FB: HR may be literally devouring a world, but Shanna’s sarcasm is biting enough that it could probably handle a continent or two. 

I mean, for serious, Shanna’s jokes are usually an effective coping strategy (and usually one of her more endearing qualities). But that half-crazed face she’s flashing in panel 3 is the face of someone leaning a little too hard on “humor” and losing her balance anyway. I’ve seen that happen to actual comedians in mid-performance: the anger at the world that motivates their jokes swims to the surface until the jokes are no longer funny and the “comedy” becomes pointless. (Lewis Black is interesting in that light: he’s very aware of the dividing line between humorous anger and humor-smothering anger. The thrill of watching him is watching him look like he’s going to cross it, without ever quite doing so.)

It falls to Xan to steady Shanna and move their actions (and the scene) forward. His own remote perspective is welcome. As a programmer who sometimes struggles with “human things,” he is far closer in personality to HR than Shanna or Carol. And yet, with his last two lines, he demonstrates why he will never, ever be HR.