01x00 - Pilot

Tick: Hello, world.

This is the Tick.

Don't worry... I'm not in outer space.

I'm not even in this yet.

But I know what's coming...

An epic tale, rife with destiny, adventure and blood loss.

The ultimate struggle of light against darkness.

Of good against evil.

Of... meat.

Okay, this is it...

The dawn of the age of superheroes.

Herdsman: Hmm.

Whoa!

Whoa!

(groaning)

♪ ♪

(heroic music plays)

(audience cheering)

Whoopi: Superian... The world's first superhero.

He came to us from beyond the stars.

And adopted Earth as his home.

Over the decades, his incredible deeds have inspired generations of men and women to follow in his footsteps.

Let's hear it again for Superian.

(audience cheering)

Tell me about you... fighting The Terror.

Mmm.

By the '90s, I had been fighting The Terror for decades.

Actually, I had been up against him ever since I first got here.

You look good, baby!

(cheering)

Doesn't he look good? Right?

So, getting back to The Terror... and there he is, who can forget this?

(audience booing)

I mean, look at him. He's still frightening.

I mean, is he not scary?

Yes, he is.

(applause)

So how do you feel about the conspiracy theorists who say...

Oh.

...they believe somehow The Terror survived that fight?

Whoopi, the authorities found his teeth.

All of his teeth, stuck in the walls of a crater that I made... out of him.

(cheering)

All right, all right.

Superian: These... conspiracy theorists, these fringe people, they're just not rational.

People be crazy!

People be crazy.

People be cray-cray.

People be cray-cray.

Whoopi: Talkin' about y'all, right?

Superian: Yes.

Whoopi: Don't ever change your hair.

(Superian laughs)

So cute.

(sighs)

(line ringing)

(phone buzzing)

(man screaming)

Arthur?

Oh, Dot, hey. Uh...

I didn't think you'd pick up.

I-I thought you were on your shift.

I am. What's going on?

Yeah. Right. No.

Um, I just, uh...

I want to, uh, say thank you.

You know, just, uh, thanks.

You've helped me a lot...

More than a lot...

Um, in the last couple of years, you know, since... my last thing.

You know, you're-you're a good sister.

Okay. Now you're scaring me.

Arthur: Yeah, it's... no, I know it sounds weird.

You're not having thoughts, are you?

I mean, nothing obsessive?

(weakly): What?

No. No, no, no, I'm good.

That's, uh, that's why I'm calling, because I'm good.

I'm doing really well, and I owe you for that.

Okay.

You know, and just... just thanks. In general.

(man screaming)

Okay.

Um, I gotta go.

Somebody new is bleeding.

Hey. Arthur.

(screaming continues)

Keep it real, okay?

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Okay. Yeah.

All right, I'm on my way!

(phone shuts off)

(door closes)

Talk radio host: Look, The City has been literally taken over by crime.

Two gangs fighting in the streets for supremacy.

And where are the cops?

Caller: Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

We need superheroes.

We need a new Flag Five.

You know, other cities got heroes.

What about us? I mean, we got screwed, right? You know?

We lost our team like, uh, Brooklyn losing the Dodgers.

Talk show host: The Dodgers moved to L.A.

The Flag Five was blinded by weaponized syphilis and shot to death.

Hey, can we shut this off?

Please?

(radio shuts off)

(clothes tearing, groans)

Woman: How'd it go at Customs?

Thug: sh1t through a goose.

No paperwork, no inspection.

Thug 2: It wasn't cheap, though.

Woman: It was worth it.

Four freight containers of super-tech, body armor and weapons.

Thug: Looks like a goddamn bunny suit.

Woman: It's 100% bulletproof.

Thug 2: Yeah?

And who's gonna test that bullshit out?

Woman: You are.

Woman: Load it all up by dawn.

The boss wants to play with his new toys.

(gasps)

Don't turn back now.

(Arthur grunts)

I think we're on to something.

The henchmen of some vile mastermind hammering out their heinous night hotcake and itching to sell.

You're a superhero.

That's what it says on my mailbox, I imagine.

And you're-you're staking them out.

So that-that means that I'm right.

You fingered foul fruit, friend.

Well, you think they're Triggermen, or from the Syndicate or what?

What does it matter?

They all work for the same wretched tyrant.

Wait, you believe that too?

Evil wears every possible mitten.

Ready?

No, no, no, no. Stop, stop, stop!

You can't just go down there... There's like a dozen men.

Neat!

No.

Look, you can't tip them off, right?

Like you said, they're a bunch of henchmen.

I need to use them to lead me to the mastermind.

Mastermind? Spidery?

Reclusive?

Evil?

And he's not on the premises?

No, no, I can't prove that he's alive yet.

So you counsel... finesse.

Yeah... I finesse.

What do they call you, chum?

Arthur.

(laughs)

Arthur.

And this is your costume?

They're my clothes... Yeah, yeah, sure.

Well, we'll cross that bridge after we've burned it.

What is...

Well, look at the three-pound universe chugging away in there.

You got the soup, don't you, Arthur?

We can use that.

Wh-Who are you?

I... am The Tick!

The-The Tick?

The Tick!

You feel it, too, don't you, Arthur?

Destiny's warm hand in the small of your back.

Pushing, pushing.

She's on a roll tonight.

I-I-I don't...

(tires screech, siren wails)

Destiny!

Huh?

(whooping)

Destiny!

(siren wails)

(siren chirps)

Officer: Freeze!

Let me see those hands! There we go.

I'm the good guy!

Yeah.

I'm the good guy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

(indistinct shouting)

Arms on the car!

(grunts) I'm the good guy.

(whooshing)

The mountain is destroying itself!

(whooshes)

The Flag Five has only seconds to act!

Arthur, don't let it melt.

Okay.

Dad, I'm gonna join them, you know.

Well, don't you have to be a superhero to do that?

Yeah, you do.

(chuckles) It's good?

Mm-hmm.

Your mom and your sister should be back soon.

Meter's almost up.

Hang on, okay?

(low rumbling)

Woman: Arthur?

Arthur!

Arthur...

Uh, yeah, yes.

Everest?

Yeah, Arthur Everest, yeah.

Doing some trespassing on private property, Arthur?

Some kind of... unlawful, uh, surveillance.

No, that's actually a misunderstanding.

I told the officer...

That you were bird watching?

There any birds over to the wharf?

At night, I mean?

Gulls, maybe.

But they'd be sleeping.

"Gulls, maybe."

Okay, Arthur, do you understand why you were brought here?

No. I don't, actually.

Because none of this is necessary.

Well, I'm the judge of what's necessary at this point, all right?

So we're going to assess you, and see if I need to recommend an involuntary psychiatric hold for a court-approved maximum of 72 hours.

Jesus!

(lock buzzing)

(clears throat) Now, have you been taking your medications?

Yeah.

Yes?

Yes.

And they would be...

Wow.

Amilsulpride, along with the..

Celecoxib, am I correct?

Yeah, yeah, that's correct.

Look...

I'm taking my medication, I have an apartment here in The City.

My own apartment, you know?

I-I have a job.

I'm a together person.

Arthur, I'm looking over your record, and I am seeing a... (mouse clicks) long history of incidents like this one tonight.

Going back to... uh, (mouse clicks) community college... No, to high school, even to...

Oh.

My God.

You're the little boy from the photograph.

(car alarm blaring, people shouting)

(coughing)

Can't see!

My eyes! Captain Atlas, I can't see!

That missile was full of syphilis!

Woman: My eyes!

(metallic whirring)

Captain, what are they doing?!

(guns clicking)

Captain Atlas: Stay together.

(menacing laughter)

Terror: If it isn't the Flag Five.

(cackling)

Man: The Terror!

What are you waiting for?

My virus ate their eyes.

They're all blind!

(laser blasts, superheroes grunting)

The short one, don't kill, just crush his hands.

(camera shutter clicking)

(heroes screaming)

Hello there.

(screaming, bones crunching)

Oh, what you got behind your ear?

(grumbles)

It's nothing.

(wheezing laughter)

You got nothing!

(panting)

All right, let's go.

You poor broken man.

Under the, uh, circumstances, what we can do is, uh, well, what we can do is just, we can call your legal guardian, and if she'll take responsibility, then we'll just... That's your sister Dorothy?

Oh, God, please, don't call my sister.

Please.

Hey.

Asshole.

Where do you want to spend your weekend?

Thug 2: I'm yelling you, that little sh1t was scoping us for a reason.

Thug: You want to find him, call our guy in the precinct.

Finesse.

Finesse.

Must maintain finesse.

Must maintain finesse.

Must maintain finesse.

Dot: Holy sh1t, Arthur, we just moved you back into an apartment.

What are we gonna do now?

Arthur: Nothing. Just...

We don't have to do anything.

Dot: You're not taking your meds.

Arthur: You think I'm lying?

Dot: Yes, I do.

Bird-watching?

I know what you're doing, you think you're tracking him again, don't you?

Don't you?

We're gonna go through all this again.

(sighs) The Terror is dead.

Superian killed him a year after Dad died.

He was tricked.

He wasn't tricked.

You can't trick Superian.

This is The Terror we're talking about.

They found his teeth.

His teeth?

Really, Dot?

He still runs The City, and I'm the only one who knows about it, okay?

He's gone underground, but he's more powerful now than he's ever been.

We never should've moved you back into The City.

There's too many triggers for you here.

I saw one of his enforcers.

There, tonight.

But, Arthur, you see things, remember?

Sometimes.

Things that aren't there.

But this wasn't that, so...

So no weird visions?

No voices telling you what to do?

Stop trying to diagnose me, okay?

You know, you're the one who's always telling me to keep it real, right?

The Terror is moving weapons and armor into The City.

He's planning something. I don't know what it is yet, but he's planning something terrible, okay?

Okay, what if you are right?

What if The Terror is still alive, still in control of everything... what then?

You can't possibly think you're the one who's supposed to stop him.

Because that would be crazy, right?

I'm-I'm okay.

Good.

'Cause I need you to be.

(engine starts)

(sighs)

(sighs)

Tick: Arthur.

Arthur?

(sing-songy): Arthur?

What are you gonna do about it, Arthur?

Please, leave me alone.

You've seen it.

The toothy maw opened wide and ready to guzzle up a whole world.

Shut up.

(whispering): Arthur...

What are you gonna do about it?!

(gasps)

Tick: Finesse.

I must maintain finesse.

Must maintain finesse.

But I can't let them get away.

Wicked men!

What the hell was that?

Wicked men, look at you, beetling away at your dunghill of contraband.

I am The Tick!

And I say unto you...

...stop your evil ways!

Listen, friend, guns aren't gonna solve your problems.

New policy.

All right.

Ah, come to our senses, have we?

(bellowing)

Sneaky.

That was your own fault, sir.

Coming through.

(groans)

Enough!

Enough of your hot little bullets.

(screams)

(clattering)

Smoke him!

(laughing)

(echoing): Go tell it on the mountain!

(alarm beeping)

(sighs) I'm not going crazy.

I'm not going crazy.

You're not going crazy, Arthur.

You're going sane in a crazy world.

Oh, God!

(clattering)

Ah, nice bed.

Thanks for turning off that beeping.

You're real?

Don't get stuck on trivia, man.

We got a tiger by the tail.

So, this is your HQ, huh?

No, this is my apartment.

This your secret trigger?

What tri... Don't touch anything!

Whoa, check out the crime lab!

It's all thorough and complicated.

You've got ideas, theories. I like that in a sidekick.

Sidekick? Who's saying anything about sidekick?

It's perfect.

Don't touch this.

You've got the brains. I got the everything else.

Come on, man, don't you feel it?

We're part of a plan that's bigger than the both of us.

What are you talking about?

I'm a superhero, Arthur.

I'm nigh-invulnerable.

I have the reflexes of an Olympic-level jungle cat.

I have the strength of ten, perhaps 20 men.

A crowded bus stop of men.

But my greatest power is this.

When destiny speaks, she speaks to me.

She says hi by the way.

And she wanted me to give you this.

Don't slam... on the table.

What-what is this?

Everything that survived last night's explosion.

Explosion? Tick?

Did-did you attack that gang?

Oh.

Huh.

I broke a few eggs.

But the omelet is huge!

Listen, Tick, look.

I'm sorry, but I am not part of any sort of bigger plan that you have going on here, okay?

I'm trying to prove that The Terror's alive, and that's it.

You're gonna have to do more than just prove it.

I mean, what am I supposed to do with that?

Destiny is calling you, Arthur.

Look at me.

Yeah, I'm looking at you.

I'm over here, answering our destiny.

Come on over... It's good.

It's warm.

It's like the inside of bread.

I'm not gonna get inside of bread with you.

Do you understand that?

Not really.

Look, I don't even know you.

You know me.

I'm the you you always wanted to be.

You want to come over here and be me, but you can't, because you're standing there, right in your own way.

No.

But you make a better door than you do a window, chum.

So why don't you swing wide open, let you walk through you... right on over to me.

Destiny wanted us to meet, Arthur.

So we did.

Destiny also wanted me to cause that very big explosion last night, so I did that, too.

And the only thing that survived... is this.

A hero's mantle... sized to your tiny proportions.

I think the meaning is clear.

What? What's-what's wrong?

Is something...?

(whispering): What? What's happening?

(glass shatters)

Tick, my mom bought that for...

Look, there-there is no trigger for any sort of secret headquarters.

You'll find me on the rooftops.

Yep, well, probably not, though.

(grunting, banging)

(crashes)

(car alarm blaring)

He was blue?

And huge.

A super, no question.

If you ask me, he was working with that little guy that was spying on us last night.

Man: Hey! Hey!

Hey!

Yeah.

Get me down!

Tick: Light against darkness.

Up against down.

A struggle as old as time, but with a beat you can dance to.

And as the sun rises on a new day in The City, so rises a new hero.

A precious balloon of hope girding his loins, making ready for the fight.

He may be on the compact side, as heroes go, but that's just the way destiny crumbles her cookies.

It's not supposed to be easy.

It's not supposed to be comfortable.

It's supposed to be dangerous.

(ringing)

And interesting.

(beeping)

That's the hero's journey.

That's why they get up in the morning...

To go mano-a-monomyth with the darkness.

To win the elixir and save the world.

Because villainy is real.

It has guns and scars and tattoos, and it's licensed to drive.

It wants nothing but to murder and take.

And it's coming for them all.

So two new avengers take their place on the frontline.

They will face evil with a song of battle in their hearts.

Destiny's got her hand way, way up in their puppets.

It's an unpleasant tingling.

The deepest of wriggles.

And its only reward is drama!

New plan.