If we really wanted to hammer home the point of the last scene, we’d have Bandit get arrested here for recreational drug use. But hey, the First Step Act, step in the right direction, just 99 steps to go.

So E-Merl is having a conversation with Rachel that’s finding common ground between their interests, and even if he is a bit awkward about doing it, “awkward” is so much a part of his established brand that Rachel would probably be less comfortable around him if he were suddenly smooth. So, progress!

When I read this, I didn’t really think too much about Bandit’s motives as part of a larger tapestry of storytelling. She wants the illicit thrill of getting stoned on something she’s not supposed to smoke, and she wants to share it with friends. #relatable, right?

But it gets more interesting when you consider this is the first page we’ve seen her in since Chapter 14, after Kepfer was all “Do you really have a place for a CRIMINAL in your ranks?” and nobody made a notable response. Not sure if this is an attempt to ease her insecurities with some forbidden fun or a calculated charm offensive or a bit of both. But Scipio will never question her place on the team after this, and while no one would call Gravedust one of the “cool kids,” she’ll also be getting real friendly with him in the next chapter, after which he’ll never question her place again, either.