Man... this episode was great but at the same time, at least for me, was quite frustrating.
I know Max understood what was going on, wasn't frustrated about it, at least not for long, and embraced the situation for the metaphors and the rp and the development of the character, cause it did make sense for his character and for the story, but I couldn't avoid feeling a bit frustrated for him.
There, as far as we and the players knew, was no way around it, there was no riddle, there was no trick, you either took the damage or stayed behind. Mechanically didn't sound like the best option for it risks players being frustrated and not having fun with the situation because there is just nothing they can do about it and as for the metaphor, well, surely there where a million other ways to approach it.
Anyway, Max is a great sport and quickly found that for the good of the show and our entertainment it could be really interesting to follow through and it ended up being really awesome, and everyone stepped up to the plate accordingly to make it a fantastic episode.