Let me tell you something about Mike, which I freely admit is speculation, but on which I would bet money: Mike hates women so much he can barely function. Mike hates the women he sees in clubs, he hates the women he saw in the house, he hates the women who have more power than he does in the entertainment industry, he hates the women who work for him as waitresses, and he hates the women he has sex with. I'm not talking about lack of respect -- I'm talking about a bone-deep, barely-restrained malice, which you can see in this sequence. In a guy like Mike who's basically a coward, it manifests in a very particular pattern, which I am willing to bet he has repeated many times. What he does is locate a woman who is a better person than he is -- a kinder person, a person with more going for her, a person people like better than they like him. And his goal is to find a way to make her feel, and look, powerless and worthless. In fact, Erika probably became less interesting to him after she started to seem goofier and more pitiful. She was a better target for this particular scheme when she was stronger, before she went back to smoking and started talking about babies. She was a better target when she was the sort of catlike hottie, the bikini emeritus, a little more weathered but also a measure more intelligent than Diane or Janelle. That's the one it feels good to hurt. As she fell apart mostly on her own, probably from isolation and leftover bad feelings from the breakup that had her in tears in an earlier conversation with Kaysar, I'm sure Mike did indeed lose interest. What's the fun of degrading someone who degrades herself?
Because make no mistake -- with a guy like Mike, it's about the devastation. It's about the hurt he can cause. It's about causing anguish and humiliation and seeing her cry. This is the difference between Mike and Will. Will can certainly be accused of being indifferent to the fact that he's probably going to hurt Janelle's feelings, and especially of being overly devoted to the unrealistic expectation that everyone should know going in not to believe what he says, so what happens is their own fault. And, in a broad, over-the-top kind of way, he'll joke about ripping out hearts, especially at points along the way when it's clearly not happening. But I think that for the most part, Will likes and enjoys the women he flirts and fools around with. He may not respect them in the way we'd all wish, but I don't think he dislikes them. I don't think Will sees his life as an emotional snuff film, wishing he could hide behind a door to see the women whose feelings he hurts crying and hating themselves. Mike? I think Mike would love to be behind that door. Mike would kill to have video of Erika in therapy, sobbing over how bad she feels. I think he's so obviously ineffectual around people -- he's so obviously reliant on the trappings of having been on television and owning restaurants with Ashton Kutcher and wearing the shirts from his own establishments and creating this ridiculous white-rap persona that would be out of date even if he weren't ten years too old for it -- that this is all he has, is causing pain on purpose. I think it makes him feel like he exists, like he can control his environment, like there's a button he can push that will make something happen. Otherwise, how do you know you're still there, right?