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Recap / Penny And Aggie 202020 Pennies

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"I am no one's seed-pod. I am not a person-in-the-making, I am a person now."
— Penny

The most experimental of all Penny and Aggie arcs, this storyline concerns Penny's decision regarding whether she should abandon the life she knows and join Rich on the road. Penny stands frozen, her inner voices alternating between telling her she'd be out of her mind to do so and affirming her love for Rich. The scene switches to a convention of twenty potential future Pennies, in the year 2020, gathered to discuss and vote on what the present-day teenage Penny should do. The "twenty who represent trillions" of possible selves, half of whom followed Rich and half of whom didn't, range from the realistic (author, defense attorney, homemaker) to the fanciful (nuclear holocaust survivor, "holosocialite and fashion vlogger," cyborg Starbucks assistant manager), and from the successful to the pathetic and in-between. Three out of twenty not only went with Rich but stayed with him permanently.


After several possible-future Pennies relate their stories, and their views as to whether they made the right decision, the group votes thirteen to seven against following Rich. However, present-day teenage Penny objects to their presumption in deciding for her. Acknowledging that running away with him will be risky, she nevertheless maintains that if there's a "one in twenty" chance she can make it with the man she loves, that's all she needs. She tells the potential Pennies who didn't choose Rich to "go to hell," and they fade from existence; an overweight, defeated looking Penny, who had lost the popularity war to Karen, smiles gratefully as she vanishes. Then, as Rich, in "reality," begins to start off, Penny catches up to him and they ride off together.

The arc concludes with a controversial two-strip sequence in which one of the potential future Pennies, a bestselling "bitchlit" author, reflects on the conference at home while receiving a foot-rub from her partner, a decidedly masculine-looking and conservative Aggie who credits Penny with helping break her out of her "hippie phase" and teases her for sounding like a liberal in wondering whether teenage Penny made the right choice. Nonetheless, she tells Penny, if experiencing "lean times with Rich" before hooking up with her "taught you to be more selective with your compassion...then things worked out for the best."




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