You know, I was trying to not skim ahead (as I am wont to do) and take each panel in turn, so I thought for a moment that when Mark’s phone connection broke in panel 3, Mark did that on purpose to keep The Big Clinch Moment alive. Then again, Mark already broke the BCM in yesterday’s strip by answering the phone. I should have known better. Mark always answers The Call of Nature.
So then, why this pointless talk about getting back to the cabin, which seems to have mysteriously appeared just around a tree and down the hill? But is that their cabin? It does look different than it normally appears. Anyway, is Cherry being sarcastic or pragmatic in her response in panel 4 (i.e. “Go back early? Of course! It’s a paying gig, you idiot!”)? This situation reminds me of the old “Sorry, Rusty! We’ll get to that fishing trip when I get back.” kind of thing.
Well, I could see the old Mark Trail being not too concerned with hitting the road shortly after coming back from the last job: There was clueless Rusty, dottering Doc, and Clingy Cherry. And that blasted dog was always getting into trouble! But in this new life, Rusty seems fine on his own, Doc is mostly MIA, but Cherry is a firecracker looking for a match. Mark already has a “red hot” opportunity right here! If I was Mark, I might be inclined to get back to Bill tomorrow and close my cover before striking today. But it seems that Pragmatic Cherry has already put the BCM behind her. Good ol’ role reversal!
Meanwhile, Rivera (or more likely some syndicate hack) continues the lazy technique of applying a simple green wash across all of the trees and calling it good. Now, ending on a technical note, if Mark lost a phone connection standing on top of a hill, how does he expect service to return after moving to the bottom of the hill? Or am I misreading things here? Well, maybe he has a signal booster in the cabin.
Mark’s cabin with have America’s last landline.
Ah, that explains it!