This is where Jarvis’ story starts falling apart for me. I have to believe he’s bullshitting Syr’Nj here, just to get through this scene.

Let’s start with the most obvious thing: why does Ardaic need to tell Mother Scarlett shit if panel one already shows Gigundus looking directly at Frigg? She has to be able to see through his eyes, right? It’s not like Ardaic kept tabs on which tavern Frigg went to or where she was sleeping, so he shouldn’t know any more specifics about her location than Scarlett already does. Or maybe he had one of his spies follow her. You know, the spies we’ve never mentioned he has, let alone shown.

Related: does Jarvis understand that a “puppet” can’t really be “autonomous”? I think he’s trying to say “capable of seeming autonomous,” but…okay, moving on.

I can buy that the conspirators regarded the church’s power as a threat to Gastonian society. They may’ve even been right. And I guess they could figure out Gigundus’ secret if some of them had been colleagues with him in the HoH’s early days. (“He doesn’t take off his helmet any more, have you noticed?”)

But for Heart of-All’s sake, why risk the whole Peacemaker initiative by helping Scarlett recapture Frigg? Jarvis treats this as a thuddingly obvious strategy, but its most likely outcome was Frigg as a blood-bonded zombie in Scarlett’s service, making “their” Peacemakers weaker and Scarlett, their enemy, more powerful. Chapters 5 and 6 would not have been an interesting story if there hadn’t been high risk of our heroes’ failure! Most of the plot hinged on the contributions of Bandit Keynes, who was then a rando thief, a rogue factor the Altruists could not possibly have planned for.

It’s especially weird to see Ardaic risking his own pet project like this, though I guess it does underline that his loyalty to “Gastonian interests” will always come first for him until the climax of his own arc.

Maybe we felt that the question of “why the Peacemakers were never tried for killing a Head of House” was a loose end that needed tying up, but the answers seem obvious at the end of Chapter 6. The actual Head of House was never really there, and the only witnesses to “his” end were nuns unlikely to make a federal case of it. Maybe one or two poor souls confused Scarlett’s abuse with love and tried to get Ardaic to prosecute Frigg for killing her. But the self-defense clause would likely protect Frigg on that one even if Ardaic pursued it. As it was, he’d simply “lose” their petitions in his fireplace.

Fuckin’ great art on this page, though, which gets even better when you remember John’s working off Erica’s designs. That Mother Scarlett in panel three is fire. (If you’ll pardon the expression.)