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Mark Trail, 11/18/09

Here’s a question for you: am I spoiled by Mark Trail? I mean, yes, this is the sort of wordless action strip that makes the feature worth reading, and yes, Mark has waded into the swamp to deliver a crushing blow to an alligator’s mouth, without regard for his personal safety, in order to save his mutant ward’s whiny little dog. I should just be able to sit back and enjoy it! And yet … well, he’s not using his fists, is he? He’s using a tool to do his fighting for him. Sure, for an ordinary human punching an alligator would be a recipe for certain death, but Mark is not ordinary, and may not even be human. When his violent righteousness turns on the poachers, as it inevitably will, will Mark think, “Hey, I am already holding this stick! It helped me beat the alligator — maybe it will help me defeat these men as well!” And once there’s an intermediary object between Mark and his targets, well, it’s all downhill from there. The next think you know, he’ll be suing them, or writing angry letters to the editor about their misdeeds.

Gil Thorp, 11/18/09

Today is the day that reveals the true shape of Gil Thorp’s football season B-plot: it’s Cyrano de Bergerac, if Cyrano were a band geek, and instead of feeding love poetry to Christian he just gave him recaps of high-school volleyball games, and while watching the whole drama you kept waiting for the action to switch back to Christian’s teammate’s brother in prison. Still, I have a feeling that Valerie will learn that the person who really enjoyed watching her play volleyball was a slightly cross-eyed clarinet player, and true love will blossom at last!

Rex Morgan, M.D., 11/18/09

You know, I really and truly would have been delighted if the whole Becka-Tim side story ended up being entirely tangental to the plot, with Cue successfully negotiating the return of the wayward oldsters with the crooked nursing home operator while Becka fended off Tim’s ham-handed advances. But now it appears that the two narrative threads will finally meet, so I’m hoping that the fisticuffs between the exceptionally dim small-time marijuana dealer and the socially awkward fishing magazine writer will at least be kind of hilarious.

Apartment 3-G, 11/18/09

“Kitchen staff” no doubt sets alarm bells off in Ari’s head. “Wait, she used to be rich, and now the only person she can afford to exploit to get her meds is me? Danger, danger!”

(By the way, if you’re trying woo a pill-popper with rice pudding in actual New York, might I suggest Rice to Riches at 37 Spring Street in Manhattan? YUMMY!)