I think the haircut helped. I hope the character is less angry. I love Dan but last season he became the scary angry old man yelling at the clouds.
Not a fan of live episodes but it was fun watching them cut to an empty staircase, the live framing adjustments, and Ames quickly repeating his line when he realized the audience had laughed and clapped over it.
I'm not a shrink and psychics aside, I wonder if Darlene chasing after Ben is more about her being unable to accept her own behavioural flaws, that someone has stood up to her and called her out on her bullshit along with the fear