“Really? I didn’t know that.” “Yeah, that’s because it’s a lie!”
After the very promising premiere of Mike Tyson Mysteries, the second installment opens comfortably enough with everyone hanging out at their clubhouse. It’s a lazy day as Marquess is skimming the pool and Pigeon isn’t helping much in the matter before they receive their mystery of the week. It’s promising that this quickly, in their second episode, it already feels like these guys have the formula down, as we’ll likely begin each episode in this familiar setting.
The mission they receive is written in binary (not “Ooooo” as Mike Tyson originally thinks, or, that binary is for blind people, like he also thinks), that leads them to IBM to assist someone that needs their help, but who needs their help is the real mystery that’s afoot.
Tyson is pretty convinced that his daughter is a robot due to her ability to simply understand the mission at hand, but he’s also unable to even hammer her name down correctly, so he might not be the best judge of character here.
Once at IBM, the team learns that a major chess match (Judgment Day) is going on, with the tiebreaker between Gary Kasparov and a computer, Deep Blue, acting as the focal piece of the mystery.
There are some wonderful canon-building (although probably not) jokes in this episode, like Tyson’s ability to conjure the ghost of Trevor Berbick from his Judgment Day bout, but also to banish him away as well, and apparently the ability to do this to any ghost, as Marquess thanks Tyson for not using the same power on him. Or another instance where Tyson and Marquess get into a long digression on why he can’t sleep well at night, until Yung needs to ask both of them if they’ve forgotten why they’re at IBM, to which they both promptly reply “Yes.” I’m also enjoying the show’s ability to take actual events and history from Tyson’s life and subvert it with the mash-up of history they’re presenting elsewhere.
Tyson’s ignorance in both of the episodes that we’ve gotten so far has been a surprising highlight that hasn’t gotten tiring yet, but to see him punch out Kasparov because he’s confusing a grand master of chess with the grand wizard of the Klu Klux Klan is extremely satisfying (as is his admission that if he had access to a time machine, he would also punch out an Adolf Hitler, which economically ends up becoming a crucial plot point).
The villain that we get here, Mr. Thomas Watson, the founder and CEO of IBM, very adeptly plays the shadowy business figure, who’s pulling all the strings here. He’s essentially holding Deep Blue hostage and forcing him to win these chess matches in order to raise IBM’s stock prices, and if he doesn’t, the computers are going to get blamed for some very bad crimes.
I’m also fond of the idea that each episode Tyson’s mystery team is tackling some big topic or corporation, giving a strong focus and theme to each one, whether it be the world of literature, or computers, not unlike what Scooby Doo would do. The addition of some sort of weirdly appropriate “celebrity” whether it be Cormac McCarthy or Gary Kasparov, is also meshing with the tone perfectly, as we wait for the inevitable appearance by the Harlem Globetrotters.
As anyone might have suspected, Deep Blue is actually running off of the stolen brain of Bobby Fisher, which is of course highly illegal in the world of chess. In doing so, he’s finally able to give Mr. Fisher peace and silence after all of these tortured chess-playing years. But even though the gang was able to solve the mystery and help out Bobby Fisher, the Manchines that run IBM are still out there, slowly, surely, taking over the world…