This page is Phil’s script, but I’m a big fan of it. In an enjoyable exchange, we firm up the most important thing about Goblaurence: he is no mere composer of sick burns. His insights are constructive, if you can wade through the insults to get at them. As with many cynics, there’s a frustrated idealist in there somewhere, angrier still with the world because he can see all the ways in which it falls short of perfection.

Once again, Harky shows no small political skill. He recognizes instinctively that the best way to motivate Goblaurence is just to listen to him, to suggest that the marginalization that’s defined his whole life might be at an end. Goblaurence is never gonna be too lovey-dovey, but he’s already melting a bit in panel 3 after hearing the words “speak your mind” and knowing they come from an unflinchingly honest being.

The script also gives John some great opportunities to shine, despite the packed layout. Goblaurence’s more colorful facial expressions will grab most of the attention, but I also appreciate Harky’s subtle ones. That smile in panel 5… you don’t tend to see that side of him except in the presence of Gondolessa.