My name is Clint Wolf, and as I writer I have sinned.


It’s about this and last week’s comics, where Suzie is going over all the little bits and pieces of information that got lost in the shuffle, in much the same way the detective in the climax of a mystery novel might go back over the crime with all the suspects gathered. Conclusion: trouble. Huachuca-sized trouble.

By itself I would completely excuse the scene as necessary, not only for the characters involved but for the readers who have been watching this all play out over several years of real time and can’t reasonably be expected to keep everything in memory. Even the aforementioned mystery novels find it a quite helpful trope to summarize the events and evidence that have collected throughout a book which a fast reader might devour in a single evening.

No, the questionable element is that in this very episode we already went over some reminders of this information in the form of Frank’s talk with Lacey and Suzie’s later confrontation with them. In our “live” schedule these conversations played out over a month ago so might still justify a refresher, but once people are doing archive guides or reading a print issue, will it seem like a weird, redundant waste of space? Yes, some members of the crew didn’t have the whole story, but since the audience did, would it have been better to just cut to Suzie saying, “…and that’s what we know so far.”?

I chose here to go with the redundancy because of one thing that comics have over something of pure print prose, and that’s the imagery that accompanies the words. We can mix and match subtext beneath the text, showing different character reactions to the news and each other. Different connections can be drawn, and reminders can be shown beyond just the raw data. For instance in this week’s installment it’s no accident that Chuck (destroyer of tractors), Frank (withholder of firearms) and Rosa (who spied the staked doll long before Suzie) are all featured as the bits of the tale relating to their particular decisions are told.

Perhaps it’s a bad example since the series has long since recycled the bit to the point I stopped caring (or watching), but those first few times in Supernatural when Sam or Dean had a secret from the other that we knew and they didn’t, there was a wonderful tension to be experienced both in their conversations and their eventual confessions. They weren’t saying anything in those confessions that we didn’t already know, and sometimes we’d watched them already made those exact confessions to someone else, but there was still a fresh story being born out of that particular iteration.

It might be that in the course of time I will look back and decide I’ve sinned after all — but for now, I will remain stalwart in my belief that Suzie’s briefing is not nearly so redundant as the surface might seem.