Subnormality Tells The Truth is the 224th Subnormality comic.
Plot Summary Edit
On a Friday in the middle of a heatwave, Justine gets into an argument with a customer of her lawncare business who objects to her wearing shorts. She breaks down crying in front of her employees, who tell her to go home and let them finish up for the day.
Across the street, PHG visits Ethel's apartment for the first time. PHG says she feels good lately because she has decided that she definitely wants to have children in the future. However, when Ethel makes a self-deprecating remark, PHG tells her that she is concerned Ethel doesn't seem to think PHG really likes her, and she is worried that it will destroy their friendship if Ethel can't see her as an equal. Ethel apologises for this, and then asks PHG to read something for her. PHG reads an email which confirms that one of Ethel's stories is getting published. Excited, she tells Ethel they should go out to celebrate.
Both Ethel and Justine get ready to go out for the night to a bar where the Generals are playing. After the gig, General Pete wants to do an encore, but the rest of the band want to get home. Annoyed, he decides to try and hook up with someone. Meanwhile, Ethel and PHG discuss the story which is getting published, which is about mind control. PHG says that she's really glad that Ethel is brave enough to speak her thoughts aloud.
At the bar, Pete hits on PHG, but she rebuffs him, and Ethel gives him a death glare. Instead, he goes to talk to Marie, who is happy to flirt but explains that she is here to mull over problems with her girlfriend (Anneliese). Pete accepts her disinterest and they agree to just talk instead. Marie explains that Anneliese is more mature than her and Marie feels aimless and like she struggles to cope in Anneliese's social circles. Marie tries to make up for this by being a people-pleaser - especially in their sex life, which she enjoys - but tonight Anneliese confronted her and said that Marie didn't feel like an equal but rather her mistress, leading Marie to storm out.
Justine approaches them to congratulate Pete on a good gig, and Marie encourages him to go hit on her, but he refuses as she has turned him down before and he doesn't want to be creepy. Marie explains that she had to be persistent to convince Anneliese to date her, because Marie had never dated a woman before and Anneliese didn't believe she was interested at first. She then tells the story of how she learned to enjoy sex through a marathon masturbation session, her description of which leaves Pete speechless.
Meanwhile, PHG and Ethel continue to talk. PHG talks about how much she wants children, and Ethel supports her, which makes her tearful. They both apologise for their behaviour earlier, as PHG is sorry for upsetting Ethel but Ethel believes she was right. PHG then tells Ethel that she views her as a sister, and wants to stay friends with her forever. She also mentions how important it was to her that Ethel spoke openly about being depressed, which she described as like living life in black and white, because PHG knows it's easy to hide how bad things are from the outside.
Pete is impressed by Marie's ability to captivate with her words, and he suggests she try stand-up, but Marie is reluctant. Pete tells her that he hates the idea that artists are special people - anyone can be an artist, and he gives Marie the 'license' to get up on stage and share her ideas with the world. Marie is taken aback, but agrees with him. She gives him her scarf and tells him to go ask out Justine. Meanwhile, Ethel leaves the bar to take the bus home.
Pete approaches Justine, and she is friendly but clearly distracted. He finally asks her to tell him what's wrong, and she explains that on Monday that week, she found the dead body of a friend of hers - an old man who was one of her customers, who she had bonded with over their shared interests, including the song 'Cousin Mary' by Fludd. The experience has shaken her deeply, and she keeps crying at night, but she doesn't have anyone she feels able to talk about it with. She thanks Pete for listening, and asks why he came over, and he asks her for a job.
While Ethel takes the bus home, PHG realises that the friends she was meant to meet up with that night are coincidentally in the same bar as her. She joins the conversation to sit with them, and they tease her about her tendency to blow off events to help her friends. They also congratulate her on her success: she and one of her work-friends were both selected to be models for the airline's latest advertising campaign (something which she did not mention to Ethel). Her picture is shown on an advert on the back of Ethel's bus.
Pete explains to Justine that he is not quitting the band, but he needs to start paying the bills. She agrees to hire him, starting on Monday. As Justine leaves the bar, Pete quotes 'Cousin Mary' to her. Outside, Justine runs into her work-mates, who have come looking for her. When they go inside, she asks Zoe Muggs, who is sat outside, for a light. She then starts crying, and Zoe goes to comfort her. Justine explains that she has never really experienced death before, and she doesn't know how to cope with it. She goes and sits in the bed of her truck, listening to a song by the Generals at full volume to tune out the world.
As Pete leaves the bar, he runs into Zoe and tells her about his new job. He reassures her that this isn't the end of the band, because his fans mean too much to him to ever quit. He tells her not to worry about him and goes 'home', which reveals that he is living in the Generals tour van.
Back in the bar, PHG is sitting with her friends but she isn't talking much. She claims that this is just due to tiredness, and claims that she's "doing alright". However, the illustration shows her in black and white while everything else is in colour, suggesting that she is depressed.
Marie goes home and reconciles with Anneliese, but she doesn't tell her about her conversation with Pete. The couple embrace.
Ethel arrives home and texts PHG to say that she's okay. In her apartment there is a letter she wrote that she planned to give to PHG but then chickened out of. The letter says that she thinks of PHG as a sister, and hopes to stay friends with her forever.