For Soviet Sam, the journey to this moment has been a long one. I’d encourage you to click on Sam’s name in the tags (or right here) to check out his past appearances to see the full scope of what this hug might mean to him.

Infamous Nefarious commented on Monday’s strip (which saw Sam lock eyes on this Money Man for the first time) that I HAD to give Sam this moment. I loved how forcefully he put it:

“I know this is a different Money Man? But I bet he still knows of what Sam did and his lifelong self-torment and remorse. I sincerely feel that Money Man should hug Sam and forgive him.

You should make that happen. For real. Sam needs it. Give the guy a break. Bad things are on the horizon, and this could be the last good thing that happens for him for a while. Sam deserves that redemption. Just knowing A Money Man could forgive him, even if it’s not the one he accidentally killed. Save Sam’s soul.”

This, in part, was my response:

“As a storyteller, it’s generally a bad idea to give the audience exactly what they want. As soon as you do, you break the tension and anticipation and while it may have been what the audience wanted, it wasn’t really want they needed.”

And sometimes what you need and want are the same thing. I personally love this beautiful moment and wanted to see it just as much as Infamous Nefarious (and, I’d guess, so many of you). I think Marc did a stellar job with it, so much so that I asked him to take out a scripted close-up of Sam’s face. It’s all in his shoulders and his slow fall to the ground. That’s all you need to see. We know exactly what his face looks like. That’s some incredible body language acting going on there, Marc. Kudos.

The question now is: can Sam accept this? Can you go most of a very long life living with shame and regret and then toss it aside so easily? Can we forgive ourselves after we’ve been forgiven, or is forgiving ourselves the hardest thing of all?

Don’t forget: New “Spy Gal – Captured” page this Friday!