Today’s strip was not available for preview. It probably involves Mason and Cindy driving toward Marianne’s location, which Mason is either still teasing or half-explaining to Cindy. Maybe they will have already arrived, with Mason continuing his train of thought from yesterday’s strip as if they had just gotten in the car instead of taken the 30 minute drive that getting to the Hollywood sign requires. Maybe we’ll cut back to Marianne (Ha! no we won’t, not until sufficient drama has built). I’ll lean on our commenters to take the stuffing out of this one.
I would, however, like to focus on something commenter Charles said yesterday:
Instead, Mason has chosen to dash off like a 1950s football player posing for a promotional photo and give no specifics about Marianne’s presumed location. Makes you wonder if he really wants her found.
I think he wants her to be found on his terms. He wants to be the hero and the center of attention. He doesn’t want some dumb flatfoot getting credit for saving her.
Makes him a good successor to Les, in fact. This sort of reprehensible act designed to lionize himself is just the sort of thing Les would do. I wrote about Batiuk potentially bringing in a Dinkle V2.0, but in fact, Mason is Les V2.0.
I took a look back at the last time this strip teased a suicide, the infamous Susan Smith story arc from mid-1995. Was it any better than this current story arc? Well, yes and no. Yes, because it involved a teenage social outcast who had a well-established and unhealthy infatuation with a teacher rather than a popular actress with a background as deep as a tide pool… and no, because that teacher was Les. Also no, because TB was using those wavy borders I griped about all last week improperly even back then, when cutting from Les and Co. to Susan looking sad in a different setting.
Anyways, Charles’ point about Mason’s hero shtick being just the kind of thing Les would do is dead on. It is, in fact, exactly what Les does upon discovering Susan unconscious in her bedroom, literally saying “I can get her to the hospital quicker myself!” That’s nothing though, when compared to Les’ immediate response to Susan’s horrified mother, who was reasonably planning to call 911:
A certain universal New Yorker cartoon caption comes to mind…