Episode 67 of Solve the World has been a long time coming for both the fans and for Dante Stack himself. A few weeks back, I remember emailing him that I was worried about what was going to happen, and he told me that it wasn’t until episode 67 that Ii needed to worry. Well, now we have episode 67 and I completely 100% see why Dante said that to me. Now I have to admit I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because I am certain I will forget something and I won’t do the episode justice, however I know that I just need to throw myself into it. I couldn’t not write about this episode
This episode was slightly different to most others in that it wasn’t focused around Jenn Dash herself. The episode is the most important for quite a while and we are forced to leave our protagonist for the majority of the episode and instead listen to the way Atticus Further is dealing with everything.
The episode starts with talking and no actual action. To begin with, our narrator (Dante) tells us that Jenn is overwhelmed and it is easy to see why. She has become someone that everyone knows the name of, everyone recognises, everyone has an opinion about. Dante continues by telling us that Jenn has done, what I think is the only thing she could do in the situation, focused on two small points rather than the big everything. Atticus and Scout are the reason she does pretty much anything. The beginning of the episode then speaks of Atticus. The way Dante narrates makes the story seem like every other story ever told “There was a girl…” is followed by “there was a boy” but the listeners of course know that this story, this episode is not your average boy meets girl story. This is so much more.
One of the most powerful things about Dante’s narration is the way that he draws the listeners into the story. It’s a form that I think can only successfully done through audio. He is able to say “you know that feeling” and each individual listener is able to take that feeling and relate it to their own life, it gives a personal addition to the story. It also allows for us to connect and relate to the characters more. The song that Dante goes on to speak about Atticus listening to is not one I had heard of before. It can be found in the video below.
Lyrically this song is powerful and beautiful both as a part of the solve the world universe and just as a song in its own right. In The Glass House, Dante speaks a lot about decimation and it is so good to hear that word being used correctly. I’ve seen media that refers to decimation when it just means mass death or the like. Decimation means the destruction of one tenth of a group or population. It was fascinating to learn about the origination of decimation from the Romans and there was something very chilling about hearing that “basically, it worked.” As I listened to it, I personally felt that Dante included these historical facts into the episode without deviating from the story or boring the listener, which is not an easy feat.
Atticus’ thoughts and emotions are so clearly portrayed throughout this episode that I honestly don’t feel like it would be going too far to say that I could well have been him. There was something completely heartbreaking about the addition of Joseph Further. Although we only saw Joseph in a few episodes we got a strong idea of him as a person who cared ultimately about his family and helping others and doing the right thing. The Joseph Further that is ‘speaking’ to Atticus in this episode is not that Joseph. Atticus is full of regret regarding his father’s death and everything that escalated after that and as a result, his mind distorts who his father is. His mind turns Joseph into a man who criticizes and hates on his own son. For Atticus, and for the listener who can’t help but love Joseph, this is devastating.
But it goes a lot further than the addition of Atticus’ inner Joseph.In his journey towards the Glass House, Atticus struggles with his internal thoughts and feelings and it leads to physical symptoms a lot of which are commonly associated with panic attacks. As someone with anxiety and panic disorder, I could relate to these scenes really well. While panicking, you breathing becomes distorted as it feels there is not enough air around you, Atticus begins hyperventilating as it hits him that he does not want to die. While listening, I was on a bus to work more consciously aware of my breathing than I ever am in such a common situation.
The Glass House is something that I would love to see digital fan art for. I can sort of picture it within my head as Dante gives us a really clear image, but it’s hard to truly imagine everything being clear and see through. As Atticus is taken to his floor, he can not only see through the elevator but also through all the corridors, all the rooms, all the floors. When he is finally in the room that will decide his fate, he can see above him, to the side of him, below him. Every single person is there with him but he is also completely alone and separated from all of them. He is unable to talk to anyone and no one is able to talk to him. And he doesn’t want to die.
Jenn finally appears in the episode within the last ten minutes. Atticus is in his room of the Glass House and he sees in the room one up and one over from him there stands Jennifer Dash herself. And that, ladies and gentleman is when the shit really hits the fan. For a few moments we think alongside Atticus that he is dying. Atticus is so convinced he will die that his mind thinks there is gas filling the room and it’s hard not to find yoursef catching your breath as you listen. But it’s not Atticus’ room that fills up with gas.
Now, I struggle to believe that Dante has actually killed Jenn off with another 33 episodes of Solve the World left. However, there is a large part of me that thinks maybe I’m just not willing to accept it because I don’t want Jenn to be dead. Goddammit Dante.
One time out of ten, everything is perfect for us all, for I want a better place or just a better way to fall.