Hmmm, the script doesn’t have the transitional panel 2 in it, with or without Phil’s revisions– the dialogue’s there, it’s just in panel 1. If that was John’s addition, I owe him thanks.

I’ve talked so much about Rachel and Gravedust here that I’ve completely neglected the beggars. Thankfully, E-Merl hasn’t.

He and Rachel both understand, as Gravedust may not, that the needy require nourishment of the spirit as well as the body. They’ve both been down themselves– Rachel abused by Scarlett at least and maybe impoverished beforehand, and E-Merl definitely impoverished for most of his life.

That’s why Rachel introduces herself to the mother and her son with “You will plant again,” and it’s why E-Merl goes all-out… seriously, this is his most impressive illusion to date and one of his best in the series. In their own ways, they’re each saying to the downtrodden, “We believe in you. You are worthy of our trust, you are worthy of our art. Capitalism may not value you at the moment, but we do.”

And this is why E-Merl is, against the apparent odds, starting to get somewhere with Rachel. Yes, she was a bit charmed by his awkward attempt on the previous page, but you’d have to be pretty shallow to be into someone just because they’re into you. You don’t capture Rachel’s attention with flattery, you capture it by doing the kind of unselfish good she can admire. As Frigg has already demonstrated.