Panel 2: Wow! Deanna must really be at the end of her rope, to speak so boldly to Mike. Also like the compatible sleepwear on the Patterson grandspawn.
Panel 3: Jeez, Mike looks diabolical. Is he mad at Mr. Andrews, or at his wife who speaks out of turn?
Panel 4: Huh. So he's not going over because it's not that serious? Or because Elly just can't ask that of him? I mean, WTF? He's a jewel if he collects his parents at the airport, but he needs an official invitation to go and see a stricken relative? Suppose Jim expires in the night?
And what is he sorry about? If that's sympathy for Elly, did he forget that he himself is also related to Jim? Like, to April he's "my grandpa", but to Mike he's "Mom's dad"?
Panel 5: Oh great. So all this happened just to give Mike perspective. All hail the Delicate Genius and his boundless empathy.
I'm disappointed; I really am. Whether or not it's right for me to feel this way, I was hoping for something like Farley saving April. Because that whole sequence was fraught with suspense. Will she get to the river? Will she fall in? Whew, Farley's got her -- but for how long? Can Edgar get the message out? Can John come through in the clutch? Oh no -- will Farley be okay?
This, OTOH, is apparently going to be a slow, grinding large-scale illustration of what Jim's life has been for the past five years already. Why? Why should he suffer just so the other Pattersons can rend their garments and wail? Can we at least get some delirium-induced flashbacks? That happened to Crankshaft under similar circumstances, and since LJ is following in Tom Batiuk's footsteps as it is, why not go for it?