By Ian Cory
It’s been a long time coming, but with this week’s updates Homestuck is making it happen. Since its beginning most of the relationships in Homestuck have been defined by distance, both physical and emotional. The Beta kids were separated from each other, and then from the trolls, who were in turn isolated even when trapped in the same room together. Act 6 has shown that the Alpha kids are just as fractured, conveniently skipping over their brief period of camaraderie to its inevitable drug-fueled* implosion. When those gaps are closed, the results have been violent, chaotic, or underscored with loss. And by the looks of it, this week’s rapidly escalating battle royal is taking this pattern to heart by crashing nearly every living character towards each other at top speeds.
And as for Ms. Spider-Troll, holy shit is she infuriating. Like her descendent, Arenea is sickeningly sure of herself and believes no matter what happens as a result of her actions that she’s in the right. But while Vriska views herself as a Nietzschean uber-troll in a world of cowards, Arenea believes that bending the session to her will is a purely utilitarian pursuit, which makes her really condescending to pretty much everyone. Her ego even pushes her to twist her failed seduction of Jake into another example of how much everyone loves her. Although her arrogance might be warranted given how much she’s already accomplished, it’s also her biggest weakness. Dirk’s surprise attack wasn’t successful but it proved that Arenea isn’t as smart or as well prepared as she thinks she is, and this will only prove truer as larger forces begin to notice her intrusion into the Alpha session.
No force in Homestuck is larger and more ominous than the mysterious dream world that Calliope has built for herself. This bizarre landscape, now populated by a cheerful and decidedly not evil Jade, is filled to the brim with unnerving symbolic imagery. It’s presence in this week’s updates didn’t do much to advance the story, although an impending conversation between Jade and Calliope will certainly be interesting, but it did serve as a reminder that no matter how chaotic things can get, there is a much great structure in motion.
*We’re all on the same page that the Trickster Arc was a pretty obvious metaphor for drug abuse and the dangers of trying to escape your problems by getting utterly plastered right? Okay cool, just making sure.