Today’s strip may do very little to win over long-time Trailheads (which Rivera probably gave up on some time ago) but will probably also do as little to bring in new readers, who will think that Mark is just a real jerk. If the best Rivera can do is turn Mark into her own parody of Woody from Toy Story, then I wonder if she has seriously miscalculated.
From a story angle, Mark’s odd behavior would seem do work against giving Rex any reason for building trust, which is presumably necessary to help keep Rex out of the cult. From a selfish point of view, Mark’s appearance and action certainly shoots holes in my presumption that this would be a more serious story. On the other hand, perhaps this is a deliberate act on Mark’s part to keep suspicion off of him and make him appear impotent. Okay, I’ll reserve further judgement and see how the week pans out.