so the final chapter of “New and Old Friends” is called Lunchtime Revelations. Elliot and Sarah are being really open about their relationship (must be nice to be able to do that you straight fucks), and they get Tedd and Susan sitting together. naturally they get along like a house on fire.

2014!Dan Shive gives us a spiel about the straw feminist trope, trying to apologise. He comes from the super-liberal angle of “feminists don’t hate men, that’s a damaging stereotype” and “I personally was always into gender equality” as opposed to “hating men is legitimate” and “men, however nice they may be individually, are all members of an oppressor class (complicated by race, sexuality, disability, etc.)”

we learn that Tedd’s removed the see-through-clothes feature of his glasses. another sign of 2003!Dan Shive being slightly more mature than 2002!Dan Shive, as 2014!Dan Shive comments?

well, in the next strip, we learn that he’s at pains to point out that he’s a creepy objectifying asshole (but draws the line at outright sexual assault). wonderful.

anyway because his parents are divorced too, Susan offers Tedd a ‘truce’.

more suggestion of trans Tedd, at the time intended as a joke, but acknowledged in the comments.

Nanase is apparently capable of like, astral-projecting a fairy body into peoples’ houses. Presumably connected to the coloured distracting duplicates thing. she runs away from the cat and somehow ends up in Ellen’s cleavage, obligatory eyeroll, yawn, etc. this ability leaves a ‘fairy doll’ behind which Nanase can project into.

Party A is going to see a movie now, consisting of Elliot, Sarah, Tedd disguised as Grace who soon adopts Claire form, and Grace disguised as Tedd. So there’s now transformations available into facsimiles of Tedd and Grace. Party B, consisting of Nanase, Ellen, and Justin, will be doing something else.

ok so like. Tedd is trans. this isn’t even hints at this point. the author is using ‘she’ pronouns for Tedd in the narration box so… should I do that too?

anyway they go to the theatre and the author brings up the question of what women do when they go to the bathroom in groups. is that an american thing? it’s not a stereotype i’m familiar with, i always assume everyone goes to the bathroom purely to piss. but then i don’t often go out with other people my age so idk, maybe it’s a thing.

hedge is there, but causes no trouble, and tedd has a nice time going out being read as a woman and says nice things to grace. i wish it was that easy haha :(