Recap / Penny And Aggie Hunger
"There's a need for those who just like to keep things simple, who aren't as concerned with self-actualization as with what others want."
— Dr. Edith Walper
This brief arc focuses on Michelle's character, as it stands several months into her recovery from an eating disorder. An unseen narrator observes that Michelle isn't "deep," and seeks only "unconditional approval," even being willing at times to fake being someone she isn't, for that purpose. The scene shifts to Penny, at the mall with Michelle and Aggie, trying to enlist Aggie's help in getting out of her promise to volunteer with her at the eating disorder clinic, but Aggie won't have it. So, as the narrator observes that being "not deep" has its advantages (see page quote), Penny keeps her promise, albeit with obvious discomfort around the patients.
As they leave the clinic, the reason for Penny's unease is revealed: guilt over the possibility that she contributed to her friend's disorder by always talking about carbs and jogging. Michelle assures her this wasn't the case, and adds that while it'd be easier to go on blaming others, she knows she has it better than most of the clinic patients. The narrator wraps up by observing that while Michelle's future won't be easy, she's already realized that one can lead a fulfilling life in listening to and helping others with problems one's experienced personally. The narrator is revealed in the last panel to be Michelle's psychologist, Dr. Edith Walper, who, given her thin, somewhat haggard appearance, may herself have survived an eating disorder.