We can see Penk coming to a sort of stopgap conclusion in his thinking, as he reconciles his natural empathy (“the humans aren’t lying about wanting peace”) with Harky’s cause of vengeance (“but their peace isn’t justice”). This compromise will work for him, for now.

Iver looms over Magda’s thinking here, not only because she worries about his Penk-v-Harky prediction, but also because she is facing the very choice she describes in panel 4. Iver is looking worse and worse in her sight. At what point will it start to feel more treasonous not to oppose him than to oppose him?

Readers found the final moment a bit ambiguous… “Is Magda edging closer to making Penk ‘family’ by making him her lover or husband?” And I know that head-on-shoulder gesture is intimate by some standards.

But that wasn’t our intent. I think Flo would say “no means no” here, not “no means ask again later.” Magda gave her “no” about as clearly as she could, while permitting Penk to save face by pretending he wasn’t making a pass. Sorry, shippers! Not every couple that seems meant to be actually is.

(Wish I could say I planned for this one to rerun on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. Image from Best Life.)