy conspiracy theorist and his dragged off by security with Walter and Tick. At first, it appears as though all hope is lost, but Arthur suddenly realizes that Midnight isn’t the only remaining member of the Flag Five.

Before Overkill was an all-black wearing vigilante, he was the young hero named “Straight Shooter.” When The Terror attacked, he was the one who had syphilis destroy his eyes and his hands chopped off. It’s how he became a human/robot combination and why he holds such contempt for working alongside other people. Yet underneath all of that bravado, he’s still a broken man who wants to take down the person responsible for destroying his life.

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“After Midnight” gives Overkill a better reason to stick with Arthur other than being impressed by his Reddit thread. When he asks Midnight to pass along the message, the two get in a big brawl during a photo shoot. Turns out, neither really thought of the other as a real member of the Flag Five. The ensuing fight is hilarious even though it speaks to a deeper sadness between both characters. Midnight coped with the loss of his friends by surrounding himself with adoring fans while Overkill became an angry assassin.

The Terror isn’t actually in “After Midnight,” but his presence is felt throughout. Overkill points out to Arthur both of them are unable to move past the moment where they lost their families until they get vengeance. Dot is no longer willing to sit on the sidelines or encourage her brother to do so and Tick needs to know where he came from. Lint is suddenly in control of her career after taking control of the Pyramid Gang, but even she doesn’t seem content being back under the thumb of her mentor. Times are changing, and the return of The Terror offers all of the characters the opportunity to decide who they want to be.

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Despite the compelling themes of this second half of the season, “After Midnight” does maintain some fun recurring gags. The most notable is Dangerboat’s attraction to Arthur, something another show would never be able to pull off. The Tick loves taking fun risks like introducing a boat who loves men and an egotistical dog. Hopefully, the series continues to balance this new serious tone alongside the gimmicks which made viewers fall in love with it.