Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 101: Faygo Degradation and Chair Tantrums

Introduction

< Part 100 | Part 101 | Part 102 >

Pages 6015-6054

Act 6 Intermission 5, Part 3 of 5 (not to be confused with Mr. 305)

My Homestuck blog post series officially has a Pitbull reference now. I have no idea why I just did that.

The first thing we see when we check back in on the meteor crew is THIS horrifying panel. Terezi reveals that her eyes are regular seeing troll eyes once more, which is an image that feels INCREDIBLY wrong, and rightfully so. Her eyes are pulsing red as if she isn’t used to not wearing her dragon hood, her mouth is in a weird frown, and there are heavy bags under her eyes that tell us what shape Terezi is in right now.

Karkat’s facial expression tells us more than words ever could. Sometimes the guy just mirrors readers’ reactions to story events SO WELL.

This panel, man. Terezi is surrounded by these horrible bottles of Faygo and clown horns, but she’s still carrying a scalemate plush to remind us that she’s the same Terezi Pyrope we’ve followed since Act 4.

KARKAT: WHO???
TEREZI: YOU KNOW…
TEREZI: VR1SK4S 4NC3STOR?
TEREZI: TH3 FR13NDLY ON3 WHO T3LLS LONG STOR13S
KARKAT: OH YEAH.
KARKAT: HER.

God, this reveal of who healed Terezi’s eyesight is executed so perfectly. It occurs right after a whimsical story told by Aranea in a way that made her come off as somewhat villainous in a jokey way, and now we learn that she did this to Terezi.

KARKAT: I DON’T KNOW, I CAN’T KEEP ALL THESE GHOST NAMES STRAIGHT.
KARKAT: FLIPTUNA? MEOWLIN…
KARKAT: WASN’T THERE A CARLOS?
KARKAT: FUCK IT. THEY WERE ALL NAMED CARLOS AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED.
KARKAT: WAIT. EXCEPT MEENAH. SHE WAS ALRIGHT. A LITTLE FORWARD, BUT…
KARKAT: WHATEVER, THIS ISN’T THE POINT.

I love how Karkat can barely remember the names of most of the Beforan trolls. The Openbound games feel like such a long time ago now, and Karkat acts sort of like a reader insert when he clumsily tries to recall what he learned about his friends’ ghost ancestors.

KARKAT: ALL I REMEMBER ABOUT MY INTERACTIONS WITH THE SERKET GIRL WAS GETTING CORNERED INTO THESE LUDICROUS MONOLOGUES, THEN RACKING MY BRAIN FOR EXCUSES TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.
TEREZI: Y34H W3LL
TEREZI: 1 W4S 4 L1TTL3 MOR3 T4CTFUL TH4N YOU 4ND 4CTU4LLY L1ST3N3D
TEREZI: 4ND L3T H3R T4LK M3 1NTO SOM3TH1NG 1 SHOULDNT H4V3 >:[
KARKAT: SO SHE WAS JUST LIKE
KARKAT: *POOF!*
KARKAT: AND SUDDENLY YOUR EYES WERE BETTER?
TEREZI: Y3S

Karkat demonstrates here that he was wise not to give a damn about the Beforan trolls. That’s what I love about characters like him sometimes—they seem thick-headed and backwards on the outside, but are incredibly wise and thoughtful deep down. Most media that I’ve really found myself enjoying has a character or two exactly like that.

KARKAT: WHAT IS SHE, SOME SORT OF MAGIC FAIRY??
TEREZI: UM. Y3S?
TEREZI: TH4TS K1ND OF L1T3R4LLY WH4T SH3 1S
KARKAT: OH
KARKAT: ALRIGHT, I GUESS HER STORY CHECKS OUT THEN.
KARKAT: GOOD FOR HER.
KARKAT: BUT THIS DOESN’T SEEM LIKE YOU TEREZI. I MEAN, I DIDN’T THINK YOU EVEN WANTED YOUR EYESIGHT BACK?
KARKAT: I’VE NEVER MET ANYONE AS CHUFFED ABOUT HER OWN DISABILITY AS YOU. I WAS ALWAYS UNDER THE IMPRESSION YOU FELT LIKE IT WAS A BIG PART OF WHO YOU ARE?
TEREZI: 1T W4S!!!
TEREZI: TH3 MOM3NT SH3 H34L3D M3 1 KN3W 1 M4D3 4 T3RR1BL3 M1ST4K3
TEREZI: BUT 1 COULDNT T4K3 1T B4CK
TEREZI: 1 THOUGHT 4BOUT 1T
TEREZI: L1K3 JUST BL1ND1NG MYS3LF 4G41N 4ND PR3T3ND1NG 1T N3V3R H4PP3N3D
TEREZI: BUT
TEREZI: 3V3N TH3 W4Y 1T H4PP3N3D OR1G1N4LLY W4S SOM3TH1NG SP3C14L TO M3
TEREZI: 1 C4NT DUPL1C4T3 TH4T
TEREZI: 4ND 3V3N 1F 1 COULD 1T ST1LL WOULDNT B3 TH3 S4M3
TEREZI: 1 C4NT S33M TO FORG1V3 MYS3LF FOR B31NG SO STUP1D

This part is fascinating because it’s one of the first times we really get to know how much Vriska means to Terezi—she was the one who blinded Terezi through a psychic double reacharound with Tavros and Terezi’s lusus, and Terezi doesn’t want to do anything that could dampen or replace that memory. It’s fascinating especially to read after the epilogues because among the many characters replaced with new versions after the retcon, Terezi and Vriska are the only ones whose pre-retcon selves continue to play a major role in their character arcs. It’s also interesting to think that Terezi and Vriska, both before and after the retcon, end up on two different sides of the story (the second time in a very literal sense), which separates the two on a tragically metafictional level.

TEREZI: 1 C4NT S33M TO FORG1V3 MYS3LF FOR B31NG SO STUP1D
TEREZI: FOR SOM3 R34SON 1 THOUGHT 1T W4S 4 GOOD 1D34 TO T4K3 TH3 ONLY COOL 4ND UN1QU3 TH1NG 4BOUT MYS3LF 4ND “F1X” 1T
TEREZI: WH4T W4S 1 TH1NK1NG?
KARKAT: WHOA WHOA
KARKAT: THE *ONLY* COOL THING ABOUT YOU?
KARKAT: TEREZI. I WANT TO BE UNDERSTANDING, BUT I CAN’T GET BEHIND SOME OF THE SHIT YOU’RE SAYING ABOUT YOURSELF HERE.
KARKAT: WHAT MADE YOU START UNRAVELING LIKE THIS?
TEREZI: 1 TH1NK 1T W4S WH3N W3 ST4RT3D M33T1NG OUR 4NC3STORS
TEREZI: 4ND 1 THOUGHT TH3Y W3R3 4LL COOL3R 4ND OLD3R 4ND MOR3 1NT3R3ST1NG TH4N US
TEREZI: 3V3N THOUGH TH3Y PROB4BLY W3R3NT?
TEREZI: TH3Y H4D 4 LOT OF PROBL3MS 4ND 1NS3CUR1T13S TOO
TEREZI: BUT 1 GU3SS TH3 K1ND TH4T OLD3R K1DS H4V3, 4ND WH3N YOUR3 YOUNG3R YOU DONT R34LLY R3COGN1Z3 TH3M 4S PROBL3MS
TEREZI: YOU LOOK 4T THOS3 TH1NGS 4S JUST P4RT OF WH4T 1TS L1K3 B31NG SOM3ON3 WHOS MOR3 1NT3R3ST1NG 4ND GROWN UP TH4N YOU
TEREZI: M4YB3 S1NC3 1M NOT 4S YOUNG 4NYMOR3 1 GU3SS 1 C4N S33 TH4T NOW
TEREZI: BUT 1 W4S STUP1DLY 4W3STRUCK BY SOM3 P3OPL3 WHO W3R3 NOT SO 1MPR3SS1V3 1N R3TROSP3CT 4ND 1 M4D3 4 DUMB M1ST4K3

Terezi is giving us some great insight to how younger people perceive older people. She’s very much right that people tend to perceive their seniors as intimidatingly cool people who live a perfect life instead of thinking about how they might have horrible problems or insecurities too. The beta kids all perceived their guardians exactly that way, especially John with his father, who is the only one of the beta kids’ human guardians who we didn’t later get to know as an insecure teenager. Only as an adult in the epilogues does John wonder if his father had deep insecurities or doubts about himself that he stashed away in favor of presenting as a businessman who likes pranks and cake.

I got off topic here. I’m supposed to be analyzing Terezi here, not John. Let’s continue.

KARKAT: WAIT. WE MET ALL THOSE PEOPLE LIKE…
KARKAT: KIND OF A LONG TIME AGO?
KARKAT: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING THIS FROM EVERYONE?
TEREZI: 1 DONT KNOW
TEREZI: 4 Y34R OR SOM3TH1NG?
TEREZI: 4ND 1 W4SNT H1D1NG 1T
TEREZI: 1 JUST D1DNT T3LL 4NYBODY
KARKAT: YEAH! THAT’S WHAT HIDING IT MEANS.
TEREZI: BUT
TEREZI: YOU USU4LLY C4NT S33 MY 3Y3S 4NYW4Y!
TEREZI: C4US3 OF MY GL4SS3S?? DUH
KARKAT: I KNOW, BUT NOT TELLING ANYBODY THAT IS STILL BEING POINTLESSLY SECRETIVE!
KARKAT: YOU COULD HAVE SAID, HEY KARKAT, I FUCKED UP AND NOW I CAN SEE AGAIN. MAYBE WE CAN TALK ABOUT THIS SO I DON’T GO INTO A TRAGIC DOWNWARD SPIRAL AND MAKE YOU WORRY ABOUT ME FOR NO REASON!
TEREZI: 1M SORRY!
TEREZI: 1 SHOULD H4V3
TEREZI: BUT 1 W4S SO 4SH4M3D

Karkat trying to talk sense into Terezi instead of the other way around is truly a sight to behold. His presence is a great way to demonstrate Terezi’s upsetting downward spiral, with him reminding her what it means to hide something and how counterproductive it is to keep these big secrets.

KARKAT: AND WHAT ABOUT THIS CLANDESTINE BLACKROM NONSENSE YOU’VE GOT GOING ON WITH GAMZEE?
TEREZI: WH4T?
KARKAT: HAVE YOU BEEN DATING HIM FOR JUST AS LONG?
KARKAT: WAS HE INVOLVED IN THAT DECISION??
KARKAT: LIKE, DID HE HELP TALK YOU INTO HEALING YOUR EYES OR SOMETHING?!
TEREZI: HOW D1D YOU KNOW W3 W3R3 D4T1NG!
TEREZI: D1D H3 T3LL YOU?
KARKAT: OH MY GOD. TEREZI, YOU ARE A FUCKING CATASTROPHE.
KARKAT: YOU USED TO BE LIKE, CUNNING? AND CONSIDERABLY MORE INTELLIGENT THAN ME, WHICH I HAVE NO PROBLEM ADMITTING.
KARKAT: BUT THIS IS RIDICULOUS. EVEN IF I DIDN’T FIGURE IT OUT MYSELF, WHICH I *DID* BECAUSE IT WAS *OBVIOUS*, YOU ARE UP HERE ON THE ROOF LYING UNCONSCIOUS IN A PILE OF HONK HORNS AND FAYGO BOTTLES.
KARKAT: I AM NOT A MASTER OF DEDUCTION, BUT UNLESS YOU WERE RECENTLY STOMPED ON BY SOME SORT OF GOLEM COMPOSED OF GARBAGE FROM A CIRCUS, IT SEEMS FAIR TO SAY YOU ARE OFFICIALLY DOWN WITH THE CLOWN.

Ouch, ouch, ouch, huge ouch. Terezi is just so unlike herself when she’s surprised that Karkat knew she was hate-dating Gamzee. She should know that Karkat is a huge troll romance nerd who has no trouble making simple logical deductions in matters of the heart (or diamond, club, or spade).

TEREZI: UUUGH
TEREZI: OK
TEREZI: Y3S
TEREZI: 1TS TRU3 >:o[
KARKAT: WELL? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT.
TEREZI: 1 COULDNT G3T UP TH3 N3RV3 TO T3LL YOU 4BOUT TH4T 31TH3R
TEREZI: 1N 4 W4Y, 1M 3V3N MOR3 D1SGUST3D W1TH MYS3LF FOR D4T1NG TH4T 4SSHOL3 TH4N 1 4M FOR H34L1NG MY 3Y3S
KARKAT: THEN WHY ARE YOU DOING IT!
TEREZI: 1 DONT KNOW!
TEREZI: 1 C4NT BR1NG MYS3LF TO STOP S331NG H1M
TEREZI: 3V3RY T1M3 1 TH1NK 1 C4NT STOM4CH TH3 S1GHT OF H1S UGLY F4C3 FOR 4NOTH3R S3COND
TEREZI: H3 PULLS M3 B4CK 1N
TEREZI: H3 1S JUST
TEREZI: SO
TEREZI: 4444WFUL

Oh my god, why is Gamzee so terrible???? At this point in the comic, nobody knows what his motivations could possibly be aside from his demon cult prophecies. His so-called “redemption arc” doesn’t answer jack shit either; it’s merely done to make fun of how fans try to justify characters’ controversial actions through their tragic backstories.

This image is an interesting blend of Homestuck’s older and newer art styles. It tells readers that this pep talk will soon be interrupted with Dave being a snarky motherfucker.

TEREZI: H3 4LW4YS KNOWS 3X4CTLY WH4T TO S4Y TO P1SS M3 OFF
TEREZI: 3V3RYTH1NG H3 DO3S
TEREZI: H1S F4K3 GOD T13R SU1T, H1S SMUG 3XPR3SS1ON, TH3 DUMB4SS W4YS H3 BUTCH3RS H1S S3NT3NC3S
TEREZI: S4Y1NG SH1T L1K3 ‘4LL G3TT1NG UP 4T H1S MOTH3R FUCK1N HONK ON’, 444444RGH!
TEREZI: 1 H4T3 1T SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!
TEREZI: BUT 1 K33P COM1NG B4CK FOR MOR3
TEREZI: H3S L1K3 4 DRUG!
TEREZI: 3V3N MOR3 4DD1CT1V3 TH4N TH1S…
TEREZI: R3VOLT1NG SOD4 1 C4NT STOP DR1NK1NG
TEREZI: 1V3 H4D SO MUCH F4YGO 1 C4NT 3V3N T4ST3 TH3 COLOR 4NYMOR3 >:[
TEREZI: 1 JUST T4ST3 TH3 SUG4R 4ND TH3 BUBBL3S 4ND TH3 4WFUL FL4VOR 1T L34V3S B3H1ND, WH1CH JUST M4K3S M3 DR1NK MOR3 TO W4SH 1T 4W4Y
TEREZI: UNT1L 1 F33L SO N4STY 1 H4V3 TO T4K3 4 LONG SOD4 N4P, BUT 1 W4K3 UP LO4TH1NG MYS3LF 3V3N MOR3
TEREZI: SO 1 JUST R34CH FOR 4NOTH3R BOTTL3
TEREZI: 1T 1S TRULY…
TEREZI: TH3 W1CK3D 3L1X1R
TEREZI: *SOB*
KARKAT: TEREZI…

Terezi’s description of her Faygo addiction tugs straight at the heartstrings—Karkat is very much right to respond with a longing “TEREZI…” It probably helps that I don’t like Faygo at all. I’d probably crack up if Terezi talked about having a Sprite or Dr. Pepper addiction instead.

TEREZI: 1 W4NT H1M TO B3 OUT OF MY L1F3
TEREZI: H3 1S TH3 WORST TH1NG TH4TS 3V3R H4PP3N3D TO M3
TEREZI: BUT
TEREZI: 1 GU3SS YOU C4NT H3LP WHO YOU H4T3
KARKAT: THIS IS KILLING ME, HEARING THIS.
KARKAT: I SERIOUSLY WANT TO WEEP ACTUAL PUKE OUT OF MY EYEBALLS FROM THIS STORY.
KARKAT: HOW DID THIS HAPPEN???
KARKAT: I’VE GOT TO SAY, I DIDN’T SEE IT COMING. IF YOU TOLD ME SWEEPS AGO YOU AND HE…
KARKAT: I WOULDN’T BELIEVE IT. LIKE IF THE WRITING WAS ON THE WALL THERE, I SURE AS FUCK DIDN’T READ IT.
TEREZI: Y34H, 1T SNUCK UP ON M3
TEREZI: 1T D1DNT H3LP TH4T H3 T3RROR1Z3D US WH3N W3 W3R3 H1D1NG FROM J4CK
TEREZI: R1GHT UND3R MY NOS3 TOO
TEREZI: SOM3HOW 1 D1DNT PUT TH3 P13C3S TOG3TH3R 4T TH3 T1M3 4ND L3T H1M G3T 4W4Y W1TH MURD3R
TEREZI: 4ND GR4DU4LLY 1 ST4RT3D H4V1NG TH3S3 UNCONTROLL4BL3 THOUGHTS 4BOUT H1M
TEREZI: D4RK THOUGHTS
TEREZI: 4ND WH3N 1 WOULD C4TCH 4 WH1FF OF H1M 1N TH3 CORR1DORS, L1K3 H3 W4S T4UNT1NG M3, TH4T JUST F4NN3D TH3 FL4M3S
TEREZI: TH3N W3 ST4RT3D T4LK1NG SH1T W1TH 34CH OTH3R MOR3 4ND MOR3

Terezi is saying that Gamzee won her spade by doing what he does best: magically making everyone in his presence extremely stupid. Instead of realizing that Gamzee’s presence makes everyone stupid, she felt a weird sense of hateful admiration towards him for fooling her so easily.

TEREZI: 4ND H3 W4S SO MUCH N4ST13R TH4N H3 3V3R US3D TO B3! W4Y MOR3 TH4N 4NY OF OUR FR13NDS 3V3R W3R3
TEREZI: ON3 T1M3 H3 ST4RT3D MOCK1NG MY BL1NDN3SS
TEREZI: WH1CH N3V3R BOTH3R3D M3 WH3N 4NYON3 3LS3 D1D 1T
TEREZI: BUT SOM3HOW, TH3 STUFF H3 S41D…
TEREZI: 1 L3T 1T G3T UND3R MY SK1N
TEREZI: 4ND COMB1N3D W1TH M33T1NG 4 LOT OF N3W P3OPL3 1 F3LT L1K3 1 COULDNT L1V3 UP TO
TEREZI: TH4TS WH3N 1 ST4RT3D R3CONS1D3R1NG 4R4N34S OFF3R
KARKAT: I KNEW IT!
KARKAT: I KNEW HE MUST HAVE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT DECISION. THAT SLIMY BASTARD.

Here’s more of Karkat being surprisingly quick-witted. Even though he thinks Gamzee’s clown religion is idiotic bullshit, his senses still tell him that Gamzee is behind a lot of terrible stuff that has happened to his friends—stuff that directly affects them far more than Lord English’s presence ever could.

KARKAT: THIS IS MOSTLY MY FAULT. I WASN’T VIGILANT ENOUGH WITH HIM, AND I LET OUR MOIRALLEGIANCE BREAK DOWN.
KARKAT: IF I KEPT A CLOSER EYE ON HIM, MAYBE HE WOULDN’T HAVE LURED YOU INTO HIS SPINNING TENT OF SHIT.
TEREZI: NO, YOU SHOULDNT F33L L1K3…
KARKAT: OR MAYBE IT’S KANAYA’S FAULT? SHE’S ALWAYS BEEN A REALLY GOOD AUSPISTICE. MAYBE SHE COULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS, IF SHE WASN’T SO PREOCCUPIED HERSELF.
KARKAT: NO WAIT! IT’S ACTUALLY MY FAULT AGAIN! IF I HAD BEEN ON THE BALL AND AUSPISTICIZED BETWEEN HER AND ROSE, SHE WOULD HAVE HAD THE TIME TO AUSPISTICIZE BETWEEN YOU AND GAMZEE!
KARKAT: DAMMIT, I ALWAYS SAY I KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT ROMANCE, YET I ROUTINELY UNDERESTIMATE ITS COMPLEXITY, SO I ONLY FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO AFTER IT’S WAY TOO LATE!
KARKAT: GOD I’M SO STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID

Karkat shows us his negative side once more with his tendency to blame everything bad on himself—this time, not the failure of his Sburb session or the looming danger of Jack Noir, but simply Terezi’s downward spiral into being a full-blown Faygoholic. His obsession with romantic matters leads him to wish he had auspisticized between Rose and Kanaya, which is something nobody else in the comic has ever come close to thinking. That’s the sort of person Karkat is.

TEREZI: BL4RG SHUT UP!
TEREZI: 1TS NO ON3S F4ULT BUT M1N3!
TEREZI: 1M TH3 ON3 WHO H4S TO D34L W1TH 1T
KARKAT: YEAH OK.
KARKAT: FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH, HE’LL PROBABLY JUST BREAK IT OFF AND LEAVE YOU ONCE WE GET TO THE NEW SESSION.
KARKAT: ALL HIS LOYALTIES AND PRIORITIES ARE TOTALLY WARPED NOW. I’M NOT SURE WHAT HE REALLY CARES ABOUT ANYMORE, BUT IT SURE ISN’T ANY OF US.
TEREZI: YOU TH1NK
TEREZI: H3 W1LL L34V3 M3?
KARKAT: YEAH. I DO.
TEREZI: *SOB!!!*
KARKAT: WHOA, WHAT??
KARKAT: ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT?
TEREZI: NO!
TEREZI: 1D B3 D3V4ST4T3D 1F H3 JUST
TEREZI: SUDD3NLY D1TCH3D M3 L1K3 TH4T
KARKAT: OK, HELP ME OUT!
KARKAT: YOU’RE CONFUSING ME HERE.
TEREZI: 1D F33L P4TH3T1C!!!
TEREZI: 4ND 1 GU3SS
TEREZI: 4 S1CK 4ND T3RR1BL3 P4RT OF M3 DO3SNT W4NT H1M TO GO
TEREZI: BUT 1F H3 DO3S 1 W4NT 1T TO B3 B3C4US3 1 T3LL H1M 1TS OV3R!
KARKAT: WOW.
KARKAT: ALRIGHT, I GUESS THAT MAKES SENSE. SORRY.
KARKAT: I’M JUST TRYING TO BE SUPPORTIVE HERE.
KARKAT: BUT I’M NOT ALWAYS SURE WHAT THE RIGHT THING TO SAY IS!
KARKAT: I’M DOING MY FUCKING BEST. THIS IS COMPLICATED FOR ME TOO, YOU’RE BOTH MY FRIENDS.

Despite being well aware of their black relationship, Karkat doesn’t quite despise Gamzee as much as Terezi does. She’s saying here that she hates Gamzee so much that she wants herself to be the one who breaks it off, rather than being ditched in a way that makes her feel like letting Gamzee win.

TEREZI: 1 KNOW
TEREZI: 1 4PPR3C14T3 YOUR 1NT3NT1ONS K4RK4T
TEREZI: M4YB3
TEREZI: M4YB3 1T WOULD B3 B3TT3R 1F YOU W3R3NT S1TT1NG UP TH3R3 1N TH4T B4CKW4RDS CH41R WH1L3 YOU T4LK3D TO M3?
KARKAT: WHAT?
KARKAT: WHY??
DAVE: yeah dude you should probably ditch the chair
KARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH MY CHAIR.
DAVE: or at least sit on it frontways
DAVE: or offer her another chair?
DAVE: i dunno its kind of a dumb affectation in this context
KARKAT: NO, LOOK. IT’S CASUAL AND RELAXED.
KARKAT: LIKE, IT VISUALLY CONVEYS THAT MY PRESENCE IN THE CONVERSATION IS HUMBLE AND NONTHREATENING, YET FRANK AND ATTENTIVE.
KARKAT: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT FROM ME?
DAVE: to sit on the goddamn floor
KARKAT: WHY SHOULD I SQUAT ON THE DIRTY FLOOR, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!
DAVE: so you can be on the same vertical plane with your friend while you exhibit compassion for her grody clown problem
TEREZI: D4V3 1TS F1N3
TEREZI: N3V3R M1ND 4BOUT TH3 CH41R, 1 DONT C4R3
TEREZI: 1T JUST STRUCK M3 4S 4 B1T D1STR4CT1NGLY S1LLY, TH4TS 4LL
KARKAT: OK, WOW, FINE!
KARKAT: FUCK THE CHAIR. PARDON ME FOR MAKING MYSELF COMFORTABLE DURING A SINCERE HEART TO HEART DISCUSSION WITH A DEAR FRIEND IN NEED!
KARKAT: BUT THE TIME HAS COME FOR ME TO CEASE STRADDLING THIS DEEPLY OFFENSIVE PIECE OF FURNITURE! AWAY WITH YE, FOUR LEGGED TEMPTRESS! DISTRACT US NO MORE WITH THE MOST BASIC AND UTILITARIAN FORM OF CREATURE COMFORT YOU SUPPLY!!!
DAVE: karkat just threw a tantrum about a chair
DAVE: i just won karkat tantrum bingo

Dave’s presence switches the mood of the conversation to utter hilarity that needs no commentary, where Karkat somehow manages to throw a tantrum about a chair. Such is the nature of Homestuck: even the saddest scenes will have their absurdly silly moments mixed in.

And with this panel, the art style has fully gone back to how it was in the first few acts, which serves itself well for a humorous scene like this.

KARKAT: AT LAST!
KARKAT: WE ARE FREE FROM THE ACCURSED INSTRUMENT OF ASS ELEVATION!
DAVE: where did you even get that chair
DAVE: did you steal it from the common area
KARKAT: UNLIKE EVERYONE ELSE EVER, I HAPPEN TO MAKE A PRACTICE OF CAPTCHALOGUING ITEMS WHICH MIGHT BE CONVENIENT ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS.
KARKAT: SAY I’M STROLLING AROUND AND FIND MYSELF IN NEED OF A PLACE TO SIT? BAM. SUDDENLY, A CHAIR.
KARKAT: AND NO I DIDN’T STEAL IT.
KARKAT: HOW COULD I STEAL SOMETHING FROM THE COMMON AREA? NOBODY ACTUALLY OWNS ANY OF THAT FUCKING FURNITURE.
KARKAT: THAT’S WHY IT’S CALLED THE *COMMON* AREA, YOU ACCUSATORY PIECE OF FILTH.
DAVE: sounds like communism
DAVE: are you a communist or something
DAVE: actually that makes perfect sense what with your sickle and all
KARKAT: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??
DAVE: wait john has a hammer oh shit its all adding up
DAVE: when we arrive are you going to team up with john and seize the means of production
KARKAT: YOU APPEAR TO BE JUMPSTARTING A FACETIOUS DISCUSSION ABOUT SOME SORT OF HUMAN ECONOMIC IDEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK, WITHOUT HAVING THE SLIGHTEST CLUE THAT YOUR VEHICLE IS PARKED SQUARELY IN THE NOBODY GIVES A FUCK ZONE.
DAVE: im just saying
DAVE: first chairs what next
DAVE: see i am all about private property and pocketing dough
DAVE: do you have any idea how rich i am
DAVE: i am a man of MEANS motherfucker
KARKAT: WHAT IS YOUR POINT?
DAVE: just dont come after my boonies dude
DAVE: or should i say karkat marx

Dave talking about politics leads to absolute hilarity no matter the circumstance. It also makes a lot of sense given his longtime obsession with Obama and the economy that he demonstrates full force in the epilogues. This part is just leaving me speechless—he accuses Karkat of being a communist, points out the hammer and sickle motif with John and Karkat like many fans have noticed, and then jokingly gives him the nickname “karkat marx”.

KARKAT: YOU AREN’T BEING SERIOUS NOW!
KARKAT: THESE ARE NOT THE WORDS OF A SERIOUS PERSON.
KARKAT: I WAS HAVING A *SERIOUS DISCUSSION* LIKE A *BIG TIME ADULT* WITH MY GOOD FRIEND TEREZI.
KARKAT: YOUR CALLOUS AND NONSENSICAL REMARKS ARE DERAILING US FROM THE DELICATE SUBJECT AT HAND.
KARKAT: WHY DON’T YOU BE USEFUL AND SAY SOMETHING REASSURING TO OUR SAD MUTUAL BUDDY, YOU WAILING JET ENGINE OF INFANTILE STULTILOQUENCE??????
DAVE: i dont have much to say about this
DAVE: ive kinda got to recuse myself on the matter
DAVE: im all kinds of on record as being squicked out by the idea of hatelationships
DAVE: so i got no point of reference for gauging when one is fucked up the way thats normal for trolls or if its fucked up cause its actually fucked up and terrible
DAVE: this is like some ex alien boyfriend prime directive shit
DAVE: i cant intervene cause i dont know what im talking about
DAVE: but you do so i guess keep going
DAVE: you were saying some pretty good stuff before i started riding your jock about chairs

Dave raises a very good point about alien cultural norms. Though not understanding each other’s cultural norms is typically exaggerated to hell in his and Karkat’s interactions, in this case it makes sense that Dave has no point of reference for healthy black relationships. Can you blame him, a human, for not understanding when a hate-based romantic relationship is or isn’t healthy?

KARKAT: AUGH.
KARKAT: TEREZI, DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE WHAT I HAVE TO DEAL WITH??
KARKAT: ACTUALLY, I GUESS YOU CAN! YOU CAN NOW LITERALLY SEE WHAT I HAVE TO DEAL WITH, AND EXPERIENCE ALL DUE EMPATHY FOR THE FACT THAT I HAVE A DOUCHE AS A BEST FRIEND!
TEREZI: Y3S, 1 C4N S33
TEREZI: TH3 V13W FROM H3R3 1S
TEREZI: DOUCH3T4CUL4R >:]
DAVE: thank you

The worst part about Terezi’s eyes being healed is without a doubt that she can’t make snide remarks about how she can’t see. She used to make such remarks all the time back in the trolls’ arc.

KARKAT: SO THAT’S IT THEN
KARKAT: NO ADVICE AT ALL, SMARTALEC?
KARKAT: WHY DID I EVEN BRING YOU HERE FOR THIS INTERMISSION THEN.
DAVE: intermission?
KARKAT: INTERVENTION I MEAN. SORRY, I MISSPOKE.

Why are these intermission jokes so funny, I can’t get over it. This one’s even better executed than Meenah’s snooty remark about intermissions a few pages ago.

DAVE: its not an intervention either
DAVE: my ghostly heads all beamin out of this crab for moral support yo
DAVE: i am in my homies corner even if he is a massive socialist
DAVE: terezi i think can probably figure this out
DAVE: she grew up alone and blind in a forest i think she will manage to bounce outta her juggalo phase
DAVE: but yeah terezi you should at least quit the fuckin soda
TEREZI: Y34H
TEREZI: OK
KARKAT: OK???
TEREZI: Y3S!
TEREZI: 1LL STOP
KARKAT: WHAT. JUST LIKE THAT?!
TEREZI: SUR3
TEREZI: 1TS R34LLY GROSS >X[

Karkat is right to be confused that Terezi is just suddenly convinced to cut off her Faygo addiction. What follows is not him being impressed, but rather being melodramatic even by Karkat standards.

KARKAT: I THINK WE ARE MISSING THE POINT HERE.
KARKAT: THIS ISN’T JUST ABOUT AN UNHEALTHY OBSESSION WITH A FOUL SOFT DRINK.
KARKAT: IT’S ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF.
KARKAT: YOU ARE BARELY FUNCTIONAL RIGHT NOW. YOU CAN’T EVEN PICK YOURSELF UP OFF THE FLOOR AND PUT ON A PAIR OF PANTS.
KARKAT: REMEMBER PANTS TEREZI?? YOU USED TO LOVE PANTS!
TEREZI: Y34H, P4NTS 4R3 PR3TTY GR34T
KARKAT: YOU USED TO…
KARKAT: YOU USED TO BE A LOT OF THINGS. AND ALL OF THOSE WERE GOOD THINGS.
KARKAT: BUT NOW THAT WE’RE ABOUT TO ARRIVE, RIGHT WHEN WE NEED YOU THE MOST, YOU DO A SENSATIONAL BELLYFLOP INTO A CIRCUS VAT OF YOUR OWN TANGY SLOBBER.
TEREZI: OH PL34S3
TEREZI: WH4T COULD YOU POSS1BLY N33D M3 FOR?
KARKAT: YOU’RE AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF THIS PARTY!
KARKAT: WE’LL NEED YOU TO HELP STAND UP TO JACK, AND WHATEVER ELSE IS WAITING FOR US THERE.
TEREZI: 1 DONT TH1NK 1 W1LL B3 V3RY US3FUL
KARKAT: WELL, NOT LIKE THIS YOU WON’T. YOU’VE GOT TO GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER.
TEREZI: NO! 1 M34N
TEREZI: 3V3N TH3N 1 WONT B3
TEREZI: 1 DONT H4V3 MUCH TO OFF3R 3V3N ON MY B3ST D4Y
KARKAT: WHAT ABOUT YOUR MIND POWERS THOUGH!
KARKAT: WHAT IF WE NEED SOMEBODY WITH MIND POWERS? TO DO SOME SORT OF…
KARKAT: MINDY THING.
TEREZI: WH4T M1ND POW3RS??
KARKAT: YOU KNOW. THE ONES WHERE YOU…
KARKAT: FLIP A COIN. AND…
KARKAT: SOMETHING CRAZY HAPPENS.
KARKAT: OK, I DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW HOW IT WORKS. BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT?
TEREZI: PFFF
TEREZI: 1 N3V3R D3V3LOP3D THOS3 POW3RS V3RY W3LL
TEREZI: 4ND 1TS B33N 4 LONG T1M3 S1NC3 1 3V3N THOUGHT 4BOUT TH3M
TEREZI: 1 DONT TH1NK TH3YR3 V3RY V4LU4BL3 HON3STLY

This part is fun to read after [S] GAME OVER, where Terezi turns out to be the most useful party member by far and gives John a lengthy list of instructions to save everyone and complete the Sburb session for real. Pre-retcon Terezi gets an incredibly satisfying resolution that plays an important role in post-retcon Terezi’s much less satisfying arc.

TEREZI: 1N F4CT 4LL TH3Y 3V3R S33M3D TO DO W4S TR1CK M3 1NTO F33L1NG L1K3 1 KN3W WH4T 1 W4S DO1NG
TEREZI: TH3Y 4CTU4LLY M4D3 M3 B3L13V3 1 W4S 1N CONTROL OF OTH3R P3OPL3S F4T3S
TEREZI: NOT 3V3N TO SP34K OF MY OWN
TEREZI: 1T W4S 4 R34LLY D4NG3ROUS K1ND OF D3LUS1ON
TEREZI: 4ND NOW 1T F33LS L1K3 TH3 ONLY “H3RO1C” TH1NG 1 3V3R D1D W1TH THOS3 POW3RS
TEREZI: W4S US3 TH3M TO JUST1FY K1LL1NG MY FR13ND
KARKAT: HUH?
TEREZI: …
KARKAT: OH.
KARKAT: RIGHT.
TEREZI: 4ND WH4TS WORS3 1S
TEREZI: TO TH1S D4Y, 1M ST1LL NOT 3V3N TOT4LLY SUR3 1F 1T W4S N3C3SS4RY
TEREZI: 1 TH1NK 1V3 LOST TH3 4B1L1TY TO T3LL 1F 1M B31NG PUN1SH3D FOR WH4T 1 D1D, OR 1F 1 4M PUN1SH1NG MYS3LF

Here’s where I can start to tell Hussie was thinking of doing a cosmic retcon to bring Vriska back. Much of Terezi’s dialogue here is extremely on the nose in retrospect, and actually dampens the qualms I have with the retcon—I can tell it was planned maybe just a little earlier than I had originally thought it was. Why else do you think no pairs of beta and alpha kids from this timeline got to meet up and talk besides John and Roxy, the ones preserved from the pre-retcon timeline?

KARKAT: WELL, YEAH. OF COURSE IT WAS NECESSARY.
KARKAT: EVEN IF IT WASN’T THE MORALLY RIGHT CHOICE OR WHATEVER, IT WAS OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING THAT HAD TO HAPPEN.
KARKAT: THAT’S THE CRUEL THING ABOUT PARADOX SPACE. IT SYSTEMICALLY VALIDATES ALL YOUR MISTAKES AS NECESSARY OUTCOMES.
KARKAT: NOT EVEN NECESSARY FOR YOUR OWN GOOD OR PERSONAL GROWTH. IT’S ALWAYS BIGGER THAN YOU. LIKE YOUR ERRORS IN JUDGMENT ARE INSEPARABLE FROM THE WAY REALITY HAS TO UNFOLD.
KARKAT: SO IT NEVER LETS YOU FORGET ABOUT THEM. BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL CRITICAL TO THE BIG PICTURE, AND ALL YOUR PAST FLAWS ARE LIKE…
KARKAT: SCARS.
KARKAT: SCARS IN SPACETIME THAT NEVER HEAL, AND ALWAYS SERVE TO REMIND YOU THAT THE PERFECT VERSION OF YOURSELF YOU WISH YOU COULD BE CAN NEVER EXIST. BECAUSE THE SURVIVAL OF EVERYONE YOU CARE ABOUT DEPENDS ON HIM NOT EXISTING.

Karkat’s doubt that it would have been better not to kill Vriska probably comes off as rightful to first-time readers, but closed-minded to those rereading. Instead of considering the possibility of a timeline where Vriska doesn’t die and the meteor crew is much happier, Karkat tries to console Terezi by reminding her that he despises the reality they live in too.

TEREZI: 1 KNOW 4LL TH4T
TEREZI: 1T DO3SNT STOP M3 FROM WOND3R1NG
KARKAT: IT’S SIMPLE. IF YOU HADN’T KILLED HER, YOU WOULD HAVE WITHERED AWAY IN A DOOMED TIMELINE.
TEREZI: Y34H! 4ND SOM3T1M3S 1 W1SH 1 H4D!
TEREZI: 4T TH1S PO1NT 1 TH1NK 1 WOULD R4TH3R B3 TH3 B3TT3R P3RSON WHO M4D3 TH3 R1GHT D3C1S1ON
TEREZI: 3V3N 1F 1T 4LSO M34NT B31NG TH3 ON3 TO F4D3 4W4Y FOR3V3R
KARKAT: WELL, *I* WOULDN’T WANT THAT!
KARKAT: DOES THAT FUCKING MATTER TO YOU?
KARKAT: DOES THAT FACTOR ANYWHERE INTO YOUR DREARY EXISTENTIAL EQUATION???
TEREZI: YOU PROB4BLY TH1NK 1M CR4ZY
TEREZI: JUST 4S CR4ZY 4S YOU TH1NK 1 4M FOR D4T1NG G4MZ33
TEREZI: BUT
TEREZI: 1 R34LLY M1SS H3R
KARKAT: NO
KARKAT: I DON’T THINK YOU’RE CRAZY FOR THAT.

Can we all stop to appreciate how sweet Karkat is being here??? He never liked Vriska back when the trolls were all alive, but he has no trouble understanding that Terezi cares about her a lot. He misses all his dead friends too, even the ones who caused nothing but trouble.

TEREZI: 4ND Y3T
TEREZI: 1F 1 3V3R S4W H3R 4G41N
TEREZI: TH3R3S NO W4Y 1 COULD T4LK TO H3R
TEREZI: SO P4RT OF M3 HOP3S 1 N3V3R-
TEREZI: OW!!!!!!!

And right when the dialogue is about to hit its emotional climax, THIS happens:

TEREZI: D4V3, YOU D1CK!!!
DAVE: what
DAVE: dont blame me
DAVE: i cant control the crab

This scene’s cutoff with a humorous moment tells us that this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing of Terezi’s regrets about Vriska—far from it, in fact.

I LOVE the Problem Sleuth callback made of leprechaun romance symbols above Clover’s head.

Next up is Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 3, again focusing on Caliborn. Unlike the first two intermission intermissions, this one serves more as a recap of what Aranea told us about Caliborn’s session that is more digestible for those who prefer Homestuck’s humorous side. First off, Hussie reminds Caliborn that he got two leprechauns when destroying the sixth planet because the seventh was sucked into a black hole, and that he’s supposed to destroy the eighth planet last and is wasting time by hanging around there. Then Caliborn goes over his last few Felt members’ abilities:

SO ORANGE HAT. WE HAVE ESTABLISHED. JUST WALKS AHEAD OF ME ALL THE TIME.
NO MATTER HOW FAR OFF HE WANDERS. AND GETS LOST. I ALWAYS SEEM TO CATCH UP WITH HIM.
Yes.

I love how Caliborn accurately describes Fin’s ability in the lamest way possible. It isn’t a bad way to describe it, considering that I find his and Trace’s abilities easily the most confusing among the Felt.

AND GREEN HAT.
HE JUST HAS A DOLL. WITH PINS IN IT.
Yes.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT.
He has a doll with pins in it.
AND??
Every time you get a new elf, he’ll take another pin out.
That’s all I will tell you.
OK. GOT IT. IT’S POINTLESS. MOVING ON.

Caliborn similarly fails to understand what is useful about Die’s ability, due to his incredibly literal-minded nature. He just reads the exact meaning of Hussie’s words and concludes Die is useless.

MAROON HAT.
I CAN’T TELL WHAT HIS POWER IS.
WHAT IS HIS POWER.
He doesn’t have a power.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.
No.
THAT’S A NEW LOW. EVEN FOR THESE SHIT HEADS.
But maroon hat is pretty smart!
You can use him as a higher ranking henchman or something.
BEING SMART ISN’T A POWER.
PLUS. I DOUBT IT. HOW SMART CAN ONE OF THESE IMBECILES BE.
You should talk to him and find out.
NO.
Come on.
Just a little friendly chat.
FINE.
I WILL HAVE A WORD WITH HIM. VERY BRIEFLY.
Ok.

Hey.
Are you still talking to him?
Wow, you guys are really going at it there.
What the fuck could you be talking about for so long?
This is getting ridiculous.
The timer on the next cueball bomb is ticking away.
OK. I’M BACK.
And?
MAROON HAT IS HIGHLY INTELLIGENT AND PERSONABLE.
I HAVE DECIDED HE IS MY FAVORITE GUY SO FAR.
See? I told you.
I WILL GIVE HIM SOME IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES LATER.
BUT I HAVE NOT DECIDED WHAT.

Crowbar, though? Caliborn ends up clicking with him immediately and decides to leave all important matters to him, which would later include leading the Felt in their rivalry against the Midnight Crew. This is a surprising success story that demonstrates how good a leader Crowbar is, in a way that rivals the tenacity of Spades Slick himself.

Maybe he can hold on to something important for you.
GOOD IDEA.
LIKE WHAT?
OH, I KNOW. MY CALTOP.
No not the caltop. That’s dumb.
MY GUN?
No.
OH! MY CANDY.
No you idiot!
FUCK YOU. IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA. THEN JUST TELL ME WHAT IT IS. PUZZLEMAN.
Look at the color of his hat. What else do you have that’s that color?
UHH.
Also, what object can you think of that’s kinda shaped like a 7?
HMM.
OH!!!
OHHHHHHHHHHH.
OF COURSE.
A BOOMERANG!
Ok, I give up.
I WILL MAKE A MENTAL NOTE TO SECURE A BOOMERANG IN THE FUTURE.
YES. IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE. TO BE A BOOMERANG. THEMATICALLY.
BECAUSE IT ALWAYS COMES BACK AROUND. IN ONE BIG CIRCLE. LIKE ALL THE TIME SHIT. I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT!

I love how Caliborn completely misunderstands Hussie’s clues and thinks Crowbar is supposed to be boomerang themed. The only thing stopping me from being able to imagine an alternate reality where Hussie (the author) named the seventh Felt member “Boomerang” is that it doesn’t sound anywhere near as cool as “Crowbar”.

OK. LAST QUESTION.
WHY IS PURPLE HAT. CONSTANTLY DANCING IN MY PRESENCE?
Yeah.
I guess in retrospect, purple hat has always been pretty flirtatious, hasn’t he?
WHAT?!
Maybe you should try to be open minded though.
Have you ever considered a relationship with someone?
Maybe you will discover you have never truly experienced joy until you have been in with a dancing elf.
— Caliborn has spiked his caltop on the ground in disgust. —

The conversation ends with a recap of leprechaun romance much snappier than what Aranea did. It says all you need to know about this complex romance system: it’s a bunch of stupid nonsense inspired by Problem Sleuth and based on Lucky Charms cereal.

Act 6 Intermission 5 Intermission 3 is followed by a large-scale demonstration of what Caliborn just said: time shit always comes back around in one big circle, with an X marking the spot triumphantly noted by Vriska herself.

VRISKA: Hey guys! Stop dragging your feet 8ack there! You’re falling so far 8ehind, you’re starting to look tiny and ridiculous from here.
VRISKA: The treasure should 8e 8uried just up ahead. Let’s pick up the pace!
SOLLUX: excuse me, s0me 0f us here have special needs. i think i will c0ntinue dragging my feet if y0u d0n’t mind.
VRISKA: Sollux, will you just let Aranea heal your eyes already and catch the fuck up?
SOLLUX: N0!!!!!!!!!!

I love the way Vriska breaks the fourth wall by making fun of the comic’s art style. Also, I have to wonder why Sollux doesn’t want his vision healed. Is he starting to feel the same way about his blindness as Terezi felt about hers?

Please forgive me for the heinous crime I am about to commit. In this scene, I will go full “not a homosexual” mode and analyze this scene as if John is wondering if Aradia would make for a viable love interest. It’s disgustingly heteronormative, I know it fucking is, and I really do mean it when I say most straight relationships in media are boring as hell, but John at this point in the comic is quite clearly romantically lonely and it’s not unreasonable to assume he may be deliberately trying to get to know the one girl troll (emphasis on girl) in the scene who isn’t a freaky ghost. This is one of the stupidest things I will ever do in these posts and I already know I’m going to regret it, but bear with me just this one time.

JOHN: hey.
JOHN: aradia, was it?
ARADIA: yes
JOHN: can i ask you something?
ARADIA: ok
JOHN: you seem reasonable, and pretty nice.
ARADIA: 🙂

As shown when John meets Roxy not too many pages later in the comic, John finds friendly and level-headed girls to be an INCREDIBLY refreshing change of pace from all the bizarre troll girls he’s met over the course of his adventures. If this scene is to be interpreted under a romantic light, then it’s one of many demonstrations that John is amusingly simple-minded when it comes to romance.

JOHN: how do you feel about all this?
ARADIA: about what exactly
JOHN: about what vriska and her pirate buddies are doing.
ARADIA: you mean searching for the weapon?
ARADIA: i think its a good idea
JOHN: no, i know.
JOHN: of course it would be great to have an awesome secret weapon, whatever it is.
JOHN: i mean…
JOHN: how do you feel about the way they’ve been searching for it?
JOHN: by using all your ghost clone friends as bait.
JOHN: and getting the bad guy to blow them all up to reveal the way to the treasure?
ARADIA: thats probably the only way to find it
ARADIA: in my experience the specific path you travel out here is very important
ARADIA: if we did not trace that exact path in that amount of time i doubt we ever would have found the right location
ARADIA: in fact it may never have been found by anyone

The way John immediately presumes that Aradia would probably not feel the same way about the treasure hunt that the rest of the trolls on the ship seem to suggests to me that he really wants to know just one troll girl who isn’t a total lunatic. He makes that point especially clear in scenes with Roxy, which I can already tell I’ll have an embarrassing amount of fun analyzing.

JOHN: ok, yes.
JOHN: let’s assume it was the only way to find it. granted.
JOHN: but i mean, does that really make it the right way to beat him?
ARADIA: i couldnt say
JOHN: well, how do you feel about it?
JOHN: most of the other pirates seem cool with it, so i’m wondering if you feel differently.
ARADIA: its probably necessary
ARADIA: and they would have embarked on this voyage whether i had come along or not
ARADIA: so i might as well join the fun!
ARADIA: isnt that what you did when you saw our ship?
JOHN: um…
JOHN: sort of.
JOHN: but i didn’t know what you were all doing yet.
ARADIA: yes but once you found out you continued journeying with us
JOHN: yeah, but…
JOHN: i’m just hanging out here cause i’m asleep! what else was i going to do?
ARADIA: exactly!

This image shows that John is rather disappointed with the sort of person Aradia is turning out to be: she’s eternally smiling, while he’s visibly weirded out and expected more reasonable things to come out of her mouth.

ARADIA: i dont necessarily share their point of view on the meaning of this endeavor though
ARADIA: they consider this to be a great clash between good and evil
ARADIA: but i prefer to look at the coming battle as a matter of housekeeping
ARADIA: in the end all loops must be tidied up
ARADIA: even his
JOHN: ok, but what about your friends!
JOHN: don’t you care about them?
ARADIA: of course i do!
ARADIA: i love all my friends
JOHN: then why do you seem so…
JOHN: cheerful?
JOHN: when so many of them are getting zapped by lasers.
ARADIA: do i seem cheerful about that
JOHN: kinda!
ARADIA: i apologize if that is the way i am behaving
ARADIA: it is not true though
ARADIA: i think i look at death differently than most
ARADIA: and it is fair to say this attitude extends to death after death as well
ARADIA: i have learned to be at ease with the cessation of being in any form it takes
ARADIA: but i am not nor will i ever be the monsters handmaid
ARADIA: so please believe that i would never take joy from the destruction of any soul
ARADIA: however you must realize that it is only by the grace of the horrorterrors that so many have been allowed to continue existing for so long
ARADIA: they have persisted for ages beyond their time just as he has
ARADIA: as such it seems to me his rampage is just another kind of housekeeping
ARADIA: while he rounds the ring undoing the work of the gods we must prepare for his undoing as well
ARADIA: to ready the manor for the lords arrival so to speak 🙂
JOHN: …
JOHN: i’m sorry, maybe i spaced out through some of that.

John probably spaced out not because of the way Aradia phrased her words, but maybe because he was lost in thoughts about wanting to know a sane troll girl for once. If Vriska or Aranea told the same story, I bet he would have hung onto every word.

JOHN: but i’m still not sure what you’re talking about.
JOHN: maybe you could just simplify it for me.
JOHN: are you a good guy or a bad guy?
ARADIA: i dont like to think of myself in those terms
ARADIA: but i do try to be nice to people!
JOHN: dammit.
JOHN: ok, could you just… maybe…
JOHN: give me an idea of what it is you actually want out of all this?
ARADIA: what i want?
ARADIA: hmmm
ARADIA: thats a pretty good question

ARADIA: i think i mostly want to see what happens when this whole place breaks apart

Though this interaction did not go as John hoped, he did get a straight answer as to what her motives in this whole adventure are. Aradia now has a little character arc to fulfill, which is her getting to see what happens when this whole place breaks apart; she gets those wishes beautifully fulfilled in Act 7.

JOHN: oh my god, you are all so insane!

And John is humorously frustrated that Aradia turned out to be the way she is. His frustration with troll girls is part of his romance arc, which the epilogues handle in a way I’m really looking forward to covering.

And so, John runs toward the rest of the party, leaving Aradia and Sollux behind.

VRISKA: Are you coming or what!
ARANEA: Yes, please come! I was a8out to 8egin one final story 8efore we reach the treasure!
JOHN: oh holy shit another story? i’m there!!!
JOHN: sorry aradia, i’d love to keep chatting, but you heard the lady. it’s story time again.
SOLLUX: w0w aradia, y0u actually sent the guy running t0 hear a serket st0ry.
SOLLUX: that was a REALLY impressive creep 0ut j0b, nice.
ARADIA: 😦

As Sollux observes, it’s rather impressive how thoroughly Aradia creeped John out—he eagerly runs away from her in favor of hearing a long-winded Serket story. It seems to me like John wants to never think about that embarrassing encounter with a troll girl who seemed nice on the surface again, which could possibly me more demonstration of what sort of person he is romantically.

… and with that, I think I’m done with saying stupid bullshit that has no business being said. Let’s go back to analyzing Aranea’s flowery exposition sequences.

ARANEA: Thank you for joining us, John.
ARANEA: Commodore Nepeta and Rear Admiral Feferi have 8oth 8een clamoring for one last tale, and I am not one to disappoint.
FEFERI: 38) NEPETA: :33
MEENAH: (clamoring)
MEENAH: (as in clams text it)
JOHN: ok. what’s this one about?
JOHN: ogre sex, or salamander shipping, or something?
ARANEA: Nope! Although I would 8e happy to tell you all a8out those topics another time.

If you thought Calliope was the biggest in-story nerd about Homestuck’s lore, then this passage should easily remind you that Aranea is even more of one. She’s an expert on how cherubs, leprechauns, ogres, AND salamanders reproduce, which is four different goddamn species that aren’t her own.

I love how absurdly tiny Sollux and Aradia look on the bottom left corner.

ARANEA: This is a story a8out two legendary rings.
ARANEA: No, not those rings! 

This bit suggests to me that Aranea’s psychic abilities have further reach on humans than she had suggested in a much earlier conversation with Jake. She can somehow tell which rings John is thinking of and corrects him as if she’s able to look inside his thought bubbles. This comes off to me as more of Aranea tampering with the fourth wall as villains in Homestuck love to do.

These rings are very subtly glowing with the colors of the life and void icons respectively.

She quickly clarifies that she’s talking about the Ring of Life and the Ring of Void, two rings we have seen aplenty in the comic as she describes in her usual prose, but never had in-comic names until now. This is where we learn the ring that John found in a dream bubble an in-story year prior can bring people back to life, and that the alpha kids’ black queen’s ring stolen by the Condesce is said to be narratively intertwined with that ring.

ARANEA: The Ring of Void supposedly once 8elonged to the 8lack queen of a void session.
ARANEA: 8ut one day it was stolen from her 8y a thief. And then stolen again from the thief 8y a rogue.
ARANEA: Legend would suggest it changed hands like this for a long time thereafter, until finally vanishing into the void itself forever.
ARANEA: Which is fitting, as the ring grants its wearer the a8ility to do exactly the same!
ARANEA: The Ring of Life has a very different story.
ARANEA: I have found no reports of an origin to this ring at all. Like many magic artifacts, it may not even have one which is comprehensi8le.
ARANEA: Earliest reports I have read would suggest it was first discovered 8y some travelers in a desert, and like its sister ring, has changed hands repeatedly since.
ARANEA: This ring however has a dramatically different effect. Instead of releg8ting the wearer to o8scurity and immateriality, it does just the opposite.
ARANEA: It is said that any ghost who wears this ring will come 8ack to life!
ARANEA: In some stories, the f8 of each ring appears to 8e entangled with the other. When one is lost, the other is serendipitously found.
ARANEA: A gr8 example of this can 8e o8served in the fa8le of-
VRISKA: W8 a minute……..

Once again, OF COURSE Vriska has to interrupt right when Aranea is about to get into the meat of her stories. She quickly realizes what ring her dancestor is talking about and flips out like so:

This silly double Cronus slam moment leads to a Vriska rant that’s very interesting to read following the retcon.

VRISKA: Tavros!!!!!!!!
TAVROS: wHAT,
VRISKA: What did you do with that ring?!
TAVROS: ,,,,,
TAVROS: wHAT RING,
VRISKA: Don’t play dum8 with me. That ring you had.
VRISKA: You know, the same one the orange guy tried to give me?
TAVROS: i STILL DON’T KNOW, aBOUT THIS ORANGE GUY YOU MENTION SOMETIMES,
TAVROS: yOU TALK ABOUT ORANGE GUY, bUT, iN REALITY, hE SOUNDS PROBABLY FAKE?
TAVROS: lIKE HOW YOU THOUGHT RUFIOH USED TO BE, uNTIL FACTS PROVED HE WASN’T,
VRISKA: You actually think I’m making this up? Why would I make up a story a8out an orange guy?!
VRISKA: What kind of juvenile fuckup do you take me for????????

Tavros’ arc in Act 6 has mostly been him boasting of his newfound self-confidence in humorous ways so far, and this part is no exception: he tries to tell Vriska that the orange guy is fake in an attempt at retaliating what she used to say about Rufio(h). Tavros’s jabs at Vriska are humorously bad at this point, but they very soon won’t be.

VRISKA: The orange guy was real. He was surrounded 8y a 8unch of stupid fucking horses, and he tried to give me a ring so I knocked him out cold.
VRISKA: And then l8ter YOU found it.
TAVROS: nO i DIDN’T,
VRISKA: Yes you did! Don’t lie to me.
VRISKA: You had the ring, and you and John were fighting over it 8ehind your 8acks like a couple of idiots for a while.
VRISKA: What, you think I didn’t notice?!
TAVROS: yES, nO,
TAVROS: i DIDN’T THINK YOU DID,
VRISKA: Well I did! And I didn’t care 8ecause I didn’t think the ring did jack shit!
VRISKA: 8ut now that I know it does jack A WHOLE FUCKING LOT, I would like you to stop 8ehaving like a disingenuous, argument8tive ASSH8LE and T8LL ME WHERE IT IS.
TAVROS: i DON’T KNOW WHERE IT IS,
TAVROS: iT’S GONE,
VRISKA: What do you mean it’s gone!

If you read between the lines of this Vriska rant, it’s clear we’re about to get her side of Terezi’s regrets about murdering her. She, too, wants to be brought back to life but has no way of accessing the ring, which suggests her revival will happen in a very different way.

Characters glancing at each other in confusion always cracks me up.

TAVROS: i HAD IT, tHEN jOHN HAD IT,
TAVROS: aND i WANTED IT BACK, bUT HE WANTED IT ALSO, sO,

TAVROS: wE ARGUED WITH OUR HANDS OVER IT, uNTIL HE VANISHED,
TAVROS: aND i TRIED TO FIND IT ON THE GROUND, bECAUSE IT WAS PRECIOUS TO ME, fOR A WHILE,
VRISKA: Why was it precious to you?? Are you telling me you knew what it did!
TAVROS: nO, i DIDN’T, i JUST HAD,
TAVROS: sEPARATE REASONS FROM THAT, fOR WANTING IT,
VRISKA: Well whatever lame reason you wanted that ring, forget it. It’s o8viously a much more important magical item than either of us gave it credit for.
VRISKA: As soon as we get the treasure out of this cave, you’re going to lead us 8ack to wherever you lost it, and we’re gonna look for it!
VRISKA: Is that understood, Poopmaster Nitram????????
TAVROS: nO, yES,
TAVROS: i MEAN, yES, i COMPREHEND THE LITERAL MEANING OF YOUR YELLING,
TAVROS: bUT, nO,
VRISKA: What do you mean no? That was an order!
TAVROS: i THINK YOUR MEAN SPIRITED ANGRINESS IS MAKING ME REMEMBER, tO WONDER WHY i KEEP WANTING TO HELP YOU AND LIKE YOU,
TAVROS: aND i THINK IT’S MAKING ME THINK, i DON’T REALLY CARE ANYMORE ABOUT FINDING THE RING, oR FINDING THIS TREASURE,
TAVROS: oR HELP YOU DO ARGUABLY EVIL THINGS TO GHOST FRIENDS, tO GET YOUR OBJECTIVES TO HAPPEN,
VRISKA: Tavros, what exactly are you trying to say?
TAVROS: i THINK, tHE BOTTOM LINE OF THAT, iS,
TAVROS: i DON’T WANT TO BE YOUR POOPMASTER ANYMORE,
TAVROS: sO i’M NOT GOING TO BE,

Holy FUCK. Here’s where Tavros finally grows a spine for real and proudly defies Vriska. All it took for that to happen was him gaining Vriska’s memories for a few moments as a sprite, and now he’s just refusing to go along with Vriska’s ghost battle plans in a way that is nothing short of awe-inspiring, especially knowing Tavros. We’ll eventually see that he has a different plan to fight Lord English altogether in a triumphant moment that unfortunately takes place in the absolute mess of an act that is A6A6I5.

And then Tavros flies away flipping the bird at Vriska, which is just… holy SHIT.

TAVROS: fLY, pUPA,
TAVROS: fLYYYYY,
TAVROS: (heheHehE,)
TAVROS: (ehHHehehEheH, oH yEs,)
TAVROS: (heheHEHEHEhehEhEheh, so clEVEr,)
TAVROS: (how i refEreNCed, whaT wEre onCE, scoRNfUl remArKS dIreCtED at me, eheHahAHa!)
TAVROS: (hahAhehE, so sicK! sO sICk!!!!,)
VRISKA: WE CAN ALL HEAR YOU WH8SPERING FROM D8WN HERE SHIT F8R 8RAINS!!!!!!!!

This moment where Tavros loudly whispers his REFRANCE while laughing to himself again comes off as incredibly triumphant by his standards. His reversed reprise of Vriska’s words is very well executed and has a sense of finality, especially because from this point onwards he never sees this version of Vriska EVER again.

SOLLUX: hey tavr0s, wait up, i think i’m c0ming with y0u.
VRISKA: What?? No, Sollux, w8!
SOLLUX: nah, i’ve pretty much had it t00.
SOLLUX: i can’t believe i went al0ng with this f0r as l0ng as i did, s0 yeah.
SOLLUX: i’ll be fucked tw0 ways fr0m perigees eve bef0re i let tavr0s upstage me in the backb0ne department.
SOLLUX: aradia, s0rry, i can’t be a part 0f this anym0re, it’s just making me feel dirty.
ARADIA: i understand sollux
SOLLUX: let’s catch up again later, h0pefully when this is all 0ver.
ARADIA: yeah 😀 

It makes sense for Sollux to leave the scene now because though it was fun to hear from him again, he really has no business tagging along on Vriska’s fucked up pirate adventures. His and Tavros’s departure from the scene serves to make what follows come across as more dramatic, with a smaller party aboard the ship consisting of trolls who mean BUSINESS (and Aradia).

SOLLUX: 0h, feferi and nepeta will be c0ming with me t00.
VRISKA: WHAT!
VRISKA: No they f8cking won’t!!!!!!!!
SOLLUX: yes they will! they just t0ld me.
VRISKA: I d8dn’t hear them say shit!

Same goes for Feferi and Nepeta’s departure. Again, having them excuse themselves decreases the size of the party and heightens the tension for what will follow.

SOLLUX: they b0th gave me meaningful glances!
SOLLUX: like as if t0 say, aw yeah, let’s b0unce.
FEFERI: 3;) NEPETA: ;33
VRISKA: YOU’RE BLIND, H8W COULD YOU SEE A “ME8NINGFUL GLANCE”????????
SOLLUX: instead 0f underestimating the perspicacity 0f the sens0ry impaired, why d0n’t y0u bite me.

Sollux just gave Vriska the best burn possible. He doesn’t seem to have an amplified non-visual sense like Terezi, but he probably still has some of his gold-blooded psychic powers as implied by the fact that Vriska brought him and Aradia as specialists. Vriska’s a psychic too, so she should know that Sollux has his ways of getting around blindness.

VRISKA: No, they can’t go! Commodore Nepeta and Rear Admiral Feferi are 8oth critical mem8ers of my crew!
VRISKA: This is mutiny!!!!!!!!
ARANEA: Vriska, I am on your side here. 8ut I feel I should point out that technically they 8oth outrank you.
VRISKA: Excuse me?!
VRISKA: No they don’t! Come on, I just gave them titles that sounded cool!
VRISKA: How can you outrank a captain????????
ARANEA: 8y 8eing a commodore?
VRISKA: A commodore outranks a captain?!
MEENAH: yea fraid so
ARANEA: Yes, and a rear admiral outranks a commodore.
VRISKA: No, 8ut!
VRISKA: I thought a rear admiral was like…
VRISKA: Some sort of JOKE rank!
VRISKA: Who can take a rear admiral seriously? It might as well 8e a poopmaster!
MEENAH: um no serk its actually a real thing
MEENAH: god damn for a pirate you really know fuckall about nautical junk
MEENAH: pretty embarrassing tbh

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Vriska’s lack of knowledge on pirate technicalities is hilarious as fuck. Instead of knowing common practices she has every reason to know, she just dishes out whichever rank names she thinks sound the coolest just like in her FLARP days.

SOLLUX: yeah, this stuff is all super interesting. j/k, l0sers.
SOLLUX: anyway, we’re 0ut.
SOLLUX: LADIES.

This is one hell of a funny way to end Sollux, Nepeta, and Feferi’s screen time in this sub-intermission. These versions of Nepeta and Feferi are never heard from again which is a bit weird, because we did get one speaking scene from the (probably) post-retcon versions of Eridan and Feferi in the epilogues.

With all that out of the way, it’s time for some serious Sadstuck right now. Are you ready?

VRISKA: GOOD RIDD8NCE YOU 8ACKSTA88ING INGR8TES!
VRISKA: I HOPE LORD ENGLISH E8TS YOU 8LL!!!!!!!!
JOHN: hey, vriska.
VRISKA: WH8T!
JOHN: actually…
JOHN: you know that ring?
VRISKA: What a8out it!
JOHN: i have it now.
VRISKA: You do??
VRISKA: Where! Let me see!!
JOHN: no, i mean, not on me.
JOHN: i guess i wasn’t wearing it when i fell asleep.
JOHN: it seems to have the power to come with me in and out of my dreams, as long as i’m wearing it.
JOHN: that’s how i got it in the first place. i had it on when i woke up.
VRISKA: You were wearing it??
VRISKA: Why? And why were you playing keepaway with it in the first place!
VRISKA: I mean, aside from the o8vious fact that messing with Tavros is its own hilarious reward.
JOHN: i don’t know.
JOHN: i guess…
JOHN: i liked it, and i just wanted to hang on to it for some reason.
JOHN: but i didn’t know i would wake up with it.
VRISKA: This is perfect!
VRISKA: That means all you have to do is put it on when you wake up, then come find me the next time you go to sleep!

When John explains that he currently has the Ring of Life, Vriska takes it as a perfect opportunity that he’d no doubt loyally follow as the loyal pushover human nerd he is, right???

JOHN: yeah…
JOHN: maybe.

Not after all. This line makes it clear that John doesn’t trust Vriska the way he used to, and is incredibly disheartening for fans of their relationship.

VRISKA: May8e?
JOHN: i’ll think about it.
VRISKA: You’ll THINK a8out it??
JOHN: well, yeah.
JOHN: it sounds like an important item, so deciding what to do with it is kind of a big responsibility.
JOHN: it’s supposed to bring ghosts back to life, but we don’t know how it works.
JOHN: what if it only keeps you alive as long as you’re wearing it?
JOHN: that would mean only one ghost could come back.
VRISKA: Right! All the 8etter reason to let me use it!
JOHN: but there are a lot of ghosts!
JOHN: i’m just not sure what to do yet.
VRISKA: W8. You’re not ACTUALLY thinking of giving it to someone else, are you?
VRISKA: That’s my ring! The orange guy gave it to ME!
JOHN: yeah, well frankly, i don’t give a shit about the orange guy!
JOHN: the ring is mine for now, so i’m the one who has to figure out what to do with it.

And there we have it. The third time in the comic where John just flat-out decides he doesn’t like Vriska anymore, which much like Tavros’s departure has a sense of finality because he’ll never see ghost Vriska again after he wakes up. It may also be that John sees the ring as a symbol of his romantic hopes and dreams that he’d rather not give away to a troll girl who he has incredibly mixed feelings about, which is ironic because the ring does end up as a symbol of his romantic failure when Calliope and Roxy get into that whole weird ambiguous relationship.

JOHN: speaking of waking up, it’s probably time i got going too.
JOHN: i’m not trying to join the mutiny or anything, but i do have friends waiting for me out there.
VRISKA: John, w8!
VRISKA: I hope we’re not parting on 8ad terms here.
VRISKA: You aren’t holding all this treasure hunting shit against me like Tavros is, right?
VRISKA: We’re still cool, right John?
JOHN: uh…
VRISKA: If you have to leave, I get that, 8ut I really want us to stay friends!
VRISKA: I always felt like we had a special 8ond, John. Like we’re 8oth always in the position of having to take charge as leaders, even if we never asked for that responsi8ility.
VRISKA: And I don’t wanna pressure you into anything, 8ut I would really appreci8 it if you’d at least think a8out me next time you take a nap with that ring on!
JOHN: it’s fine. we can stay friends.
JOHN: i don’t really like to make enemies with people, even if they’re…
VRISKA: Even if they’re what?
JOHN: umm.

This conversation reads a lot like a difficult breakup scene, with a “nice” character trying to break things off with a “mean” character. John can’t spit out how he feels about Vriska because he still has a lot of conflicting feelings about her, but he’s about to break their bond apart regardless.

Oh my god, look at Aradia’s creepy smile in the background.

This image calls back to John ranting to Jade about how boring life on the battleship is and how horrible Davesprite is in a much less humorous light. This time around, the vaguely sexual hand gesture is used to show that John has trouble putting into words that he doesn’t think Vriska is a good person anymore.

JOHN: vriska, i have to be honest. years ago when we first talked, it was a lot of fun to get to know you.
JOHN: and i admit i thought about you a lot since then.
JOHN: but i guess i never quite realized how little i actually understood you.
JOHN: during this crazy treasure quest, i tried to reserve judgment, like maybe it was just a troll thing i didn’t get.
JOHN: but seeing how those other guys felt about it, i think it’s more complicated than that.
JOHN: obviously not all trolls are like you.
JOHN: and i know i’m not.
JOHN: maybe this was all for a good cause, but it still felt like a pretty fucked up way to go about it.
JOHN: and…
JOHN: all i’m saying is, i’m ready to go. i’ve seen enough, and i miss my friends.
JOHN: i’ll think about what to do with the ring, but honestly…
VRISKA: Honestly what?
JOHN: again, i am just keeping it real!
JOHN: but if i am really thinking hard about who i should bring back to life…
JOHN: i dunno if my conscience can justify bringing back someone so…
JOHN: dangerous.

This pseudo-breakup speech is emotional to read the first time, because he’s finally telling Vriska to her face that he thinks she’s dangerous and arguably villainous. But it’s amusing to reread this part because John willfully brings Vriska back in the retcon mission when Terezi makes it extra easy for him. This ultimately demonstrates that though he doesn’t seem to trust Vriska anymore, he’s still a huge pushover deep down and will follow Vriska’s desires if someone else tells him to.

VRISKA: Fine.
VRISKA: Don’t give me the ring then.
VRISKA: Actually, you know what? Even if you change your mind some day, forget it!
VRISKA: I don’t even want it anymore.
JOHN: you don’t?
VRISKA: No.
VRISKA: I’ve 8een dead this long. What’s a little longer.
VRISKA: Keep your ring. I don’t want anyone’s pity.
VRISKA: So 8eat it, Eg8ert.

And with that, ghost Vriska’s short window of potential resurrection has ended and her arc is permanently grounded in the world of the dead. Vriska’s decision that she doesn’t care about the ring anymore hints that her resurrection will happen in a very different way.

JOHN: …
VRISKA: ……..
VRISKA: WELL????????
JOHN: huh?
VRISKA: JOHN, I THOUGHT YOU WERE LEAVING.
JOHN: oh. right.
JOHN: i guess i’ll just be…
VRISKA: WHAT ARE YOU A FUCKING IDIOT?! DON’T GO YET.
JOHN: wh…
JOHN: what?
VRISKA: Look, you made yourself perfectly clear. You think I’m a heartless monster, and you don’t want to help me out.
VRISKA: Whatever!
VRISKA: 8ut are you SERIOUSLY going to check out of this dream like TWO MINUTES 8efore you see what the treasure is?!
VRISKA: Holy crap, dude. Where is your sense of curiosity????????
VRISKA: If I can manage to put up with you for a little longer, I think you can stand my morally 8ankrupt company long enough to find out what this thing is.
VRISKA: Why am I the only person in paradox space who actually THINKS!
JOHN: oh.
JOHN: sure.
JOHN: i guess i’ll go a little further and check out the treasure.
JOHN: heh, you’re right. it would be dumb not to.
VRISKA: Good.

Even though John has broken his trust with Vriska, he’s still convinced to check out the treasure either because he still sees some amount of positive qualities in her, or because he’s a huge goddamn pushover.

VRISKA: Party’s over, folks.
VRISKA: The pir8 playtime wiggler jam8oree was fun while it lasted.
VRISKA: 8ut it’s time to get serious.

Vriska dumps her coat down to end the humorous pirate motifs and further switch this scene to a more dramatic mood, and starts a very memorable heroic speech with, yet again, a strong sense of finality.

VRISKA: The treasure’s down there.
VRISKA: If my guess is right, it should 8e 8uried in one of his ancient memories.
VRISKA: 8y now we’ve all 8een wind8agged to hell and 8ack 8y my dear ancestor.
VRISKA: So I’ll trust no8ody’s gonna mind indulging one of MY stories.
VRISKA: There was a pretty good yarn a8out this treasure I read once during our travels.
VRISKA: Found it in some damn memory, who knows whose.
VRISKA: It was a good read. IMPECCA8LE prose. Failing to do it justice would be the real matter of gray morality here, if you ask me.
VRISKA: 8ut right now I 8n’t in the mood to figure out how not to make it fucking suck.
VRISKA: So I’ll just say this.
VRISKA: It was supposedly a weapon that once 8elonged to him.
VRISKA: 8ut he could never use it without altering its nature.
VRISKA: Meaning he could only use it once.
VRISKA: So he did.
VRISKA: After that, it could only 8e used again one more time.
VRISKA: And only as a weapon against him.
VRISKA: Knowing it was one of the keys to his defeat, he had it locked away deep in the void.
VRISKA: That’s it. Part one of my story. Hold your applause.
VRISKA: Guess we’ll find out if that’s true.
VRISKA: Or if it turns out all my despica8le shit was in vain.

It’s quite obvious that Vriska’s speech is addressed partly to the reader, who by this point undoubtedly has many conflicting views on her. She’s telling the reader that we’re soon about to find the truth about the juju get a grand evaluation of Vriska’s morality, or so she thinks at least (because Hussie will soon interrupt the story for a VBVS interlude).

VRISKA: Not that it would even matter to some people.
VRISKA: You know, they can say whatever they want a8out me.
VRISKA: 8ut somewhere out there is a shimmering new universe growing in a 8ig 8all of water.
VRISKA: He’s looking hells of majestic. Amphi8ious and resplendent. His glorious croak would 8ring you to your knees.
VRISKA: That universe is going to give life to 8illions of trillions of zillions of cute little aliens.
VRISKA: You wouldn’t even 8elieve how pretty and wonderful and happy all these aliens will 8e. It’s making your lip trem8le just thinking a8out them, and how worth saving they are. Wow.
VRISKA: You could walk up to one of those aliens and put your hand on its innocent shoulder, and with a str8 face you could say, “Sorry to 8r8k it to you. 8ut tomorrow, a guy named Lord English is going to destroy your universe. You are all going to die.”
VRISKA: And when that alien looks up at you with tears in its eyes, just 8efore the first one rolls down its weird alien cheek, you lean in close to its a8surd alien ear and whisper, “Psyche.”
VRISKA: That’s 8ecause you know a long time ago, in an o8scure pocket of reality the alien could never understand or give a shit a8out, some crazy girl sacrificed the “lives” of a 8unch ghosts in order to kill that guy forever.

Vriska’s monologue about a fresh, peaceful universe is very on the nose after the epilogues, which take place in the exact universe she’s talking about here. She’s telling the reader that you can’t deny the important role she is playing in giving this story a happy ending.

VRISKA: They were already a million sweeps past their prime, existing on 8orrowed time, luxuri8ting in a kind of 8izarre metaphysical longevity few others will ever enjoy.
VRISKA: Just a fresh 8atch of 88 the squid gods kept on ice for an ins8tia8le fisherman cause they were sick of 8eing hunted themselves.
VRISKA: Those ghosts were all that stood in the way of an end to this eternal holocaust, and sparing their souls 8n’t different in my view from personally committing atrocities on a cosmic fucking scale.

It’s also interesting to think about how a big theme in the epilogues is how Earth C isn’t quite the utopia it seems like on the surface. It makes sense that topic isn’t explored in Homestuck proper aside from scenes in the credits showing that John and Terezi aren’t quite happy, because the epilogues are all about deconstructing happy endings and the very concept of an “epilogue”.

VRISKA: I only ever wanted to do the right thing no matter how it made people judge me, and I don’t need a magic ring to do that.
VRISKA: You don’t have to 8e alive to make yourself relevant.
VRISKA: And you don’t have to 8e a good person to 8e a hero.
VRISKA: You just have to know who you are and stay true to that.
VRISKA: So I’m going to keep fighting for people the only way I ever knew how.

Vriska ends her speech with some rather striking words about what it means to be a hero. This right here is Vriska at her finest: demonstrating her heroic qualities alongside her typical questionable morality in her own oddly inspirational way.

What a gorgeous panel.

VRISKA: 8y 8eing me.

This is a perfect point for me to end this post, because what follows is an absurd drunk Rose scene that totally turns the mood upside-down. Vriska’s speech gives readers plenty of morality to chew on and provides a closure of sorts to ghost Vriska’s arc. I don’t mean her arc ends at this point, obviously it doesn’t; I just mean it’s closure for ghost Vriska being high and mighty.

See you next year as the story takes us on some wild interludes with a sweet little salamander, a nerdy boy’s arm, and a beloved cyborg mobster haha oops that’ll be in post 103 sorry

>> Part 102: The Great Metafictional Nostalgia Trip

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