Fledgling romances are funny things, and today the continuity invigoration promised two weeks ago starts to take hold. Garfield doesn't just ease into change, but yawn, stretch, hit the snooze alarm a few times and meet change when it's totally unavoidable. True to form, content, purpose and philosophy, the first strips are going to be about the difficulty of the characters and fabric of the Garfield universe to accept change at all. Similar strips surrounded the introductions of Odie and Nermal. By the by, though they discussed nothing of the sort, it's safe to assume Jon and Liz are an item, and that Jon isn't just reading too much into their kiss; while such a delusion would be ripe with possibility, it is not the kind of world-changing plot we were promised, nor would it feel organic after the date story.
What Jon may not know is that after the phase where the test subject feels like Jon in panel three, everyone goes back to how Jon looks in panel two. But we can assume Garfield the strip knows it: panel two is the baseline for Garfield, the throughline, the lifeline, the perpetual punchline.
Garfield may or may not know that the weeks of constant adrenaline-tide eventually must wear off. Whether this is a practical safety release valve to ensure humans in love will resume regular habits of sleeping, eating and not screaming "yahhh-hoooie" without motivation, or a cruel tendency of society to beat dreamers into submission, neither I nor Garfield can say. But the punchline today isn't Jon's Rat Fink impression, but Garfield's pinpointing of Jon's moment of doom: at the height of his excitement and personal triumph, the boy is sunk.