Yeah, half-knowledge is a dangerous thing. K’ip’s got enough experience as a fictional character to know that the Orcs can’t catch up to them as long as they’re among the dense trees. There’s too little light for shooting, and it would be difficult for the crew and their equipment to navigate around. And you would want good lighting for this sort of scene, so the expensive make-up work on the Orc extras can be appreciated…or, in this case, George’s shoddy paint job on those Orc miniatures. At least he’s left the unpainted ones out of this sequence.
Unfortunately, K’ip seems to be unaware of the rules regulating forest clearings in a fictional world. At which point in time you reach one has preciously little to do with the density of your forest surroundings, or any statistical probability of reaching one based on the total area of the forest and the number of clearings. Their appearance depends on psychology, instead. When you’re desperate to reach one, you will – but only at the very last possible moment, after a long and torturous build-up. In the rarer case that you’re desperate not to reach a clearing, one will pop up in your path immediately. Fictional clearings are assholes like that.
So K’ip’s calming words in panels 3 and 4 are now officially irrelevant, and the strip surprisingly ends on the tense note foreshadowed by the first two panels. Please remain tense until Mon…uh, Thursday.