Nick Sax has changed!!
Instead of drinking alcohol from the liquor bottle, he's assuaging his habit with a little more stealth. And that's about it when it comes to change, at least as of Happy! Season 2 Episode 1.
Because other than that, this high-octane Syfy show is exactly as we want it to be going into its sophomore season -- absurd, macabre, and funny as hell!
New Nick Sax is on the straight and narrow now if that suggests a line that should be crossed or zigged and zagged. Try as he might, nobody can help Sax turn a corner.
If anything, Nick has started rubbing off on those around him. From his daughter, Hailey, to poor Happy, to his unwitting baby mama Amanda, people all over the place are starting to act a little more like Nick.
All of the characters that made an impact during Happy! Season 1 are back, at least for a little while.
Demonically possessed Frank "Blue" Scaramucci is behind bars, but that doesn't mean anyone is safe from his warm embrace. He's slutting it up as a bitch for his cellmate and making dicks out of white bread.
But that's not the worry, of course. The only people who can carry the demon are in the Scaramucci line. Isabella, the dear Debi Mazar, was killed in the most heinous way to keep the demon from fleeing Frank. It's staying in prison -- for now.
Bug has already managed to send Frank a creepy crawling message from the outside.
Of COURSE, Sonny Shine is back. Who else would declare war on Easter?
Christopher Fitzgerald is scary as hell as Sonny. There is something so deviously delicious about a villain infiltrating the world of children's programming. It's enough to make your hair stand on end.
It's not even that far fetched that such a character would gain the ear of the Pope to turn Easter into a holiday to rival Christmas.
We're gonna Make Easter Great Again for the first time.Sonny
MEGA everybody. It's so 2019, isn't it?
Also back is Smoothie, the pragmatic devil who takes the slow and deliberate way to kill his prey. From the looks of the photos available for the premiere, he was going to be introduced a lot earlier in the episode.
His reveal as the Bondage Bunny was much better, don't you think?
Scooter F*ckin' Sterling better start shouting "Tallahassee!!" ad nauseam because he's going to find himself in a world of pain soon if the past is indicative of future results. With Smoothie, I think it is.
My safe word is Tallahassee.Scooter
It was also Smoothie's invention for the Frying Nuns to explode all over New York City. That was a beautifully brutal way to open the hour, and yes, I fully expect to go to hell for saying that.
If you're not ready to go the distance with gore and guts, there's no purpose to continuing with Happy!
Getting offended easily didn't help you through the first season, and if you thought Christmas and Santy Claws was hard to swallow, seeing Sonny on the cross as Jesus as he appealed to the Pope to adopt MEGA isn't going to sit well with you now.
It's no surprise that everyone in Nick's life is starting to change.
Amanda went through some of the worst experiences of her life, but instead of holding on even tighter to Hailey, she allows Nick to take their daughter.
Hailey is bashing kids and property while at school to the point her teacher recommended a Catholic School for Wayward Girls. The timing is perfect with the MEGA campaign. Whether Hailey is at home with mom, dad, or at school, she'll be in the crosshairs of the dastardly duo of Sonny and Smoothie.
Even Happy isn't free from Nick's influence. Not only is he cussing out cab drivers on the street as a good imaginary friend should, but he's also growing hair under his armpits. WTF??? At least it's pink!
And through it all, the comedic timing of Chris Meloni and Patton Oswalt forces laughter whether you want it or not.
The early scenes were particularly sweet for Happy and Oswalt. A little Happy at my side clapping his hooves together in his eagerness for me to wake up might be enough to drive me out of bed before noon.
Even Nick's reaction to Happy's morning song didn't stop the little guy from egging on his new bestie.
One particular scene has become my new go-to GIF when I mistakenly see something I shouldn't instead of Pheobe on Friends screaming, "My eyes. My eyes!"
Both of those reactions are to seeing a mans package. What the hell does that even mean??
Part of what makes the grisly humor so acceptable on Happy! is that we probably wouldn't mind doing some of it ourselves.
Alright, we're not going to wrap bomb vests around a flock of nuns and blow them up in Time's Square, but what about some of the other things?
For example, the bicycle riders who audaciously clapped back at Nick for getting in their way when he was clearly in the right? Who hasn't wanted to lop the heads off of a bunch of bikers as they whizzed by leaving you breathing in their dirt?
Just like the rest of us, Nick, as gnarly as he is, still has a heart of gold.
He defended Hailey mightly until she admitted to the wrongdoing at her school, and after tossing the prostitute a solid gig, he even had Happy infiltrate the party rather than leaving her in there alone with Mr. What's Your Bloodtype.
She's a little too dimwitted to retain all her organs forever. Standing in the middle of the warehouse wearing a surgical gown with a few goons (even a Hassidic one) didn't strike her as at all odd. She ordered Nick out of the room so she could do her job.
Nick is like a superhero in how resolutely he shreds his enemies.
The bloodiest scene on TV in ages had Nick sliding through a bloody warehouse floor erroneously killing while not even trying. His realization of the cash value of the gooey organs was priceless.
Holy giblets! I'm standing in the middle of a goddamned gold mine of blood and guts!Nick
Nick's former partner is also back in business, real estate, that is. Merry got chucked off the force, but she hasn't given up on taking down Sonny Shine.
Her entire apartment has transformed into a pinboard relating to the crime, so we can only imagine what happened in the time we sat out all of the action.
Sensible adult techniques like discussion, negotiation, and compromise have little place in the world of Nick Sax and his imaginary friend.
Where do you think all of the lines drawn in the premiere will cross as the season rolls? How will the gang of Hassidic organ thieves tie into Sonny's war on Easter and his attempt to MEGA? You know they will.
I've given you my theory on how Hailey will get involved, but Amanda may get lured on her own. She works in an office that pulls her trigger point incessantly.
Everything about the Happy! premiere sang to me.
What about you?
Hit me with your thoughts of all things Happy! (And gnarly, dark, and latex, if you must...)
If you missed the premiere, you will be able to watch Happy! online in the morning.
What was your favorite part? Part ... get it?? I'll take the liver!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.