Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 40: The Miracle of a New Beginning

Introduction

Part 39 | Part 40 | Part 41 >

Act 5 Act 2, Part 13 of 32

Pages 3192-3249 (MSPA: 5096-5149)

Jade tries out her Christmas presents, continuing the Christmas special theme, I guess like the episode following the Christmas special.

First off, Jade shows us what John and Rose are up to. I really like how both pictures above show some future knowledge device showing Jade with her spectagoggles, signifying that pretty much everyone now has some way of knowing future stuff. The narration says “You wonder why…” or “You wonder what…” a lot of times, which I think signifies that knowledge of the future does not equate with omniscience.

Why does this picture have two dream Daves?

According to the spectagoggles, there are currently 13 Daves scattered around the incipisphere, including Davesprite. That is an absolutely preposterous amount of Daves.

This bit is a hint that Davesprite was alive all along, given that the Dave count includes Davesprite but dropped when one of them died. Despite this hint, I’ve seen readers surprised to see Davesprite alive all along.

Jade views Davesprite hiding in his pendant, his brother’s body nearby, and then she sees the doomed Dave dead.

Jade pesters Dave, first asking about the version of him she saw dead. Then we get this interesting bit:

GG: D: 
GG: what about your… 
GG: um…. 
GG: oh no i dont even know if you know about this 
TG: what 
TG: my bro 
TG: yeah jack killed him too 
GG: ;_; 
GG: is it something you would like to talk about 
TG: not much to talk about 
TG: this is some pretty serious existence threatening shit going down and some people are going to die i guess 
TG: even crazy hard dudes like my bro slash weird covert biological ghost dad 

Dave is projecting a rather apathetic reaction to his guardian’s death, though it seems more like an implicit “I’d rather not talk about it” reaction. The closest we get to his true reaction to his brother’s death is when he lies on the ground face-down and refuses to get up. Even today it isn’t really clear how saddened Dave is by this death. I suspect he doesn’t know how he should feel.

GG: anyway dave im really sorry about your bro/dad 
GG: you were pretty close with him right? 
TG: meh it was a pretty bizarre relationship by any standard 
TG: fightin off wave after wave of face pumicing puppet ass every day 
TG: always being on guard for stealth attacks in the middle of the night while getting up to go to the fucking bathroom 
GG: heheh 

Jade here seems to think it’s funny how weird Dave’s bro was. Much later Dave talks about how seriously messed up his upbringing was, but I guess he phrased what was said above in a funny way.

TG: but i guess it all sorta amounted to some vague unspoken semblance of kinship 
TG: if thats a thing 
TG: like if honor among thieves is something then lets call it camaraderie among ironic rapping roof ninjas 
TG: but thanks 
GG: sure 

Given Dave’s description of his relationship with his brother as some sort of kinship, it’s a little sad how by the time he meets Dirk, he lost all respect for his guardian. At least Dave seeing in Dirk what he always wished he could see in his brother makes up for it.

TG: i thought about taking his sword
TG: when i was there 
TG: but i couldnt 
TG: couldnt really bring myself to try to pull it out it was too weird 

You can’t really blame Dave here. I’m really not sure if it’s better to pull the sword out of a deceased loved(?) one or to leave it in.

GG: dave we have to stop him!!!!! 
TG: what 
GG: jack! 
GG: he shouldnt get away with this 
TG: you think 
GG: yes 
GG: why dont you stop jumping around through time like a maniac and stop being like a hundred daves all the time and come to my house so we can make a plan to kill him?? 
TG: well id like to 
TG: but im still trapped in the chronologistics of this fuckin one man ballet 
TG: there are loops outstanding and if i step out of line you get to see more bloody daves 
TG: im getting pretty sick of it but i think itll be over soon 
TG: then ill break out and ride linear the rest of the way i think 
TG: once its time to put the end game in motion 
TG: til then youre on your own for a while 
GG: oh 😦 
TG: besides we cant beat him 
TG: look what he did to bro and davesprite together 
TG: im at the top of my echeladder with all the fraymotifs and i stand no chance 
TG: johns even better than that even though he doesnt know it at the moment 
TG: and he stands no chance either 

How does Dave know that neither he nor John can stand a chance against Jack? Is it just a reasonable deduction from the fact that first guardians are REALLY FUCKING POWERFUL, or has Terezi given him information about how levels of power stack up against Jack? At least he’s right about John. John needed some mastery of his god tier powers to stand a chance against Jack, and when he did, he put up a decent fight. I can only imagine him bored during the battleship journey practicing wind powers, once again like some dude from Avatar.

TG: only thing we can do is hold out until the scratch 
GG: what is the scratch? 
TG: guess i shouldnt really say 
TG: since you sort of lead the way in making that plan 

I thought Dave was too cool to do the bullshit withholding information thing. I have to say, my heart sank a bit when I read the bit quoted above. To be fair though, maybe he doesn’t really feel like explaining the Scratch or isn’t sure what to say.

GG: really?? 
TG: yeah well 
TG: suffice to say 
TG: if we cant beat him 
TG: all we can really do is exile him to a place where he cant teleport back 
TG: which hopefully buys us some time 
TG: to try to take out his power source in a crazy suicide mission 

This is pretty strongly hinting at the red herring meaning of the scratch and what it does. Jade takes this as a hint of what to do next.

TG: well 
TG: youre about to do what youre about to do 
TG: and im not going to tell you not to 
TG: i wont do the bullshit troll thing and tell you what youre going to do and then just dare you not to 
TG: while knowing damn well you will anyway 
TG: so ill just say 
TG: whats next is up to you 
TG: and if later you want to talk about it 
TG: im here 
GG: ok 
GG: thanks dave!

This bit that ends the conversation says something about Dave. Unlike the trolls, he knows what’s bullshit. Maybe this is another example of him not being sure what to do but dodging the idea that he isn’t. Dave does that sort of thing three times in this conversation, at least under my interpretation. It isn’t one of these moments where it’s made super blatant that Dave’s hiding something, so I’m not sure if that was exactly the author’s intention.

Jade, not sure what she’s about to do, reconsiders Tavros’s idea of communing with Becsprite, but gets no response when she pesters him. She says:

GG: hey tavros! 
GG: i was thinking about your plan 
GG: about uh… 
GG: “communing” with my lusus 🙂 
GG: maybe its not a bad idea! 
GG: are you there? 
GG: hmm, i guess you are off doing something else 
GG: oh well, hope youre doing ok…. 
GG: talk to you later! 

Previously, Jade didn’t like the idea of Tavros controlling Becsprite, but now that she learned how bad Jack is, she thinks it’s an alright idea. Maybe she herself is now blind to the danger of communing with Becsprite because she’s filled with motivation to fight Jack?

Look at the goofy grin on Jade’s face as she throws her own stuffed corpse (also sporting a goofy grin) into a ghost dog. I guess she only KIND of knows taxidermying people is disturbing as all hell?

This is a bit of a stock art style used when new sprites are created.

Jade goes upstairs to her lab, summons her dog, and throws her taxidermied dream self (still disturbing as fuck) into Becsprite to create Jadesprite. Her motive for doing that is stated to be as a backup plan because Tavros isn’t available to commune with her sprite. Her idea of that plan is clear: she wants to fight Jack, so she hopes that prototyping her dream self into Becsprite and getting her to fight Jack will do the same.

I should note that it was a pretty brave and risky move for Jade to sacrifice her beloved dog for the sake of stopping the villain. 

SEIZURE WARNING


END SEIZURE WARNING

Jadesprite doesn’t get off on the right foot; she does the thing where you repeatedly say something, louder and more dramatic each time (in this case “what did you do”).

A beautifully foreboding panel.

Meanwhile, Gamzee, who is apparently now the most important character in Homestuck*, watches this very event at the moment the troll countdown hits zero. Note the scratches on his face—another bit of foreshadowing that he will turn evil. It’s kind of ambiguous though, ambiguous enough that when he turns evil it still comes as a shock. I’ve heard that while some people correctly guessed Gamzee will become evil, others suggested maybe Nepeta went crazy and scraped Gamzee’s face with claws. Now that I think of it, someone has probably written fanfiction about evil Nepeta. It sounds absurd, but is it any more absurd than evil Gamzee?

* It’s later revealed that Lil’ Cal was with Gamzee, so some think the most important character actually refers to Cal. However, this is probably another case of fans reading too much into things; Gamzee’s supposed status as the most important character is alluded to twice later (12).

Happy new year!

Here’s another character-establishing moment: the first thing Jadesprite does is knock the lab off the top of Jade’s tower in a fit of rage. It rolls down as a snowball and stops at a tree stump.

The fourth wall transitions us to another self-insert scene…

…which at first purports to be Lord English’s grand reveal.

What are you a fucking idiot? Of course I am not Lord English. How dumb would that even be. 

The mystery of Lord English’s identity was (and still is) a meme among fans, and Hussie going out of his way to say he obviously isn’t Lord English is clearly another one of those moments where a dumb theory is explicitly shown to be wrong to shut people up. Other examples are when the comic makes it explicit that WV is not an imp (Hussie said in the book commentary that that was done to shut readers up), or the recurring “DEAD” tags to tell us, yes, this character is dead, in case it wasn’t blindingly obvious. Notably, Nepeta is an exception to the idea of “dead” tags; for quite a while, people debated over whether she is dead even as it was made increasingly obvious that yes, she is dead (I figure this was done to troll readers). Eventually, I guess people decided “fuck it, she’s definitely dead”.

That Ms. Paint is one classy Prospitian lady. She is the model of grace and beauty. I am always a bit flustered in her presence, especially when she carries her little pail around like that. 

Whereas THIS lazy sack of crap here makes me sick to my stomach. 

Cal, God damn it. We were all supposed to dress up for this. It doesn’t look like you even touched that nice suit I sewed for you, let alone swapped your eyes with those billiard balls and make them alternate rapidly. 

This insubordination is putting me in a foul mood. It’s bad enough I just had to take Falcor out behind the woodshed and blow his brains out after he caught the rabies.

These paragraphs above are all weird self-insert nonsense. The self-insert scenes, I’ve noticed, are always kind of weird and random. There are some interesting bits though: the bit about flashing pool balls is foreshadowing Cal’s connection to Lord English, Hussie’s attraction to Ms. Paint is bizarre and creepy, and Falcor was apparently killed offscreen. Though I guess the point of the scene is to shoot the breeze for a while and set the stage for recap number 3.

As weird as this self-insert scene is, what’s going on above really is pretty hilarious.

Now time to comment on Recap 3, whichever bits I feel like commenting on. It’s super long, slightly longer than the first recap at 5631 words, making it the longest of the recaps. As I watched the Let’s Read Homestuck dub of the recap, I found a lot of stuff to comment on, which I’ve decided to put in a separate post because my recap commentary is pretty long.

OK, back to Jade and Jadesprite.

JADE: uuugh 
JADE: what happened? 
JADESPRITE: boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo 
JADE: oh god 
JADESPRITE: what did you do what did you do what did you do 
JADE: oh no oh god….. 
JADE: what did i dooooo

More echoing of Jadesprite’s first line, this time in a regular soft tone, and from the other perspective. I just like this echo.

JADESPRITE: what did you do to me?? 
JADE: i prototyped you and brought you back! 
JADE: should i not have? 
JADESPRITE: no! 
JADESPRITE: you shouldnt have, this is overwhelming and awful 
JADE: oh no, it is? 
JADESPRITE: yes! 
JADESPRITE: its hard to describe what its like 
JADESPRITE: but its too much for me 
JADESPRITE: and the sun… 
JADESPRITE: its way too big and bright and i cant stop seeing it… 
JADESPRITE: it wont go away aaaaah! 
JADE: 😦 
JADE: thats terrible, im really sorry 
JADE: i guess i did not think this through 

Yeah she really didn’t think this through. Jade probably doesn’t exactly have an idea what it’s like to be a first guardian. Before reaching this point in my third read I never thought much about Jade’s motive for prototyping Jadesprite. Jadesprite is complaining about being unable to stop seeing the sun, which makes me wonder how different it is for Jade after herself becoming a first guardian. She has no qualms with being combined with an omnipotent dog, and I suspect this is because she only inherited part of Bec’s features—Hussie once said that the only anatomical feature she got from Bec was the ears—not as a full-out Jade-Bec amalgam.

This also makes me wonder what it must be like for Tavros after having been combined with GCat. We don’t get much of a picture of what it’s like before he’s put to sleep, but it’s clear that it’s a pretty awful existence. Did Vriska even consider how much of a wreck Jadesprite was when she thought of this idea? My bets are that Gcatavrosprite will blow up at some point.

JADESPRITE: cant this be undone? 
JADESPRITE: i was happy where i was with my friends 
JADESPRITE: i want to go back 
JADE: i dont think… 
JADE: that it can be undone 😦 
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO 
JADESPRITE: woof 😥 
JADE: 😮

Apparently Dream Jade, after dying, became a ghost separate from Jade. The whole thing about dead waking or dream selves becoming ghosts is kind of a topic of debate. In part of the flash [S] Terezi: Remem8er, there’s a montage of lots of ghosts waking up in dream bubbles (largely waking selves who were killed) which either means that ascending to god tier or being corpsesmooched leaves a dream bubble ghost behind or that you spend a bit of time as a ghost before being corpsesmooched. But more confusingly, Jade mentioned a nap between dying and going god tier where she learned lots of stuff about the green sun mission, which further complicates the evidence. I’m not sure.

I think all we can safely say about this whole ghost thing is that dream self death leaves behind a dream self ghost.

JADE: i know you are upset jade 
JADE: but i did sort of bring you back for a reason 
JADESPRITE: why, why would you do this? 
JADE: we need your help! 
JADESPRITE: who? 
JADE: well, all of us here 
JADE: me and dave and rose and john 
JADESPRITE: john!!!!!!!!!!! 
JADESPRITE: oh noooooo, john… 
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO 
JADE: D: 
JADE: what is it now! 
JADESPRITE: john, poor john… 
JADESPRITE: id forgotten about him 
JADE: what do you mean, how could you forget about john??? 
JADESPRITE: it was so long ago! i put that sad memory behind me
JADESPRITE: after we died i looked all over for him but couldnt find him 
JADESPRITE: and i was so lonely, but i finally got over it when i met my friends….. 
JADESPRITE: and now theyre gone toooo aaahhhh boooooooo hoo hoo hoo hoo 
JADE: but john didnt die! 
JADE: i saved him 
JADE: YOU saved him, dont you remember? 
JADE: you pushed him out of the way of prospits moon at the last minute, and hes ok now!!! 

Why did ghost Jade (dream Jade between dying and becoming Jadesprite) assume John was dead? She seems to think that since she never saw John in dream bubbles, John must be gone for good. Doesn’t she know anything about how dream bubbles work?! Or were the friends she keeps talking about as clueless as she is? It’s been specifically noted that sometimes paradox space just makes it so certain people won’t cross paths for a period of time. John or Jade meeting Dave, Rose, or one of the trolls and pre-retcon Terezi and Vriska meeting together have both been noted as dream bubble meetings paradox space seemed to refuse to let happen.

This whole scene feels like a character reuniting with a character we haven’t heard from in the past three seasons, and the long-missed character turns out to be in far worse shape than before. This sort of thing also happens with Gamzee in that conversation where he is suddenly evil.

JADESPRITE: why are you doing this to me, why are you making me remember 
JADE: 😦 
JADESPRITE: it was so beautiful and it was all destroyed before i even knew what was going on…. 
JADESPRITE: and so many nice people were killed 
JADE: i know jade i was there too… 
JADE: these are both our memories! 
JADESPRITE: and the queen, did she survive? 
JADESPRITE: and her ring, i was protecting her ring, oh noooo what happened to it??? 
JADE: jade, pleeease… 
JADESPRITE: i was just waiting for john to wake up, i was so sure it was going to be soon 
JADESPRITE: and i was going to show him around prospit 
JADESPRITE: i had so many things planned and so many friends to introduce him to… 
JADESPRITE: he was my best friend and i was looking forward to meeting him for so long 
JADESPRITE: but then it all burned down and everyone died and the moon fell and………. 
JADE: stop… 
JADE: you are going to make me cry too, stop it!!!

Here Jadesprite is very much dwelling on sad memories, while Jade is not. Why exactly is that? Maybe ghost Jade never found out that it really was all OK? Jadesprite’s dream bubble friends clearly didn’t know about the kids’ session, which is kind of a shame. By putting those apparently incorrigible sad memories behind her, did she lose the ambition that made her her? That seems pretty likely.

JADE: well, you remember the guy who destroyed prospit?
JADESPRITE: oh god D:
JADESPRITE: ohh god noooooo…
JADE: shh!!!
JADE: anyway, he is the reason i brought you here
JADE: he has the same powers you have, making him unbeatable to us…
JADE: but maybe not you!
JADE: so you could go find him and
JADESPRITE: you want me to fight him???
JADE: um
JADESPRITE: are you crazy? do i look like i am ready to fight anybody??????? 

Jadesprite saying she’s unwilling to fight anybody is a pretty crazy idea, considering that before then, dream Jade was just more air-headed than waking Jade, and now look what happened.

JADESPRITE: it was a nice life, but everything we did lead to nothing
JADESPRITE: john and i both died, and i eventually accepted that and moved on
JADE: JOHN DIDNT DIE!!!
JADE: omg…
JADE: this is so frustrating, i just told you he didnt
JADE: i knew i was kind of ditzy and forgetful in my dreams, but
JADESPRITE: boooo ho-
JADE: SHHHHH! okaaaaaay, jeez! 

For some reason it only now occurred to me that Jadesprite must have kept dream Jade’s forgetfulness. Did that trait become stronger through her time as a ghost, to the point where she says John died right after Jade told her she didn’t? Jade used to share consciousness with her dream self and thus didn’t realize her dreaming self’s own bad qualities, but now they’re being totally rubbed in her face. Dirk, Vriska, Rose, Karkat, and probably some others also have had alternate selves rub their own bad qualities in their faces; it’s almost like a recurring theme in the comic. 

JADE: there is still something worth fighting for!
JADESPRITE: no!!!
JADESPRITE: not for me there isnt
JADESPRITE: there is nothing but death and sadness and destruction here
JADESPRITE: theres no hope, and i dont see anything worth fighting for
JADE: that is a horrible thing to say!
JADESPRITE: i dont belong here anyway
JADESPRITE: really none of this is my business anymore and i want to go home
JADE: AUGH!
JADE: that is SO SELFISH!!! 

I’ve mentioned this before, but Jade’s interactions with Jadesprite really remind me of Vriska’s interactions with (Vriska); in both cases, one is strong-willed and the other feels like she has moved on from that stage. Also, Vriska called her alternate self “selfish” just like Jade did, for pretty much the same reason.

JADE: i cant believe this
JADE: how can you say these things, dont you remember anything that the queen told us?
JADE: that we would eventually build a new world and make a future together with our friends?
JADE: dont you remember being excited about finding out what that meant? 

This passage above feels to me like hinting that the queens of Prospit and Derse have some kind of prophecy stuff. Jade talks about the white queen knowing stuff about the future, and Snowman seems to have some kind of alternate timeline vision.

JADE: stop being such a damn crybaby!
JADE: really, we both had the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCES. and look, i am managing to keep my head up, see?
JADE: you dont even have the full picture either, because you checked out early!
JADE: you didnt have to stand by as bec gave jack his powers when you might have been able to stop that
JADE: and you didnt have to watch as jack became so strong he could appear anywhere and kill anyone you loved at any moment!
JADE: you didnt have to see a dave lying in his own blood 😦
JADESPRITE: what…
JADESPRITE: dave?
JADESPRITE: he died too?
JADE: no, see…
JADESPRITE: ohhhh boo- 

How ironic that Jade is trying to get her sprite to stop crying by talking about sad moments the latter didn’t experience.

JADE: HEY! no. youre not allowed to cry about that because you DIDNT SEE IT
JADE: thats the whole point!!!
JADE: you are just looking for any excuse you can to be sad and useless and its starting to piss me off! 

Jade clearly doesn’t understand the motives of Jadesprite, thinking of her as a scummy excuse machine when really, spending much time in dream bubbles really mellowed her out.

Visual callback to Dream Jade trying to slap John awake.
Here, dream Jade is being slapped rather than the other way around.

JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: SHUT UP
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: NO
JADE: JUST
JADE: GOD DAMN IT
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: PLEASE
JADE: JUST ONCE
JADE: SHUT THE HELL UP
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: SHUT UP
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: SHUT
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: THE
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: FUCK
JADESPRITE: BOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO
JADE: UP
JADESPRITE: 

This conversation has officially descended into a callback to future Dave and Calsprite. This is once again demonstrating the power of callbacks; in this case, emphasizing that Jadesprite is a useless annoying sprite, just like Calsprite was.

Another 50 pages, so this is a good stopping point (and dangerously close to Murderstuck). See you next time as Karkat has a ball-bustingly hilarious lesbian fantasy.

>> Part 41: Jade’s Adventures in Dumbtimeloopland

2 thoughts on “Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 40: The Miracle of a New Beginning

  1. The link to recap post doesn't work. You should probably fix that.Also sorry for not commenting. I just had no idea what to say, and I still don't have it here. Though it kinda makes me feel bad to leave you without feedback.

    Like

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