The Tick season 2, episode 9 recap: In the Woods


Their first day on the Flag Five and the Tick and Arthur have to use their resources to save Overkill and take down the Duke’s mole.

Arthur and the Tick make the Flag Five, along with Sage the Supernumerary, Bronze Star, and Joan of Arc. Arthur agrees to a truce with Lint for the sake of ceremony but promises to keep a close watch on the conflicted anti-hero. While it is doubtless an honor to be a member of the Flag Five, their first day comes with manuals detailing the rules, regulations, employee perks and resources, and a book of coupons to local businesses and eateries.

It smacks of corporate bureaucracy and feels more like a Marriott training seminar than a hero’s welcome. Still, they are given emergency beacons – the Flag Five Flock Flare – and celebrate with cake and champagne. They walk down the corridor together for the first time as a heroic team.

The victory is short-lived, however, as Lint takes Edgelord to fill out paperwork as her official sidekick and Arthur and Tick are taken aside by Flexon to discuss Lobstercules’s defense. He can’t get her to agree to reveal the existence of her children as the method of coercion. Meanwhile, Hobbes takes a piece of cake back to his evil lab deep in the bowels of AEGIS, where he is keeping Overkill prisoner. Surprise! Hobbes is the Duke.

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Arthur and Tick convince Lobstercules to allow the coercion defense and are immediately called away to meet Dot and Walter on Dangerboat. They get hung up in the information that Walter is really a former AEGIS agent named John Wu, but they were really called in order to use their new Flag Five position to make a secure call to Rathbone to hand over evidence of the mole and help Overkill. The high tech extraction pod used to launch Overkill out of the Duke’s lair is signature AEGIS equipment, proving that there is a mole for the Duke working inside AEGIS – or in this case, the Duke himself. They also have the chip extracted from Ted.

Hobbes brings Overkill back online and explains that the Duke was always a fiction to cover his own work. The man claiming to be the Duke that was killed in Flordia was really a mercenary named Gary. Hobbes’ whole deal is that he doesn’t believe categories are real people, that AEGIS is a “proud human institution” that was founded to protect humanity from the “genetic chaos” of people with abilities and became corrupt as soon as they started recruiting superheroes. Overkill can make furniture jokes all he wants, but the human furniture business was just R & D. Hobbes implants a mind control chip into his brain and begins his interrogation.

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Arthur sets up a meeting with Rathbone in a supposedly secure location. Rathbone immediately recognizes the tech as being from a proposed mind control project that was rejected years ago. It tells him exactly who the mole is and he sets off to settle the matter internally, promising to get Overkill back safely. Unfortunately, Hobbes is ready for this eventuality. When Rathbone confronts Hobbes and tells him he’s finished, Hobbes has Overkill shoot Rathbone from his sniper spot across the street. With Rathbone out of the way, Hobbes is the acting commander of AEGIS.

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