Panel 1: In the front we see the bubble gum bubble blower from two days ago and he is still blowing bubbles. Next to him we have a guy wearing the 1990s high top haircut, done Lynn Johnston style. Oh, Lynn. You do keep up with fashion.
In the back we have the action with Gordon barely appearing behind bubble-blowing guy. Lynn Johnston continues her artistic style of making the characters in the actual story hard to see.
Panel 2: Martha heads off to the washroom and now is Michael's chance to start slamming her. Grade 8 Michael has suddenly turned into a cynical middle-aged divorcee re-entering the dating scene and says that dating is that not great and Gordon is better off not having a girlfriend. Oh no, Michael. While you are always a terrible boyfriend, we have seen Gordon with a girlfriend and Gordon is always better off with a girlfriend.
In the meantime, Gordon puts his nose up to his wrist and, snorts some coke, I mean, wipes his nose? (The way Lynn has drawn it, it could go either way.) Has Gordon been crying so much over Allyson that his nose has started running? Suddenly I get a new feeling for the horror that must have been watching that movie while having to listen to Gordon sob behind you the whole time.
Panel 3: Michael then starts talking about how having a girlfriend will cost you your freedom. Gordon says, “What do you mean?” I am with Gordon on this. Michael has already demonstrated that he is able to leave his house to go on a date with his girlfriend and his parents do not seem to care one bit that he is gone and they don’t know or care where he is. That’s pretty free. How much more freedom does 14-year-old Michael want? Maybe he is saying that he is used to wandering the neighbourhood wherever and whenever he wants and now that he has a girlfriend, he has an obligation to spend time with her. In other words, he has lost a freedom that he never should have had in the first place.
Panel 4: $18.65. I wonder if, by this point in the story, Lynn Johnston forgot how this story began with Michael being broke and needing to borrow $5 from Gordon just so he could go on the date. Could this be one of those situations where she got into the story and someone explained to her, “Um, Lynn. In 1990 you need more money than $5 to go to the movies. This isn’t the 1950s.” After Lynn realized this was true and agreed to it, naturally she could not go back and change $5 to $20, because that would mean using an eraser.
Having this much money for a movie date in 1990 is more realistic, but it does mean that Michael really didn’t need Gordon’s money in the first place. If only Michael didn’t need to have his own popcorn separate from Martha’s, he could avoided the whole Gordon thing altogether. But on the upside, with Gordon there, Michael can tell Gordon horrible things about having a girlfriend instead of having to thought-bubble it to himself, like he usually does.
Summary: Back to dreadedcandiru2 as this round with Martha is over.