SFP

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  • Franklin J Gomes

    I WAS FUCKING RIGHT!!!!!!!!!

    I WAS SO FUCKING RIGHT!!!!!!!

    • Pol Subanajouy

      I don’t doubt that you are, but what did you say that is now being confirmed? Just curious.

    • ampg

      I was also right! About this scene: http://strongfemaleprotagonist.com/issue-5/page-110/ I said, “I saw the hug and almost-kiss as a goodbye to their friendship, because he knew he was about to say something that would destroy it.” And now he’s more or less admitted that he couldn’t deal with how much he loved her, so having her hate him was the next best thing.

  • Aresius

    So it was not the mug, but her newfound happiness that ruined him. Let’s see how he handles rejection now

    • friendlymosquito

      I think he’ll handle it okay, he knows how she feels. I’m pretty sure if they can still be friends, that’ll make Patrick really happy at this point.

    • Dallen Shumway

      I’d like to believe that the love that Patrick is feeling for Alison is more consumate love than romantic love. Of course by implication romance is a part of consumate love, but there is more to it. There a sense of understanding the other person and loving them regardless of their decisions. It wasn’t her happiness that ruined him, I’m certain he was more than glad to know she was happy. It was the fact that she ceased to even see him as a friend. And for anyone who knows what it’s like to have someone so dear to decide to have nothing to do with you you can understand why Patrick, who was already in a fragile state, would crumble. He’s only beginning his process of healing and finding closure. I don’t think he expects Alison to change her feelings, rather that they can at least be friends again.

  • Gotham

    “I figured, since it seemed to be working, and I still refuse to be emotionally available—you wish, blondie—I devised a master plan to have you hate more and longer. Guess what, Templar industries robotic departments is back in business and currently trashing any and all states capitals, at the exact same time the only person strong enough to stop them is in a coma they can’t escape from.”

    “Also I made Clevin fall in love with me before he left”

    • Franklin J Gomes

      “Patrick, you are the adult super-villain equivalent of that kid that hit the girl he likes in the arm . I will be more surprised, but meeting Lord Boy made a lot of thing WAY more clear”

      • Gotham

        “Why must you find my emotional immaturity endearing and fall back in love with me”
        “Maybe the only reason we were left alive by the Conspiracy was that your romance shenanigans would necessarily end up destroying the world on their own”

        • Franklin J Gomes

          “Then call me Paris, because my bad decision based in love lead to the destruction of my city by the mighty Aquilles.”
          “Didn’t Paris killed Aquilles after that?”
          “…”
          “No snarky response?”
          “Sorry, I cannot think of any way of talking about piercing you with an arrow that doesn’t sounds like a gross double entendre”

          • Gotham

            “Also I can visibly hear as if millions of French voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced in Paris so this is wildly inappropriate”
            “Oh you’re going international?”
            “Yeah, you know, expanding”

          • Incendax

            A grand and epic siege in the great history of Greece.
            A tiny border skirmish in the history of the Hittites.
            Imagine if the Hittite gods had even cared. 😀

          • Devon Jolly

            nice double entendre.

    • Ladon

      I was considering doing another one of my snarky comments but I don’t want them to get played out and also there’s no way I can compete with this.

      • Gotham

        See people this is the kind of feedback I /deserve/

    • Tylikcat

      Okay, that would be the best love triangle.

    • David B Huber

      And here I thought you expect the best from Patrick? But I too bow to your mastersnark!

    • Lex of Excel

      I would give real money to see Molly’s illustration of Patrick and Clevin kissing.

  • Csaplár Marianna

    Polyamory powers activate!!! :3

    • I’d rather Patrick go continue to work on his headtrash and move on. I’m not sure there’s been a hint that Al is still romantically interested in him…

      • Laurelinde

        Feral did smell something along those lines on Alison when Patrick turned up, she said, but I agree. I don’t think Patrick is in a place to have a healthy romantic relationship with anyone just now, until he can work out how to either control or come to terms with the way his powers intensify towards people he cares about, for their sake and for his.

        • Csaplár Marianna

          I think polyamory is easily misunderstood. It’s not strictly about having multiple romantic partners at the same time, but freedom to explore all sorts of connections in a healthy way, ethically, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. In a polyamor scenario, Allison could stay in a romantic relationship with Clevin, while keeping her unique bond with Patric at the same time, continue to help and teach each other, see each other grow as a person. I never really understood why must you be alone while fighting your mental illness, why can’t you stay connected to your loved ones. If you don’t limit them to having a ‘relationship’ with you and you only, thus putting the heavy burden of your hardship on their shoulder to carry, I don’t see why couldn’t they maintain a sort of relationship.

          • Laurelinde

            Well I don’t necessarily think that Alison should or needs to cut Patrick out of her life entirely, or decide she can’t at least remain friendly and supportive. However, that is not what I have understood to be the generally accepted meaning of polyamory, or else everyone who has at least one close friend besides their romantic/sexual partner would be polyamorous. Maintaining a platonic, non-romantic relationship with Patrick is one thing; having him as an intimate/life partner, right now, is different, for me. His current breakdown and a lot of his issues are about intimacy and relationships and how his powers are affected, and affect the other person, so more intense feelings are going to be a lot for him to process.

          • Tylikcat

            I agree, and yet that line is often fuzzy, isn’t it?

          • Zorae42

            Eh. Nowadays there are “queer platonic” relationships that are closer than friends but not involving sex and I could see having one or more of those as well as a sexual/romantic partner being considered poly.

            I mean you have to admit, even if she didn’t get sexually involved with Patrick, the relationship they have is a bit more than “close friends”.

          • Tylikcat

            This is pretty similar reasoning as to why I’ve been identifying more as polyam again, though without the mental illness focus as such. I don’t need to have sex with multiple people, and I’m not currently involved with any ongoing sexual relationships(1) (I won’t break off a relationship because of new, more serious relationship, that’s just icky.) Technically, there are probably monogamous people who could handle the non-negotiable parts of my intimate friendships? But between all the often unvoiced expectations that come with monogamous relationships (because so many people don’t learn how to negotiate and talk about these things) and all the culture stuff around men treating women as property(2),(3) I’ve found myself wanting at least that common language to discuss these things.

            Which is not to say that icky controlling and abusive stuff doesn’t happen in polyamorous relationships, because it totally does. I just like the cultural tool set better.

            (1) As opposed to friends who I might occasionally end up in bed with under the right circumstances, but where there are no expectations, and no one would take it badly if I said “Hey, I’m in an exclusive relationship now.”
            (2) Which becomes so much less of an issues if I’m dating women, but OMG, my dating situation in Ohio…

            (3) This is kind of a subject in itself, but boy howdy do I not fit in around Ohio in terms of my standards for personal autonomy. …but then this came up in so many relationships back on the west coast, too. I am excellent at keeping agreements, but no one gets to own me.

          • I guess I interpreted your first comment as meaning “if Alison embraced polyamory she could still be with him” which felt weird to me, but perhaps that wasn’t your intention.

            I agree that they can still have a close bond (polyamorously or otherwise), but I don’t think Clevin is the reason she doesn’t reciprocate Patrick’s feelings.

    • Tylikcat

      They’re having an impressively mature and reasonable conversation, I must say!

  • Dean

    “ESPECIALLY when you’re on the toilet.” *wink, wink*

  • zarawesome

    Patrick, Ally is taking this in stride but that’s really close to emotional blackmail.

    • Tylikcat

      I think because she has enough of the backstory where she can look at this as a natural result of their situations, as opposed to a chosen state he is inflicting on her. We can’t always help being fuckwits – sometimes we can just try to deal with it in the most mature way possible.

    • pleasechangemymind

      I don’t think it’s exactly emotional blackmail if he isn’t trying to manipulate her, but rather believes that this will help her understand without making her change her behavior. He isn’t attempting to get her to change her mind, and they both know she won’t anyway. He’s just being honest in the hopes that she can understand, not to get her to dump Clevin or something.

      Hell, at this point even if he is inevitably going to not think anyone is good enough for Alison, I don’t think he would exclude himself from that list. I don’t think he’d ever allow himself to date her, even if they both wanted to.

      I just hope they can be friends.

  • nat365

    Ugh! How horrible! So Alison’s thoughts, the most private thing that should exist, are *always* available to Patrick? That means for Alison, there is no such thing as privacy. Every intrusive thought, random bad impulse, disgusting feeling… her joy, sorrow, love, hate… none of it is hers! She’s basically got a thought parasite in Patrick.

    I’m not sure if I could think of anything worse than someone reading my mind at all times.

    • Fluffy Dragon

      on the other hand, he knows her every random bad impulse, disgusting feeling, joy, sorrow, love, hate and still loves her. She will never have to think the thought “If he knew of this aspect of me, it would ruin our relationship/he’d leave me.”

      • nat365

        Except we are not static. You can know he loves every part of you *now*, but you have no idea what your future thoughts may be, or who you as a person will become.

        There’s a horrible, creepy, stalker-vibe to this, both in the literal sense (it’s like he’s watching her all the time, but worse), and also in the sense that it treats love as permanent and immutable – but he knew Alison for a very short time before being away from her. We expect people who separate to be able to get over each other, otherwise there’s clearly some sort of problem – but either Patrick is making an active choice to never get over Alison by not even trying to ‘mute’ her, or he’s so helplessly unable to control his emotions that he can’t stop himself stalking her mentally.

        The whole thing seems a little romantic initially, but the more you deconstruct it the worse it gets. I don’t care if someone loves me unconditionally or not, my thoughts are my thoughts. I decide if I share them, and who I do that with. To have that taken away is an absolute violation of my personhood, autonomy and self.

        • Kelvandil

          He knew Alison for a very short time, but he still has known her for her entire life.

          If Patrick were capable of muting Alison’s thoughts, don’t you think he would have done that with his parents?

        • Zorae42

          I agree that it’s super creepy and whatnot. But he was doing that to her while they were still friends and she was totally okay with it.

          And while their relationship is totally different now that she’s not friends with him, I think that she’s still the sort of person that doesn’t care if he knows what she’s thinking. Before it was because she was such an open and honest person that she didn’t care one way or the other. And after they broke up she was okay with him being aware that she still hated him. If he’s unable to stop it and she’s personally fine with it then it’s not that big of a deal.

          • nat365

            I think there’s a difference between choosing to spend time with a telepath, knowing that when you’re close to them they can read your mind, and therefore being able to at least *somewhat* control what you’re thinking, and having your thoughts listened to, 24/7, from anywhere in the world, while you’re not even aware of it. In fact I’d go as far as to say those are *incredibly* different circumstances.

        • Fluffy Dragon

          Three thoughts:

          You can’t control who you fall in love with.
          He cannot get over her through separation, because her thoughts will always be right there inside his head. Something he said in this strip suggests he might have tried though (“There is nowhere on this Earth I have stood where I could not feel the beating of your heart”).
          His power doesn’t have an off-switch. If it had, he’d have switched off his ability to mindread his parents rather than ending up killing them.

          They’re both victims of his power here.

        • Loranna

          I am henceforth playing nothing but sappy romantic telepaths with no off switch for their powers, no matter the RPG.

          (Okay, I’m probably going to stick to my ‘type’ of strong and charismatic tanker types. But in my head, they will all also be sappy romantic telepaths with no off switch for their powers.)

          Loranna

          • Rich McGee

            Oh come on, branch out. See if you can’t find a DM who’ll let you play a sappy, romantic mind flayer in their D&D game. Nothing could go wrong. 🙂

    • Csaplár Marianna

      True, it sounds terrifying but how about you try to view it from a different perspective? You, as a person, are not your thoughts you are thinking, you are the entity that’s observing your own mind. If Patric is reading Allison’s mind every second, every small thing, good or bad, he is, in a sense, is becoming her, in my opinion. Patric loving Allison for me means a sort of way of loving yourself, with every amazing and horrible aspect of your mind

      • nat365

        But Patrick is not Alison. At most you can say, if we are our thoughts, and he contains her thoughts as well as his own, that he’s got a clone of her in his brain – and that would be yet another violation of her selfhood – because what are we if we aren’t unique? Is she even herself anymore if she exists within him?

        He’s also, by showing up and forcing her into action, not respecting her at all, nor allowing her to get over him.

        I understand he was going through a breakdown, and therefore not really in control of his actions, but ultimately he has acknowledged here that she was moving on from him – and now he’s pulled her right back into connecting with him again – and that’s not going to be in any way healthy for her relationship with Clevin, or for her own mental wellbeing, especially considering the negative consequences of her feelings for him previously.

        She should be allowed to get over him, and he should be able to get over her, and this mental stalking, whether there’s a voluntary element or it’s entirely out of his control, totally prevents that from happening. Which is its own kind of awful – people being tied to each other forever, with no choice in the matter and no way to undo it.

      • pleasechangemymind

        Oz: [internal monologue] I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me and she becomes me. I cease to exist.
        Oz: [spoken] Huh.
        – BtVS, Season 3, ‘Earshot’

    • Mechwarrior

      That’s one of the problems with telepaths.

    • David B Huber

      I’d just feel sorry for the poor mind reader stuck with me!

      “Auugh! Somebody just make it STOP!” 😉

    • Ganurath

      She should’ve read the EULA.

      • demosthenese10

        Underrated comment

      • Weatherheight

        See my other comment…

    • Danygalw

      Fortunately Alison does not share this opinion.

    • Hiram

      It’s sort of like the relationship everyone has with targeted advertisements, except less invasive and predatory. Just call him Alex, eh?

      • Rich McGee

        Perhaps her next superpower to manifest will be a telepathic ad blocker equivalent, then? 🙂

    • pidgey

      Okay, I’m going to take issue with the attitude that you ought to be allowed to make any kind of moral objection to a fact. It’s a fact. Complaining about Patrick violating someone’s thoughts is like complaining that people have fingers. It doesn’t matter whether or not you object, or whether anyone objects, or whether *everyone* objects. It’ll still be true. It’s just the way this universe is.

      I mean, what’s the alternative? Murdering the dude? Yeah, that’s reasonable.

      Don’t get me wrong, the instant someone discovers a way to improve the situation, I’d be 100% behind it. But until then, all the outrage in the world is naught but text and fury.

      • nat365

        What a ridiculous thing to take issue with! I didn’t say that *Patrick* is horrible – though we can’t be sure he’s even attempted to ‘tune out’ Alison, given that he loves her, and love can sometimes be a very selfish thing… after all, his trauma and subsequent seeking her out wasn’t triggered by her hating him (he was content that she still thought about him), but by her starting to not feel anything towards him anymore – and isn’t that somewhat messed up?
        In any case, I said the ‘fact’ of him having constant access to her thoughts is horrible – not ‘Patrick is horrible for constantly reading her mind’. Just the fact of, in essence, being constantly spied on in the most intimate way, is a horrible, unpleasant thing.

        And of course facts can be morally objectionable! It’s a ‘fact’ that psychopaths don’t feel empathy – but do we just shrug our shoulders when they kill someone? Say ‘ah well, they can’t help it, because they are incapable of empathising with the victim’? No. We are aware, at this point, that you cannot cure psychopathy, but we can still judge the murder as being an objectively bad thing.

    • Todd

      Depends on your definition of “mind reading”.

      It’s one thing to have someone actively reading each and every single thought-process all of the time (especially when the recipient of the reading isn’t aware of it), but it’s something different when the reader has a much “looser connection” eg maybe the telepath can only be aware of “something not usual” happening eg unusual amount of negativity or positivity, etc.

      (Not to mention what the mind-reader is doing with this information . . . .)

      • nat365

        I think even if it was just ‘surface reading’, or just ‘pinging’ when something big happens, or whatever the various ‘minor’ fictional options are, it’s still spying (though probably not deliberate on Patrick’s part), still a violation, and still creepy.

        For me it doesn’t depend on how much information Patrick is getting – whether someone has access to a picture or two of you a day, or they’re breaking into your house and going through your computer, it’s still a violation. It’s still unpleasant and messed up – and that’s the case whatever they do with your information too.

        This reminds me of how teenagers (and especially teenage girls) tend to think romance is being obsessed with each other, wanting to be with each other 24/7, and watching the other person sleep whenever possible… but in reality, that kind of obsessive love either burns out quickly, or leads to bad ends, and controlling, abusive relationships.

        In that same vein, constant mind-reading the person you love may seem like a romantic fiction at first, but the moment you put any thought into it, it’s just a totally unpleasant fact. Outside of Patrick’s control or not, it’s still objectively messed-up.

  • wsw

    I guess mental trauma and permanent mindreading of your ex makes jealousy hard to deal with. If you can’t turn it off such a thing might even break ”good” people without such a past and personality.

    It’s interesting that Patrick brings this up after the merge, and that Alison’s being more snarky with him now then compared his isolated emotional self.

  • Andrew Jensen

    “You realize, of course, that I’m going to have to put you on the moon now.”

    • Aresius
    • Ladon

      Alice: “I threw a nuke to the moon once. You won’t be a problem” Patrick: “I was kinda hoping you wouldn’t value your privacy THAT much”

  • Merus

    Menace had “Thinking of You” painted throughout America. At some point, that was directed at Alison – no matter where she went, he was thinking of her.

  • Olivier Faure

    If that makes you feel better, with his stated range of ~90m (100 yards), he’s probably telepathed enough people pooping and having sex (most of them not at the same time) to be desensitized by now.

  • Arturo Roa

    …might be remembering wrongly, but did we not just establish in this flashback with his parents that he *can’t* turn off his mindreading? Doubly so for the people he has strong feelings for. Because I agree: if he has a choice to stay out of Alison’s mind/keep his awareness of her to a surface level, and he chooses instead to continuously inhabit her thoughts because of how it makes him feel, that’s beyond fucked up. It’s not romantic, it’s creepy and violating. But I understood from the arc we literally just went through that he doesn’t have a choice–he’s aware of what the people he loves are thinking whether or not he wants to be. Which doesn’t make it less violating for the people on the other side of that, but it makes Patrick more of a tragic figure than, you know, a superpowered stalker.

    • Arturo Roa

      Alright, on re-reading: it does seem like he has a choice about whether or not he reads her mind. He *doesn’t* have a choice about his awareness of her and, more specifically, how she feels (or doesn’t feel) about him. So–yeah. I can appreciate how horrendously difficult that is for him, to feel that strongly about someone and to be inescapably aware, at all times, that she’s becoming indifferent to him. But–he’s not entitled to be a part of her life, let alone to be inside her head. The intensity of my feelings for you creates no obligation on your part to reciprocate or have anything to do with me. So for him to keep on reading her thoughts is simply wrong.

      • Brandon Barrus

        “Moreover, in the real world, some men literally believe that they are entitled to sex, relationships, and whatever else they want from women simply because they want these things so badly, and these same men quite explicitly believe that when they don’t get these things, they are justified in killing women.”

        And some women feel the same way! Let’s not label one gender as somehow being the only one capable of this kind of thing.

        • Arturo Roa

          There are definitely entitled members of every gender who treat others badly when their (often unrealistic) expectations are not met, but I’m thinking about Elliot Rodgers in this context, and struggling to come up with a female equivalent who mass-murdered a group of “hot guys” for the “crime” of not having sex with/dating her.

  • Laurelinde

    Yikes. I know he first brought it up in the flashback with his parents, but it’s really hitting me how much Patrick is stuck in a Scylla-and-Charybdis kind of situation. Anyone he has feelings for becomes, in a sense, an intrusive thought/persona into his consciousness due to his powers, and vice-versa (particularly now we know he can also influence or control minds as well). It’s a distressing level of constant intense intimacy that he can’t necessarily handle. But trying to cut himself off from people clearly harms him as well, fracturing his psyche and not allowing him the space or resources to process having feelings at all, which he can’t help doing because he is, after all, still human.

    Unless the story can find some kind of power dampening system I honestly don’t know how Patrick can ever function in a safe, healthy way. There’s no therapist in the world who has the capacity to deal with this, surely.

    • Loranna

      Maybe Tom Ellis’s on TV? 😛

      Loranna

      • palmvos

        skype… he could skype with his therapist for a while. the catch is the therapist could not meet him in person. ideally you want a supervisor or something to give the therapist some idea that should not be voiced that Patrick will react to so that when he gets emotionally involved the therapist knows its time to transfer the file.

        though the best solution is for someone to make Broadhead’s therapist. though the programmers could not meet him either. maybe have some Australians try to sell him the software through Russia?

    • Teyar

      It’s statements like this that really drive me up a wall. His mother was monstrous, true, but she was also right – if being a monster precludes being human, then the definition of human changes to adapt long before there’s cause to change monster.

      It is entirely possible for people to be horrible – Cleaver was featured prominently in the story, I think, to demonstrate that yes, straight up gritty slaughter-tastic R-rated super-villains absolutely do exist in this story, and that is status quo. We’re in a post villain state of things right now, sure, but the world is the world and this is the comic books. Every single turn of the story has centered on horrific uses of violence.

      Another major focus has been that every chapter is essentially “Alison Interrogates A World-view – Occasional Super-punching.” And Patrick is the one primary ‘antagonist’ who well and truly is making effort to substantively change who and what they are. I think this is a deliberate and intentional theme, actually – Look over the history. Cleaver is sorta thinkin bout it, Paladin is on board for a project but everything else is on target, Cleric Boy is hiding from the world in super witsec to hold to his intent and paranoia, Feral never once budged from her essential demands of her project just lucked into outpacing realistic demand, Mysterious G is ????????, and I’m not even trying to figure out a way to cheekily describe the incident at the dam.

      He’s actually trying, and hyperventilating pearl clutches aside, being as standup and polite about things as he can be under the circumstances. Why does everyone seem to have a horrific outlook for someone like this?

      • Laurelinde

        Wow. Thanks for dismissing my post as “hyperventilating pearl-clutching.” (Definitely no sexist overtones there, btw.)

        I am the furthest thing in the world from “everyone”. *Of course* some impossible shit can happen to make it ok somehow. It’s a superhero comic. Doesn’t change the fact that Patrick’s anomaly has caused him (and others) a lot of pain and trauma since he was a very young child, and that is going to need extraordinary unpacking and effort to resolve in a healthy way. I was just trying to sympathise with the guy, because he’s manifestly in pain.

        I never called Patrick (or his mother) a monster and I’m not rooting for him to crash and burn, so I don’t even know where the rest of your points are coming from, but clearly I am about 50 IQ points stupider than all the other commenters here so wtf do I know. Maybe next time just dismiss me as an idiot in private and save us both the time.

  • Pol Subanajouy

    Props for defusing an altogether intense situation, Al.

  • Tylikcat

    “Is having a telepathic relationship cheating?”

    (Really, I just wish I had more of a sense of Clevin as a character. Everything we know about him is all good and nice – which is lovely and all, but it does make him a bit of the human version of a Thomas Kincaid painting.)

    • Mechwarrior

      Low blow, Tylikcat, low blow.

      • Tylikcat

        I know. And I want to like Clevin, I just don’t feel like I have much of a grasp of him as a character.

      • Tylikcat

        I should add the obvious exception – we know that Clevin is insecure about being excluded from Alison’s world, and just being the boyfriend. So there is a pretty good set up for him not being okay with Patrick. (OTOH, he’s *so* chill.)

    • Talina M

      Ouch! Brilliant analogy.

    • Danygalw

      That’s beautiful.

      I mean Thomas Kincaid paintings. I had to google him, and *wow* is his stuff pretty.

    • Eileen Young

      I feel like in a lot of ways we see him like that because that’s what Alison sees: he’s supportive and thinks she’s neat and brings her sandwiches, and has made precisely one (1) demand on her time and attention, and that was earlier tonight. Like, he seems like a nice dude, but it also seems like his role in Alison’s life could be filled by a cat and automated Seamless orders. And because of the way the narration is framed we have absolutely no idea what qualities he has beyond that or if Alison has noticed them.

  • JohnTomato

    Patrick needs to get into meditation. Empty the mind of the self.

  • Guilherme Carvalho

    Every single time, from that moment on: “Hey Patrick, this one’s for you -” *FFFFAAAAAARRRRT*

  • Insanenoodlyguy

    “So yeah, about your relationship: I mayyyyyy have said to Clevin exactly what he needed to jump-start an existential crisis. The good news is this was building no matter what and long term it’s better for him to work his shit out now then the decade or so it was going to take him. The bad news is he’s doing a dangerous amount of Molly right now and seriously contemplating sleeping with Brad. The weird news is that he would have swore he was straight up until tonight, but apparently bat people are really, really his jam and working that out is probably going to be tougher then the aforementioned existential crisis. Assuming you get there in time to stop him before he ruins your relationship with himself and with Brad (though Brad should know better, shame on him), you miggghhhttt need to get a cape and some custom ears to make this work.”

    • bryan rasmussen

      however, I can tell that he’s working it out right now by blowing his brains out. I hate when people do that, I get such a pain.

  • ampg

    So…turns out it’s not just a coincidence that Patrick turned up at her door tonight, then. She’s been forgetting him for a while, but tonight, talking to Hector and Brad rehashing the old days, she suddenly thought of him for the first time in a long time. It seems he felt it, then got drunk enough to gather up the courage to seek her out.

  • JP

    Plot twist:

    Allison recently discovered she’s actually a mental-based super….

    Patrick is literally just a figment of her imagination, projected by her own telepathic powers.

  • OptimisticCentrist

    I’m really wondering how far back Patrick has “always” loved her. Since she confronted him in person and believed in the conspiracy? Since MegaGirl first smashed her way into the superhero scene? Something in between? Did he throw giant robots at her in part so that he could enjoy her pleasure in smashing them?

    • KatherineMW

      Probably since they met in person amd she believed him about the conspiracy. Child Patrick said that was one of the most powerful moments in his life.

  • plainclothes supervillain

    oh man. Did no one else immediately flash back to the moment at the Valkyrie launch when Allison said, “I haven’t thought about Menace in a long time.” OUCH.

    I’m a sucker for sad boy supervillains, though–add Patrick to the long long list of Snape and Kylo Ren of reprehensible sad sacks who had one (1) certified emotion that makes me enjoy them so much. Which is not to say any of those dudes deserve their love interest as a “reward” for having a feeling–far from it!–but MAN is this character trope catnip for me. PINE, YOU SAD SACK! PINE!

    • Zorae42

      Oh boo. Kylo Ren is the worst. You take him out of that list of villains with backstories that make their turn to evil understandable. He doesn’t belong.

      (It’s actually fine. There’s just no accounting for taste I guess – bleh.)

      • plainclothes supervillain

        He IS the worst! That’s why I like him! (Well, that and I find Adam Driver to be very, VERY pretty.)

        • Zorae42

          Hah, see I like me some classy manipulative bastards that are downright evil, or jerks with hearts of gold (or some sort of combination of the two).

          Kylo Ren is clearly neither; furthermore, he thinks of himself of this big evil bad guy when he’s just a whiny manbaby. Bleh. Him and Draco Malfoy both rub me the wrong way. Although at least Draco Malfoy was an actual teenager and had a family that groomed him to be that way; Kylo’s got no excuse. Either BE the evilest or accept your place and act accordingly you know? Heh, to me Kylo is the worst because he’s not the worst but thinks he is – which is not a likable ‘worst’ to me 😛

          (Ah, I personally don’t find him attractive, but prettyness does count with these things)

          • Gotham

            Man, do I love Kylo Ren tho. For as much as I think The Last Jedi could have been the greatest Star Wars movie if it didn’t squander its potential when the fourth act starts, the decision to have his tentative redemption story arc totally shut down by the way Rey shut the door on him is /such/ a fantastic way to evoke how yes, he is a the whiniest manchild and no matter how his pain is impossibly well performed, immensely understandable by anyone and relatable to a lot of white dudes, in the end his choices are irrevocably inexcusable regardless. That mere scene of Rey deciding he’s not worth trying to save singlehandedly addresses and shatters your criticism in the context of the movie’s framing of his character.

            I like myself a smooth evil bastard, but we had Tarken already. I love nothing more than Star Wars being about new things instead of recycled ones (I fucking despise The Force Awakens so much for being about nothing and introducing nothing that it made me fond for the damn despicable /prequels/, gal)–Aside: funny how his horrendous lifeless ghoulish 2000s era video game CGI face in Rogue One is a visual metaphor for the narratively and tonally bankrupt idea it is to rely on past concept who were once delicious but were left to marinate in a non-working fridge for forty freaking years—
            Point is, we had him, and it worked; I’m super into the idea of Star Wars without authoritative “icons”, good or bad. Being about children thrust into a world ripe with relics of an old age without anyone to guide them, and left to scramble to decide how they should act. The stroke of genius that had Rian Johnson decide to make Luke a failed Jedi willingly resenting his status of legend is almost as fantastic as it was the worst idea of all times to end the movie on a actually scratch that, Luke is a legend and Jedi are amazing screw building a new future the boring old past is where it’s at.

            I thought that would have been the point of the whole trilogy actually, “how to deal with what Star Wars was and has become”, both on a Watsonian level (a new generation building new stories on the ruins of old ones (and don’t you fucking dare tell me that wasn’t anyone’s idea either at some point, what with such emphasis on the ruined Vader helmet, on scavenging decade-old crashed ships, on abandoned Luke’s lightsaber)) and on a Doylist one (how does society deal with what Star Wars has become in our day and age, indisputably the most evocative and democratic work of fiction of all times).
            The potential for thematic parallels is boundless! It would have been so damn fantastic if it weren’t for objectively worthless subhuman J.J. Abrams ruining it all and coming back for more in IX! no sure bring back Snoke the purpose of his unexpected early death wasn’t the most compelling idea anyone ever had in decades and Rey’s parents too ’cause Star Wars isn’t anything if not about bloodlines also hey pssst don’t tell this to anyone but you know what people won’t expect for IX? A NEW DEATH STAR THE SIZE OF A GALAXY OR WHATEVER

            Anyway, what was I talking about? Sorry, I tend to realize when I say “I like Star Wars alright, not a degenerate fan or anything”, it’s the biggest lie I’ve ever told. True story—I used to love the theater experience as a kid for how grandiose it felt, and you can’t really appreciate how desensitized you’ve become to fantastically good visual effects because by now all CGI works pretty much look perfect, until you’ve seen that ramming into the other ship at lightspeed scene and had your breath just taken away by the inexpressible beauty of it all, in a way you haven’t felt since you saw dinosaurs for the first time in Jurassic Park at 4.

            ANYWAY, WHAT WAS I TALKING ABOUT?
            Oh yes, my researched data has done compiling while I was rambling and it turns out if you don’t find Adam Driver’s thicc bod the sexiest thing on Earth you are actually a lying liar that lied about it

            Edit: Edited it so much to correct mistakes it got spammed :'(

          • Zorae42

            I have to say that he shut his own redemption arc down – notably a second time since he was offered one in the first movie as well. He’d killed Snoke (he better stay dead) and could’ve walked away from the whole evil thing and pal’d around with Rey. But he decided, “Nah, I’ve actually just fulfilled the requirement for becoming a Sith Lord so I’m gonna stick with that and be evil”, and that’s when Rey realized he couldn’t be saved. But there are still fangirls out there demanding he get a redemption arc and get paired off with the girl he tortured and who hates him (jeez that ship is gross) because… I honestly don’t know? He’s “pretty”? (and probably a touch of racism since Finn is like right there and is amazing (excluding the few of those who are too busy shipping him with Poe and aren’t up for OT3ing the trio of them))

            Maybe I’d find him more relatable if there was any actual reason for him to be a “sad boy” and if he was actually a “boy” and not a damn 30 year old man out there throwing temper tantrums. Bleh. I mean, I can intellectually recognize that he’s supposed to represent the gross entitled men of today and acknowledge they did a pretty good job of hitting the mark and that was a smart decision to go in. But there’s a difference between liking the choices made about a character and liking the character themself. And oh boy I cannot stand him and I have no idea how there are so many people out there that can enjoy the character himself (outside of plainclothes who appears to enjoy seeing sad villains pine).

            Man, I could go on and on about worthless J.J. Abrams. I like Star Wars, but Star Trek was always my main jam. That asshole decided to direct the new Star Trek movies when he didn’t even like the franchise or “get Star Trek”. UGHHHHHHHH. I’m sorry for your loss.

            Maybe his bod is thicc, but I do not find his face attractive. Plus, there are plenty of men out there with hot bods that I haven’t seen throw a temper tantrum. Maybe I would’ve found him attractive if I saw him in anything else beforehand, but all I can do now is see him and equate him with trash (which is a personal opinion and has nothing to do with how attractive he actually is).

          • Gotham

            It’s really weird how it totally works for me, while I cannot fucking deal with Anakin, who, if you’re painting with broad strokes with your teeth while blinded in free fall , ends up evoking the same kind of entitled whining. I’m not going to try to explain why, I’m sure it’s very subjective, and the overall quality of the movies around these characters must play a huge role.

            As for why so, so many people, especially young women, still believe he can be saved it’s the tried and true stereotype of “I can change him”, nothing more mysterious than that. And yeah, I too am both entirely dumbfounded by that trope, and incapable of denying it actually works with a huge audience for whom the interaction with the work of fiction is absolutely genuine.

            Is it curious how I really don’t think I’m that kind of person and yet I ended up with a PhD in psychology and am actively actually doing that in real life like seven actual hours a day every day in exchange for actual money I use for goods and services to survive

            And totally with you on Star Trek. My compassion knows no bounds. What saved me was having been mourning since much earlier. My heart made the sound of ultimate suffering when Paris and Janeway became lizard people

          • Lex of Excel

            Ever since I first saw him in TFA, Kylo Ren is one of my favorite Star Wars villains.

            When he’s talking to Han on the bridge, you can tell the subtext:

            “Dad, I’ve killed so many people. I just blew up the entire Republic capital! So many people have suffered because of what I’ve done! I couldn’t make this right even if I tried. If you don’t kill me now…”

          • Gotham

            Dad everybody makes fun of my mask it’s not fair it’s like a super cool mask and mom told me it was super badass and I tried to keep it so people would think I’m cool and be my friends but they just took my lunch money and you promised you would call me Kylo instead of Ben like when you were grounding me all the times well when you were around that is wait why am I expecting you to comfort me I wish you die and I won’t go in my room because you told me to I wanted to go

          • Lex of Excel

            The fact that Kylo is such a good villain with all these qualities is nothing short of a gatdam miracle. xP

  • Ophidiophile

    She made him laugh? I thought people couldn’t make Patrick laugh, because he knew what they were going to say or do before they did or said it, leaving nothing unexpected, so nothing surprised him. But she made him laugh, which means she is spontaneous enough to catch him off guard. Maybe that’s why he loves her?

    • KatherineMW

      Maybe he can’t read her mind when she’s inside his mind?

      • David B Huber

        Agreed. It makes sense that – paradoxically – sharing Patrick’s mind would carry the same limitations with regard to reading the guest mind as his own. I don’t think he is even aware of Gurwara’s intrusions…

    • ampg

      Along these same lines, I remember when the scene of them watching Bugs Bunny first came out, there were questions about why he hadn’t ever seen those cartoons as a kid. And now we know why – he was on his own from a very young age, and focused on survival. That’s some pretty thorough world-building, there.

    • Weatherheight

      I think the comment relates more to her introducing him to looney tunes.
      Knowing more of Patrick’s childhood, that whole encounter in the hotel room actually becomes more plausible to me.
      I mean – seriously, never once watched a cartoon?

  • cphoenix

    Why would the world’s strongest telepath find special solace in the thoughts of the world’s strongest TK? It’s got to be more than coincidence. And given how excellent the authors are, it’s got to be more than narrative convenience.

    Could it be that his life experience is of being so powerless that he needs Alison’s daily experience of ultimate power and invulnerability to fill that gaping void?

    We know that his parents tried to kill him. He has little or no control over the thoughts and impressions that impinge on his brain. Meanwhile, Alison needs a blowtorch even to cut her hair.

    His super-villain activities might be a way of trying to compensate for that powerlessness. Of course, it wouldn’t be enough, even with giant robots.

    One thing I wonder, though: If he is always seeing himself through Alison’s eyes, how could he treat Paladin as he has been? Or was that, as several other commenters have implied, a way of trying to keep himself in her thoughts and cares, albeit negatively?

    I’m very curious how they will resolve this. We’ve seen that she can affect his mind to some extent (completing the destruction of the city). Is it possible that she will, with or maybe even without his consent, change him so that he’s not so fixated on her?

    Another question: Patrick’s knowledge of her and of thousands of other people should enable him to be an amazing therapist for her, something like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Anywhere she has a less-than-ideal thought habit, he can spot it and coach her on a better one. He could also fast-track her ethics studies: “I see that you’re thinking such-and-such, here’s where that leads, here’s a better way to look at it.” He could help her unsnarl the tangles that Gurwara tied her in. I wonder if this story will go there at all?

    And one final note: Earlier, Alison discovered that he couldn’t read his own mind. That was a major limitation of his. Now, in this interaction, he’s showing at least partial self-awareness, and he’s hosting Alison who can see and affect at least some aspects of his mind. Could this be an arc of correcting, or at least compensating for, a major weakness of his?

  • Dawn Smashington

    I mean

    We just saw him cause the deaths of two people he loved because they did not love him. He actively tried to kill her moments before this.

    To put it lightly, I’m eager to see where this goes next. Al does not owe Patrick love, and being the only person he can feel all over the world does not mean this is a “soulmate” situation, this means he has fixated on her to an unhealthy extreme. This is a creeper situation and, as I said, I’m eager to see which way this goes; either Al re-enforces her rejection and he A) learns about himself and works on making his own thoughts healthy, or B) He turns into one of the psychopaths we see on the news all the goddamn time and tries to kill her again. There’s a C) Al is that a giant weed tree in my backyard what the actual

    Well, so C) Al does the stupid “Oh but I have fee-fees for him so it’s okay and I’m gonna treat this situation as a win and continue one of the most fucked up ‘friendship’ in the history of supers”, and I extremely hope this does not happen. Or if it does, Al deals with her own feelings while recognizing this dude is extremely unhealthy and dangerous, and acting upon the situation as it is, and re-enforcing her rejection.

    I am one hundred percent sure that my roommate’s son is now growing a single weed tree in the backyard.

    • palmvos

      if you mean marijuana. call the cops. have them check it out. given the profitability of civil forfeiture you are looking at a threat to your home and stuff at the very least.
      do not do what my old bio teacher did and take it into the station and ask them- it was a very long time ago and he was known for teaching biology at the time.

      • Dawn Smashington

        Well, like I said in my response to Gotham (I don’t see my posts now, but maybe my laptop glitched or something; I swear I posted a response to Gotham), it’s legal here, and this is a super-suburban area and my roommate is a little older and doesn’t smoke but doesn’t care that I do or that her son does. I think it’s perfectly fine. It’s jarring because (like I said in my invisible post) the vast majority of America have grown up in a world where weed was always illegal and, so we were told, super, super bad. So yeah, it’s fine, it’s just new and weird.

        • palmvos

          is it legal to grow without a licence? I was under the impression that you need a licence to grow it in places where it is legal.

        • Weatherheight

          If it’s growing unsecured on your property, there may be liability issues for you if someone uses it and becomes injured. Issues of burglary notwithstanding, there’s a huge difference between stealing reefer from a box under the bed inside a locked house and a plant growing in your yard (doubly so if there’s no fence). Make sure you understand your financial risk here. Also, what palmvos has said.

    • Gotham

      You should really focus on that weed tree situation, it sounds distracting and concerning.

      Also I don’t think we’re meant to understand this is Patrick asking her out? At all? I’d be more willing to acknowledge the possibility if it wasn’t for the two times he actively rejected her for a reason that has yet to be explained. It figures he loved her then, too, wouldn’t he?

      • Dawn Smashington

        Well, it’s legal here, so I guess it’s fine? This is a super-suburban area, and my roommate is a little older and doesn’t smoke but doesn’t care that I do; we’re both a couple of crazy old cat ladies, so it’s kind of great? I’m just going to laugh it off, it’s just weird to me and the majority of America because we all grew up with weed always being illegal.

        That’s a really good point though, I didn’t think of the times he’d rejected her, so that’s interesting. I would say it does make a difference, but maybe not as much; there are situations where people get really weird relationships with people that only exists in their minds, and rejection from the other side can happen. The thoughts, experiences, emotions, and reactions that go into that kind of fixation are complex. This type of rejection I have seen, and it’s really not pretty.

      • Dawn Smashington

        Oh right, and I wanted to point out that “love” doesn’t really factor into all these complex mental machinations. It’s control. Generally speaking.

  • Mechwarrior

    So their song is Eye In The Sky?

  • Ray Radlein

    ha ha ha good times here on this rapidly shrinking island of stability in a growing void nothing to worry about there, right?

  • Ray Radlein

    Also, Clevin is totally going to figure out he’s Menace.

  • Gurwara?

    Where?

    When?

    Why?

    Who?

  • Weatherheight

    “Oh, and Alison…?”
    “Yes, Patrick?”
    “I’m sort of obliged at this point to notify you that I’ve updated my Privacy Policy…”

    • palmvos

      I already clicked i agree!
      arrg!
      do i have to read it now? can i have Leonard French read it to me and his dog?

  • foo

    “Hello Alison, I’ve just updated my privacy policy.”

    • palmvos

      oh have my umpteenth ‘yes i know’ click and no-i-won’t-read this lawyer speak. (one of the spelling suggestions for the prior word was lawbreaker…)

  • BGB

    So, now it makes sense that he intentionally scared Clevin away earlier.

  • Rich McGee

    Hmmm. I see my (much) earlier suggestion about finding a range limit for his powers as a solution for his troubles is impractical. Still, we haven’t confirmed interplanetary reach yet, and NASA has expressed interest in manned Mars missions. Time to borrow a throwaway PS238 joke and get better funding by promising to send unwanted supers to the Red Planet?