Cookie Fonster’s Homestuck Commentary Part 62: The Housetrapped Heiress


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Act 6 Act 1, Part 3 of 4

Pages 4195-4226 (MSPA: 6095-6126)

NOTE: This will be my last post before leaving for my next vacation, from which I’ll return on August 6. After that I’ll go back to regular posting, hopefully at a less sluggish rate than previously.

Jane leaves her room and examines her hallway, which is quite different from John’s without any clowns or anything.

Just one of your dad’s bland HALLWAY DOUCHEBAGS. Another example of his cornball dad tastes, which make you roll your eyes and shrug. Still, it’s preferable to how it used to be.

Years ago he would work really hard to mimic your interests throughout the household. Gaudy paintings of sitcom legends covering the walls, hideous detective figurines littered everywhere. You think it’s better that he embrace his own interests rather than try to pander to yours.

This description of how Jane’s relationship with her father progressed away from a mirror of John’s life seems to me like another “what could have been” sort of thing: in this case, what John’s relationship with his father would have become if he kept living a normal life for a few more years. And maybe what it would’ve become if not for Gamzee doing the whole clown doll thing. Oh, and that’s another thing that’s better off in the scratched universe. Even during Dad’s mimicking interests phase, this time around at least it’s mimicking a real interest of his child’s.

It felt a bit forced, and your early teen years were filled with daily rounds of familial STRIFE. Not so much anymore. Now whenever there is a father-daughter disagreement, you settle things in an adult fashion by being honest about your feelings and talking it through, and also by sneaking around the house in silly disguises. 

Not only does this bit elaborate more on how Jane got over the whole father grudge thing, it also tells us that the alpha kids won’t follow through with as many patterns as the beta kids.

There’s a familiar face. A friendly face. Old poppop Crocker, smiling from beyond. Your dad sure misses him. He doesn’t like to talk about the day he died. Some incident involving a tall bookshelf, a ladder, and a mysterious young woman in a suspicious looking hat. You have often fantasized about putting on your dirty old fedora and your Frenchest looking mustache to go tracking down this felonious broad and bring her to justice. But your dad always says best to let sleeping dogs lie. 

The part about the “mysterious young woman” is a bit confusing. It’s pretty clearly implied that Jane is the felonious broad (it’s her), but I’ve seen people suggest that maybe that was older Jane who traveled back in time or something because a baby isn’t exactly a young woman? That makes no sense, even considering that may be possible with John’s retcon abilities. My best guess is that Dad simply didn’t tell Jane that she was involved in Poppop’s death because that would make her feel terrible; matches up with the stuff John’s dad did to protect his son.

It’s so weird comparing this regular normal home to John’s house’s marginally less normal collection of clown stuff.

Another hard boiled Anderson. Even though your dad isn’t overbearing with all the detective nonsense anymore, he decided to leave this one here for old time’s sake. It brings back memories of his very short-lived stint as a private eye. It turns out the police aren’t as grateful as you’d think when ordinary citizens go around roughing up a lot of crooks.

I guess that’s where the thing of Jane’s dad once having been a detective was mentioned. I think it’s pretty funny that although many aspects of the characters’ arcs were totally forgotten about eventually, the passing mention of Dad’s brief stint as a detective was brought up again by Jake, when he said he thinks he was a detective at some point.

Also, I think Dad kept the picture of Harry Anderson around also because he is among the celebrities dads in Homestuck’s world are predisposed to like, regardless of whether he is an actor or a detective. After all, both are fans of Jeff Foxworthy and Bing Crosby, and probably also others.

This time around, Jane actually is stuck in her home, which is funny considering the common complaints about how Act 6 just doesn’t feel like Homestuck. I mean come on. Jane is literally homestuck.

Note the semi-transparent fridge; another example of bringing back a sort of thing that was done sometimes in the early acts.

It practically went without saying your dad keeps poppop stuffed and mounted in front of the fireplace, as is the family tradition. Poppop grew up with his legendary humorist grandfather stuffed in front of the fireplace, and so did his grandfather. This was stipulated firmly in the will, at the end of a long list of joke stipulations. (Dad knew this was a real stipulation though.)

Oh hell no, not the creepy human taxidermy stuff again. For some reason, while Jane’s character borrows a lot of things from John, the preservation of deceased elders is borrowed from Jade. I have trouble believing John, the normal one among the kids, actually did indeed want his body stuffed in front of the fireplace, not as a jocular movie reference. I mean, he doesn’t romanticize movies quite as much as Jake does.

How come there’s both a picture of old man John and his actual stuffed corpse?

You always did find it a little macabre though, trying to watch tv and eat dinner on the couch with a dead old man standing about five feet away. You’d honestly prefer he not be kept here in the living room. Sometimes you tell dad you really want poppop in the attic. He says the mere fact you call it that tells him you’re not ready.

At least Jane herself has a sensible normal person reaction to her grandpa being stuffed in the living room, much unlike Jade who has no problem with it. It’s a bit of an oddity given that she is the one brainwashed into thinking ominous creepy things are normal.

When we finally get some crazy destructive sylladex antics that characterized the early acts, it’s done in a super trollish way: Jane ends up severing her beloved stuffed grandfather’s arm by mistake.

You always thought this inscription was written to your poppop by his nanna, who was your great great grandmother, founder of the corporation you’ll inherit in a few years. 

This is another instance of a thing Homestuck does only occasionally: linking to earlier pages to remind readers of things they may have forgotten about. I discussed this in a post from months ago.

The narration goes on to explain how Jane has always found this message to be a fascinating mystery, and then we get this interesting bit:

In any case, this message to poppop from his sweet old nanna is the best evidence you have to dispute all this evil batterwitch nonsense. She clearly cared for her grandson very much, and would never start a company responsible for the things it’s accused of, let alone be alive today to perpetrate them. 

Though Jane’s brainwashing seemed to be a very much intentional action at the hands of the Condesce, it seems like part of it happened completely through accidental means, means that the author almost certainly did not devise intentionally. This means that the letter’s accidental brainwashing is accidental even in narrative terms.

GG: J, how goes the bunnyquest?
GT: Ive barely even begun!
GG: Tell me about it.
GT: Youre off to a sluggish start then too i gather?
GG: Dad has the whole house in full fatherly lockdown mode. Talk about blowing a few measly “assassination attempts” way out of proportion! 

See, this is what I mean by Jane being only slightly less dumb than Jake. Assassination attempts are not measly. They are literally people trying to murder her. Of course her dad is going to lock her in the house and protect her; she should be grateful.

GG: What is it that has you hamstrung? Did you ever track down the slippery Mr. Strider?
GT: Not exactly.
GT: His stupid doppelglasses have set me on a wild goose chase to go pry his dumb robots chest open and swipe its uranium.
GG: Sounds dangerous!
GT: No shit.
GT: I think id rather deal with the monsters.
GG: Why is it that our two best friends in the world always seem to place themselves at the source of all our problems, while simultaneously presenting their only solutions?
GT: I know right???
GG: I’m debating whether or not to enlist his help in the matter of my current imprisonment. But I’d rather keep it as a plan of last resort.
GT: Dont do it jane its a trap!!!
GG: We’ll see.
GG: So I take it you’re out and about now?
GT: Hell no. I spent so much time haggling with those confounded shades im only leaving my room just now. 

In other words, Jane and Jake have both accomplished pretty much nothing so far, unless you count a bunch of dicking around. This kind of mirrors Act 1, but this time around Act 6 Act 1 is even more of a “stage-setting” act.

Callback to dream Jade looking up to Skaia long ago.

Jane starts to recount her dream, and the conversation starts reiterating some stuff we already know. The parts that aren’t reiterating would be Jake talking about how he knew stuff about the game in advance (as did Jade and some of the trolls) in an unusual way: his letters to Jade. A fair portion of the alpha kids’ early pesterlogs are rehashing content we learned earlier on; later on, their sections of the comic start making more effort to incorporate new information, which I think matches up with the story’s experimental improvised nature. Some parts don’t quite seem right at times, but often that’s because the author is still figuring out the best way to make these new sections. One could see the whole story, in fact, as an author’s journey in storytelling with an ever-shifting style. This is especially true with the Doc Scratch intermission, which has lots of experimental new ways to convey information.

Jane goes on to explain how she saw a bunch of Prospitians holding a funeral for Jake’s dream self. The revelation that dream Jake was dead to begin with is quite obviously something that’s not supposed to happen. I see this as early foreshadowing of the Condesce having her hands all over more than just Earth, because when we later learn how that happened, Jack talks about how the new queen (i.e. the Condesce) doesn’t care about breaking the “rules”.

GG: But before I could get too horribly upset, let alone make sense of any of it, I woke up.
GG: I of course immediately wanted to tell you all about, but it was still well before sunrise for you, and you were surely still asleep.
GG: Then as the day went on I guess I became distracted by other things. You know how it is.
GG: I hope I’m not too late to “warn” you, though to be frank I don’t have the foggiest clue what it is I’m warning you about.
GG: “Dear Jake, oh please do try not to… have already… died in my dream? Likely while you were sleeping, perhaps peacefully?” 
GT: Haha yeah. I see your point.
GG: Still, I think you’ll agree that it’s to be viewed as a troubling omen. 

It seems that seeing dead dream Jake was supposed to tell Jane something, but not actually much specific; only something along the lines of “bad things are about to happen”. If you think about it, this is like an inverse of the vague words of encouragement Jade (before dream death) and Calliope tend to give. It’s kind of unhelpful as shit, and I kind of wonder if that’s the point, like a parody of characters giving vague advice in works of media.

Jake exits his house, only for it to turn out to be mostly destroyed, not anywhere near as huge and fancy as Jade’s. Seems like basically everything is becoming troubling and upsetting now—first Jane’s dream, then Jake’s house being small and rusty rather than a magnificent giant tower.

Although these pumpkin vines are amazingly prolific, every morning when you leave your bedroom, you’d swear half the pumpkins vanished over night. It’s probably just the FAUNA eating them. Not that it matters, because they keep growing right back. 

It wasn’t always overgrown like this. When you first discovered the TRANSMATERIALIZER, you started messing around with it haphazardly. You kept appearifying pumpkins from somewhere. It was just pumpkin after pumpkin, until one time a copy of the bunny you inherited from grandma showed up, much less old and tattered of course. All that fooling around was before you realized how precious its fuel would be. Such a waste of good uranium.

Here’s another thing I should’ve said sooner. Another way early Act 6 (the alpha kids’ acts) gets around the idea that it’ll reiterate a lot of old stuff is by not just introducing some new concepts, also by resolving old plot mysteries. I’ll go over them as I go along; one that was solved at the very beginning of the act was the identity of Jade’s penpal. This bit above answers the thing about pumpkins disappearing, revealing that they actually went somewhere this time around.

Note the active volcano in the background.
And the dramatic lusus entrance.

TG: holy shit jaaaje
TG: lol *k
GT: Heh heh.
GT: Howdy!
GT: What is all this commotion about?
TG: nothin
TG: just your basic run o the mill holy shit
TG: and also
TG: hi
GT: Ah ok then. Hello it is!
TG: also
TG: want 2 know
TG: what do you want for ur wigglin day 

Roxy’s inexplicable use of troll terminology is yet another one of those early hints at things; in this case, her living in a desolate future world taken over by an alien empress.

TG: what do you want for ur wigglin day
GT: Im not really abreast of the raddest jargon that the cool kids toss about these days.
GT: Maybe because i live alone on an island? I dont know but in any case are you referring to my upcoming birthday?
TG: ys
GT: I see. Very thoughtful of you to consider so early!
GT: I dont wager i could advise with much specificity but i can all but assure you i will find any gesture of yours to be totally capital!
TG: eeaauuuuurghh you are so fuckin adorable 
GT: Um… *wrings at kerchief with perspiring mitts*
TG: YOINK nabs kerfief an stops RPing for rest of chat
TG: i was only bringing it up so much in advance because
TG: of the end of the world about to happen and all
TG: and then
TG: i wouldnt get the chance
TG: unless we play this game like a bunch ofsuckers obviously
TG: and all meet up in there and everything
TG: which would toytes kick ass
TG: *totes
TG: but
TG: if you want 2 know what i think……….
GT: Yes?
TG: do ya?
GT: I do want to know what you think!
GT: I always want to know. Because you are always smart and sassy.
TG: best dude ^^^ 

Jesus, all the stuff Jake says to Roxy would come off as romantic if said by pretty much anyone who isn’t him. I’m kind of tempted to say a relationship between them might potentially be less of a wreck than with Dirk, and with that in mind it may be considered a bit of a shame that she stepped down in the whole romance drama competition thing.

Also even though she said he is “off limits”, Roxy is slobbering all over Jake regardless.

TG: neway
TG: i really dont think we should
GT: Should what now?
TG: play the game
GT: Why not?
TG: the barnoness wants us to
TG: * baroness
TG: i dont know why
TG: everything i know about it says it should be a good game and real important and itll let us all get togehter and do somethin great and be besf friends for maybe eternity?
TG: but she took all that and twisted it somehow
TG: all i know is shes banking on us doing this and if she needs us to do this than its got to be to make somethin fucking hoorible happen 

So Roxy basically thinks she should rather face the end of the world than play a video game that will make all her dreams come true but is also part of the Condesce’s evil plans? She doesn’t seem to give much thought to stopping those plans for some reason. Not yet anyway I guess.

TG: so what is the itinerary again
GT: Intinerwhosit?
TG: regarding the game
TG: whosplaying in what order etc
GT: Oh. Is there such an itinerary?
TG: yeah i think so i think its going like
TG: i start with jane and bring her in the session
TG: then ds brings me in and you bring him in and them jane does you and closes the loop
GT: Where are you getting this intel? Did you guys make a plan or something?
TG: nah dont wory about it 

Here’s that thing I was talking about last post. I’m almost certain it’s stated again a little later that the alpha kids will connect to each other in the order of Jane, then Roxy, then Dirk, then Jake. I think this “obvious” order is not followed through with to make the alpha kids’ session go even more against stuff than previously. Also, I’m actually curious where Roxy got this connection order. Maybe it came from Calliope’s speculation on how things would go? She is known for theorizing things that often turn out not to be true.

TG: im not letting either of you run this file on your shitty brainwashy propaganda helmets or anything else u got to wear to run
TG: tis my one condition 

So Jake’s skulltop is a brainwashy propaganda device, or at least Roxy thinks it is one? I don’t know why that would be. I mean it’s definitely a propaganda thing and makes his head feel funny but that’s about it, probably.

TG: you believe me right
TG: about the bad shit that could hapen
GT: Of course i do.
GT: What sort of friend would i be if not?
TG: ok well
TG: dont say that to jabe
TG: *n
GT: She has her ways. I believe they are not incongruous with those of an intelligent and discerning young woman.
TG: ahh CHRIST waht a geneltman
TG: *fixfix
TG: i mean god daaaaaaaaamn
GT: Heh. I guess.
TG: but thats the thing with you
TG: you belvieve in people and also the things they tell you 

It’s pretty obvious that Jake is set up as the guy who takes everything literally. This is another thing going on with the alpha kids; this time around, their traits are very clearly set up rather than presenting them as generic characters. John, for instance, is presented as a completely average kid, and his traits that are later developed are mainly built off the ones protagonists of stories typically have. And Jade hardly has her actual personality traits come to light until Act 5.

TG: jane never believed my crap
TG: never any of my warnings about the baroness
TG: didnt believe any of the stuff about my mom
TG: and so on and so on and soon 

Roxy doesn’t mention that she lives in the future among the things she told Jane that she didn’t believe, which I think is a clever way for the story to freely let her talk about stuff while still hiding information to be revealed in a more surprising way.

TG: til after awhile i just stopped even trying to convince her hard or bring up any crazy shit
TG: because u know doing a lot of songs and dances to convince somebody who thinks youre jush shitting them all the time kind of wears on a friendship
TG: and who even needs that
TG: but you believe in stuff
TG: probbly because the more crazy fake shit you believe in the more open the world gets and the more chance there is for adventures being real right 

So Jane freely decided to start believing the stuff Calliope, her mysterious alien friend whose name she doesn’t even know, said, but nothing her actual supposed best friend told her? Makes a whole lot of sense to me. Maybe she decided that since Roxy is her best friend, she can joke around with her and not usually take her seriously? I can totally understand why Roxy would find that frustrating.

TG: its one of those things jane likes about u so much
GT: It is?
TG: which
TG: errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr im not supposed to talk about 2 u evr so nm
GT: Talk about what?
TG: nope
GT: You mean how um…
GT: Well a way in which i suppose…
TG: no nope
GT: Jane is prone to looking upon me with what i fathom to be more than just friendly affection?
TG: nope nope nope nope nope nope
TG: hey look who didnt say nothin about that why it is this silly fuckin drunk girl over here 

Whoa, Roxy sounds a lot like Karkat all of a sudden, with aborting discussion on certain topics, like pretty much anything involving his relationships, or telling John what happened to Vriska.

TG: ok ont this topic
TG: i am now an forever
TG: miss zupperlips
TG: * zupperlups
TG: * ziperlups
TG: sjkhfskjf
TG: fuck
TG: k this is me 4 futref
TG: ^+++++++^
GT: Haha oh my.
GT: Nothing is escaping that lovely ladys whistlemaker! Its shut tight as a drum!!
TG: mmmmrrmmmnnmmm
GT: Whoa wait i hope that didnt sound dirty…
TG: mrrmmrmmnnnmnmnmnmrnrmrnmmmm!!!!!!
GT: Ok but may i say this?
TG: mrm?
GT: If in the future i would like to bring up certain topics completely unsolicited by one who may be sworn to secrecy on those very matters…
GT: And im in need of i guess neutral and totally non compromising advice from a friend do you think that miss zuipperpips might unseal those scandalous metal choppers for a bit?
GT: Fuck that also sounded kinda dirty!!! God dammit. 

See, inadvertently sounding dirty is exactly what happens when you use these weird corny metaphors.

After they start talking about Jake’s whole uranium problem, the conversation ends with:

TG: ok tell you what
TG: as an early wigglin day thing u know what ill do
GT: I still dont really get the wiggling thing but no what?
TG: ill enable the brobots novice setting again for you
GT: Wow…
GT: Thanks i think???
TG: but that dont count as the whole thing ill think of something better too
TG: 4 now peace o jake & gl on your robroquest heheheh 

Here’s Roxy playing the role of an NPC when you look at Homestuck as a video game, sort of. As I’ve mentioned before, in Act 1 Dave serves as a non-playable guy who helps John with his sylladex and rambles about dumb things movies do. Here, just for the sake of video game metaphors, once could see Jake as the video game hero, Dirk’s responder as his mean friend, and Roxy as his nice friend.

I would really like to go over more pages but since I have to leave for vacation tomorrow I’ll stop here. See you next time as we finally get to hear from the real Dirk and things get even more messed up.

>> Part 63: Dirk’s Ironic Robot Company

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