Panel 1: So April has to point out the obvious again, while Deanna gets to hug Mike from behind, without getting to make eye contact, while squinching her eyes up in agony. "Wow" "awesome" and "I am so proud of you." It all sounds like he's 10 years old and got cast as a strawberry in the school play. But I suppose compared to his wife and sister's command of words, Mike's work really does look like artistry.
Panel 2: Merrie gets hugged by John, not Mike. Liz stands in the doorway, probably feeling like the world's biggest loser. And we get some publishing terms explained by Elly. Thanks, doll; now how about an explanation for WHY AND HOW THIS COULD HAPPEN?!
Panel 3: And there you have it, folks. John sums up FOOBiverse in one sentence. Pattersons never have to live with a real setback. One step backwards, five steps forward. The biggest loss they ever suffered was Farley's death, and they had his son right there to replace him. You might even say that the fire happened IN ORDER to make the book contract look like a triumph, because we sure never saw Mike struggling for acceptance before.
Panel 4: Shut. The. Frack. Up. And Liz is walking away, probably to brood about whether anyone will make her sky clear and bright.
Panel 5: 'S'okay, Liz. Granthony will wipe away your tears with his mustache.
But on the bright side, this means Monday's strip was not simply cut away from with no closure. I'll give the Lynnions half a point for that.