Instead of showing Liz as having to deal with the aftermath of this
attack, it was just all treated like it was "over", and the worst part
was that she had to file a police report and deal with all of that. The
focus wasn't on the attack, it was on Anthony's so-called heroism and
how he came running to Elizabeth's rescue.
It made me wonder why exactly LJ decided that Anthony needed to save Liz from a sexual assault. We know that his dream, and presumably the result she was going for, was to make Anthony a hero so he'd win over Liz and we'd like him, respectively, but it's curious to me why she decided sexual assault was the means to do this.
After all, in Anthony's old middle school dream, he was saving Liz from drowning. I can understand why she might not want to go back to that following the story of Farley's death, but certainly there are plenty of circumstances where she can achieve something similar. For example, she could have Liz be in a motorcycle accident (which had been actually foreshadowed in-strip) where Anthony shows up and properly sees to her care until the paramedics arrive. (Maybe this is too reminiscent of the New Year's fall from earlier in the year) She could contrast Anthony with Mike and with the uncaring outside world by having him actually help her while everyone else just wishes to gawk or take photos.
Or she could have Liz be a victim of a robbery, with Anthony playing the hero similarly to how it played out in the strip. Or any number of different circumstances which wouldn't have inserted the minefield of thoughtfully portraying a sexual assault and its aftermath, especially since she wasn't that interested in the assault itself in the first place.
And that's when I realized that in some twisted fashion, LJ was probably using the sexual assault as a means of contrasting Howard and Anthony as men, and how they treat Liz as a woman. As I said, there are plenty of potential dangers to expose Liz to in order to make Anthony a hero, but none of them implicate Liz's identity as a woman (and Anthony's as a man) as much as a sexual assault. Anthony may be a fine person if he saves Liz from drowning or a robbery, but he's a fine man when he saves her from a sexual assault.
Thoughts? Alternate ideas?