Cookie Fonster Critiques Homestuck Part 26: Seadwweller Drama and Meta Madness

Introduction

Part 25 | Part 26 | Part 27 >

Act 5 Act 1, Part 6 of 7

Pages 2407-2542 (MSPA: 4307-4442)

NOTE: I recently updated some of my old posts. Mostly some little tweaks, adding some extra information and opinions of stuff, and adding more labels to the posts.

NOTE 2: Going on vacation, so no posts next week. Next post will be Friday around noon, and next post will be either next Sunday or Wednesday depending on when I get back.

(excessively long evil gloat omitted)

Rule of thumb: if it doesn’t say the scene will abruptly switch, it will switch.
If it says it might abruptly switch, it won’t.
Same goes for any recurring gag.

Time to meet the last two trolls in a 2x transition combo. Both have their names given to us, then have a character establishing moment. First Eridan kills someone’s giant whale lusus with his harpoon gun, riding his seahorse lusus like a boss. Then Feferi catches the dead lusus with her net and feeds it to her giant tentacle monster lusus, Gl’bgolyb. Feferi’s moment is establishing because it’s her response to being asked to do something adorable; I think that may establish her odd view of the world, where everything is a lot more positive in her mind than it really is. I love the way that monster is given a sense of scale, with a giant whale lusus dwarfing the size of a troll, which itself is DWARFED by Glb’golyb (am I the only one who reads the name phonetically rather than as “glub glub”?) which I’ve seen estimated to be about 20-30 miles in length. Then we learn the interests of each of those trolls, and that’s where I’ll say stuff about both of them.

Eridan Ampora is another one of those minor trolls who has these absurd traits that were mainly intended for humor. I think his defining trait is his pretentiousness. He has this whole ludicrous plan to kill all of the land dwellers despite being nothing more than a young random high caste guy. Similarly, he has these absurd fantasies of being a mighty wizard of what he insists on calling “science”, but nobody else cares about that stuff. If I had read Harry Potter beyond skimming a bit of the first book in 3rd grade or so, here’s where I’d probably put some comparisons between Eridan and the book series his character references so heavily.* Although his genocide stuff would for a long time be little more than ridiculous plans to laugh at, during the arc known by fans as “Murderstuck” his murderous tendencies would suddenly be played for real, killing his former moirail and crush, and attempting to kill both someone he saw as a friend and a guy who he despises. His character gets the most insight a little before his death: in one walkaround game, we learn what he spent most of his time in Sgrub doing (i.e. killing his planet’s angels), and what happened to his dynamics with other characters (especially Feferi). 

* Unlike a lot of people who might be making a blog like this, I’m don’t have a very big knowledge base regarding works of media, whether they’re books, TV shows, music, comics, art, video games, whatever. I guess there’s a handful of works that I really get into (Homestuck is one of them) but far larger amount of popular works that I don’t know much about.

Feferi Peixes is another one of these characters whose treatment in the story is very much unlike what it could be. She is the heiress to the Alternian throne which is at this point occupied by one of Homestuck’s main antagonists, hopes to revamp troll society if she were to inherit the throne, and takes care of a foretelling monstrous being who is of a race with great significance to the comic. And yet, she gets very little screen time. Her situation is like that of Sollux but more extreme. She only gets three pesterlogs in the trolls’ arc (one with Kanaya, two with Eridan), less than any of the other trolls. One of the few plot-relevant things she does is convincing the Horrorterrors to create the dream bubble afterlife system, which has more ramifications than you might realize. It would make sense for someone with such a special role in troll society to get a lot of screen time, but she doesn’t. Everything that could have been done with Feferi’s character is done with Meenah, her corresponding pre-scratch troll. Meenah gets a lot of screen time with some pretty heavy exploration of her character, with morals somewhat akin to those of Vriska but with a rather different flavor. Feferi’s status as a troll at the top of the caste system doesn’t shine too strongly in her character, but Meenah’s very much does, with how she feels best when she’s in charge or when she gets to do important stuff. OK, maybe I got off track here. Feferi’s defining traits are her strong optimism and courage, which is sort of like Jade but with a somewhat different flavor. She tends to be fairly naive, thinking that everyone taking strong care of everyone is the best way to live. This is demonstrated in the pre-scratch trolls’ descriptions of Beforan society, which many of them rather despise; that also is some interesting posthumous insight into Feferi’s character.

Then the underwater trolls get down to business and ride some motherfucking horses as the art style briefly deteriorates to crude drawings that resemble what you’d see in coloring books. Eridan goes on to converse with Feferi. They mostly argue a little about Eridan’s ridiculous plans and haughty ways, his former black romance with Vriska, and Feferi’s plans as an empress. He logs off in embarrassment when Feferi starts to pry into him regarding his red ambitions. This conversation right there is quadrant drama in action; I’ll say more about said drama and its role in the comic in their next conversation. For now the seadwellers do their room examination stuff, and then we learn of Eridan’s old relationship with Vriska, their killing trolls and lusii arrangement with Feferi, and the hypothetical Vast Glub. In that sequence, we get a rare sight of trolls other than the twelve Homestuck focuses on (as silhouettes), as well as a bunch of lusii in the ocean in which Gl’bgolyb resides.

We skip to after the seadwellers entered the game. They have another conversation in which Feferi ends their moirallegiance, right when Eridan finally admits his feelings for her. Things go pretty miserably for Eridan but Feferi feels relieved to not have to deal with him, and I might as well quote what they say about it (note temporary removal of typing quirks):

CA: fef have you thought about 
CA: since you dont wanna be pale with me no more 
CA: the possibility a some other type of arrangement with me 
CC: What do you mean? 
CA: i mean 
CA: somethin a bit more 
CA: kinda reddish 
CA: like 
CA: brighter red 
CC: 38O 
CC: No, I hadn’t thought about it! 
CA: ok well what do you think about it 
CA: now that youre thinkin about it 
CC: Um… 
CC: I really don’t know about that. 
CA: why not i thought you said you liked me 
CC: I do! But I don’t know if it’s really in that way. 
CA: couldnt it be though 
CA: dont you think theres room in your collapsin and expandin bladder based aquatic vascular system for those feelins 
CC: I’ve never had a chance to consider anything like that! I have just spent all my time worrying about you and trying to keep you from killing everybody or hurting yourself. 
CC: It took all my energy. 
CC: I don’t think I have anything left for those feelings either. 

Eridan bonks his head in dismay. What’s interesting about this scene is that like I said, it’s quadrant drama in action and has a blatant emotional impact for both of them, I don’t think it’s meant to be taken that seriously by readers. I mean, they’re both pretty tangential characters, so the scene might well be taken as the absurdity of troll romance in action. Feferi’s decision to end her moirallegiance with Eridan is interesting: she’s obviously pretty sick of having to deal with him and feels that the obliteration of the troll race means that the burden is over. This decision seems a bit short-sighted when you consider that there still are other trolls it’s entirely possible for Eridan to kill; later Eridan would kill or try to kill three trolls in short succession, one of whom is Feferi herself. Also in that conversation Feferi calls Sollux a hero. I think that act of saving her life in the nick of time must be what caused Feferi to start a relationship with him.

Left to right: a guy legitimately sad at the death of someone he normally bickers with;
a guy who’s normally a villain calming him down;
and his other friend looking weirdly unfazed.

Karkat, having joined Gamzee in the latter’s planet, gets on an alchemized computer to see Sollux dead. Gamzee answers Eridan, who wants to talk to Karkat for advice with Feferi. Gamzee tells him to drink some Faygo, which he does. If you want to know what I think of Faygo, it’s a pretty crude soda. I think this scene is some of Gamzee’s personality in action: honest and well-meaning but kind of ditzy. Then Feferi goes to Sollux’s land to introduce us to the concept of corpsesmooching, one of Sburb’s ways to bring people back to life. She kisses Sollux’s gruesome body, weirdly smiling as she does so. 

Karkat watches Feferi kiss Sollux and is grossed out. Spades Slick watches his past self and Karkat watching that which he thinks is dumb, and trolls are given exile commands for the first time in the trolls’ arc. Then Andrew Hussie watches that, dressed as a troll in a way that parodies fan cosplay with gross gray paint and badly glued-on horns, comparing his situation to the Neverending Story. Then the MSPA reader watches all that, deciding that he will kill himself if things don’t stop keep happening—an introduction to an arc that would for a long time remain a one-off joke until waaaaaaay later.

Then it’s commanded that Hussie gets back to the actual story. He refuses and fucks with us some more, introducing the nightmarish wolf head, making us read the quadrants section all over again, and laughing maniacally. I laughed quite a bit reading that sequence, more so than in my previous reads. Then we get back to Slick, who advances the story but has to type “====” then “==>” to go on because “==>”, which is one button, is invalid syntax. This was obviously done as an amusing joke, but I seriously wonder if the command station was built wrong or something.

Sollux’s Derse dream self explores the planet, blows up Clubs Deuce’s command station in a fit of rage (we can only hope Deuce survived), and makes it to his own brain-filled planet where he meets Feferi in a panel filled with brains and bees which looks outrageous out of context (see below).

This panel doesn’t even make that much sense in context, at least not the brain stuff.

Vriska explores her planet with Tavros, and Snowman gives up on commanding her, commanding Terezi instead. She tells Terezi, who communicates with her using chalk, to start her mission to exile Jack Noir. This little sequence is interesting because while the black queen’s exile is shown only in an exposition sequence, Jack’s exile is a bit more in action, at least the beginning of it shown on screen. Nepeta also explores her planet, and Equius joins her. She greets him by pouncing on him, and Equius answers Karkat, who turns out to be starting a memo for multiple people to talk. This is an alright stopping point because it’s right before the comic’s first memo. See you next time as we go through crazy time travel memos and conclude the trolls’ arc with a rad exposition sequence starring Aradia.

>> Part 27: Memo Madness and Universe Failure

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