Original Release Date: February 14, 2008
This is something of a turning point in the story in that it takes a serious tone for the first time. It's not without its comedy--Stu's jab at Renee is full of smarm, and Mike's attempt to take charge is thwarted by a simple lock. But, overall, this is not a laughing matter. It seems that Mike's adrenaline has finally run out, and he is suddenly aware of his mortality, the seriousness of the situation, and all of the dangers they have encountered thus far.
The intent here was not to transform the comic into serious drama, but more to humanize Mike. Thus far, he's dealt with a lot in his otherwise mundane life and has reacted with nothing but wisecracks. However, I didn't want him to be a completely unrelateable, nonstop goofy slapstick jokester. As one of the protagonists, I wanted him to grow and mature and learn from mistakes. He is the core comic relief, but that doesn't mean he can't be a viable, important character. Plus, the guy's gotta run out of steam sooner or later. I hope that comes through here.