I was looking for signs of Francis running away or something, which is what was set up in panel four.
With PVP, unless I get signals otherwise, I'm always expecting a punchline. It's totally fine to skip them sometimes, really, but it has got to be hard to set up a non-gag strip in a world of punchlines and it didn't work out for me here.
Update: This is embarrassing, but I didn't understand what was going on, at all. I thought the hands in panel 4 were Francis' hands as he backed or fell into the branch, snapping the twig, scaring the birds. Obviously, there is more going on than that.
2. The art doesn't lend itself to darkness or nighttime. Francis' line "Won't you get scared all alone in these dark woods" or even the title of the strip weren't enough to get across that feeling that I think Scott was looking for; they feel like artificial attempts to add atmosphere to an illustration that looks like any other day in PVP.
PVP's art is very well-defined, but without color or any shade of grey, "darkness" is really hard to find.
(Note: I don't actually know if it's supposed to be "night", just "dark". Woods can be dark and creepy during the day too.)