More about what happened. There’s still plenty to cover. I won’t be totally exhaustive, but I’ll mention what I think is worth noting. At this point, I believe most people have understood most of this stuff. Still, there may be a few things mentioned here that didn’t quite occur to you, or some connections you haven’t made yet.
The Flash answers most major questions still dangling in the story up to this point. What happens at the critical moment. (Two universes are destroyed, creating the green sun, while the kids complete the scratch and escape through the 4th wall. This has also been referred to at points as “The Great Undoing.” From early in Hivebent: “AA: and we twelve will behave simultane0usly as the pawns and the 0rchestrat0rs of the great und0ing”) We know who reaches god tier and how. (All the kids!) Which trolls survive, the fate of the exiles, who wears the white queen’s ring, and how the blood got on Jack’s hand. That last question was probably the most maddening of the bunch for a long time. The bloody hand was first shown in Jade: Enter, and as Jack’s list of victims grew, his hand continued to be clean. The list of possibilities kept narrowing, until we finally found out here, along with an answer to another major question, how he actually got into the troll session.
The circuitous journey of Bec Noir
A summary: after he put Jade on her quest bed, he looked up and realized he didn’t have much time. The scratch was about to wipe out the session. So, he fled the session through one of the only ways available, by riding a meteor through a portal back to Earth. The meteor was the one host to the frog ruins, and he tucked himself in the same time capsule the White King did not too long ago. The meteor crashed on prehistoric Earth, formed the ruins, and waited about 413 million years. Then the king came out of the capsule to greet the queen. Jack followed about ten seconds later to their surprise, and killed them immediately. He exited the ruins, and AR began detonating the four stations. These were rigged presumably as part of the exiles’ unspoken plan, as a failsafe to prevent Jack from doing just this, in case he found his way there. AR hesitated to blow up WV’s station, because he knew WV was still trapped inside. At this pause, Jack killed AR, and quickly entered the final remaining station to investigate, while (foolishly, it turns out) dismissing PM as irrelevant.
In the station, he found this device, which had been switched to the left side of the frog with the queen’s key, most likely by the queen at an earlier point. Thus it would transport the user to the session outside this universe, i.e. the troll session, as opposed to the one inside it, the kid session. But it was out of power, and had been ever since WV flew the station halfway around the world to find the ruins. So Jack, looking for a power source, located the uranium in WV’s belly, probably via his keen sense of smell as an omnipotent dog. He ripped the uranium out of a hapless WV’s gut, thus bloodying his hand. He powered the station, which both opened its hatch, and allowed him to flee from yet another doomed reality. He likely knew he couldn’t stay in that universe for long, since he recognized the red miles destroying it above. But he probably didn’t understand that would be his own doing from outside the universe, hours in his future.
Jack, bloody hand and all, then appeared in the troll session just as the trolls were about to enter the universe they created, as we saw in Jade: Enter. He then went on his murderous rampage through their session, some of which we saw in quick replays during this animation. He destroyed all 12 planets, Prospit, Derse, and finally, turned his red miles attack on Bilious Slick, destroying the very universe he just narrowly escaped from. And in doing so, he contributed his share to the critical moment. His alternate session self, Spades Slick, contributed the other part by killing Snowman, “simultaneously.” All of Act 5 could be subtitled “Jack Noir Kills Everybody” and that’s pretty much the guiding principle I had in structuring it from the start. Jack Noir has killed every major character, in one way or another (with maybe a few exceptions, like PM), including the entire population of two universes.
Then, finally, as he viewed the aftermath of Bilious Slick’s destruction in Skaia’s water-sphere, and noticed the green sun appearing in the distance, he saw PM enter with WV’s body on the frog platform, the same way Jack arrived about 10 hours prior. After he left the desert, she went into the now-open station, and dragged WV’s body to safety, away from the bombs, but was faced with the universe’s imminent destruction overhead. She noticed WV had dropped the ring he’d been hiding all along, so she put it on and assumed all of Jack’s powers. Then, again probably due to enhanced canine tracking abilities, immediately knew where to follow Jack. She brought WV, likely with the hope that he may survive, as well as his firefly Serenity, and is now prepared for a duel.
Slick kills Snowman
It was established in the intermission that when Snowman dies, the universe is destroyed. (Relating of course to her 8-ball theme, and billiards rules involving pocketing that ball, or scratching while pocketing it.) Hence, when Slick shoots her through the heart with Scratch’s single-cueball-bullet-firing gun, the trolls’ universe (blue) comes to an end. Recall that Scratch browbeat Slick into agreeing to take his gun and kill her. With nothing in particular left to lose, or live for, Slick complied, and more than likely took enjoyment from settling this old score, even though it meant his own death too. Note that during the standoff, it seemed Snowman welcomed the attack. This was, after all, the culmination of her role, both as the black queen, and as a servant of Lord English.
As the black queen of Derse, her basic role is to oppose creation. She wars with Prospit, and stands in the way of the heroes who seek to create a universe. Since she was exiled from the session, she could no longer fulfill that role. So she was offered another way, by Doc Scratch, in an agreement of mutual interest. Since she couldn’t oppose the creation of a new universe, she could facilitate the destruction of another. Scratch gave the queen the powers of Snowman, and bound her life in some mysterious way to the troll universe itself (turning the typically red blood of a queen to blue, the color signifying that universe). Which is of course, another giant frog much like the one Jack killed, which we have never seen from the outside. Ironically, to fulfill her role, she was bound to the life of a creature she loathed, which happened once before in the troll session when they prototyped a frog. She was disgusted by the transformation, and removed the ring, which lead to her eventual exile, and meeting with Scratch in the desert.
Her role as Snowman also suited Lord English’s purposes, as her death provided the mechanism for his entrance, as well as contributed to the creation of the green sun. This appears to be a pattern with LE, enslaving various women, who can only die by completing their term of service, and vice versa. He recruited Aradia’s and Feferi’s ancestors in the same way. From the perspective of LE as a crime boss rather than an immortal demon, he’s somewhat like a ruthless pimp. Whoever he is. This is one of the few major questions lingering, in case you didn’t notice.
Anyway, more to talk about, but enough words for now.
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