Panel 1: Gordon’s questions:
Why would Allyson go out with Peter when he treats her so badly?
She could date any guy in school…why him?
Those are pretty good questions. What could have happened there?
For one thing the last we heard of him, Peter Kent got into a fight with an adult at the Valentine’s Day Dance. Although Lynn Johnston wants us to remember how poorly he treated Allyson on that evening, what she apparently wants us to forget is the fight. If we go the Lynn Johnston way, where everything resets after an event (see all those times when April and Becky could not quite stay friends after they made up), Peter Kent is just as much of a jerk and Allyson still treats him like a boyfriend.
In real life, the aftermath of such a fight would for most students result in a kid getting expelled from school. Parents would be brought in and a hammer would be dropped on Peter for assault and underage drinking by the authorities, the school and Peter’s parents. For most kids, that would be a life-changing moment and maybe it was for Peter Kent also. We will never know because we will never actually see Peter again. Whatever it was that happened, apparently Peter Kent was changed enough so that Allyson was willing to go out with him again. In other words, maybe Peter is not the same. Maybe he is the nice guy that Gordon pretends to be.
Panel 2: Gordon now makes a case for himself:
- I’d never hurt her.
- She’d never have to guess with me.
- She’d always know where I was and how I felt.
- I’d treat her with respect!
- I’d care
There seems to be a great disconnect between the Gordon that is and the saintly Gordon in Gordon’s mind. While Gordon had one moment where he was nice to Allyson, the rest of their encounters have been fairly unpleasant for Allyson.
Panel 3: After showing us he has no self-awareness, Gordon does make an attempt at self-examination.
Why would she prefer a guy who treats her great one minute and lousy the next? Oh wait. He’s talking about Peter Kent and not himself.
What is there about Peter Kent that’s missing with me? Looks. Charm. Intelligence. The ability to ask a girl out for a date with advance notice?
Panel 4: Maybe it’s the element of surprise.
That's a weak joke, even by Lynn's standards. If anything Peter is the more stable element. He doesn’t ask at the last minute. We see Peter and Gordon both together with Allyson in this comic strip, and the difference is obvious. Peter Kent apparently has the ability not to throw himself on the floor when he is around Allyson. Gordon is the more surprising of the two.
Summary: Gordon looks forward, looks up, looks down and looks sideways; all while lying to himself about the way he is.