Presenting real-life people in your comic is obviously kind of fraught, at least if you don’t want your reality to collapse in a pile of meta or broad comedy. If they’re your friends or friendly acquaintances, you want to at least show them as admirable, but you don’t want to be so fawning as to be unrealistic or make them all-conquering scene-stealers.

With Joel here, I think we walk a middle path. His real big hero moments came earlier, when he pushed Shanna over a mental block that could have stopped her progress. Here, he’s no more brave or sassy or quippy than you or I would be, but he at least comes off smart. I doubt he missed the implication of JJ glancing into that window and saying “people in your life you’re concerned about,” which explains JJ’s choice of venue for this conversation.

JJ’s strongest asset as a fixer is his sense of strategy. As he’ll explain later, intimidation is a tool he uses a lot more often than killing: leaving one person alive and scared enough of you to do your bidding is a lot better than leaving an open missing persons case or corpse. Shame he wasn’t on-site to handle things when Ferris went snooping.