My take on what they might be getting at with Matt's journey this week:
A passage through "the dark night of the Soul."
This is something I studied quite a bit in a comp lit class I took on mysticism where we studied St. John of the Cross's poem of that name. The theme is the stages of the journey towards being united with God or higher consciousness. Matt has, IMO, a mystical inclination. (He is not merely a big churchgoer; he is seeking something different.)
Wikipedia does a good job of describing this:
Basically, a seeker who has been progressing and feeling pleased with progress on the spiritual path, hits a wall of despair, blockage. Everything that used to "work" does not -- including prayer. The seeker feels completely abandoned, lost.
Jesus suffering on the Cross is thought to have undergone a dark night of the soul experience, when he asked why he had been forsaken.
I can understand how Matt could lose it. 21 days and for much of it he has nothing but rice, white rice, no protein. No fish, no rewards, only the merge feast. Severe isolation.
The reason I bring it up is that this crisis occurs as part of the journey. It is not typically the END of the journey. If they are showing us Matt's journey in a symbolic fashion, which it seems they are, then it would make sense that he plumbs the depths, then gathers new resolve.
The path of a mystic is sprinkled with extreme ups and downs, even though there is a sort of even serenity that may be exhibited when the path appears clear. The soul longs for a sense of progress. As long as there is progress, any amount of sacrifice may seem tolerable.
When the sense of progress disappears, then the seeker feels he/she is not getting anywhere, that it's all for nothing, that the Lord isn't walking hand in hand with him, and so forth... but the dark night of the soul ends ...
and Matt will most likely snap out of it.