The Lockhorns, 8/25/13
Only one of the multiple Lockhorns panels crammed into the extra Sunday space is worthy of note today, and that’s this mysterious tale of restaurant carnage. How exactly are Leroy and Loretta managing to enrage so many put-upon Olive Garden managers across whatever suburban hellscape they haunt? I mean, usually their bad behavior is restricted to passive-aggressive sniping at one another, and if you kicked out everyone who did that, the restaurant industry would collapse. Moreover, how does Sizzler fit into this scenario? Perhaps the venerable and ailing chain of steakhouses is striking back at the new generation of casual dining franchises that usurped its place it the hearts of customers the only way it knows how: by offering enticements to people to go into the Olive Garden and make a loud, socially uncomfortable scene. Another plant sits by the door and loudly proclaims “You sure wouldn’t see this sort of boorish behavior at a Sizzler! Sizzler: Thinking fresh every day®!” as they’re kicked out. It’s sad that you actually have to go through the charade fourteen times just to get a single shitty Sizzler steak dinner, but I guess it gives Leroy and Loretta an outlet for their agressions that isn’t each other.
Most horrible and depressing Archie ever? Probably! The throwaway panels, which make light of partner violence, are bad enough. Then we’re dragged through the ugly truth of Archie’s monogamy-rejecting ways, which are normally played for laughs, as we have to endure Archie and Betty’s excruciating relationship talk in which she discovers that their perceptions of the commitments they’ve made to each other are radically different. And don’t neglect to put the two narratives together: since Archie was trying to borrow money form Veronica, it stands to reason that the “girlfriend” who owes him money is yet another girl, meaning that he’s two-timing (three-timing?) both of our beloved Archie comics gals. Tune in next week when Archie has to explain to the many young women who may think of themselves as his girlfriend about all the STDs!
For sheer horror, though, it’s hard to top today’s Heathcliff! The erotic charge of the throwaway panels is bad enough, but then we discover that the Heathcliff has a closet where he keeps the severed and meticulously preserved heads of his defeated cartoon-cat rivals, and some days he wears these heads like a mask in a grotesque triumphalist display.
Judge Parker, 8/25/13
I have to admit, I assumed that this whole “Neddy’s friend has been kidnapped in Niger” plot was going to end in Abbey writing a check for the ransom money, not sure about the ethics of the act, or even about whether the ransom demands were real or just part of a scam Thalia was pulling. But now I’m really looking forward to Sophie leading a team of ex-special ops mercenaries into Niamey, guns blazing. Sure, she doesn’t have much combat experience or training in small unit tactics, but wars interest her, and if she’s able to go from bullied nerd to superstar cheerleader by sheer force of will, surely nothing is beyond her powers of self-fashioning.