A kiss would’ve been wrong right now, but the last panel here isn’t the first time Rachel has shown that she’s very physically comfortable around E-Merl.

While she can’t deny the reality of Graiya (I mean, come on, everyone heard that voice and felt that plantquake), Rachel only accords her the status of “goddess” with heavy sarcastic quote marks. She believes in kindness, especially from the strong, and a cruel god is no god of hers.

Although the focus is different, this scene owes a bit to Grant Morrison’s first issue of Doom Patrol. In it, Cliff the “Robotman” is locked in a cycle of self-pity, obsessed with the people and humanity he’s lost. Will Magnus, Cliff’s confidant, recognizes that there’s a way to break this cycle, by playing on Cliff’s fundamental decency. So he introduces Cliff to Jane, an MPD case who can relate to some of Cliff’s problems but inarguably has more issues than Cliff ever will. And so Cliff’s focus shifts from himself to being the friend that Jane needs. Cliff=E-Merl, Will=Rachel, Jane=a people who desperately need to feel something other than anguished loss.

“Others have it worse” should not be used to disrespect anyone’s pain. But sometimes and for some people, focusing on that fact is a way forward.