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Pilot (aka The Tick vs The Red Scare) Recap

At a bus station in the middle of nowhere, the Tick stands guard. When a customer has trouble with the coffee machine, Tick leaps down and wrestles the machine into submission. Once it delivers a cup of coffee, Tick proclaims himself the victor and gives the customer his coffee. The manager “accidentally” drops a ticket and says that it belongs to Tick. Tick assumes that it’s his and realizes that he must have intended to take a bus trip to the City. The manager says that Tick has freed them from the coffee machine’s tyranny, and Tick agrees that it’s time to move on and find stuff to do.

At an accounting firm in the City, owner Mr. Fishladder goes to see an employee, Arthur. Fishladder discovers that Arthur is wearing a moth costume, sits down, and demands an explanation. Arthur says that he’s been living a life, and that he’s more than a mild-mannered accountant. He can’t hide from his higher calling anymore, and is going to become a superhero. Mr. Fishladder warns him that crime fights back, and Metcalfe, head of shipping and receiving, went nuts and bought a jetpack. It didn’t end well for him. Undeterred, Arthur says that he’s going to ride it out for at least a while. Fishladder tells him to choose whether he’s going to be an accountant or not.

The Tick arrives in the City and immediately begins his patrol across the rooftops.

At the Lonely Panda, Arthur sits and insists that now he can be a superhero. He admits to the owner that he hasn’t tried his flying suit yet, but plans to go out and jump from a rooftop that very night.

Tick leaps across the rooftops and proclaims his loyalty to the City.

Arthur leaves the restaurant and realizes that he’s kidding himself. Nearby, a group of villainous thugs declare that it’s time to begin the Red Scare. As they drink vodka, they prepare to unleash the finest superweapon 1979 had to offer. He assures his men that it still works, just as Arthur stumbles over and throws up. The Russians notice him and grab him, and they prepare to teach him the lesson mf Metcalfe.

As Arthur screams, Tick hears him and assumes that he’s a damsel in distress. He leaps down and realizes that Arthur isn’t a woman, and asks if he can help. The Russians jump him and Tick easily tosses them aside. They’re helpless against his righteous wrath, while Arthur collapses. Once Tick defeats the Russians, he leaps to the rooftops... and accidentally steps on the activating device. In the van, a giant Russian robot activates and walks off into the night past Arthur.

Arthur climbs up to the rooftop and Tick helps him up the first few steps. He says that he saw a robot, impressing the Tick. Another of the City’s heroes, Batmanuel, arrives and introduces himself. As Arthur starts to explain what he saw, Batmanuel takes a call. Captain Liberty drops down from her helicopter and says that the CIA has tracked a secret Soviet super weapon to the City. She and Batmanuel exchange barbs and Batmanuel reminds her that he “saved” her on a nearby water tower. Meanwhile, the Red Scare robot spreads chaos in the streets below.

Batmanuel and Captain Liberty finally kiss and make out, while Tick steps in gum. Arthur is shocked that they’re not acting superheroically, Disillusioned, he leaves and Tick realizes that his new friend has left.

Arthur goes home with groceries and looks at himself in the mirror. He dismisses himself as an idiot in a bunny suit. Tick arrives at Arthur’s door and breaks it down. He looks for the secret trigger that turns the apartment into Arthur’s secret headquarters, and explains that he followed Arthur home. Arthur says that he’s realized that superheroes are just egotistical jerks, and he’s not a superhero or an accountant anymore. Tick assures him that he believes in him, and then brings in a captured Russian to interrogate. The Russian says that the Red Scare is a relentless robot assassin programmed to kill Jimmy Carter. Arthur sees a newspaper with a headline that Jimmy Carter is in town, and realizes that the Red Scare will go after the former President.

Tick grabs Arthur and they head to the City Hotel where Jimmy is staying. They take the elevator up and Arthur insists that he’s just an accountant and can’t fight the Red Scare. As they arrive at the top floor, Tick assures Arthur he can fight the robot. Jimmy is waiting outside and the Tick grabs him in the elevator away from his Secret Service escort. Jimmy assumes that they’re trying to rob him, and they try to explain that a Russian robot is coming to kill him.

Red Scare drops through the elevator ceiling and it and Tick exchange head-butts. It cuts through the elevator cable and then grabs Tick’s antenna, shoving his head through the wall. As Tick’s head scrapes along the shaft wall, Arthur realizes that it’s all up to him... and he’s a hero! He has Jimmy hold onto him, opens his wings, and flies through the roof with the ex-President. Red Scare stares in shock, just as the elevator crashes to the bottom of the shaft. Ticker emerges from the rubble and the robot is destroyed.

Later, Tick and Arthur go to the Lonely Panda and tell Batmanuel and Captain Liberty what happened. Batmanuel’s arm is broken, and Captain Liberty assures them that the she came to her senses as they reached third base. As they chat, the villainous Apocalypse Cow strikes outside. Batmanuel warns Arthur that Apocalypse Cow is 50’ tall and shoots fire from her teats, but Tick says that it’s Arthur’s destiny.

Written by Gadfly on Jul 24, 2016

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