The Tick season 2, episode 6 recap: Categorically Speaking


The Tick and Arthur file the paperwork to see Lobstercules, who is being held prisoner by AEGIS and has been classified as a non-sentient monster. Meanwhile, AEGIS hosts an open house.

Paperwork wizard Arthur Everest begins the process of gaining visitor access to Lobstercules, who has become a prisoner of AEGIS. The Tick feels desperately guilty about his part in her capture and once again bemoans the system and its love of paper. I love how the heart of this show is ultimately optimistic and inspirational but is constantly undercut with the absurd truths of reality. You can be a superhero, but there’s red tape, paperwork, bureaucratic mazes, social media, and governmental idiocy. Luckily, Arthur is well prepared for this.

But while Tick and Arthur are gathering the necessary signatures, Lobstercules is being tortured by Doctor Agent Hobbes. She refuses to speak, leading Hobbes to conclude that the creature is incapable of speech and therefore not sentient. He schedules her to be transferred to his lab, where he can begin evil experimentation. Because Hobbes is definitely evil, despite his mild-mannered blandness. He has this way of smiling politely that is both insincere and patiently condescending, barely disguising his sense of superiority and a touch of contempt. John Hodgman is absolutely delicious in this role.

Meanwhile, AEGIS hosts an open house to give the appearance of transparency. In its purest form, it is a marketing event where the public can come and take selfies with superheroes and go on tours. Superian attends in disguise, dressed like a hipster lumberjack – or as Rathbone says, “a rest stop strangler.” Still, he is annoyed that no one recognizes him. He casually infiltrates AEGIS as Rathbone keeps an eye on him via security cameras. After all, Superian goes where he wants and no one can really stop him.

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Tick and Arthur need the signature of the arresting hero in order to complete their paperwork, which means convincing Ms. Lint to help them. She initially says no, but the Tick and Arthur start bothering her about hearing the call of the hero. She finally signs the paperwork, but mostly just so they’ll go away. Lint runs into Superian in the heroes lounge and he knows right away who she is. He’s going a little nutty about his downfall in popularity and is apparently giving serious thought to blowing the world’s population out into space. He gets distracted by the appearance of news personality E. Morgan Pearl, who pretty much hates Superian on TV for a living. Superian kidnaps him and they fly into the night in a comedic parody of the romantic flying scene from Richard Donner’s Superman. Pearl wakes up later on top of the same Guatemalan pyramid that Arthur once did, only he is alone.

Dot runs into Tinfoil Kevin at the open house and they take one of the tours. Kevin is paranoid, thinking that AEGIS is after him for his “abilities” and claims to be a category three. He’s there to find out what AEGIS has to hide. Kevin explains why he’s afraid of AEGIS and why Dot should be too. He says they don’t think categories are human, and when people don’t think that they can do some pretty awful things. He makes a good point and one that is historically accurate. They wander away from the tour and find a picture of Walter in a cabinet commemorating honored retired agents, only it says his name is John Wu. More family secrets!

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Tick and Arthur get in to see Lobstercules, explaining the misunderstanding and regaining her trust. They convince her to speak to Hobbes, but she makes them promise to keep her babies a secret. They take a video statement and show it to Rathbone, forcing Hobbes to change his classification and to arrange for her legal representation. Hobbes seems annoyed by this change, but Arthur and Tick are overjoyed. They set out on the track of Donny and to clear Lobstercules name.

What did you think of this episode of The Tick? Be sure to tell us in the comment section below!