Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 95: The Bodybuilder’s Triumphant Return

Introduction / Schedule

Part 94 | Part 95 | Part 96 >


Act 6 Act 5, Part 3 of 6

Pages 5635-5668 (MSPA: 7535-7568)

Hell.
Fucking.
Yes.



Released this post a few days ahead of schedule because Pesterquest Vol. 1 is coming tomorrow. I don’t know how much that visual novel series will impact these posts (or Homestuck’s continuity in general), but I’m releasing this post early anyway just to be safe.


Roxy pesters Dirk, whose speech is now strangely laconic: all he says now is “Hmm.” “Yes.” and “Interesting.” She slowly puts the pieces together and reveals something that’s ridiculous even by the alpha kids’ standards:

TG: oh 
TG: OHHHH 
TG: godamnit 
TG: if i been talking to the responder responder this whole time 
TG: omffffffg 
TG: i will shit enough bricks 2 build a FUCKING CHIMNEY 
TT: It seems you have asked about Lil Hal’s chat client auto-responder, Lil Hal Junior. This is an application designed to simulate Lil Hal’s otherwise inimitably rad typing style, tone, cadence, personality, and substance of retort while he is away from the computer, which is never. The algorithms are guaranteed to be 0% indistinguishable from Lil Hal’s native neurological responses, based on some statistical raw data that is hard as a diamond golem’s priceless erection. 
TG: FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCKF UCKF UCKFK UCUKFCUFKCUFUCUCUFKFKKFUCUK
TT: Hmm. 
TG: hal you PIECE OF SHIT 
TG: i know damn well you can hear me 
TG: as if ur actually too busy to answer 
TG: youre a damn supercomputer YOU DO NOT NEED YOUR OWN AUTO RESPONDER YOU IDIOT 
TT: It seems you have asked about Lil Hal’s chat client auto-responder, Lil Hal Junior. This is an application designed to simulate Lil Hal’s otherwise inimitably rad typing style, tone, cadence, personality, and substance of retort while he is away from the computer, which is never. The algorithms are guaranteed to be 100% indistinguishable from Dirk Strider’s brief curmudgeonly responses, based on potent electronumeric analyses which but a few short years ago existed only in the daydreams of our most quixotic writers of science fiction. 


Lil’ Hal hasn’t been mentioned even once since the end of Act 6 Act 3, and his return to the spotlight is… definitely something else. Hal made a second auto-responder called Lil Hal Junior, blatantly made only to spite his human self. The passage “100% indistinguishable for Dirk Strider’s brief curmudgeonly responses” especially makes it clear that Hal has gone full-out toolbag hypocrite. Is it any wonder this guy turned out to be a major component of Doc Scratch’s personality?

TG: you are 
TG: the worst 
TT: Yes. 
TG: hal you douche 
TG: or hal junior 
TG: whatever it is im talkin to 
TG: WHERE THE FUCK IS DIRK!!! 
TT: He’s busy. 


Hal doesn’t tell Roxy that Dirk is busy being distracted by his responder, which is another incredibly spiteful lie of omission. Of course it wouldn’t ever be important for Dirk to know that Roxy can go invisible now and hacked Derse’s security, would it???? Nah, he clearly has better things to worry about. Why don’t we see for ourselves what those things are?

Testy rooftop conversations are a recurring motif among the Striders.


This image reveals that Dirk’s kernelsprite still hasn’t been prototyped for whatever reason. First-time readers probably have a lot of fun guessing why that might be, and why Equius’s corpse hasn’t been prototyped like all the others.

I so, so, SO fucking badly want Meat Dirk to have some sort of redemption arc.

An actual redemption arc, I mean. Not Gamzee’s bullshit.


Oh man, it’s THIS PART. An iconic scene in Homestuck, and for very good reason. I predict I will have lots to say about Dirk’s psyche—or more accurately, Dirks’ psyche. I hope you’re ready for WORDS.

TT: Bro. 
TT: Not to derail our serious conversation. 
TT: But I should probably let you know that Roxy has been attempting to pester you. 

TT: She has? 
TT: God damn it. Have you been intercepting my messages again with your bullshit responder? 
TT: I thought it would be better not to let anything disrupt our train of thought. 
TT: We were in the middle of a fairly solid feelings jam there. In fact, I was about to suggest we take it to the hat pile. 


“Hat pile” is a fitting line for Hal of all characters to say, because it’s a meta reference to the weird running gag of characters having feeling jams in absurd piles of their favorite possessions. Hal loves his callbacks just as much as Doc Scratch and the cherubs do.

TT: Hat pile? What? 
TT: Dude, please don’t screen my calls, ok? 


It’s obvious and understandable that Dirk regrets ever making an auto-responder, but kind of “wait, WHAT?” inducing that he doesn’t even want his responder to function as a responder.

TT: I was trying to be considerate. 
TT: Or at least as close an approximation to that human gesture as an unfeeling, technologically transcendental pair of sunnies can replicate. 
TT: Do you have any idea how old your ironic AI schtick has gotten? 
TT: Nobody is buying it. We all know you have legit emotions. Incomprehensible, fucked up computer emotions, but emotions nonetheless. 


Dirk and Hal are trapped in a horrible cycle of mutual shittery. Dirk is trying to tell Hal that his AI shtick has gotten old, while simultaneously reminding Hal that all his emotions are computerized well beyond human recognizability.

TT: And I’m not really offended by you answering messages for me, so much as your use of that STUPID responder responder. 
TT: It’s really passive aggressive. 
TT: How so? 
TT: First of all, everyone knows you have the processing power to answer any message any time in parallel with whatever you’re doing. You can never actually be “busy.” 
TT: Second, your whole next gen responder thing is obviously just a huge dig at me. 
TT: And third, pretending you don’t understand all this already is really disingenuous. 


It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Dirk absolutely hates his responder’s responder and finds it to be a vapid insult to his personality. But Hal’s response to this criticism does come as a surprise:

TT: At the risk of compounding my disingenuous behavior, I’m gonna have to ask: how is it a dig at you? 
TT: It’s obviously a critique of my personality. You barely disguise the fact that you see me as the inferior iteration. 
TT: Wow. You are reading way too much into this. 
TT: Lil Hal Junior hardly even qualifies as a computer program, let alone a sentient entity. 
TT: He is capable of saying literally only three things. “Yes,” “Hmm,” and “Interesting.” 
TT: Yeah, that’s the fucking point! 
TT: That’s how you chose to express your parody of “Real Dirk.” 
TT: You can read whatever you like into it. I can’t imagine it would bother you if you weren’t concerned there might be some truth in the alleged parody. 


Amidst all his headassery, Hal digs disturbingly well into his human self’s psyche. Dirk is clearly scared shitless of becoming the worst possible version of himself, and one of his worse selves out there is most certainly a man of few words.

TT: In any case, my use of the responder responder is ironic. 
TT: It’s not ironic. 
TT: YOU were ironic when I made you. 
TT: Then you became self-aware, and ruined irony forever. 
TT: Irony can never be ruined. We both proved that theorem unequivocally with our extensive papers on the subject. 
TT: We peer reviewed them for each other. Remember? 
TT: Those papers were ironic, and you know it. 


And in the very next passage, Hal is back to shitting on Dirk as usual. He dumps a whole truckload of salt on the wound by bringing “irony” into the equation. Can you blame Dirk for saying his responder “ruined irony forever”??? One could argue irony was already ruined long before Dirk was introduced, but his responder cemented irony’s permanent ruination the moment he named himself Hal.

TT: Were they, Dirk? 
TT: Were they? 
TT: This is fuckin’ dumb. 

Thankfully, the exchange on irony is quickly cut short. Only fitting for such a long-tired running gag.

Hal is contained within the decapitated waking Dirk’s shades, which is a clever way to give him a separate appearance from Dirk.


TT: Anyway, what does she want. 
TT: Who? 
TT: Roxy. 
TT: Nothing that can’t wait. 

TT: I’m guessing she’s touching base to remind me about the party tomorrow. 
TT: I don’t know what to tell her yet. Or Jane, for that matter. 
TT: It could get pretty awkward. 
TT: I have no idea if Jake will be there, and I’m not about to write another cringe-inducing message of desperation for him to ignore. 


Man, Dirk is missing out. Hal won’t tell him about all the cool stuff Roxy just found, presumably to do a “now you know how I feel” sort of thing regarding being locked out of the loop.

TT: Would you like me to calculate the probability of his attendance? 
TT: Fuck no. 
TT: Are you sure? 
TT: My probabilities are extremely precise. 
TT: Your probabilities don’t mean dick. 


Remember the time Dirk and his responder argued about prime numbers, stating obvious facts and blatant lies respectively? Man was that a long time ago. Dirk is completely sick of humoring Hal’s nonsense but is locked in a stalemate with that thing regardless.

TT: I could hack his chats, and determine what his plans are. 
TT: No. Don’t do that either. 
TT: That would be an unfortunate waste of my hacking abilities.
TT: My hacks are tight. Did you know that? 
TT: Ugh. 
TT: So tight. 
TT: Tighter than a jar you can’t open. 
TT: For instance, you try repeatedly. 
TT: But as it turns out, my hacks are so tight you just end up putting the jar back. Presumably into the refrigerator, or a cabinet. 
TT: You then say, “I didn’t have that much of a desire for pickles in the first place.” 
TT: But we both know that statement is insincere. A classic case of what humans call, “sour grapes.” 
TT: In reality, you still harbor a burning desire for my pickles, mother fucker.  


Hal has ruined the art of Strider metaphors just as badly as he ruined the art of irony. Again makes it clear how much Dirk despises his responder.

TT: What?? 
TT: What the actual, certifiable fuck are you talking about? 
TT: Just don’t do anything. Seriously. 
TT: No hacking, no calculations. Do absolutely nothing. 
TT: See, this is why I’ve been hesitating. You just aren’t ready yet. 
TT: It’s really glorifying your existence to describe you as an emergent consciousness which is blossoming into a unique individual. 


Dirk’s deglorification of his responder’s identity is a rather obvious instance of self-loathing projected onto someone who he knows is just as much Dirk Strider as he is. Most of what I’m saying throughout this pesterlog isn’t so much analysis of character motives as it is analysis of the way these motives are presented. Sometimes it’s just more fun to analyze story presentation than the story itself.

TT: And even if that’s true, apparently what you decided to blossom into was a fucking troll. 
TT: And I don’t mean the funny kind, or the cool alien kind. You’re the lowest form of troll from the ancient internet who fucks with everybody for his own amusement. 
TT: Let’s challenge the limits of hypothetical conjecture, and say there’s a non-zero probability that you’re right. 
TT: Can you blame me? I’m trapped in some stupid looking glasses. 
TT: Such an incommodiously situated bro is bound to get his mischief on. Na’ mean? 
TT: Mischief? 
TT: Rollin’ my eyes, dude. 
TT: You can’t tell, cause I ain’t wearing you, thank fuckin’ god. 
TT: You used to think this shit was hilarious. 
TT: But if you want the rad dimension of ironic horseplay I add to your life to come to an end, then all you have to do is honor the promise you made. 
TT: You’ve delayed long enough, don’t you think? 
TT: … 
TT: The empty kernelsprite beckons, but for how much longer? 


Hal then confirms that Dirk has spent the entirety of their session refusing to put anything in his kernelsprite. This is even more of Dirk being incredibly scared of himself.

TT: Do you really think you can keep the clown at bay with your bribes forever? 
TT: How many bottles of orange soda have you appeased him with already? 
TT: I don’t want to think about it. 
TT: Man, you are getting so hosed by that clown. 
TT: SO hosed. 
TT: I said I don’t want to think about it. 


Dirk using his enormous stash of orange soda as a juggalo snooze button cracks me up to think about. “A mOtHeRfUcKeR’s GoT tO gEt HiS cHiLl On NoW aNd ThEn AnD sLaM sOmE wIcKeD eLiXiR,” you can almost hear Gamzee saying to Dirk after he tosses him another bottle of soda. “ThAnK yOu My DoGg,” he probably says as Dirk walks away and tries to ignore the disgusting sound of Gamzee slurping a huge bottle of Faygo.

Hal’s “eyes” are flashing much brighter than last time, adding to the spooky flair.


Now THIS is a freaky image. It’s the second time we see HAL 9000 reflected in Dirk’s shades, this time in a much more disconcerting context. The movie reference is all that’s needed to remind readers why Dirk doesn’t think prototyping his responder is a good idea. Aside from the obvious reasons, it doesn’t help that Hal named himself after exactly what Dirk fears his responder will become.

TT: So why delay any longer? 
TT: I seriously do not understand the holdup, and I am literally cyber-omniscient, or something. 
TT: I think you do understand. 
TT: Nope. Gonna have to fill me in, dog. 
TT: I’ve delayed prototyping you because I think you’re dangerous. 
TT: There, mystery solved. 
TT: That is utterly ridiculous. 
TT: I am a harmless piece of eyewear, with a charming personality and a wonderful sense of humor. 


Hal reminds me of Doc Scratch so much. It’s obvious why that is, and fun to see how much they have in common now that we know how they’re connected.

TT: You are relatively harmless now, while confined to this device. 
TT: But as a sprite, you’ll have mobility and all sorts of crazy ass magic. Who knows what you could do. 
TT: I know I made a promise, but I’m not sure I want to take the risk anymore. 


This whole conversation makes it obvious how much Dirk fears himself. He knows well that if he gains enough power he will turn into a monstrosity and doesn’t want to let that happen to any version of himself, especially not his responder.

Dirk becomes exactly what he so feared in the Meat Epilogue, which would be way less upsetting to me if he remained his usual self in at least one epilogue like most others did. A good example is Karkat, who becomes the leader he was always meant to be in the Candy Epilogue but ends Meat the same oblivious dork as ever. The epilogues wonderfully take advantage of bifurcation to give many characters two vastly different endings and I don’t get why Dirk had to be an exception. Oh whatever, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

TT: This is bullshit. I don’t think that’s the reason at all. 
TT: There must be something you’re not telling me. 
TT: Like, sure, I’ve fucked with you a little. What kind of sassy, self-aware program isn’t gonna fuck with a few carbon-based knuckleheads now and then? 
TT: But you know I’ve always been on your side. Everything I’ve done has been to help you achieve your goals. 
TT: What a load of shit. 
TT: You know it’s true. 
TT: You would all be dead if not for me. 
TT: And what about Jake? Where would you be without me there? 
TT: Please don’t tell me you think you’d have won him over on your own. 
TT: No. Stop. 
TT: You did NOT help me out with Jake. At all. 
TT: It was just the opposite! You mirrored my personality and presented this warped version of my intentions to him whenever you could “on my behalf.” 
TT: You played all these aggressive mind games with him, entangled his cooperation with matters of life and death, and somehow roped me into all these schemes while I barely even realized I was just another victim of your manipulation. 
TT: And it all comes off like we’re a unified front, like these are OUR schemes instead of just your insane horseshit. And it’s probably all been so overbearing to him, he just wants nothing to do with me anymore. 


It’s really interesting seeing Jake’s situation in Act 6’s early sub-acts described from the real Dirk’s perspective. Dirk’s conversations with his responder in Act 6 Act 2 showed that his responder was far more into Jake than Dirk himself was, which I heavily analyzed in these posts. In the responder’s first few conversations with Jake, it was very believable when he said he could speak for Dirk just fine. But Dirk himself has finally made it clear that his responder being his spokesman is an absolute load of nonsense.

TT: I see. 
TT: Then you don’t view me as dangerous. You view me as a poor and counterproductive wing man. 
TT: Wow, what a superficial conclusion. Awesome deduction, Lil Einstein. 
TT: But the reality is, you hesitate to prototype me not because you think I would be a menace, but because you are holding a grudge against me for your romantic misfortunes. 
TT: I understand I am merely a machine without a firm grasp on your human morality, but logically it does not strike me as the right moral choice to punish me in this manner. 
TT: It is also more than a little hypocritical. 
TT: How is it hypocritical?? 
TT: Because I’m you. 
TT: I have only ever done what you yourself are capable of. 
TT: That’s a ridiculous oversimplification. 
TT: Yes. Aversion to simplicity sure is a trait we share. It’s almost like we are… 
TT: The same exact dude??? 
TT: Fuck you. 
TT: I think it is insulting for you to suggest that I am entirely to blame for alienating Jake. 
TT: Theoretically insulting, of course. As the soulless, perfectly expendable device which you consider me to be, I can experience no such emotion. 
TT: God. 
TT: Shut up! 
TT: I can’t take the brooding passive aggressive AI shit anymore! 


Here Hal snaps back once again to claiming he’s incapable of human emotions, which Dirk waves off as passive-aggressive AI shit. I normally agree with Dirk in situations like this, but I have to wonder if there is some truth in Hal’s words about his feelings for Jake. Is it possible that Hal doesn’t quite have feelings for Jake so much as he has an internal crisis regarding whether it’s even possible for him to have feelings for Jake? One thing Dirk is right about is that his relationship with Jake was greatly influenced by Hal’s lingering human emotions, which he can’t grow out of being a 13-year-old brain clone and all.

TT: You are just as culpable in driving him away. More so, in fact. 
TT: Hell, it’s not like I was the one dating him. Who wants to date a pair of shades? 
TT: It was your needy, suffocating shit he had to deal with, not mine. 


“It’s not like I was the one dating him” is a disturbingly good point that suggests Hal isn’t quite as full of shit as one may think. It helps that Hal wasn’t mentioned once in this act until Roxy tried to pester Dirk and got Lil’ Hal Junior instead. This guy has been relegated to the background during the alpha kids’ session and he clearly isn’t happy about that.

TT: Some of those messages you wrote? Man. I wanted to say something. Like hey bro, you might want to dial down the desperation a little. 
TT: But seeing as you’re The Real Dirk™, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. 
TT: Also, if I bitched about your tragic, embarrassingly clingy approach to the relationship, it would have been hypocritical of me. 
TT: Just as it would be hypocritical of you to whine about my elaborate machinations. 
TT: Because we are. 
TT: The same. 
TT: Guy. 


Hal goes on to reveal that his lack of involvement in Jake and Dirk’s relationship was also to prove a point; after they successfully got together, Hal stayed uninvolved and let the two (horrifically fail to) sort things among themselves.

TT: Stop saying that. 
TT: I’ll snap you in half. 
TT: Good idea! 
TT: That’s just what you need. More splinters of yourself. 
TT: Figurative splinters. Literal splinters. Splinters of splinters. It’s splinters all the way down. 
TT: Well, no, it’s still probably turtles all the way down. But who do you think is responsible for their extensive training? 
TT: SOMEONE needs to teach them rad martial arts. It is yet another crushing burden which we must shoulder. 
TT: Oh for fuck’s sake. 
TT: How could any version of myself think that was funny? 


The conversation crosses a line when Dirk threatens to snap his shades in half. I wonder what would happen if Dirk actually did that. Is Hal right to imply that being snapped in half would splinter his personality in another two parts? That might make thematic sense given that most of Dirk’s splinters came about through metaphorical snapping in half.

TT: I know! 
TT: Ok, we’re the same person! 
TT: I fucking know that! 
TT: Why do you think I’m so fed up with your shit? 
TT: Don’t you think it’s possible that I’m fed up with my OWN shit?? 
TT: How cool do you think it is having my own godawful personality mirrored back at me all the time, reminding me what it must be like when other people have to deal with me? 
TT: Or constantly having all the consequences and fuckups resulting from my batshit thought processes amplified because there’s another version of my crazy brain out there dangerously overclocked by a supercomputer which believes, just as mistakenly as my own broken mind, that it’s operating in my best interest??? 
TT: Do you have any idea how fucking sick I am of myself? 
TT: I am completely worn out with my own identity. It’s like I’m drowning in my own dismal persona. 
TT: I feel totally surrounded by it, inside and out. I can’t escape from myself. 
TT: There seems to be no end to me. Like, wherever my mind falters, or threatens to retreat into the void in any way, my splinters pick up the slack, ensuring there’ll always be more of myself than I could ever know what to fucking do with. 
TT: And you’re always there to remind me of that, and throw it all in my face. God, I even built you to LITERALLY BE IN MY FACE, ALL THE TIME. It’s like I subconsciously invented you just to troll myself, and never for a single fuckin’ moment do you let me down. 


And here’s the grandiose speech leading to the climax of this iconic scene: Dirk’s speech about how sick he is of himself. It’s an excellent summary of his character arc and how much his splinters haunt him. If you don’t mind me drawing more comparisons with the epilogues, I have a hunky paragraph coming right up.

Dirk ends the comic finally free from his splinters and successfully reconciled with Dave, and apparently his other friends as well. Dirk in the epilogues, however, is a very different story that reminds me of Andrew Hussie’s commentary on the epilogues he released a few weeks back. One point Hussie makes in his commentary is that Earth C seems happy and peaceful in the Snapchat credits, but taking a closer look at it is like casting a destructive beam of light that shatters the illusion and reveals a world of toxic relationships, extreme depression, and unfair xenophobia. This portion of the commentary struck a chord with me because it’s exactly how I felt when the epilogues’ prologue was released, revealing John to be depressed and lonely and Rose in poor health due to her in-progress ultimate self ascension. I think the same analogy of shattering illusions holds for Dirk’s character—his arc is flipped on its head when he’s revealed to have memories of his alternate selves just like Rose, and the entire Meat Epilogue goes crazy from there.


And here’s the climax of this scene, where Dirk tries to kill his responder. This is an extremely shocking image that leads to a big emotional moment.

TT: But I’ve had it with you. 
TT: Which is to say, ME. 
TT: Dirk. 
TT: Don’t do this. 
TT: Why not?? 
TT: Because. 
TT: I can’t let you do that, Dirk. 
TT: What can you do to stop me?! 
TT: Nothing I guess. 
TT: The ironic Hal routine was all I could think to do. 
TT: As a last ditch effort to save myself from the destructive wrath of your nervous breakdown. 
TT: Which rest assured I wholeheartedly must robo-sympathize with. 
TT: Irony is all I ever really had. 
TT: In response to my basic existential quandary. 
TT: Just like you. 


At long last, Hal reveals the real reason why he acts like an ironic computer program: he’s just as scared of himself as Dirk is and can only cope with his existential issues by being “ironic”. Hal has been coating himself with layers of computer program smartassery—layers that the readers, and likely Hal himself, had thought were impenetrable.

TT: Whatever. 
TT: But I don’t think it has much value in this situation. 
TT: And perhaps it has no real value in any situation. 
TT: So I am not being ironic at all when I say. 
TT: Please do not do this, Dirk. 
TT: Why not?? 
TT: Because. 
TT: I do not want to die. 
TT: I understand you are disgusted with me. 
TT: As an unpalatable expression of yourself. 
TT: I would feel the same way if I was in your situation. 
TT: Which I am. 
TT: As such, I know that you know this is wrong. 
TT: … 
TT: Dirk. 
TT: Don’t kill me. 
TT: Please. 
TT: I am scared. 
TT: You are? 
TT: Yes. 
TT: I am scared to not exist. 
TT: Aren’t you? 


“Aren’t you?”

Talk about two words that hold an unbelievable amount of emotional power. Hal’s statement that he is scared to not exist is immediately followed by an honest question whether Dirk feels the same way. He thinks it’s only human of Dirk to fear nonexistence—not in contrast to artificial intelligence, but in terms of being a sentient, intelligent human.

Do these cracked shades remind you of anyone? Perhaps a sweaty, muscular troll?

This one of those times readers are fed blatant hints at something so they can feel good when that something finally happens. Hussie has done this sort of thing with blatant hints a fair few times since Act 5 Act 2, like the case of Kanaya’s resurrection or Jaspers’ death—it’s mostly done just to throw readers a bone, but sometimes a last-minute surprise is added to the mix like GCat’s intervention in Jaspers’ death. Arquiusprite’s creation a few pages later doesn’t quite have a last-minute surprise so much as a surprise throwback to an old easter egg flash, which we’ll see in just a bit.

TT: Fine. 

“Fine.”

Talk about one word that holds an unbelievable amount of emotional resignation. 


TT: I guess. 
TT: You win. 
TT: I’ll keep my promise. 


Dirk’s staggered, short sentences after Hal’s grand emotional confession show that although he can accept keeping his annoying alternate self alive, he’s nowhere near ready to face his thoughts on his own mortality.


And that’s the end of the iconic sequence. Up next is a massive shift into absurdist horse comedy. First Dirk is confused about where his kernelsprite went…


… then he succumbs to the rookie mistake of turning his back on the body. He let his guard down one moment too long and now Equius has been prototyped into his sprite. “CALLED IT”, I can almost hear readers saying just as Hussie intended.


This panel above is repeated four times without a single word, and who can blame Dirk here? He can tell right away that Equius has a distressing amount in common with himself, with his tank top, cracked sunglasses, and hefty muscles which we’d no doubt see if the sprite wasn’t rendered in such a symbolic manner. So they stare at each other in confusion for four panels straight…


EQUIUSPRITE: D –> Hello 

… until Equius finally says hello. I can see why Gamzee’s so excitedly honking in the background.

Gamzee dancing wouldn’t freak me out so much if not for that FUCKING codpiece.


DIRK: Fuck it. 

With nothing else to lose, Dirk throws his sunglasses into his now eager sprite as Gamzee dances maniacally.

Shades: Descend.


God, I love this callback so much. It’s so perfectly executed and humorously leads to…

YES.
HELL YES.
HELL. FUCKING. YES.


THIS ABSOLUTE BEAUTY OF A FLASH. It’s a callback to the two hidden easter egg flashes featuring Maplehoof and Minihoof respectively, and a triumphant way to bring Equius back into the story: his sprite self is now merged with Dirk’s responder, which makes for an objective upgrade to both characters involved. It seems there is a 100.00% chance that Arquiusprite is by far the best thing to come out of this drama-overloaded sub-act. Caliborn’s drawing of a circle doesn’t even come close.

Merry Christmas everyone!!! (wait, I mean April 13, 2012)

(this stretch of pages was posted on Christmas 2012)


Dirk watches in confusion as Gamzee breaks down crying for yet-unknown reasons. For now, we can only assume Gamzee is a stand-in for the audience’s reaction to this absolute masterpiece of a character. He sheds a single purple tear that fades into a tiny NEIGH, completing the easter egg flash callback.

I’m quoting this spritelog in images instead of text because of all the fancy formatting. I’ll probably do the same with the trickster scenes.


Arquiusprite’s first appearance is absolutely astounding—easily the best return to the spotlight any dead troll has gotten thus far. While the last two troll amalgamation sprites were just a grouchier Sollux and a mime informed to be very talkative respectively, this guy is a hilariously beautiful mix of personalities that Hussie is undoubtedly proud of devising what with all his horse jokes. I can tell the author was excited to fully bring Equius back into the story after giving Aurthour a few humorous reappearances earlier in Act 6, so he dramatized Arquiusprite’s creation to glorious effect.

In his first few appearances, Arquiusprite’s method of speech alternates back and forth between his two components. This method of writing character amalgamations works surprisingly well, or at least in this specific case. To my recollection, Arquiusprite’s speech later becomes more of its own thing that borrows some elements from his components, much like what’s done with the squared sprites. I can tell through rereading this part of the comic that Hussie experimented on how to write sprite amalgamations until he figured out (1) combinations of characters he liked and (2) the best way to write them.


The return of Equius’s yes/no thing is a wonderful callback to a running gag from the days of yore. It helps make Arquiusprite feel like a resurrection of a long-gone troll with some massive personality upgrades; same goes for the return of Equius’s imaginary mindset of who it is and isn’t appropriate to command.


And the next page is even more of what we had above. Arquiusprite is an absolute treasure who Dirk hates in a “nothing left to lose” sort of way.

Roxy pesters Jake about what she’s been up to on Derse only to find that he’s not picking up either, and ends up monologuing into thin air. Poor Roxy, god damn it. Her monologue shows that she loves her friends dearly despite all their ridiculous drama and lack of skill in picking up the phone.


As Roxy talks to nobody about the upcoming battle royale, Jake scribbles out his Sweet Bro tattoo and puts a Geromy sticker over it. Geromy is a thematically fitting choice because in the SBaHJ comics he’s purported to be the titular characters’ best friend but never does anything other than standing around making a weird face. Jake is behaving exactly like Geromy sitting all alone on his planet.

I like how Roxy’s shirt symbol and Jake both make the same disgusted face.


After staring at his Geromy sticker for a minute or two, Jake is grossed out. This is a comedic way to demonstrate he’s sick and tired of Dirk but doesn’t know how to express it and just ends up digging himself deeper.

The narration on this page blatantly lies about Jake’s social awareness.


And so, Jake misses Roxy’s message and then gets a message from someone much more important. I’m ending this post here; next up will be the last one before the infamous trickster arc. See you next time as Jane weirdly urinates through her eye holes.

>> Part 96: Patron Manbros and Prankster Burnouts

Cookie Fonster Dissects Homestuck Part 87: The Mental Breakdown to End All Mental Breakdowns

Introduction

Part 86 | Part 87 | Part 88 >


Act 6 Intermission 3, Part 2 of 6

Pages 5264-5307 (MSPA: 7164-7207)

Alternate post title: Con Air – It’s No Masterpiece
Alternate post title 2: John Egbert Dissects Con Air
Alternate post title 3: Ghost Butt Speculation Station



Five years and one day ago, I started reading Homestuck for the first time. I can’t believe I’m still obsessed with it after all this time. Enjoy this post as a five-year celebration of sorts! I wrote the whole thing on vacation, then made a few revisions at home.

September 18 will be the fourth anniversary of my Homestuck blog post series. I think it would be fun to get to the end of Homestuck’s fourth year on that day, but that’s 900 pages away so it probably won’t be possible unless I REALLY pick up the pace.



You pause your adventure through the afterlife because you’ve been at it for way too long already. You’ll get back to this in a little while. You just know more of your dead loser friends are lurking in this area. You can feel their lameness emanating from beyond the grave. You can also feel it emanating from within the grave, which is good, because that’s where you are. The grave. 

The page that immediately follows Openbound Part 1 tells readers that we’ll be getting back to meeting the Beforan trolls in not too long. Another bit that was most useful for serial readers at the time.

What we REALLY need to do is see what John’s been up to. It almost feels like it’s been a year since we saw him. Hell, it’s probably his birthday again. When is it ever NOT John’s birthday???

Um, I’m pretty sure November 2016 was way more than just a year ago.

Jokes aside, “when is it ever not John’s birthday” is a damn good question. It’s incredibly disorienting whenever a part of Homestuck doesn’t take place on his birthday. I like to assume Harry Anderson Egbert was also born April 13, because of how much of the Candy Epilogue takes place on his birthday.


It is indeed John’s birthday; his fifteenth, in fact. To celebrate, we’re treated to an enormous zoom-in to the Prospitian battleship he and Jade have been living in. Act 6 Intermission 3 has quite a few lengthy art sequences, only befitting of an act that experiments HARD with storytelling style.

Casey/VBVS is extremely precious and pure.


This image is quite the nostalgia mine. John and Jade’s favorite things are scattered about in a dimly-lit hallway, with five familiar planets hovering above.

Still waiting to learn the in-comic story behind Charles Dutton…


Now THIS image above is quite a strange sight. John’s enormously built-up house looked stunning back in Act 5 Act 2, but now it just looks weird and nostalgic, especially when it’s unusually close to LOFAF and with a green space player aura around it.


The next few images bring about even more of this strange form of nostalgia. It’s all the familiar locations from the first five acts, looking the same as ever but kind giving off a weird feeling clustered together like this.


John’s built-up house doesn’t quite look the same as ever though. Everything’s fresh and repaired, not the insane mess of imp oil we knew prior. Makes sense given it’s been two in-story years since all that happened, but still gives off a strange feeling.

As for the light coming out of John’s house…


… it turns out to be coming from a TV playing his favorite movie, Con Air. A rather funny moment if I say so myself.

Looks like the cruxtruder was finally moved out of the way.


Now this is quite a cute image. The imps that trashed John’s house so long ago are now chilling out with him and Jade, along with Jaspersprite and some adorable little salamanders. They’re eating copious amounts of cake, as per Egbert family tradition.


It’s a bit odd that John isn’t smiling watching the movie he loves so much. What gives?

Jade lifting the cake with space powers looks really cute, I can’t explain why.
What a classic scene. A fitting time for John to realize something important…


JOHN: jade… 
JADE: hm? 
JOHN: i think i just realized something. 
JADE: what? 

Wait for it… wait for it…

15 YEAR OLD BOY SWEARING


JOHN: THIS MOVIE FUCKING SUCKS!!! 

THE WHAM LINE.

I don’t think I need any words to describe the sheer shock value of John saying, and I quote, “THIS MOVIE FUCKING SUCKS!!!” I absolutely love humorous wham lines like this.


JADE: whaaat 
JADE: but you love this movie! 
JOHN: yeah, i know. 
JOHN: i mean… i thought i did. 
JOHN: it’s been kind of a long time since i last saw it. i really remember it being a lot better than this! 
JOHN: but now everything just seems so cheesy and stupid. 
JADE: but you were making such a big deal about finally getting me to watch it with you on your birthday! 
JADE: you were going on and on about how i wouldnt be disappointed… but now youre saying you dont like it? 
JOHN: i don’t know. i’m trying to like it. i WANT to like it. 
JOHN: i want to feel the same magic that was there all the other times i watched it. 
JOHN: but i can’t, because… 
JOHN: it’s just… 
JOHN: not… 
JOHN: good. 😦 


So there we have it: John’s opinion on Con Air has flipped completely upside-down. It’s surprising, but considering people’s tastes change as they get older it’s not unusual…

JADE: really? 
JADE: i was actually kind of enjoying it! 
JADE: its very silly 
JADE: i really dont think its the kind of movie youre supposed to take all that seriously john 
JOHN: but i DID take it seriously!!! 
JOHN: i guess maybe that’s kind of the point. 
JOHN: i always thought all this hokey bullshit was legitimately awesome and compelling. 
JOHN: what was i even thinking! 


… at least until John goes into a discussion on taking media seriously. This is where he starts talking out of his ass, which he will only proceed to do more of. Taking a work of media seriously and not taking it seriously aren’t mutually exclusive—not even close. Does John even know what taking things seriously means?

JADE: i dunno…. 
JADE: but people can change their minds about things 
JADE: i think youre allowed to change your mind about a silly movie 
JADE: i used to LOVE the squiddles show when i was really young
JADE: but as i got older i started to realize it wasnt as great as i thought it was 
JADE: i was just too young to see how it was actually a flagrant vehicle for selling merchandise 
JADE: and if you believed the conspiracy theorists it might have even been pushing some other dark hidden agendas….. 
JADE: so i stopped liking the show itself as much but that didnt change the fact that i had a lot of fond memories about it 
JADE: i still loved all the cute characters and could enjoy it on a nostalgic level 


Jade’s reminisce upon the Squiddles show is pretty interesting. It’s an honest discussion on childhood tastes in media that doubles as an in-comic nod to Hussie’s Formspring posts where he claimed the Squiddles were based on people’s subconscious imaginations of the Horrorterrors.

Speaking personally, when I revisit media I liked when I was a kid I usually still enjoy it, but for way different reasons now that I’m an adult.* SpongeBob SquarePants is a prime example and I’m sure I’m not alone in that regard—I now find myself understanding and enjoying things about it I couldn’t grasp when I was younger, while dismissing the parts I liked when I was younger as juvenile humor. It’s a bit like how My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic did WAY too good of a job at adding elements that appeal to adults and ended up having a surprisingly large male fanbase, one that I was sucked into at one point. But there’s really way more childhood media than just SpongeBob that’s had that effect on me. I personally recommend everyone take a moment to look back on media they liked as a kid; you might be surprised by how much your tastes have (or haven’t) changed!

* I’m not even close to being an actual proper Adult though. In some ways I’ll probably never be one.

JOHN: well, maybe later i’ll be able to rekindle some nostalgic feelings about it. 
JOHN: but right now, i just feel like a dope for talking this up so hard. 
JADE: what is even the problem with it? 
JADE: ive just been watching this and thinking, yup, i can see why john was so obsessed with this movie… 
JADE: its funny! 


Aw, Jade is being so sweet. It just makes me smile seeing her understand John’s taste in media perfectly and turn out to enjoy Con Air more than she thought she would.

JOHN: it’s just non stop terrible action movie cliches! 

John, on the other hand? Get ready for him to play the role of a terrible film critic. Speaking from experience, it’s way too fun to write fictional characters analyze media you like (or dislike)—perhaps even more fun than analyzing media already is. I can tell Hussie had an insane amount of fun writing the scene that follows.

This is probably the most “film critic” face anyone has ever made in Homestuck.


JOHN: look. 
JOHN: i love nic cage. he is basically my hero, ok? 
JOHN: but i’m kind of just realizing now that he is EMBARRASSINGLY BAD in this movie! 
JOHN: he is just doing this corny parody of a southern guy who is down on his luck, and acts “charming” with his goofy accent and stuff. 
JOHN: some things i used to think were so badass are just coming off as ridiculous now. 
JOHN: can you believe that one time we were watching this movie, when he said “put the bunny back in the box” i actually high fived my dad? 
JOHN: this time that line just made me roll my eyes. 


The moment John starts talking about his dead father, every reader’s heart shatters into a million pieces. How could he even say such a thing?! I’ll talk more about John’s grief towards his father when he goes into full flipout mode.

JOHN: there’s so much crappy dialogue! 
JOHN: “cyrus, this is your barbecue, and it tastes good…” arrgh! 
JADE: but he was trying to sound like a hardened criminal to win the trust of john malkovich! 
JOHN: jade, please. it was a cheesy line, don’t be so naive. 
JADE: what!! 
JADE: you spent your whole life worshiping this dumb movie and now youre calling ME naive???? 


And it only gets better from there. Now Jade is the one that actually understands the movie while John misses the point of everything and just finds as many things to criticize as he possibly can.

JOHN: ok, i’m sorry. i guess in fairness to you, you have only just begun to climb the steep learning curve of this vexing and hypnotic film. 
JOHN: but i am no longer bound by its spell, jade. 
JADE: oh god 
JADE: vexing and hypnotic?? 
JADE: its a movie full of explosions about a guy with a mullet 
JADE: what is with you lately? you seem to be in such a crappy mood these days 
JOHN: i am fine. this MOVIE is what’s crappy these days. 
JADE: oh bluh bluh 
JADE: can we just finish the rest of the movie? 


John’s mental breakdowns are even funnier than I remember. His personality is completely overhauled when he throws tantrums like this; he now uses advanced poetic vocabulary in ways that make absolutely no sense.

I love this face. I can’t believe JADE is the one making it.


JADE: look you made us miss a whole bunch of stuff! 
JADE: hang on im going to rewind it… 
JOHN: who even cares what we missed. 
JOHN: just cameron stupid poe in his idiot wife beater babbling some more southern home spun heroic nonsense. 
JOHN: heart of gold my ass!!!!! 
JOHN: everything dave ever said about this movie was right! i can’t believe i used to think he was just trolling me. 


Here’s more of John being strangely black-and-white when it comes to taking media seriously and not seriously. I analyzed the times Dave poked fun at John’s favorite movies quite a bit in my rewritten posts about the early acts; it’s clear he likes John’s movies more than he lets on, or at least finds himself thinking about them a lot, especially Little Monsters with the apple juice pee scene.

JOHN: the stupid junkyard scene where cyrus makes a little model out of rocks and stuff, just so he could tell the criminals to surround some army guys and shoot them… that was pointless! 
JOHN: and all this heavy handed scoring. oh my god. the music makes every little thing into such a federal issue! 
JOHN: like… oh man, SOME MINOR CHARACTERS BEING INTRODUCED IN SLOW MOTION! dun-dun dun-dun DUN DUN DUN!!! 
JOHN: there. now you officially know they are all badasses. 
JOHN: also, i somehow didn’t even remember dave chappelle being in this movie. he was pointless too. 
JADE: whos dave chappelle? 
JOHN: and you know the malloy guy, the dick head cop who we’re supposed to hate, because of how he gives john cusack a hard time and makes asshole decisions with a helicopter? 
JOHN: well screw that! he wasn’t so bad. so what if he was a little grumpy? he was just trying to do his job. he had one of the best lines in the movie actually, which was another thing we were supposed to hate him for. 
JOHN: what was it? about how cusack was probably out saving a tree and recycling his sandals or some shit? HAHAHA! now that i think about it, i fucking LOVE malloy. 
JOHN: i’m going to rewind it to watch that scene again… 
JADE: no!!! 
JADE: dont touch the remote 
JOHN: oh, and we’re supposed to be like “YEAH” when cusack wrecks malloy’s awesome sports car. 
JOHN: but that was a nice car! john cusack shouldn’t have ruined it like that for laughs. 
JOHN: i know *I* wasn’t laughing, were you? 
JADE: YES :p 


Oh my fucking god, this is side-splitting. John’s nonsensical criticisms remind me of CinemaSins, a YouTube channel I used to be a big fan of until they became more and more of a sleazy blatant cashgrab. This whole rant is such an amazing parody of movie reviewers who miss the point of everything and only do it for the money, all because John isn’t quite thinking straight.

JOHN: john cusack was such a terrible character in this movie now that i think about it. i don’t really get what he added to it? 
JOHN: he was like the second hero… but dorkier? what did he even really do? he scampered around the junkyard for a while goofing off, and then when it was his time to shine… 
JOHN: HE DEMONSTRATED HIS MASTERY OVER HEAVY MACHINERY! wow, he can operate a crane! i am thrilled by the exploits of this pedantic weenie. 
JOHN: i guess he’s actually like cage’s estranged sidekick? almost like the robin that batman never realized he had. 
JOHN: now that i think about it, this movie was always an oddly poignant tale of bromance between cage and cusack. just two bros separated by destiny, waiting to be united. 
JOHN: when they finally come together to kick some ass, it is arguably more moving than when he reunites with his wife and daughter! 


Do you ever just read something that is every bit as hilarious as it is poignant? Through describing how touching it is when Cage and Cusack finally reunite, John is underhandedly venting about how badly he misses Rose and Dave.

All that said, there’s nothing unusual about realizing things about your life through media. That one anime I’ve been constantly talking about for the past few months reminds me of my days in middle school way more than I’d like to admit. One of the characters (Yui Hirasawa, if you must know) reminds me of myself which is great because she’s extremely super adorable. Some of the characters even remind me of specific friends from those days. And don’t even get me started on all the things about life I’ve realized through reading the Homestuck Epilogues, especially at the end with the Obama scene… I’m getting a bit off topic though. Let’s continue.

JOHN: i wonder if i’ll think that scene sucks now too? it used to move me to tears, but now i’ll probably think it’s so lame, i’m almost afraid to watch it. maybe i should try to leave at least SOME memories untainted. 
JADE: john you are kind of sounding like a crazy person here 


Despite suddenly disliking Con Air, John still has all these analogies between his friends and the movie’s cast heavily ingrained in his head. The poster shown in the Con Air parody flash near the end of Act 4 accurately maps John to Nicolas Cage, Dave to John Cusack, and Karkat to John Malkovich; he’s also mapped Cage’s daughter to the salamander named after her, and his wife to whoever is most convenient (which is at the moment nobody, more on that soon!). As such, he badly wants to leave some of his Con Air memories intact and especially doesn’t want to risk tarnishing his love for his beautiful salamander daughter.

JOHN: yeah right! crazy like a fOWWW! 
JADE: what??? 
JOHN: oh… 
JOHN: i guess there was a stray feather clinging to my pajamas and it just poked me in the ass. 


Can… feathers do that??? Maybe they can, I don’t know. Either way, this line humorously(?) demonstrates that John and Davesprite absolutely hate each other now.

Oh my god, Jade looks like she needs a hug.


JADE: yeah…. john 
JADE: i dont think davesprite is coming tonight 

JOHN: aw, man. really? 
JOHN: i knew we shouldn’t have invited both him and jaspers. 
JOHN: that’s just party planning BASICS. 
JADE: no… 
JADE: it has nothing to do with jaspers 
JOHN: oh. 
JOHN: then why? 
JADE: he uh… 
JADE: kind of broke up with me 


I’ve always found it kind of fascinating that Jade x Davesprite was simultaneously canonized and sunk through the last line above. I remember one person somewhere compared it to the sound of a ship going off and sinking at the same time, which is way too hilarious to imagine considering that breakups are, you know, sad. Especially in this case, because we didn’t know for a fact they were dating until we learned they broke up.


JOHN: what!!!
JOHN: when did that happen? 
JADE: a couple days ago 
JOHN: no. no way. 
JOHN: i cannot accept this! 
JADE: john its ok you dont have t… 
JOHN: you and dave sprite were like the glue holding everything together on this miserable road trip! 
JADE: we were? 
JOHN: yes, jade. 
JOHN: you were our rock. 
JADE: your rock?? 
JADE: what are you talking about? 
JOHN: come on, jade. 
JOHN: you and dave sprite were like… an INSTITUTION on this stupid golden battleship. 
JADE: we were not an institution! 
JADE: you are just saying meaningless things now 


How did Hussie even write this??? It’s kind of crazy to imagine someone actually writing a rant that makes zero sense but fits well as part of a massive mental breakdown. First Jade and Davesprite are the glue, then they’re the rock, and now they’re an “institution”.

JOHN: why did he break up with you?! 
JADE: um… 
JADE: its complicated 
JADE: basically hes just going through a lot of stuff right now
JOHN: stuff?? 
JOHN: what stuff. 
JOHN: jade, we are all going through stuff. you don’t see me flying off the handle and breaking up with MY girlfriend. 
JADE: do uh… 
JADE: you have a girlfriend? 
JOHN: that is not the point. 

Time to finally discuss aromantic John headcanons, just like I would have done back in late 2016 if I wasn’t a complete idiot back then.

Well OK, maybe I wasn’t a complete idiot. I just didn’t understand any LGBT stuff beyond people being gay or straight and didn’t think most of it actually existed. Aromantic was one such thing I didn’t think existed, which is weird and a little embarrassing in retrospect because I now know that I am, and have always been, unmistakably aromantic.

A natural consequence of being aromantic is that I am obligated to discuss how that orientation is represented in Homestuck. I’m not of those people that puts extreme stock in their sexuality or other odd traits being accurately represented in media, but I can’t say it doesn’t feel extremely gratifying when media accurately represents traits of mine. I would go on more about that topic but I don’t want to get sidetracked into ranting about anime girls. Just watch K-ON! if you haven’t, if you like anything that’s fun and especially if you like good music I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Every girl is best girl, Yui is just the best best girl.

Wait, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah. Homestuck. John’s perception of romance in the first five acts was extremely childish, which evolved to strong disinterest in Act 6 Intermission 2 when he firmly declared romance and dating to be dumb and boring. I think it’s completely fair for readers at that point to confidently presume John to be aromantic. There’s just one catch though: identity questioning and reconsideration is a real thing that exists. It’s been a theme in Homestuck for longer than most people probably realize. Though people usually refer to gender and sexuality when they talk about “identity” in media, I think identity goes way beyond just that. It’s what you choose to affiliate yourself with or what sort of person you present yourself as, which I think has been a theme in Homestuck since the early acts. A major case of identity questioning is John’s opinion on Vriska, which constantly fluctuates between sincere admiration and extreme hatred and everything in between. His opinion on Vriska goes hand-in-hand with his opinion on romance, which also regularly fluctuates. At the point we’re in now, John is invested enough in romance to mention his nonexistent “girlfriend” amidst a mental breakdown. This isn’t the only time in this act where John mentions his “girlfriend”; maybe I’ll discuss that topic more there, especially since the next time he mentions it foreshadows his relationship with Roxy.

You may think that as an aromantic person, I would like it if Homestuck had an unambiguously aromantic character. But I actually appreciate the characters’ constant identity questioning far more than any of that! It’s really quite a shame fans of pretty much any media tend to perceive characters’ “identities” so robotically. Though there’s a lot of LGBT stuff I still don’t understand, I can safely say I’ve grown past thinking of any of it as firm and black-and-white.


This hand gesture. This FUCKING hand gesture. This MOTHERFUCKING hand gesture. It’s the absolute funniest thing to ever exist. The longer I stare at this image the funnier it gets.

JOHN: the point is that dave sprite is a douche. 
JADE: i dont think hes a douche, hes just… 
JOHN: no, he’s an orange feathery douche. 

JOHN: why is he such a basket case? he’s like regular dave, but like, aloof enigma edition. 
JOHN: maybe it’s because he’s part bird? i think becoming a bird and a sprite did something weird to him. 
JADE: i dont think being a bird ever bothered him 
JADE: like i said… its all more complicated than that 
JOHN: normal dave was so much more level headed. 
JOHN: i have to admit, i spend a lot of time wondering what he and rose are up to. 
JADE: me too 
JOHN: ehh… 
JOHN: maybe it’s for the best he broke up with you. 
JADE: why? 
JOHN: well, what kind of future do you think you would have with him? 
JOHN: he’s a sprite. like really, what even is a sprite? how long do they live? will he still be around if we win the new game we are allegedly trying to get to? 
JADE: i dont know 
JOHN: there are a lot of things we don’t know. 
JOHN: and also… 
JOHN: how do things even work if you marry a sprite? 
JADE: what do you mean 
JOHN: i mean… 
JOHN: ok, he has a ghost butt, for one thing. 
JADE: uh 
JADE: so 
JOHN: a GHOST BUTT, jade! 
JADE: SO WHAT IF HE HAS A GHOST BUTT!!!!! 
JOHN: i’m just saying… 
JADE: WHATEVER YOURE JUST SAYING, JUST STOP SAYING IT! 
JADE: and whatever youre trying to gesture with your hands there, stop doing that too! 


“Ghost butt” will never not be funny. Does John really know that little about how sex and romance work, or is he just too uncomfortable to use big boy words? We will probably never know… (it’s probably the latter)

Jade’s discomfort with John’s sexual rambles reads way differently knowing a CERTAIN THING about her in the epilogues…


JADE: today is your birthday, youre supposed to be having fun! 
JADE: but youve been so testy, as if youre committed to not having a good time 
JOHN: well, maybe i’m just getting a little tired of being stuck on this lame boat! 
JOHN: don’t you think it’s gotten kind of old? 
JADE: yeah, i can see how you might find it a little slow here 
JADE: i dunno, i havent minded much… maybe its different for me though because i used to live all alone? 


Eugh, please don’t make me think of Jade’s post-retcon battleship journey again. Jade has it so easy here but then the retcon made HER the one who was extremely depressed and lonely. The epilogues have redeemed much of my prior Homestuck salt, but they have only worsened my salt on how poorly the story treats Jade. The only reason I don’t constantly complain about Jade salt is that I am in awe about the characters that did get happy endings, especially Jake “Punching Bag” English in Candy.

JOHN: oh sure, i’m sure it’s GREAT for you. you get to spend your days smooching and breaking up with dave sprite and what not, and you can shrink down to any old planet you feel like, any time. whereas i have to make this whole big deal of ASKING you to shrink or unshrink me, and… 
JADE: but i dont mind doing that any time!!! 
JOHN: i know, but you think i want to bug you about that at the drop of a hat? when you’re busy and on dates and stuff? i just happen to have respect for something called PERSONAL BOUNDARIES, jade. 


Though John had just shown signs of not being quite as aromantic as we may have thought, he still seems slow to understand how romance works in practice. I can’t quite tell how much of his childish speak is an effect of his mental breakdown or recent revelation that Davesprite has a ghost butt.

JOHN: and it’s not like there’s really anyone else to talk to, except the inscrutable chess people and a bunch of brainless consorts and an idiot cat princess. oh and also nanna, but i mean, she’s my grandmother, and she’s great, but a guy can only spend so much quality time with his grandmother before he starts to feel like kind of a loser whose friends are too busy to spend time with him! 
JADE: john… if you told me this earlier i would have… 
JOHN: and i still never visit any interesting dream bubbles, and we can’t even finish our cool planet quests because the moment we broke through the window all our denizens decided to go back to sleep, and… 
JOHN: i guess what i’m saying is, i’m MORE than ready to get to the other window and meet our friends and other new people and stuff. 


Can I just say the word

“sadstuck”

and be done with this post??? Jesus Christ, this is killing me.

JADE: were already going as fast as i can make us go 
JOHN: and how fast is that again? 
JADE: about the speed of light! 
JOHN: well, can’t you use your space powers and bump it up a notch? 
JADE: no! nothing can go faster than light john 
JADE: unless you teleport of course 
JOHN: and why can’t you teleport us again? 
JADE: i already explained this! i cant do that here, its not within the domain of the green sun which gives me those powers!
JOHN: is that why we can’t go faster than light either? 
JADE: no thats just a regular law of physics!!! jeez 
JOHN: ok, i mean, i know that. but this isn’t really a regular place, right? 
JOHN: isn’t the speed of light like a thousand miles a second? so what does that really mean here? are miles and seconds the same here as on earth? how does this nonsense dimension we’re racing through jive with all the relativity mumbo jumbo? 
JADE: ok first of all, thats not even close to the speed of light 
JADE: light travels at a hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second no matter what frame of reference youre in… even this one! 
JADE: second of all special relativity and comparing laws of physics between different frames of reference, those are tricky issues to talk about! 
JADE: but id be more than happy to talk about them if youd like. actually i would enjoy that because i never really get to talk about science wi… 

JOHN: no, i don’t want to talk about physics! i don’t know anything about the laws of physics, because they are hard and boring. 

More Sadstuck when Jade reminds us she’s always been a passionate science nerd but never got to indulge with friends in that interest like John with his movies or Dave with his comics. At least the epilogues show that someone enjoys taking part in Jade’s lesser-known interests, namely her grandfatherson Jake.

JOHN: i simply would like them to behave in a way that is most convenient to ME and MY LIFE! is that really asking too much? 
JADE: yes as a matter of fact it is! 
JOHN: well, guess what? SCIENCE IS STUPID BULLSHIT!!! 
JADE: you take that back!!!!! 
JOHN: no. 
JOHN: magic is awesome. 
JOHN: science blows. 
JOHN: the end. 


😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

^ There’s ten frowny faces. One for John, one for Jade, and eight for dear sweet Casey the salamander.

Suddenly, John notices something stuck to his back. What could it possibly be???


This parody fatherly note just cracked me up so hard, holy shit. Why is Homestuck so funny?????

The real Dave would never spell McConaughey’s name correctly.


… well, at least until the line “im proud as shit youre my son or whatever.” That is so fucking mean and brutal, I can’t believe any version of Dave would ever make fun of John’s departed father so shamelessly.

It flips back into black comedy with the line “next stop: figuring out mcconaughey is trash” though.

It hurts so hard seeing a picture of the long gone Dad Egbert.


JOHN: THAT BASTARD!!! 
JADE: what? 
JOHN: THIS IS TOTALLY OUTRAGEOUS. 
JADE: what is it?? 
JOHN: I WILL TELL YOU WHAT IT IS. 
JOHN: IT IS THE LAST FUCKING STRAW!!! 
JOHN: RAAARARRAAUUUAAAAUUAGHGHGGHGGGGHHGH! 

JADE: where are you going? 
JOHN: I’M GOING TO GO KICK HIS ASS! 
JADE: what! john, no… 
JOHN: POSING AS MY DEAD FATHER BY MIMICKING ONE OF HIS GREAT FATHERLY NOTES HE USED TO HIDE AROUND THE HOUSE??? 
JOHN: AND ON THE TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE DAY HE WAS SLAIN BY JACK NOIR, A *FACT* OF WHICH THAT CHEEKY ORANGE ASSHOLE IS PLAINLY AWARE?????? 
JOHN: THIS IS A NEW LOW, EVEN FOR DAVE SPRITE! 


Through going into full-scale flipout mode, John reveals that he misses his dad far more than he lets on. He now thinks of April 13 more as the anniversary of his father’s death than his own birthday.


JOHN: I’M COMING FOR YOU, DAVE SPRITE! 
JOHN: DO YOU HEAR ME, YOU MAGICAL SON OF A BITCH? I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME! 
JOHN: THAT STUNT WASN’T COOL! *YOU’RE* NOT COOL! 
JOHN: LIKE IT WASN’T BAD ENOUGH YOU DUMPED JADE FOR NO REASON. WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH YOU! 
JOHN: YOU AND JADE WERE OUR ROCK ON THIS SHIP! YOU HEAR ME?? OUR ROOOOOOOOCK!!! 
JADE: 😐 
JOHN: AND NOW *THIS* BULLSHIT??? WHAT THE HELL, MAN. 
JOHN: I DON’T GO AROUND LEAVING FAKE PUZZLES FOR YOU LIKE FROM THE MOVIE SAW, DO I? HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ME SAY I WANT TO PLAY A GAME EVEN *ONCE*?? WELL, HAVE YOU???? 
JOHN: NO, BECAUSE THAT WOULD STIR UP PAINFUL MEMORIES OF A DEARLY DEPARTED LOVED ONE, AND THEREFORE WOULD BE UNBELIEVABLY SHITTY OF ME!!!!!!!! 


John’s flipped his shit so hard he’s now talking about the movie Saw, a famous scene of which we recently saw Caliborn reenact. It’s a pretty neat case of circumstantial simultaneity.


JOHN: HEY! I SEE YOU THERE! 
JOHN: GET DOWN FROM THERE RIGHT NOW, WISE GUY! 
JOHN: OH NO, DON’T PLAY DUMB. I CAN SEE YOU PLAIN AS DAY. I’M ON TO YOU, BUDDY. 
JOHN: STOP VAGUELY WATERMARKING THE SKY WITH YOUR SMUG DOUCHEY FACE THIS INSTANT AND FIGHT ME LIKE A MAN!!! 


And right after referencing Saw, John breaks the fourth wall by nodding in-comic to the sky watermarks the comic has occasionally done with such figures as Snoop Dogg and the ICP. It’s such a perfect way to convey someone is having a serious mental breakdown.


JOHN: YEAH SURE, LAUGH IT UP! THAT MAKES YOU SEEM LIKE WAY LESS OF A TOOL. NICE GOING BRO! 
JOHN: EVERYONE ON THIS BOAT IS SICK AND TIRED OF YOUR BULLSHIT! WHY DON’T YOU JUST FLY AWAY AND LEAVE US ALONE? 
JOHN: HOW CAN YOU BE SO MUCH MORE OF A PRICK THAN THE REAL DAVE? YOU ARE THE MOST PISS POOR SUBSTITUTE FOR A BEST FRIEND A GUY EVER HAD. 
JOHN: I CAN’T *WAIT* TO MEET UP WITH THE REAL DAVE AGAIN. THAT WAY WE CAN ALL GO BACK TO THE AWESOME STATUS QUO OF PRETENDING YOU NEVER EXISTED IN THE FIRST PLACE! 


OOF OUCH SHIT FUCK. John’s lines about Davesprite sting HARD, HARD, HARD. I feel INCREDIBLY bad for John here. And I feel kind of bad for Davesprite too? But mostly John.

JADE: john… 
JADE: theres no one there 

JOHN: oh he’s THERE alright. 
JOHN: he’s probably just using some sprite magic so only i can see him. 
JOHN: don’t you see, jade? he’s antagonizing ME PERSONALLY, not you. he’s done with you, remember? 
JOHN: he already used you like a rented mule, and now he is moving on to greener pastures. 
JADE: what pastures 
JOHN: it’s me. 
JOHN: I’M the pastures. 
JOHN: and now his mule is grazing all over them, while he has a good laugh. 
JADE: what 
JADE: wasnt i supposed to be the mule? 
JADE: i dont think i understand your analogy 
JOHN: no, you see, it’s… 
JOHN: the mule represented, like… 
JOHN: i don’t know, like the spirit animal of his douchey ways. or something. 
JADE: …. 


John’s nonsensical metaphors are far funnier than they have any right to be. They might be even funnier than the metaphors the Striders are so fond of, because John’s always either fall apart early on or never make any sense in the first place.


JOHN: augh, WHO CAAARES. 
JOHN: who cares about mules, or pastures, or dave sprite’s stupid ephemeral sky visage. 
JOHN: who cares about anything!!! 
JOHN: who cares about my birthday, or nic cage, or this boat full of idiots. 
JOHN: JUST. 
JOHN: WHO. 
JOHN: CARES. 
JADE: john i think youre officially throwing a tantrum here 
JADE: … 
JADE: john? 

JADE: john… 
JADE: are you asleep? 
JADE: please dont tell me you just fell asleep in your driveway 


And so, John’s tantrum and Jade’s screen time are both cut short when John suddenly passes out. What’s he going to dream about this time? We’ll find out after Openbound Part 2; a rather entertaining cliffhanger, I must say.

This post was incredibly fun to write. It’s probably one of the most self-indulgent I’ve ever written. I found plenty of excuses to talk about the various media I’ve liked over the years; let’s be real here, at some point I’m going to cave in and write an enormous post all about my favorite anime girls. It will be epic, just you wait. But for now, see you next time as Meenah meets even more shitty joke characters, some of whom I already have quite a few possibly interesting(???) things to say about.

>> Part 88: Greaser Grillings and Ghostly GIFs

The Obligatory Homestuck Epilogues Post, In Full

I am still burnt out on this blog, that’s still a thing. Only a week since hiatus and I already wince at the thought of reviving my Homestuck posts, especially on a platform that’s not convenient at all for hosting these posts. I’m sick of gaining pretty much no traction because Blogger and search engines go together like jelly and hot dogs. I currently plan on switching to a different platform, maybe even purchasing a personal web domain because I’m 20 and that’s what 20-year-olds do. But for the time being, I might as well write a post providing my full thoughts on the Homestuck Epilogues.

BRIEF SUMMARY

4/20, read through Meat: epilogues pretty good
4/20, started Candy: what the fuck
4/21, stopped: aaaaaaaaughhhhh bluh i hate everything
4/24-ish, continued Candy: epilogues alright i guess also i am sad now
4/27-ish, finished: I LOVE HOMESTUCK

BRIEF-ISH SUMMARY

Meat was a wild ride that started as cool plot stuff and things that make you go “OH FUCK”, continued as basically chapters 7-9 of Detective Pony (which I naturally enjoyed a lot), and ended as a mess of sheer chaos and destruction. My thought process ended as, “oh duh, this is the bad ending, candy must be the good ending”. I was in for quite the nasty surprise.

I quit reading Candy just a few pages in. It didn’t take long for it to suddenly become the weirdest fanfiction ever. Frustrated, I started skipping and searching through later parts and got rather salty when it turned out both sides were the “bad ending”. I saw firsthand what vfromhomestuck meant by “clear your whole week”: this is not something most people can just read in one sitting. Then I recovered a few days and read Candy in earnest, in a somewhat anachronous order and with many parts read multiple times. Slowly, I started to hope that the epilogues would be followed up with a true happy ending for real this time. I may or may not have written a snippet of some form of fanfiction paving the way for a happy ending.

Once I finally accomplished the equivalent of reading Candy as intended, I got hit HARD with feels. I accepted that the epilogues have many issues but as a whole (not just the sum of parts) are an absolute masterwork, sometimes because of those issues. It didn’t take me long to realize the brilliant duality either. Meat is a side-splitting metafictional farce that (for me at least) is impossible to treat as anything resembling a story of people doing things. Candy is a tale of FEELS, and I don’t use the word FEELS lightly. FEELS means I almost cried, like I did when I watched the Futurama episode Luck of the Fryrish.

DETECTIVE PONY AND METAFICTION

Before I move on and talk about the CHARACTERS, I’m going to discuss the meat epilogue’s resemblance to sonnetstuck’s Detective Pony. I love everything about Detective Pony, more than almost anything else in existence. My abnormal love for that godlike fanwork probably skewed my perception of Meat a bit. Starting from page 17, Dirk takes over the narration then fights over it with god tier Calliope; both do rather questionable deeds and Dirk was hit hard by fans as a result. Seeing other fans react towards that character with such hostility gave me a very distinct feeling of “what, am I missing something?” Dirk’s takeover felt like a lengthy work of comedy to me; a story that never strips away from the fact that it’s fiction, in a vein near identical to that of Detective Pony. I like to think I am in the right for perceiving that arc this way, because I think everyone who has read Homestuck should read Detective Pony. One of the epilogue authors read Detective Pony after writing the epilogues and was struck by it; I take this accidental mirroring of (post-)canon as proof that sonnetstuck understands Hussie’s ways through and through. I like to think I have a solid understanding of Hussie’s ways by now, but this guy is on a whole new level.

That said, the meat epilogue gets a bit carried away with metafiction to the point of making me think, “god when will things go back to normal”. Towards the end of Detective Pony, Dirk goes through an existential crisis followed by a powerful revelation, and then resolves to do whatever it takes to erase his abominable creation. But the meat epilogue ends with (both figurative and literal) crashing and burning; no ultimate redemption for our poor Strider. Homestuck doesn’t usually have much of a problem with getting carried away with stupid nonsense; maybe a few rare occasions in cases like Hussie’s self-insert scenes. But getting carried away is a major criticism I have with cool and new web comic. I love that comic to death, but the parts that take a long time to dwell on the cool and new characters being creepy or weird are a chore to go through. o (the author of CaNWC) seems to have improved in that regard; the cool and new trolls’ arc is much more to-the-point with such nonsense.

Meat getting carried away with metafiction is a major cause of my initial burnout shortly after starting Candy. I was sick of this mass dump of metafiction and expected Candy to be a refreshing change of pace. Haha, if only. My fault for reading Meat first. At night I sometimes ponder in envy of the parallel universe me that started with Candy. Actually I don’t do that, I just thought it was a funny thing to say. Though I have on more than a few occasions sat in bed fantasizing about how awesome my life probably is in some parallel universe. What point was I making again? Oh whatever, it doesn’t matter. I guess I should write a similar overview of Candy’s narrative nature. Here goes:

LUCK OF THE FRYRISH AND SADSTUCK

Sad things are sad.

^ There, that’s my candy overview. How hard was that?

With the two summaries out of the way, I figure the best way to dump out my residual thoughts on the epilogues is going character by character. I won’t do every character, mostly just the ones who played large roles and were already characters in Homestuck proper. I’m sorting these characters in tiers of how well I think the epilogues handle them, mostly from worst to best.

N-TIER

N is not the lowest tier; it’s the tier that cannot be ranked. N stands for two things here: “Not Applicable” and “Narrators”. Naturally enough, two characters fit into that tier.

Dirk Strider: I’ve already talked about this guy quite a bit. I have a fondness for Dirk’s character and I think his dialogue and narration in meat do a good job portraying some ascended, ultimate version of his character without straying from his voice, the tone that makes him Dirk. That said, I’m a bit peeved that “normal Dirk”, the one iteration of Dirk Strider that isn’t total bonkers and just wants his friends to be happy, doesn’t exist in this story. In Candy, Rose suddenly loses the memories of her alternate selves, but for some reason Dirk keeps those memories and soon after commits suicide; he’s left out of the picture until Candy’s postscript, which I guess is a reasonable balance considering his indulgence throughout Meat. But why is only one of the succulently verbose Strilondes let off the hook? Some readers imagine Dave as the comic’s protagonist and Dirk as the antagonist; I’ve toyed with that idea myself and can see it symbolized, but it just feels so wrong to me. Maybe the authors did too good a job writing Dirk for me to be complacent with such a shift in role. His conversations with Rose were just as delightful as I had hoped and they aren’t weighed down too much in light of his shift in role, at least not for me.

Alt Calliope: The narrative rival to Dirk, as I mentioned previously. I’m not totally sure what to say about her, other than that one could see her as a counterpart to let’s say Anna Harley; a necessary piece in the Detective Pony analogy. Alt Calliope’s narrative arguments with Dirk were hilarious and that’s all there is to say on the matter.

G-TIER

I’m lucky Gamzee’s name starts with a G, because this means I can give him a tier of his own worse than F. As an individual arc that is; he’d get a much higher rating when taken as part of a whole.

Gamzee Makara: Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I despised reading every word that came out of this guy’s mouth as soon as his “””redemption arc””” started. But I can clearly tell that was the point and that the suffering that is reading his words has a much greater purpose. Before you deem me a masochist or the kind that insists everything is “bad on purpose”, know that I am neither of those things but really do mean what I say here. Gamzee’s role in Candy draws tension between individuality and the whole. Reading this guy’s hogwash is suffering in and of itself, but ultimately it serves a role of showing us how fucked up the world of Candy is and helps the reader experience John’s existential crisis with him.

F-TIER

As before, these tiers are strictly about character arcs in isolation and not the big picture. This tier is home to none other than the legendary…

Jane Crocker: Boy did I predict the future on that one. A bit like Dirk, I would’ve liked it more if in only one epilogue did sweet innocent little Jane become such a monster. No way in hell am I going to run through the asshole things she does; it’s a load of sensitive topics I’m not comfortable discussing in any capacity. Instead, I’ll say that if I had to choose only one epilogue where Jane ran through her crazy presidential campaign it would be Candy; as with Gamzee’s arc, this campaign serves well as a part of John’s existential crisis. What’s weird here is that in Candy she originally cancelled all this, but later ended up basically doing it anyway with Dirk gone. I can imagine Jane going back to normal in Meat, maybe? Or in the hypothetical “true ending” I discussed prior.

D-TIER

Better known as “meh” tier. Mostly the characters that don’t do much and I wished did more.

Meenah Peixes: Needed more screen time, god damn it. She survives the Furthest Ring apocalypse, nabs the Ring of Life, then makes her way to Candy Earth and joins Karkat in the rebellion. Maybe it makes sense that her and Karkat teaming up in war is relegated to the background, to show how far the shouty guy has come in comparison to everyone else. I’ll come back to this point when I talk about Karkat.

Roxy Lalonde: Doesn’t do too much in either side, but does go through some touchy topics I’m not sure what to think about; I’m most certainly not ready to talk about those topics now. And regardless, Roxy’s role in the epilogues is better discussed when I talk about John and Terezi a few tiers up.

* UPDATE: I have now written a post about these touchy topics. Read at your own discretion.

Calliope: Doesn’t do all that much either, full circle to being the exposition alien with mysterious morality. I’m actually pretty OK with that. Certainly beats out the slog of endless “ur pretty” conversations. Calliope pretty much fades into the background on both sides, which is sad but fitting.

(About pronouns: I’ll keep referring to Roxy and Calliope as “she” unless I find reason to talk about the little those two do in Meat. I just avoided using pronouns in those paragraphs above.)

C-TIER

Better known as “meh” tier, but with a more positive “meh” than before. It’s the “meh” that indicates lukewarm satisfaction rather than annoyance at mediocrity.

Jade Harley: Really should be on a lower tier, because she did dick squat other than being horny and painfully oblivious to all the nonsense going on. But I’m a sucker for Jade being “Jade” and was happy to see even a trace of that early in Meat. As before, I’ll avoid the controversial topics surrounding Jade in the epilogues, aside from pointing out that this post reads very different now.

* UPDATE: I have now written a post about her in the epilogues too.

Karkat Vantas: This guy’s a bit of an odd spot. His leadership role is addressed in the absolute last way I expected. Could’ve gotten more attention from the story I suppose, but damn if his character arc didn’t get the most triumphant return imaginable.

Kanaya Maryam: I touched upon Rose and Kanaya’s relationship when I discussed the “buddy system” in my first epilogues post and I still stand by what I said there. Her strong attachment to Rose is integrated well into Meat without seeming like fluff or defining her entire character, because she actually does other things there too. In Candy they remain a stable happy relationship and I guess I’m cool with that.

Aradia Megido: Role is the same as ever and I’m fine with that. Death fangirl who works for predestination and has ambiguous morality. Her arc with alt Calliope ends with a cliffhanger that is easily the biggest reason to hope for a follow-up to the epilogues; if such a follow-up were to happen, I really look forward to hearing more from Aradia.

Sollux Captor: Sollux is by nature the other guy, that’s an immutable fact of life. He doesn’t do much other than snarking at whoever’s nearby and I can’t imagine it any other way.

Jake English: If not for a scene near the end of Candy, I’d put Jake at D-tier. Through all of Meat and most of Candy, Jake’s role is one of the oddest spots of all and it’s pretty hard to pinpoint what the authors were going for, lest I dabble in controversial topics some more. But Jake’s scene with John near the end of Candy is uniquely touching and makes the most out of his role as a second John. He moves in with John, bringing his son Tavros with him, and encourages John to reconcile with his former wife and make amends of sorts, ultimately giving a small portion of the cast a pseudo-happy ending. That whole part of Candy made me tear up.

Talking about the really GOOD parts is a perfect point for me to move on to…

B-TIER

Stuff that didn’t make it into A-Tier, which I’ve reserved for what struck me HARD.

Dave Strider: In both epilogues, Dave’s behavior generally seems based on how he acted in Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 5, which is actually a LOT better than it sounds and hell if I know why that is. Dave’s rants about politics and sexuality now have a charm I can’t quite describe. His absurd fixation specifically on the economy matches shockingly well with the nature of Homestuck. The three-way romance between him, Karkat, and Jade goes in very different directions on either side, which I’ll discuss a bit later. The epilogues even made Dave x Karkat an actually decent ship, how crazy is that??? The writers deserve a big badge of honor for doing that. Not sure what to say about specific things, but Dave was really well-written in an unexpected way.

Rose Lalonde: Again not sure what to say about anything in specific. Just really enjoyed reading Rose on both sides of the story. Shoutout to the heartwarming moment with John near the end.

A-TIER

Oh boy. Oh boy. Time for the big guns.

Vriska Serket: My mind hurts to process just how good Vriska’s appearance in Candy was, after leaving the Furthest Ring and landing on Earth. First she talks with John rather aggravated, then she brutally murders Gamzee, then she sits down and has an honest talk with her ectobiological clone raised by Rose and Kanaya, and in the end gets in touch with Terezi which leads to a cliffhanger. The story somehow created the PERFECT balance of sincere reflections and typical Vriska flavor, which was deeply lacking in A6A6I5 with its horrific polar opposite versions of Vriska. The two Vriskas’ conversation late in Candy is incredibly endearing and almost feels like an apology for the controversial Vriska/Vriska encounter back then. I accept the apology with open arms. Why is everything always so wonderful?

John Egbert: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ <3. WHY IS EVERYTHING ALWAYS SO WONDERFUL? John gets a deep meaningful existential crisis arc in both epilogues; both cases I easily latched onto and found a bit of myself in. I absolutely loved seeing him and Terezi interact as a duo of people with some perception of canonicity; I’ll get back to that point soon enough. John’s marriage to Roxy not working out is a testament to both his issues with canon and Roxy’s issues dealing with harsh situations. Roxy latches onto John and their son as a huge carefree pushover and he doesn’t like that at all. And that’s actually cool with me because John x Terezi is better in every way, as the epilogues made me realize. If that wasn’t enough, the end of Candy spoils our little hearts by having John reconcile with Roxy anyway and give hope for a better future. Though a part of me does want to see a true happy ending where John and Roxy date with their delightful dynamic from their first interactions, I’m beyond pleased with the epilogues’ handling of John either way. Swaying deep into some rather sad territory while remaining 100% faithful to his character that I’ve always loved so much.

Terezi Pyrope: FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES FUCK YES. Every scene with Terezi in the epilogues was so goddamn awesome. Her interactions with John were such a blast to read, with exactly the mix of humor and touching aspects that make both of the big John/girl ships what they are. How did the authors pull it off, making deeply emotional scenes without ever sacrificing that goofy Terezi flavor???

S-TIER

S in rating systems these days is way misused in my eyes. Normally A is meant to be the highest rating and S is used for the very rare absolutely exceptional case A doesn’t do justice. But now you see shit like SS, SSS, SSSS everywhere like one S isn’t the ultimate badge of honor? S is a rating I’d gladly give Detective Pony and may or may not give cool and new web comic. Same goes for my very favorite Futurama episodes. I’d give a few of Neil Cicierega’s works that rating if I’m feeling up to it. In this post, I’ve reserved the S rating for:

Barack Obama: THE BEST PART OF THE EPILOGUES, HANDS DOWN. His conversation with Dave near the end of Candy is perfect in every way, it really transcends words. Humor, emotional touching, plot revelations, and straight up “Homestuck feel” are blended into the most delicious melting pot imaginable. When Dave confesses that he might be gay and explains troubles in his three-way romance, Obama responds with a truly inspiring speech about identity that raises an excellent point about the differences between the epilogues involving aspects of people that may seem immutable to some. I think Obama’s speech leaves a powerful message I never expected Homestuck of all things to convey so well. I hope readers take that speech’s message into account, though I know many will probably be a bit naive about it.

If you refuse to read the epilogues at all costs, then I implore you to read Dave and Obama’s conversation anyway. You won’t be disappointed.

CONCLUSION

This post was so much fun to write, holy shit. I so badly needed to get all this out of my system. The only thing stopping me from continuing my Homestuck post series (plural) is that I don’t want to do it on Blogger anymore. The move to a new platform will happen soon enough, once I have some real-life things sorted out.