Panel 1: Woah, Jon, settle down, big guy. Yesterday (a few minutes in strip-time) Jon was despairing of the moral bear-trap he'd stepped into. Today he's enraged.
Panel 2: Proof that Garfield actually does have some investment (even if it's only personal stakes) in Jon's love life is all in his facial expression. That's genuine shock, folks... and that's a genuine rubbery cat arm, able to stretch from one inch to the length of a grown man's arm. Would you have understood that Garfy's tapping Jon's shoulders without motion lines?
Thank. God. Nobody likes Ellen. Not really. I like Ellen as an off-stage joke template device. But I love Liz. Liz is beautiful as a woman gets in the Garfield world, she's mean and sarcastic, but kind to animals. She seems to like Garfield, and she's never entirely cruel to Jon. So that this storyline ended up veering away from an ill-advised, immoral Ellen-and-Jon hookup and into using Ellen as a deus ex Garfield to make Liz jealous of Jon? A sheer lasagna-pan of bliss.
So Liz is on a date with Gene Vincent. Liz tastefully orders the glass of blue water, while her hooknosed date sucks down a classy glass of ... Tang? Well. It's a big nose by Garfield standards.
The deep-focus shock reveal is one of the finest and most dynamic I've seen in the strip. Also it reveals the restaurant's dramatic giant waffle motif. At the same time, it disrupts the Garfield vibe. Which is more important? I figure there's 27 years in which the biggest continuity shocker is the debut of Nermal or Stretch the rubber chicken. Besides, I'm not convinced the events of Amnesia Date Week are going to forever alter the daily thoughts of a cat laying on Jon's kitchen table.
Jon's Horoscope: Day Five
When the dirt hits the fan, the wise run around to the back of the fan and unplug it. Wipe that dirt off your face and fan the flames of love for once! Today's lucky number: 95
The "dirt", eh? The horoscope is obviously advising Jon to yank the plug on his hopes for success with Ellen ("unplug it") but not to abandon the date itself: he can use it as leverage with Liz. It's kind of underhanded, using one woman as bait for another, especially when one is damaged and one thinks you're a weirdo. But who can say they have not lived it? And most of us didn't have an anthropomorphized cat sidekick as a wingman.
Will it be so bad if the strip subtly transforms into a story about Jon as a loser with a girlfriend he has to desperately try to appease? And Garfield has to deal with a woman who sticks needles in his body being around Casa Arbuckle from time to time. Ultimately, I could probably relate to that Garfield just as easily.
At least it'll bring Garfield the strip more in line with the continuity of the blockbuster motion pictures. Now all Jim D. has to do is make Nermal a cross-eyed Siamese.