RETROSPECULATIVE TV: The Tick: “The Funeral” (Episode 7, or possibly 4)

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A superhero called “The Immortal” is coming through The City on a book-signing tour. He’s evidently this version of the Tickiverse’s version of Superman. (In the Comics and the Cartoon, the Seldom-seen Superman Parody is called “The Cape,” and his real name is “Clark Oppenheimer,” and he’s much more straightforward than the TV iteration). Everyone is in awe of The Immortal, including Arthur who, as a much younger guy, camped outside a hotel to get his autograph.

The Immortal puts the moves on Cap, who immediately takes him to her apartment, he has a heart attack during sex, and dies. (Just like Lloyd Bochner in Dynasty!) Cap freaks out and calls Bat, Tick, and Arthur for help. The rest of the episode is an attempt to get The Immortal’s body back into his hotel room without anyone noticing so the authorities will just assume it was a natural thing, and not blame the luscious Liz Vassey (Who’s hair is all frizzy ‘cuz his heat vision went off in a moment of excitement…)

Cap dresses Batmanuel up in The Immortal’s costume, including helmet, and he signs books at the public appearance while Tick and Arthur get the body into the hotel, then realize they’re in the wrong hotel, have to sneak it back out, and sneak it into another hotel on the opposite side of town. (Identical set. Low budget.)

SUBPLOT: Arthur keeps seeing this girl checking him out, but he’s afraid to do anything about it. Finally, he gets the nerve up to talk to her.

SUBPLOT B: The Tick doesn’t understand death. At all. Didn’t realize it could happen, certainly didn’t realize it *will* happen to everyone.

SUBPLOT C: Batmanuel has many unpaid parking tickets.

All this is sandwiched into a pointless frame story with the Tick giving an Eulogy at The Immortal’s funeral. Nobody wanted him to, he just showed up and started talking.
Colonel: “We have special forces standing by, ready to take him down, sir.”
General: “Nah, let him talk. I like the cut of this man’s gibberish.”

The End

OBSERVATIONS

Evidently the thing with Mindy Waxman didn’t work out. The previous (?) episode implied Arthur still had a shot with her. Again, it’s hard to tell, as the intended episode order, and the aired order seem, well, out of order. In any event, Arthur is once again/for the first time on the prowl.

While the entire premise of this episode is pretty funny, it is surprisingly laugh-free. There is one really solid belly-laugh in here, though: when the Tick decides that rather than sneak the body through the lobby, he can just chuck it through the 5th storey window. He attempts to do it, but his aim is off, the body just goes 50 feet in the air, then comes smashing back down on the car. Probably the funniest single moment in the series, and one of the VERY few times that they actually make use of Tick’s superpowers.

“I don’t get it Arthur: I’ve read his entire book, and nowhere in it does the Immortal mention that he’s dead.”

Again, most of the interesting or potentially entertaining stuff happens offscreen. We’re told that Arthur had to fake an epileptic seizure in the lobby of the hotel as a diversion to sneak the corpse by. Some guy gave him his wallet to bite down on. “I can still taste the leather.” That sounds funny, but we don’t get to see it. We don’t get to see much.

The Tick’s struggling to understand the concept of death leads to a rambling monolog with Arthur culminating in “…and follow me here if you can, because this is where it gets wiggy: I propose that it’s the presence of death that makes life all the more precious!”
Arthur: [Long pause, then condescendingly] “Yeah, that’s new.”

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

I suppose one might take exception to Captain Liberty being a bit of a tramp, but really we’ve seen so much of that by now…nah, there’s really nothing in here not to like, but like most of the series it’s utterly failing to live up to its potential.

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