Act 6 Act 3, Part 4 of probably way more than 8
Pages 4878-4924 (MSPA: 6778-6824) (dear god how did I go over a week without fixing those question marks and all those other mistakes at the start of the post)
You wake up locked in a deserted jail cell…
We now start this whole Jailbreak throwback interlude with Jack in his jail cell and yeah I have basically nothing to say about this. I guess I could say that when I first read the comic I thought this was supposed to be 40 pages of Jake reading Jailbreak on his computer. Don’t get me wrong, I make dumb misconceptions like this all the time.*
* For instance, if you don’t mind me talking about Undertale I thought one of the royal guard guys was that Alphys person people were talking about and that I’d have to kill them and go through a bunch of emotional bullshit like I did with Undyne.
Also my first impression of practically everyone in the game was that they’re evil and/or creepy.
There are no objects around with which to “pry open window”.
Look at that. This frame is precisely identical to the previous frame. You advanced nothing whatsoever with that dumb idea.
Do you realize this adventure is nearing 5000 panels? And now we have to watch you flounder around in a jail cell for god knows how long? Exactly how many panels do you want this to go on for? Over 9000? Nobody wants that. Nobody even wants to hear the phrase “over 9000.”
You need to begin making better decisions if you want to escape.
OK I take back everything I said previously. Now that I’ve commented my way through the first 300 or so pages of Problem Sleuth—I swear I’ll at least reread the rest at some point—this totally throws you back to those old adventures. But in a weird way the narration has a completely different tone that just outright lampshades the absurdity of the old adventures in a much more straightforward way than Problem Sleuth ever did.
After Jack examines a drawing of a key on the floor, the comic does the exact opposite of the whole “what pumpkin?” running gag. Now if only I could remember Jailbreak a little better…
Ah well. From what I remember Jailbreak ran on very few principles of logic whatsoever and pumpkins just randomly disappeared and reappeared without logic, while Problem Sleuth ran on a principle of constantly defying logic while still adhering to a strict set of rules. In this case, however, we’re given a premise similar to those earlier adventures but in a world with a much more natural system of logic. This results in things that should be mundane turning into subversive surprises in their own real way. And that’s happened all the way since the early acts of Homestuck with all those other instances of pumpkins disappearing.
Then it turns out there’s something mysterious inside the pumpkin, given to him by the Droll. There’s all the video game weirdness, but in a world where things actually work in a normal way I guess.
Jack must be really good with knives if he can do this so easily and smoothly.
Then Jack breaks off a pointy thing and uses it to open the pumpkin, revealing that it’s filled with a bunch of knives even though he thought there would be a bomb. I guess that’s an example of the Droll being ridiculous? It looks like he gathered 20 knives and stuffed them all in that pumpkin which is not that much weirder than the other stuff this guy has done.
I don’t even know how I noticed that pattern being finished. I’m pretty sure I read about it online somewhere.
But it turns out there’s some kind of dog porn (???) magazine in the pumpkin, which is finally finishing up a pattern established in the Midnight Crew intermission way behind schedule. Back then we learned that each of the members has a porn magazine of some sort, but Slick’s was only mentioned and not seen; only now do we get to see it.
Then he folds the magazine into a blade which I forgot happened and is also a direct reference to Jailbreak. We’ve been getting a lot of those but in (from what I remember) completely different contexts.
I’m starting to read Jailbreak alongside this subplot for context.
Next we get another callback to Jailbreak that I almost think is exactly what happened in that adventure but looking back all the guy did was throw keys and pee on everything. I guess this is a darker reprise of all the stuff that happened back then?
Your clumsy fist accidentally flies through the bars, knocking out a passer-by. Keys from his key ring jangle on the floor.
This, on the other hand, is a precise word-for-word replication of what happened back then in Jailbreak. I feel like there’s a lot more such things than I actually noticed.
Jack is then commanded to use his knife to snag one of the keys which again sounds a lot like a reader-submitted command even though it isn’t.
You use a little “persuasion” to see if you can get him too… Jack, no!!!
That is not how you convince someone to do something. You’re supposed to save the stabbing until AFTER you intimidate him into doing what you want! How exactly is a dead guy supposed to pick up some keys for you?!
Real smooth, Jack. What’s the plan now? To bury the keys under a growing pile of torsos? This is turning out to be the second shittiest jailbreak attempt anyone has ever seen.
Here the narration starts breaking character and talking to Jack which is something the prior adventures would never even think of doing. It’s been done before but it’s starting to progressively get more and more ridiculous to the point of character narration being completely deconstructed with Caliborn’s scenes.
Is this in character, even by Jack’s standards? Nobody knows.
After we cut away to a dead guy for a moment, suddenly we see Jack doing exactly what the prisoner did in Jailbreak but about ten times more morbid just because of the context, and the guy being someone who’s actually been established to be a lunatic rather than just a generic clumsy guy.
See above. I can’t decide whether this is more realistic than the Jailbreak guy doing the same or exactly as bizarre. I will say it does feel like the story returning to being about clumsy people messing everything up, and in a way that’s actually just plain hilarious. It’s not like how it was seriously kind of off-putting to see Jane make a mess of everything and her dad react more than appropriately, where it felt like that stuff was deconstructed.
Then Jack sends the pumpkin to the queen’s palace for… some reason? At this point we’re back to early MSPA levels of plain weirdness which I guess is the peak of this whole interlude.
And there’s that I guess. Expect posts of a similar length in the future, probably.
See you next time as we stop being the other guy I guess.