Daria in 'Love's Labours Undone'

Rated: TV-PG for mild profanity.

Short summary:

The school puts on a Shakespeare play, and Quinn and Sandi vie for the lead role. Jane paints scenery, and Daria gets involved despite her better judgment.

Chronology: This story marks the fourth episode in my version of Daria's senior year, falling between Is It Fall Yet? at the end of the fourth season and the beginning of the fifth. The individual stories have a sequence, and events in one depend on the previous stories, but each story stands alone and can be read individually. The sequence is:

Temple of Gloom - 1 - Daria and Jane explore a tomb under Lawndale High. Very loosely connected to the others, and my first Daria story. Contains some foreshadowing of Stacy's rebellion.

Breaking Strain - 2 - Daria gets a job. Stacy stands up to Sandi. Jodie hangs out with Daria and Jane. The first of (presently) three stories focused on the Fashion Club.

Strange Bedfellows - 3 - A school trip to a ski lodge results in farce, and a better understanding of Sandi. A Romantic Comedy.

Love's Labours Undone - 4 - The school puts on a play. Quinn and Sandi compete. Daria gets involved, despite herself.

Daria (and associated characters and locations) is copyright © 1997-2001 MTV Networks

This story is copyright © 2001 Mystik Slacker (mystik_slacker@hotmail.com) and has been written for personal enjoyment. No infringement of the above rights is intended.

Written: February 2001.

Intro, with title 'Daria, in "Love's Labours Undone"':


Establishing shot: Exterior. Morgendorffer House - Sunday Night.

Interior. Living Room.

Daria sits on the sectional sofa, facing the television (we can't see the screen). Helen, with an open briefcase before her, sits on the section of the sofa to her right, reading some papers.

MALE ANNOUNCER: (from television, off screen) ...and the hawk strikes, lifting another small rodent to its doom...

Daria picks up the remote, and hits a button.

WOMANS VOICE: (from television, off screen) ...up next: shark attacks caught on camera, on Bloody Home Videos, after we return from this...

She hits the button again.

YOUNG MANS VOICE: (from television, off screen) ...when the aliens returned us to my pickup, they gave us a full tank of gas so we could...

She presses another button, and the television is silent. She continues to stare at it intently.

DARIA: (monotone) There's nothing interesting on tonight.

Helen looks at Daria with an expression of concern.

HELEN: Are you feeling okay, sweetie?

DARIA: I'm fine, Mom, I'm just bored.

HELEN: You usually find these shows interesting. What's bothering you?

DARIA: (quietly) Nothing.

HELEN: Well, I can't make you tell me, but don't expect me to believe that.

Daria sighs, and looks over at her mother.

DARIA: It's Jane. She wasn't in school Thursday or Friday, and I haven't been able to reach anyone at her house. I went over there yesterday, but nobody was home. I'm worried.

Helen seems surprised by Daria's admission of concern.

HELEN: That does sound odd, but maybe she went somewhere with one of her parents.

DARIA: Her mother's in Central America; Penny found some interesting clay last month, and she went down to see for herself. She isn't due back until after Thanksgiving. Her father landed a contract to illustrate a coffee-table history book. He's on a walking tour somewhere in Central Europe, retracing Napoleon's route from Paris to Moscow with his camera.

HELEN: He's walking to Moscow? In the winter?

DARIA: He's a sucker for accuracy. If Napoleon did it, he will too. Besides, it's cheaper and he apparently didn't get a big advance.

HELEN: He's crazy. Napoleon lost most of his army trying that.

DARIA: (brief smile) He's a Lane. Saying he's crazy is redundant.

HELEN: That's not a nice thing to say about your friend's family.

DARIA: Jane would say the same thing, or she would if she hadn't vanished into thin air.

HELEN: Well, where could Trent be?

DARIA: Asleep? I didn't break in and look to see if he was there. I'm hoping the band got a sudden gig, and Jane went along to be road manager. But she's usually good about not missing school.

HELEN: (surprised) Jane?

DARIA: When your parents aren't in the same country, and your only guardian is an unemployed musician, you don't do anything to draw the attention of social services.

The telephone rings. Daria gets up, and walks into the kitchen. The view remains on Helen, who goes back to reading.

DARIA: (off screen) Lawndale mortuary: you plug 'em, we plant 'em.

Helen winces.

DARIA: (off screen) Jane? Where the hell have you been all weekend? (short pause) You're kidding! How did you get there? Are you okay? (longer pause) Yeah, I can wait for the details. Are they going to let you out?

Helen looks up, with concern.

DARIA: (off screen) Uh, huh. I can bust you out. (loudly, to Helen) Mom, I need to borrow the car!

Helen frowns.

HELEN: Daria, it's ten PM on a Sunday. You have school tomorrow. What do you need the car for? If Jane needs a lawyer, I can recommend one.

DARIA: (off screen) She doesn't need a lawyer; she needs a ride home from the hospital. (quieter voice) No, I don't know why she thinks you need a lawyer. I stopped expecting my parents to make sense years ago.

HELEN: Tell her we'll be right there.

DARIA: (off screen) We?

Interior. Helen's SUV - Night.

Daria and Jane are seated in the back, Helen is driving. Jane has a bandage on her head, and a pair of crutches stands next to her.

HELEN: Jane, how did you break your leg? Daria said you wouldn't tell her.

JANE: That's because it's so embarrassing.

DARIA: You call that an excuse? Give!

JANE: Well, Wednesday night the band was practicing, but they couldn't agree on what to practice, so they decided to watch movies in the living room instead. They fell asleep, and left the TV on, and the test pattern tones woke me up. I don't remember the rest of it because of the concussion, but Trent managed to reconstruct events later.

HELEN: Concussion? You have a concussion?

JANE: Had a concussion. Now all I have is a tendency to vomit if I turn quickly.

DARIA: Remind me not to make any sudden moves near you.

JANE: Usually a good idea in any case. Anyway, apparently Max left a pair of his drumsticks on the stairs where he'd been sitting. I came down in the dark, stepped on them, and landed at the bottom of the stairs after taking the scenic route down. You wouldn't believe where I have bruises.

DARIA: (shudders) I don't think I want to know.

HELEN: Did it hurt?

JANE: Not then. It did when I woke up in the hospital later. Between the concussion and the painkillers they had me on, I wasn't really aware of my surroundings until yesterday. Trent stayed in the waiting room for two days, until I was coherent. I don't think he slept at all.

DARIA: Where is Trent, anyway?

JANE: He went home to sleep yesterday evening. He's probably still catching up on the sleep he missed.

HELEN: Jane, how are you going to get to school on crutches?

JANE: I'll get Trent to drive me. This is his friend's fault; he owes me.

DARIA: Uh, huh. And how will you explain to Ms. Li that arriving at 2 PM is Trent's idea of punctuality?

JANE: That would be a problem, wouldn't it?

HELEN: We have a guestroom. You're welcome to stay until your leg heals, or one of your parents returns. Jake can drive the two of you to school in the morning, and pick you up after work, if you can find something to do until after five.

JANE: Thanks, Mrs. M. That sounds like a good idea. I can always paint. Ms. Defoe lets me have free run of the art room after school.

DARIA: And I have a key to the computer lab, so I can do my homework or write.

HELEN: How did you get a key? I thought Ms. Li was very concerned about security, and she doesn't exactly like you.

DARIA: Yeah, but she's also cheap, and Mr. O'Neill manages the lab. This was a bribe for helping him to set it up.

Interior. Cafeteria - Day.

Quinn, Stacy and Tiffany sit at a table, eating lunch.

QUINN: So, Joey says "No, the ice in his soda isn't crushed, take mine" and then Jeffy threw his in Joey's face and they started fighting. (sighs) Aren't they wonderful?

STACY: (mischievous voice) What, only two of them? What happened to Jerome?

Quinn looks puzzled, Tiffany looks faintly annoyed.

QUINN: I don't know, I haven't seen him recently.

TIFFANY: Who's Jerome? Do you mean Jamie?

QUINN: Yeah, him.

STACY: (looking pointedly at Tiffany) I think he's had something else on his mind lately, or someone else.


Sandi walks up and sits down with a tray.

TIFFANY: (quickly) Hi Sandi, where have you been?

SANDI: Talking to Mr. O'Neill.

The other three grimace.

QUINN: (faux concern) Why, Sandi, is he upset about your grade on the last paper we did?

SANDI: (haughty) Why, no, Quinn, as it happens I received a B+ on that paper thanks to Chuck's tutoring.

Quinn looks like she just ate something unpleasant.

SANDI: (faux concern) Is there something wrong with your salad? Maybe you should have checked with your guardian angel before you tried that dressing?

Quinn glares at Sandi, without speaking.

STACY: If it wasn't about the paper, why were you talking to him? He's weird.

SANDI: (smug) He's also producing the school play, in which I am going to star.

STACY: You are? Don't you have to try out for that?

SANDI: Of course, but he needs a strong woman to play the lead, and who else is he going to find?

Quinn looks briefly surprised, then a calculating look crosses her face.

TIFFANY: What play is it?

SANDI: Something by Shakespeare about an animal trainer.


QUINN: It's The Taming of the Shrew, and it's not about an animal trainer, it's about a guy trying to get his two daughters married to rich merchants. I'm trying out for it also.

SANDI: That's great, Quinn, you can be the younger daughter. He was wondering who he was going to find for that role.

QUINN: Actually, I was planning to audition for the role of Kate, the older daughter. She's a much more interesting character.

TIFFANY: How do you know?

QUINN: I saw the movie on late-night TV a few weeks ago, with Elizabeth Taylor as Kate.

STACY: But, isn't she like, really old? Are you going to have to wear lots of makeup? That could clog your pores!

QUINN: It's an old movie, she was younger then.

SANDI: (mildly annoyed) And Quinn doesn't have the role yet; I'm auditioning for Kate also.

STACY: Does he need other people? Maybe we could all be in it.

SANDI: Yes, but other than the two sisters, the women's roles are pretty small. Most of the speaking roles are for men.

STACY: That's fine, I don't want to have to learn dialog anyway. So, who's auditioning for the men? Is Chuck going to try out?

SANDI: No, Chuck likes to work the stage lights and stuff. Mr. O'Neill doesn't know how he's going to get enough guys who are interested to fill out the play.

STACY: We should get Quinn's fan club to do it, there's plenty of them.

QUINN: They aren't my fan club, and there's only three of them, or two if Jeremiah doesn't show up.

TIFFANY: (irate) His name is Jamie! Not Jerome! Not Jeremiah! How can you be so dense?

Quinn is taken aback by Tiffany's vehemence, and looks at her in surprise.

QUINN: What does his name matter? He's just the third guy with a soda. And why do you care so much, anyway?

TIFFANY: (still irate) 'cause he's my damn boyfriend, that's why!

Sandi and Quinn look at Tiffany in shock, while Stacy smiles, and Tiffany appears relived to have told the others.

STACY: Which would explain why he's stopped chasing Quinn since the school trip. Just where were the two of you when the electricity went out, anyway?

Tiffany smiles, but doesn't reply. Quinn is still looking stunned.

QUINN: So, you're like, dating him?

TIFFANY: That is what one does with a boyfriend, Quinn.

Sandi smiles, not quite a pleasant smile.

SANDI: Yes, Quinn, you'd know that if you had a real boyfriend, instead of just a fan club. Chuck is taking me to an Indian restaurant downtown this Friday.

Quinn glares at Sandi, Sandi glares back, and Stacy looks nervously from one to the other.

STACY: Guys, will you quit it already! Besides, we're going to be late for class. We barely have time to fix our makeup.

The other three look up at the clock, and quickly rise and leave the table.

Interior. Mr. O'Neill's English Class.

Mr. O'Neill stands at the front of the room, behind him the chalkboard bears the names of several of Shakespeare's plays, including "The Taming of the Shrew".

The bell rings, and the students stand and hurry out of the room. Daria is seated at her desk, putting Jane's and her books into her pack.

ONEILL: Daria, could I speak to you for a moment?

JANE: (quietly, to Daria) What did you do now?

DARIA: (quietly, to Jane) I don't know.

Daria stands, picking up her pack, and walks over to Mr. O'Neill. Behind her, Jane is standing up as well, only more slowly, fumbling with her crutches.

DARIA: What do you want to talk about, Mr. O'Neill?

ONEILL: (dithering) Well, I don't know how to say this...

DARIA: Try English, it's what we're here for, after all.

ONEILL: (more assured) Yes. Come right out and say it, with no fuss. The direct approach. That's probably best. You do have a way of getting right to the heart of the matter.

He stops talking, and looks at Daria. She looks back.

DARIA: So...?

ONEILL: So? Oh, yes! You know that I'm producing the school play?

DARIA: You announced it in class. I only look like I'm asleep.

ONEILL: Yes, well, I was wondering if you were going to audition for one of the roles. I'm sure you'd do very well.

Daria looks at him in complete disbelief. Jane hobbles up, overhearing the last.

JANE: "Daria Morgendorffer, star of stage and screen." It does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

ONEILL: (enthused) Yes!

DARIA: Whatever you two have been smoking, it's probably illegal.

ONEILL: (nervous) What? If you smell smoke on my clothes, it's only incense! I use it to relax, that's all!

DARIA: We've been to your apartment. We know that. Relax. I was joking. As, I presume, you were when you suggested I take up acting.

ONEILL: (relieved) Whew. But I was serious. Please? I really need some good actors, and I know you can read lines in public from your appearance at the coffeehouse.

DARIA: Reading my own work, and acting in someone else's play, isn't exactly the same thing. Besides, that's why the school has a Drama Club.

ONEILL: (distraught) All the girls in the Drama Club quit when they heard we were going to put on The Taming of the Shrew.

DARIA: I don't blame them. It's appallingly sexist, and not one of the Bard's better works. Why not do a different play?

ONEILL: I can't. Ms. Li picked up the scripts and advertising posters cheap on an online auction.

JANE: Oh, why am I not surprised she's behind this?

DARIA: (turning to Jane) It is rather predictable. (to O'Neill) So, here's your chance for historical accuracy. Put the play on the way Shakespeare would have.

ONEILL: I don't understand.

DARIA: Have the boys do the female roles in drag, just like they did in Shakespeare's day, when women were prohibited from being actors.

ONEILL: Oh! But there never were any boys in the Drama Club.

DARIA: So, you're putting on a play with no actors. This should be good. You better hope nobody shows up to watch.

ONEILL: Ms. Li sold over fifty tickets at the PTA meeting last week. She's going to kill me! Please, Daria? It will count towards your grade!

DARIA: I already have an A in your class, remember? I don't expect the quality of my work to go down between now and the end of the year.

ONEILL: Oh. Yes. Jane, what about you?

JANE: Me? I'm an artist, not an actor. Besides, I like my B average. It's comforting not to have any expectations to live up to.

DARIA: So, what you need are some students who need the grades, and don't know enough to be offended by the subject matter.

ONEILL: Daria, that's terribly cynical of you. Besides, Sandra Griffin is going to audition, and she said some of her friends were interested too.

DARIA: I rest my case. C'mon Jane, we'll be late to Science.

Exterior. School Lawn - Day.

Tiffany and Jamie are walking on the sidewalk alongside the grassy area behind the school. Other students sit on the lawn, or mill about in the distance.

JAMIE: You want to sit down Tiff?

TIFFANY: Ugh, and get grass stains on my legs? No, thanks, lets just walk around. I need the exercise after sitting all morning anyway.

JAMIE: Okay. Hey, you want to catch a movie tonight?

TIFFANY: Sure. Seven o'clock show?

JAMIE: Yeah. Pick you up at six-fifteen?

TIFFANY: That should be fine. You might need to wait a few minutes if we haven't finished dinner.

JAMIE: No problem.

Tiffany takes Jamie's arm and leans against him as they walk.

TIFFANY: Jamie, have you heard about the play Mr. O'Neill is putting on?

JAMIE: Yeah, some Shakespeare thing, isn't it?

TIFFANY: Uh, huh. Quinn and Sandi are trying out for the lead, and Stacy and I will probably be extras, but Mr. O'Neill needs more boys for the male roles.

JAMIE: Fat chance. Who's he going to find to get up on stage and make a fool of himself? Everybody in those plays wears funny clothes with ruffles, even the guys.

TIFFANY: Well... I was thinking you'd look pretty good in a laced-up shirt. They're really sexy.

Jamie stops abruptly, and turns to face Tiffany.

JAMIE: They are?

TIFFANY: Well, sure. It's just like the shirts pirates wore.

Jamie thinks about this statement briefly, and seems to consider the idea appealing.

JAMIE: Are there pirates in this play?

TIFFANY: I don't think so; Quinn said it's about some merchants trying to marry someone's daughters.


TIFFANY: But the shirts are still the same. Do you think you could get Joey and Jeffy to try out too? They could play the guys trying to marry Quinn.

JAMIE: Hah! They'd go for that. Especially after I tell them about the shirts.

TIFFANY: Great. Thanks, Jamie.

She leans her head against his shoulder, and Jamie hugs her while looking at her with an affectionate grin.

Interior. Computer Lab.

The lab is an ordinary classroom, with the desks replaced with tables. About a dozen computers sit on the tables. Daria is seated at one in the back, typing.

The door opens, and Jane hobbles in on her crutches. Daria stops typing and looks up.

DARIA: Hi, Jane, what brings you down here? Run out of canvases to deface?

JANE: Ha! I have a bigger canvas than ever. First we take Lawndale, then the world!

Daria cocks an eyebrow at Jane.

DARIA: Have you been painting with the windows closed again?

JANE: (smirking) Nope.

DARIA: Well, world domination sounds like fun, but it would take too much effort, so I think I'll stay here and write. Call me when you conquer Rome, and I'll come visit; I always wanted to see the colosseum, although it's probably not as interesting without the lions.

JANE: You're no fun.

DARIA: And you're not very observant if you're only realizing that now.

JANE: Ms. Defoe asked me to paint the scenery for the school play. The whole town will see my work!

DARIA: Scenery? Like, brick walls and fake trees? What am I missing? This doesn't sound like art to me.

JANE: Well, I wouldn't hang it in a gallery, but I've been wanting to try my hand at some life-size trompe-l'oeil, and I really like the idea of having the whole town see my work. I'd even get a credit in the program.

DARIA: Well, good then, but you're going to ride home with me in an hour. Even news this exciting could wait that long. What are you not telling me?

JANE: You know me too well, dammit. I need your help.

Daria looks annoyed.

DARIA: Jane, we've been through this before, with your hair. Paint and I do not have a good working relationship.

JANE: No, I don't need help painting. But with this leg I can't move as fast as usual. I need someone to help me spread drop cloths, and stir paint and bring it to me when I'm up on a ladder, and stuff, or I'll never finish in two weeks.

DARIA: Ah, mindless labor. And you thought of me. How flattering.

Jane looks uncertain.

JANE: Um, I didn't mean it like that. But I need someone I can trust with my paint. Most of these idiots wouldn't realize that it's important to stir it the right amount, or would hand me the wrong shade of blue. You may not be able to paint, but you've watched me enough to know what matters.

A grin flicks across Daria's face.

DARIA: (pleased) Flatterer. Okay, I'll help. But I'm not picking up a brush. Deal?

JANE: Deal.

Interior. School Auditorium Stage.

The stage is empty, except for a small table with a chair, where Mr. O'Neill is sitting. About a dozen students are seated in the front row of the auditorium, including Mack and Jodie as well as Quinn, Sandy, Stacy and Tiffany. Other students, including Joey and Jeffy, are hanging out further back in the auditorium, apparently watching the auditions.

The camera follows Sandi and Quinn as they walk up onto the stage then pans and zooms to a close-up of Mack and Jodie in the audience; Joey and Jeffy can be seen two rows behind them.

ONEILL: (off screen) Okay, Sandi, just read the lines for Kate starting at the top of the page, and Quinn, you read Bianca.

MACK: (whispering to Jodie) Oh, this will be painful.

JODIE: (whispering) Mack! Give them a chance.

MACK: (whispering) Sandi and Quinn? The queen and princess of the superficial? I doubt they can pronounce half the words in the script, much less understand them.

JODIE: (whispering) There are words I don't know in the play. Shakespearian English isn't exactly what they teach in class. Now hush, I want to listen.

QUINN: (off screen, as Bianca) Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong yourself, to make a bondmaid and a slave of me. That I disdain. But for these other gauds - unbind my hands, I'll pull them off myself, yea, all my raincoat...

Jodie snorts, and quickly covers her mouth with her hand; Mack appears to be suppressing laughter as well.

QUINN: (off screen) Damn! I mean "raiment". What the hell is "raiment" anyway?

Jodie is biting her knuckles, and shaking with suppressed laughter.

ONEILL: (off screen) It's another word for clothing, Quinn. Don't worry about what the words mean. Just say them. Start again with that line.

QUINN: (off screen, as Bianca) I'll pull them off myself, yea, all my RAIMENT, to my petticoat, or what you will command me will I do, so well I know my duty to my elders.

Jodie seems to have herself under control, and sits back up, watching intently.

SANDI: (off screen, as Kate) Of all thy suitors here I charge thee tell whom thou lovest best. See thou disassemble not.

Jodie snorts, and once again covers her face with her hands.

QUINN: (off screen) That's "dissemble". Uh. (as Bianca) Believe me, sister, of all the men alive I never yet beheld that special face which I could fancy more than any other.

JOEY: (from behind Jodie, plaintive) But what about my face?

JEFFY: (to Joey) Why should she care about your face? It's ugly.

Mack turns to the two behind them.

MACK: (strong whisper) Will you two SHUT UP!

Cut to: a view of the stage, showing O'Neill and the two girls.

Quinn and Sandi face each other, reading intently from their scripts.

SANDI: (as Kate) Minion, the list. It's not Hortensio?

Quinn looks up from her script.

ONEILL: Uh, Sandi, that wasn't the line. Look closer.

SANDI: (as Kate, slower) Minion, thou liest! Is't not Hortensio? (normal voice) What the hell does that mean?

ONEILL: (resigned voice) Never mind; Quinn, read the next line.

QUINN: (as Bianca) If you affect him, sister, here I swear I'll plead for you myself, but you shall have him.

SANDI: (as Kate) Oh, then you fancy Rich more? You will have Gremio to keep you fair.

Quinn looks up from her script at Sandi.

QUINN: That wasn't right.

Sandi looks up at Quinn, annoyed.

SANDI: Like you're doing any better, miss raincoat.

ONEILL: Girls! Please, don't argue. But, uh, Sandi, Quinn's right. Can you read the line again?

SANDI: Oh, very well. (as Kate, slower) Oh then, belike, you fancy riches more: You will have Gremio to keep you fair.

QUINN: (as Bianca) Is it for him you do envy me so? Nay then, you jest, and now I well perceive you have but jested with me all this while. I prithee, sister Kate, untie my hands.

SANDI: (as Kate) If that be jest, then all the rest was so. (normal voice) It says "Strikes her". Am I supposed to actually hit Quinn?

She looks up at Quinn, who takes a step back.

ONEILL: Not now, we're just reading the lines. That was, uh, very good, girls. Quinn, you did better at the long sections, so we'll make you Kate in the play; that character has more lines. Sandi, you did well except for a couple of mistakes, so you can be Bianca.

Quinn smiles, and looks at Sandi, who glares back at her, then seems to think of something, and turns to Mr. O'Neill.

SANDI: Mr. O'Neill, how many lines does Kate have?

ONEILL: Oh, lots and lots. She's talking in nearly every scene, and some of them are quite complex and have to be presented properly, or it changes the whole meaning. I'm sorry you can't both have the role, it's quite a challenge.

Sandi smiles, as Quinn looks suddenly uncertain.

SANDI: Oh, no, that's fine. I'm sure Quinn will prove to us all just how good an actress she really is. Won't you, Quinn?

QUINN: Uh, yeah, of course, Sandi. (laughs unconvincingly) I love a challenge.

Cut to: Mack and Jodie.

JODIE: (whispering, to Mack) Okay, I was wrong. That was painful.

MACK: (whispering) Not half as painful as it's going to be for me playing Petruchio opposite Quinn. Oh, God, why did I let you talk me into auditioning?

JODIE: (whispering) Two words: college applications. You need some non-Jock extracurricular activities if you want to be considered well rounded.

MACK: (whispering) That only works if I'm not in jail for murder by the end of the month.

Quinn walks up.

QUINN: Hey, guys, what are you two whispering about, anyway?

Mack and Jodie sit bolt upright in their seats, with guilty looks.

BOTH: Nothing!

JODIE: Congratulations on getting the part, Quinn. Kate has the best dialog of any character in the play. (she turns to Mack) Although Petruchio is nearly as good.

QUINN: (hesitant) Uh, yeah, thanks. I didn't realize how much dialog I had to learn.

JODIE: Oh, it's not that hard to learn dialog, you just need to learn it in chunks and have one chunk remind you of the next, it's like learning a speech.

Quinn looks at Jodie, who suddenly realizes what she's setting herself up for, and tries to redirect Quinn's attention.

JODIE: (quickly) Your sister's done some public readings, I'm sure she could show you how to do it.

QUINN: (reluctant) Yeah, Daria's good with words. I guess I could ask her.

Interlude (a video montage with music):

Jane and Daria in the car with Helen.

Mr. O'Neill talking to Daria.

Tiffany and Jamie walking together.

Quinn and Sandi reading their scripts.

Commercial Break


Interior. Morgendorffer Kitchen - Night.

The family, plus Jane, is seated around the table eating dinner. From the containers on the counter, it appears to be Chinese take-out.

DARIA: (to Jane) They must really like you; we haven't had microwave lasagna yet this week.

HELEN: Daria! We do not eat lasagna that often.

QUINN: Mo-om! We had it three times last week, and twice the week before. It's what you always make when you get busy at work.

Helen is caught off-guard, and looks uncertain.

HELEN: Jake, say something!

JAKE: I think your lasagna is great, dear.

HELEN: Ohhh!

QUINN: Daria, could you do me a favor?


QUINN: But I haven't even said what I want yet.

DARIA: Quinn, you live your life and I'll live mine, and we'll both be much happier.

HELEN: Daria, that's not a very supportive attitude.

DARIA: I was trying for "patronizing", not "supportive". Quinn's got lots of friends she can ask for favors, she doesn't need to waste my time.

QUINN: But I need someone literate.

JANE: Well, that rules out your friends.

Quinn and Helen both glare at Jane.

JANE: What? It's true! The lot of them would have trouble with anything more complex than Green Eggs and Ham.

DARIA: I will not help you, Quinn I am; I will not eat green eggs and ham.

QUINN: See, that's why I need your help!

DARIA: You want me to recite children's stories? That's an odd favor.

QUINN: No, I need your memory.

DARIA: I'm using it, thanks. And I don't think it's removable.

QUINN: (frustrated) Dammit, Daria, could you just be serious for once in your damn life!

HELEN: Quinn! Language!

Quinn looks slightly abashed.

QUINN: Sorry, Mom.

HELEN: Daria, you could at least hear her out before you say no.

DARIA: If it will shut her up, sure. Go ahead Quinn, what does my memory have to do with helping you?

QUINN: I need to learn my lines for the play.

Daria looks at Quinn, waiting for more.


QUINN: And you have a very good memory for words. I need you to show me how to memorize all my dialog. There's an awful lot of it.

DARIA: What part did you get?

QUINN: Kate.

DARIA: (incredulous) Kate? O'Neill cast you as Kate? You're doomed.

QUINN: (downcast) I know. (looks up at Daria) Please? Sandi's going to be insufferable if I screw up after beating her out for the part.

DARIA: What's in it for me?

QUINN: Chores for a week? (Daria just looks at her) Two? Three?

DARIA: One month.

QUINN: A month!

DARIA: Or...

QUINN: (suspicious) Or?

DARIA: Two weeks, plus you pay for me to take Tom to Chez Pierre.

QUINN: You're not supposed to take guys out, they're supposed to take you out. And isn't Tom rich? It's not like he can't afford it.

DARIA: Quinn, if you ever dated a guy more than once, you'd know that having them pay for everything gets old, fast.

Quinn throws her hands up.

QUINN: Not you too! What is this, a conspiracy? If I wanted a steady boyfriend, I'd have one. I like dating someone different each time. It adds variety.

JANE: This is really more than I need to know.

DARIA: Me too. So, a month, or two weeks plus a meal, your choice.

QUINN: (resigned) A month. I can't afford a meal at Chez Pierre.

HELEN: How about two weeks, and I'll cover the meal.

QUINN and DARIA: You would?

Helen smiles.

HELEN: Daria, I think you wanting to take Tom out for once is a great idea.

DARIA: Hmm. Must be something wrong with it then.

Helen looks hurt; Daria looks contrite.

DARIA: Joke, Mom. Yeah, I'll take that deal.

QUINN: Great, so when can we start?

DARIA: Well, Tom and I were going to help Jane paint scenery for the play after school tomorrow. You come too, and we can work on your lines while Jane spatters the walls.

JANE: Those aren't spatters. Every drop is planned. Or, at least, inspired.

DARIA: Right. And if you believe that, I've got some swampland for sale, cheap.

Interior. School Auditorium Stage.

The curtain is up and scenery flats constructed of cardboard and light wood stand about, in no particular order. Most are unpainted; the ones that have been painted are in dark, gloomy, colors, and have the appearance of stone walls.

Jane enters, on crutches, followed by Daria and Tom carrying cans of paint, and Quinn trails the group, carrying a daypack.

JANE: Okay, paint goes over there (gestures) and I'm going to be working on this wall (gestures to partially painted scenery wall), so we need to put the drop cloth in front of it.

Tom and Daria set down the paint, pick up some painters drop cloths, and spread them in front of the wall.

DARIA: How's that?

JANE: Looks good. Tom, can you roll that scaffolding over here?

TOM: Sure.

Tom goes off screen, and returns pulling a small platform about five feet high, set on small wheels, with a steel frame and railing.

JANE: Leave it over by the doorway, I need to finish some trim first, then I'm going to need it. Where'd you put the can labeled "shadows"?

DARIA: Right here, Jane, do you want me to open it?

JANE: Nah, you and Quinn go study, my hands work fine; it's the leg that's broken.

Jane hobbles over and sets down the crutches, then opens a paint can and begins to stir. Daria and Quinn turn to go, and Jane looks up.

JANE: Tom, can you stay here? I'll need a hand with the scaffolding in a bit.

Tom looks at Daria, who nods.

TOM: Sure. I brought a book; I'll be over here reading, yell when you need a hand. Or a leg.

Daria and Quinn exit, Tom sits on a chair at the edge of the stage, and Jane hobbles over to the scenery and begins to paint shadows on the already painted stones, adding a three-dimensional look to the wall.

Interior. Classroom.

Quinn and Daria enter and turn a couple of desks to face each other. Quinn pulls out two copies of the script on loose pages clipped together, and hands one to Daria.

QUINN: Daria, is it okay to leave them together? Didn't they have a big fight when they broke up?

DARIA: How did you hear about that?

QUINN: Oh, Joey's older brother has a friend who dated Tom's sister.

DARIA: That's quite the intelligence network you have.

QUINN: Being popular is more work than you might think. I have to know what people at other schools are doing before anyone else here does. But you didn't answer my question.

DARIA: They got along fine on the school trip, and Tom can outrun Jane now so I'm not worried.

QUINN: If they're getting along, aren't you worried they'd get back together?

Daria looks surprised, as if the idea hadn't crossed her mind before now.

DARIA: Uh, no. I trust them both; they wouldn't do that to me.

QUINN: You and Tom did it to Jane.

DARIA: That was different. Jane and Tom broke up.

QUINN: I heard they broke up after you told Jane at school that you kissed Tom.

Daria really looks worried now.

DARIA: Quinn, I'm not going to worry about that. I trust them. Now, do you want to learn these lines or not?

QUINN: Not. (grins) But I'd better do it anyway, or I'm going to look pretty foolish on stage next week.

DARIA: You're going to look foolish anyway.

QUINN: Gee, thanks.

DARIA: Hey, what are sisters for?

QUINN: (smiling) Target practice?

Daria smiles, and bends over the script.

Fade out and back in.

Quinn and Daria are both standing, holding scripts. Daria looks at hers, while Quinn reads from memory.

DARIA: (as Petruchio) Now, by Saint George, I am too young for you.

QUINN: (as Kate) Yet you are withered.

DARIA: (as Petruchio) 'Tis with cares.

QUINN: (as Kate) I care not.

DARIA: (as Petruchio) Nay, hear you, Kate. In sooth you scape not so.

QUINN: (as Kate) I chafe you if I tarry. Let me go.

DARIA: Very good, Quinn. You didn't miss one word.

Quinn smiles, a very tired smile.

QUINN: It's about time. How much more of this is there?

DARIA: Lots. Ready to change your name and move to another country yet?

QUINN: You wish.

A smile flits briefly across Daria's face.

DARIA: Every day.

QUINN: Daria, what is this play about, anyway? These two seem to hate each other, but by the end they're all lovey-dovey, and the other daughter starts out meek, but then at the end she's telling Lucentio where to get off.

DARIA: It's about how people sometimes act differently from their real natures.

QUINN: That part I understood, but why do they change?

DARIA: I'm no Shakespeare scholar, but you could say it's because love transforms people. Or you could say the Bard had a cynical streak even deeper than mine, and it's just about women trying to trap men into marriage, and men treating women as property. It's either very sexist, or it's forcing people to confront their own sexism.

QUINN: But people don't really act like that.

DARIA: Look in the mirror.

QUINN: What?

DARIA: You act like an airhead around your friends so you'll be popular. Is that really any different? And what about those three guys you've been leading on for the last two years?

QUINN: But that's not the same! I told them the first week I met them I wasn't going to go steady with any of them.

DARIA: And they keep hoping they can change your mind, while you exploit them to fetch food and drinks like a pack of hunting dogs. Quinn, that's no different than pretending to be meek until someone marries you. Either way you're basically saying that the other person doesn't really matter to you, that what's important is what you want, and that lying to them to get it is okay. That's degrading, and sexist.

QUINN: I am not sexist! That's something guys do!

DARIA: Sexism is treating someone as an object, not an individual, because of their gender. Guys may be better at doing that, but they don't have an exclusive title. It's one of your least attractive features.


DARIA: C'mon, let's go get something to drink, and then we can start the next part.

The two set down their scripts, and walk out of the room.

Interior. Stage.

Jane has painted shadows on all of the stones along the lower part of the wall.

JANE: Tom, I'm going to change paints, then I'll need you to help me with the scaffold.

Tom sets his book down and walks over, taking the paint can from Jane.

TOM: Here, let me take that. Which can do you need?

Tom goes over to the collection of paint cans on the floor.

JANE: The one labeled "stone", but I need to stir it first.

TOM: I know that, Jane, did you think I'd forgotten everything you taught me about paint?

Jane looks thoughtful, as Tom opens the can, and stirs it.

JANE: (quietly) I don't know, you forgot about us awfully easily.

Tom looks up from the paint.

TOM: I didn't forget about "us", Jane. We just drifted apart.

He picks up the paint and walks over.

TOM: Here.

JANE: Okay, put it on the platform, and pull it over there (points to the doorway on the scenery), then you'll need to help me up onto it. (she doesn't appear happy)

Tom moves the platform into position, and sets down the paint can. Then he turns to Jane.

TOM: Ready?

JANE: (reluctantly) Guess so; pick me up.

Tom picks up Jane, and carefully lifts her onto the platform, where Jane rolls to a sitting position.

TOM: There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

JANE: (serious) I'll survive.

TOM: Do you really hate me that much? I may deserve it, but I didn't think you did.

JANE: I don't hate you; it's just that being held brings back some memories I'd been trying to forget.

TOM: Oh.

Jane picks up her brush, but doesn't start to paint. She's looking at the wall intently, unmoving.

JANE: I don't hate you, Tom, and I was as responsible for our breakup as you were. But you really did betray me by kissing Daria before we broke up, and that hurt. It hurt alot.

Tom, with a sad look, leans on the side of the platform.

TOM: Yeah, I did. And I know that saying I'm sorry doesn't change anything, but I really am sorry I handled it the way I did. (looks up at Jane) We were a couple for six months, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't mean to hurt you.

JANE: But you did anyway.

TOM: I know. Do you think we'll ever be able to be friends? You're still important to me, and as long as Daria and I are a couple, we're going to keep meeting each other. It would be easier if we didn't have to watch our every word.

JANE: We should try. I did enjoy spending time with you. You're a pretty decent person when you're not a jerk.

TOM: (slight smile) Thanks, I think.

JANE: (serious) But, one thing: Daria isn't as strong as me. If you hurt her the way you hurt me, she isn't going to bounce back in a couple of months. If that happens, you'll answer to me, and I promise you it won't be pleasant.

TOM: (equally serious) I promise; I have no intention of hurting Daria, and I think I've learned how not to break up. (pause) You realize, you were my first real girlfriend? I'd dated other women, but you were the first person with whom I had a relationship of any real depth. I didn't know how to end it when it was over.

JANE: Really? You never told me.

TOM: Well, it just sort of happened. I don't think I realized it myself until the end. We packed a lot of good times into those six months.

JANE: (nostalgic) Yeah. Remember the webcam?

TOM: (mock irate) How can I forget? Playing air guitar to millions. I'm going to be traumatized for life by that. I'll never be able to play a guitar again!

JANE: (laughing) You never could play guitar.

TOM: (laughing) And it's all your fault.

Daria and Quinn enter. Daria looks surprised.

DARIA: Well, I see I don't need to have worried about bloodshed.

Tom and Jane stop laughing, and look at Daria with vaguely guilty looks.

TOM: We were just reminiscing about last spring. Remember the air guitar incident?

DARIA: How could I forget? But I didn't think you found it funny.

TOM: I didn't, then, but in hindsight it was.

JANE: Are you two done studying already? I'm just getting started here.

QUINN: It's been over an hour, Jane. We were going to go get some soda from the machines; do you want anything?

JANE: Sure, get me a cola. If one of you will push me up to the wall, I'll get started on the next part.

Daria and Tom push the scaffolding up near the wall, and Jane stands up and begins to paint. The other three walk off.

Interior. Cafeteria - Day.

Quinn, Stacy, Tiffany, and Sandi are eating lunch. Sandi has a copy of the script open next to her, and appears to be reading it in between bites of salad.

QUINN: So we've spent every afternoon and evening last week rehearsing dialog. I still don't know all of it, but I'm over halfway done. I think my head is going to explode before Friday gets here.

TIFFANY: Eww! Quinn, that's gross.

STACY: Yeah. Make sure you do it when we're not around, huh? I just bought this blouse.

QUINN: Funny. You can laugh, you don't have any dialog to memorize.

STACY: That's 'cause I was smart enough not to try for a lead role like you two.

TIFFANY: So, how's your dialog coming, Sandi?

SANDI: I don't know what Quinn's complaining about, it's not that hard to learn lines.

QUINN: Well, Sandi, you have a lot fewer lines than I do, and if it's that easy, why are you studying your dialog during lunch?

SANDI: (superior tone) Because, Quinn, I have a life outside of school, and I'm not going to waste my evening studying if I can do it here.

QUINN: Okay, okay. But Daria's taught me some tricks for memorizing stuff that really work. I'd be happy to teach them to you, if you'd like.

SANDI: Thanks, Quinn, but I'm doing fine on my own.

Exterior. High Hills Park - Day.

The park appears deserted, and the barren trees lend a desolate air. Leaves blow along the path in a light wind.

Sandi and Upchuck are walking through the park, apparently on their way home from school. Sandi has a pack slung over one shoulder. Both are wearing light jackets.

SANDI: Oh, Chuck, she's so infuriating! (imitates Quinn's voice) I'd be happy to teach you how to memorize stuff, Sandi, 'cause you're too stupid to do it on your own like me. (returning to her own voice) That conceited little bitch!

UPCHUCK: I know you don't like her, but she can't be that bad, can she?

Sandi sighs.

SANDI: No. She probably even meant it seriously, it's just the way she said it that got to me. And it's not that I dislike her. I like Quinn, but when we're together we're like that stuff you mix that fizzes.

UPCHUCK: Vinegar and baking soda.

SANDI: Yeah, that. Put us in the same room, and we rip each other up. Anyway, she was saying that her sister taught her some tricks for memorizing dialog. You know anything like that?

UPCHUCK: Not really. I've never acted in a play or anything. The closest I've come is MC'ing for a dance, or a game, but you don't need to memorize stuff for those, just write it down.

Sandi slumps, disappointed.

SANDI: Oh. Well, I'm not going to give her the satisfaction of asking for her help. Can you spend some time drilling me on my dialog? I know we were going to see a movie, but I haven't been able to learn as much of it as I need to, and I really don't want to look like an idiot Friday.

UPCHUCK: Sure. We can see the movie this weekend, after the play. If we spend the rest of the week working on your lines, you should learn them in time.

SANDI: Thanks, Chuck. You're a lifesaver.

UPCHUCK: I could make something very suggestive out of that remark.

Sandi pulls away with an outraged look.

SANDI: Chuck!

UPCHUCK: Grr. Fiesty!

Sandi laughs.

SANDI: Tease. Sometimes I still have trouble believing you've changed, (she leans against him) but I'm really glad you have.

Interior. Tom's Car - Night.

Tom and Daria are sitting in the car, parked in front of the Morgendorffer house.

TOM: There you go, door-to-door service.

DARIA: That's what "give me a lift home" usually means.

TOM: Aww, and I wanted you to think it was something special.

Daria responds in a more serious tone, but Tom appears not to notice and continues in a lighthearted manner.

DARIA: Well, it can't be that special, you gave Jane a lift to her house yesterday.

TOM: But that was so she could get some of her painting supplies. It's not the same thing as spending time with you.

DARIA: Are you sure? You've been spending a lot of time helping her with the painting, too.

Tom seems to realize she's not joking.

TOM: Huh? Of course it's not the same, you're my girlfriend, even if you don't like that word, and you asked me to spend time with her, so you could tutor Quinn. Remember?

DARIA: Yeah, I know.

TOM: Daria, are you accusing me of something, and if so what? And why?

Daria looks down, scowling.

DARIA: No, I'm not accusing you of anything. You just seem to be awfully friendly with Jane all of a sudden, and I'm surprised. I keep expecting you two to do the "pistols at dawn" routine, and you don't.

TOM: Well, it's nice to know I'm not predictable, but it sounds like you're jealous.

DARIA: (with some heat) I am not jealous!

Tom holds up his hands, placating.

TOM: Okay, okay, I retract the suggestion. So, why are you bothered by us being friends again? It's not like we're getting all sentimental, we're just acting civilly to each other. We actually managed to do that a little on the school trip, and you weren't bothered then.

Daria mumbles something indistinct, looking down.

TOM: What?

DARIA: I said I was bothered, I just didn't show it. I don't know, maybe I am jealous. That's pretty stupid, huh? I steal Jane's boyfriend, and then get jealous of her relationship with him. Damn.

TOM: Whoa, there. You didn't "steal Jane's boyfriend". I made my own decision. It's not like you seduced me away from her. That relationship was over, we just hadn't admitted it. And we don't have a "relationship" now to be jealous of, we're just friends.

DARIA: Are you saying I'm not attractive enough to seduce you away from Jane?

TOM: Of course not! That's not what I said at all!

DARIA: Well, it sure sounded like it to me!

Daria opens the door and climbs out.

DARIA: I'll see you later!

TOM: Daria, wait! Let's talk about this...

Daria slams the door and walks away.

TOM: ...don't leave it like this! Damn.

Tom watches her walk to the house, without looking back. After the door closes, he puts the car in gear and drives away.

Interlude II (a video montage with music):

Quinn and Daria, rehearsing.

Sandi, reading her script at lunch.

Upchuck and Sandi, walking in the park.

Daria, slaming the door of Tom's car.

Commercial Break


Interior. Morgendorffer Living Room - Night.

Daria and Quinn are sitting on the sectional sofa, holding scripts. Quinn looks tired, with her hair hanging limply. Daria is reading her script intently, while Quinn rests the hand holding hers on the sofa next to her.

QUINN: (tired) Oh, God, aren't we at the end yet?

DARIA: (distractedly) Almost there, just the closing speech by Kate left.

Daria flips the page, and continues reading. As she reads, her face begins to take on an annoyed look.

DARIA: (quietly angry) I should have known!

QUINN: (tired, but interested) What? Is there something wrong with the script?

DARIA: (irritated) Someone rewrote the ending. Probably Mr. O'Neill couldn't handle it.

QUINN: (more alert, interested) Why not, and what did he change?

DARIA: In Shakespeare's play, Kate gives a long speech explaining how she was wrong to question her husband, in this travesty she's yammering about 'building a partnership based on shared goals'.

QUINN: But, Daria, why would you like the original? That's a terrible thing for her to be saying.

DARIA: That's the point. If she's serious, then Petruchio has broken her spirit with his mind games. That forces the audience to think about their own behavior. It's not pleasant, but at least it's honest. But there is another way to present it, using the same words. A good actress can show Kate conforming to society's prejudices in the interest of harmony, while remaining the independently-minded woman she's been all along. The only change is that now she's in love, and has a reason to play the game. Pretending to be someone other than you really are to get along in life is still a universal situation, even today.

QUINN: But you were accusing me of doing just that the other day!

DARIA: Quinn, just because people expect you to play games like that to make them feel good isn't sufficient reason to do it. Even the 'pleasant' version of the play still has an unpleasant message: society expects conformity, and penalizes people who go their own way. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm no conformist, and I happen to think enough of you to believe you could get along just fine if you didn't try to live that way either.


Quinn looks at her sister, who's still scowling at the script.

QUINN: I think that's probably the nicest thing you've ever said to me.

DARIA: (smirks) Yeah, well there's no witnesses, so I'll deny it if you ever tell anyone.

QUINN: Who'd believe me? (smiles) So, what do we do?

DARIA: You'll have to do the script the way it's written. There's no way to get the other actors to learn the real lines in time. (looks at Quinn) And, to be honest, you're not a very good actress, so I don't think you could pull off a convincing independent yet meek Kate.

QUINN: Gee, thanks. I see you're back to your usual self.

DARIA: (smiling) Yep. Just a momentary lapse.

Interior. School Hallway.

Quinn, walking down the hallway, sees Upchuck at his locker, and walks up to him.

QUINN: Uh, Up... I mean, Chuck, can I talk to you?

UPCHUCK: Sure, Quinn, what's up?

QUINN: Is Sandi okay? She hasn't really said much to me since the audition. I'm really having a hard time learning dialog, so I figure she must be too, but she won't let me help her.

UPCHUCK: She's doing okay, she's just mad that you got the part she wanted. She'll get over it eventually. Why do you care, anyway? I thought you didn't like her.

QUINN: (urgent) No! Did she say that? (quieter) I like Sandi. I guess I don't show it very well, but I do. I hate it when we fight.

UPCHUCK: Well, you wouldn't fight as much if you weren't always trying to be better at everything than she is. And, for that matter, if she wasn't doing the same thing to you. If you want to be friends, you both need to work at it more.

QUINN: Yeah, I suppose. Anyway, thanks for letting me know she's okay.

UPCHUCK: Sure, anytime.

Interior. Pizza Place - Night.

Jodie and Daria are in a booth, eating pizza by themselves.

JODIE: So, where's Jane tonight?

DARIA: Painting madly, trying to finish up before the play tomorrow night.

JODIE: I thought you were helping her with the painting?

DARIA: I was, but there's only so much I can take of paint fumes before I need a break.

JODIE: I can see that. So, when are the three of us going to get together for another movie night?

DARIA: I dunno. Jane and I haven't been talking much outside of painting. Things are a little strained right now.

JODIE: Are you two fighting again? What about?

DARIA: No, not us. Tom and I had a fight, and I'm avoiding Jane because of it.

JODIE: Daria, that makes absolutely no sense.

DARIA: Yeah, I know. But the fight was about Tom and Jane being friends again, and I don't want to fight with Jane, so I've got to straighten this mess out myself before I talk to her, or I'll probably say something stupid.

JODIE: You're jealous? C'mon, Daria, Tom left Jane for you. How can you be jealous?

DARIA: I know it doesn't make any sense. I'm just being insecure. I know Tom likes me. I'm just afraid it's too good to be true.

JODIE: Yeah, I know that feeling.

DARIA: You? But you and Mack have been together longer than I've known you.

JODIE: Uh, huh. And he's the Captain of the football team, and there's always some cute cheerleader batting her damn plucked eyebrows at him at practice. I know he loves me. And I know he knows they just want him for the status. But emotions don't have anything to do with knowledge.

DARIA: So, how do you deal with it?

JODIE: I tell Mack how I feel, and he makes sure I know there's nothing going on. We even get a chuckle out of some of the dumber ones who just never learn.

DARIA: So, I should talk to Tom?

JODIE: Yes, and Jane too. They both need to know you're worried. They're your friends. If there's really nothing happening, they'll make sure you know that.

DARIA: And if there is something going on?

JODIE: Then at least you'll know. But really, Tom left Jane for you, I don't think it's very likely he wants to go back. You and he are much more compatible.

DARIA: Yeah, but like you said, knowing it and feeling it isn't the same. I'll see them both at the play, I guess I can talk to them then.

Interior. Backstage.

The backstage area is ready for the play, with scenery flats for a street scene standing up front. The viewpoint is from near the curtain, looking back at the scenery. The flat has a decorative balcony on the second storey, and several open doorways on the first. Other scenery is back against the rear wall, waiting for later scenes. The curtain is down, and various students, not yet in costume, wander around.

Sandi is walking about the stage with a copy of the script, rehearsing her lines. Quinn is standing, talking to Stacy, near the curtain. Joey and Jeffy are throwing a Frisbee through the windows of the scenery, with poor accuracy (Joey is behind the scenery, Jeffy is out front).

STACY: (to Quinn) I'm so nervous! How can you be so calm?

QUINN: (to Stacy) Calm? Who's calm? I'm just too terrified to panic.

Stacy laughs, and Sandi looks their way with a hostile glance. The Frisbee bounces off the scenery, and lands on the balcony.

JEFFY: (to Joey) Damn, it's stuck on the balcony.

JOEY: (distant) I'll get it.

QUINN: (to Stacy) I wish Sandi wasn't still mad at me for getting the part.

STACY: (to Quinn) What did you expect? Trying out for the play was her idea, after all. You weren't thinking about it until she brought it up.

QUINN: (to Stacy) Yeah, but I couldn't let her try out alone. She'd be even more insufferable if I'd ignored it. (affects a "Sandi" voice) Gee, Quinn, don't have what it takes to act in a play, huh? (normal voice) I'm damned either way.

In the background, Joey is leaning through one of the scenery windows from a stepladder behind the flat. Sandi is walking in and out of doors in the flat, avoiding the end where he's climbing on the ladder, but otherwise focused on her script.

QUINN: (to Stacy) What is that idiot doing up there?

Joey carefully steps out onto the balcony, reaching for the Frisbee.

STACY: (to Quinn) He's trying to pick up that Frisbee they've been throwing around.

QUINN: (to Stacy) Well, he's going to break the scenery. It's just some light wood, it isn't meant to hold someone.

Joey picks up the Frisbee, and throws it down to Jeffy. When he does, the balcony drops noticeably, and begins to peel away from the wall it's attached to. Oblivious, Sandi walks out of a doorway at the far end, standing under the balcony.

QUINN: (yells) Sandi, look out! The balcony's falling!

She points up, but Sandi just turns her back and concentrates on the script. Quinn runs towards her, as the balcony gives a lurch, and more of it tears free from the wall with a ripping sound. Surprised, Sandi turns to look at Quinn, but continues to stand under the balcony.

QUINN: (yelling) Don't stand there, move! It's going to fall on you!

Sandi looks up, finally realizing her danger, but seems to be too surprised to react. Quinn, still running, tackles her, pushing her back through the doorway as the balcony pulls free along it's full length, and falls where she was just standing.

Cut to: Jeffy.

Jeffy helps Joey up from the wreckage of the balcony; in the background other students can be seen running towards the disaster. Quinn and Sandi are nowhere to be seen.

Cut to: Behind the scenery.

Sandi lies on the floor. As she sits up, the camera pans to reveal what she sees: Quinn, lying half under the fallen balcony in the doorway of the scenery flat.

SANDI: Quinn! Oh no, Quinn, are you okay?

Quinn looks up, her face tightly drawn with pain.

QUINN: (weakly, gasping between words) No. Get. This. Off. Me.

Other students run up, and argue about what to do. Mack joins them, and begins to organize them to lift the wrecked balcony off of Quinn.

MACK: Now, lift it carefully, and don't move Quinn. Watch out for nails, and splinters. (turning to her) Quinn, stay put until the paramedics arrive, you don't know what could be broken.

QUINN: (weakly) Yeah.

SANDI: (visibly upset) Oh, Quinn, I'm so sorry. Why did you do that?

QUINN: (weakly) You were. Too busy. Ignoring me. To move.

SANDI: Yeah, but why didn't you just let it fall on me? Why'd you let yourself get hurt?

Quinn manages a weak smile.

QUINN: (weakly) Wasn't... Planning... To get... Hurt.

Sandi manages a halfhearted chuckle, and Quinn joins her, then gasps.

QUINN: (weakly) Ohh. No laughing... Ribs... Hurt.

Daria runs up, and kneels down beside Quinn.

DARIA: Quinn! Oh, God. What happened?

SANDI: She saved my life. That thing would have landed right on me.

QUINN: (weakly) Hey, Daria. It's... Just a... Bruise.

DARIA: Right, and why are you gasping like a beached fish, then?

QUINN: (weakly) Okay. Big... Bruise.

Mr. O'Neill hurries up; meanwhile the students have lifted the balcony away. Quinn remains lying down.

ONEILL: Quinn! Are you okay? Can you stand up? Let me help you.

Daria stands up and steps between Mr. O'Neill and Quinn, aggressively.

DARIA: (irate) Are you nuts! She's not moving until the ambulance gets here!

Mr. O'Neill steps back, dithering, and wringing his hands.

ONEILL: But, the play! We need her! Oh, this is terrible!

Other students have gathered around the fallen Quinn, looking concerned, but not knowing what to do. Jane limps up on her crutches.

DARIA: I think my sister's health is considerably more important than your play. Get her understudy to cover the role. She's going to the hospital, and I don't think they're going to let her out anytime soon.

ONEILL: Understudy? We had enough trouble finding one set of actors. There is no understudy!

QUINN: (weakly) Daria... Knows... My... Lines.


QUINN: (weakly) You learned them... With me... You can... Take my place.

MACK: Quinn, it's probably not a good idea for you to be talking. Is she right, Daria, do you know the lines for Kate?

DARIA: Knowing the words doesn't mean I can act. Or that I'd want to.

QUINN: (weakly) Not leaving... Until... You... Agree.

DARIA: Quinn, Mack's right, you shouldn't be talking. You could have internal injuries and you'll just make them worse by moving more than you have to. As for leaving, what makes you think you have any say in the matter?

ONEILL: (nearly crying) Daria, please? We've got hundreds of people coming in less than an hour. We can't just send them home!

DARIA: (unmoved) Why not?

JANE: Well, for one thing, if you do they'll never see my scenery. What's left of it, anyway.

MACK: Please, Daria, we've all worked very hard on this play. It would be terrible if all that work was for nothing.

Two paramedics run up, pulling a stretcher, and move the crowd away from Quinn.

DARIA: Quinn, I'll call Mom and Dad and have them meet you at the hospital.

QUINN: (weakly) Please... Do it... For me.

PARAMEDIC: No talking, Miss.

Daria looks torn, and worried.

DARIA: Okay, Quinn. But you'd better believe you're going to owe me for this.

Quinn smiles weakly. It turns into a grimace as the paramedics lift her onto the stretcher, and carefully strap her in.

QUINN: (weakly) Fine. Owe. You.

The paramedics roll Quinn away, and Daria turns to Mr. O'Neill.

DARIA: So, how were you planning to stuff me into Quinn's costume? I'm a bit larger than she is.

ONEILL: Oh dear. I hadn't thought of that. I'm sure we can do something. Come with me and we'll talk to Ms. Defoe.

DARIA: You go ahead. I need to phone my parents first.

Mr. O'Neill walks off, and the paramedics wheel Quinn away as well. Daria turns to Mack.

DARIA: Mack, we need to talk about the play. Could you come with me while I make my phone call?

MACK: Sure.

Cut to: A small office, apparently near the stage.

The room has a desk, and several faded posters from previous school plays, as well as some storage cabinets and a stack of folding chairs in the corner.

Daria is seated behind the desk, hanging up the phone. Mack stands nearby.

DARIA: That's done. Okay, about the play. You know the script we have has been modified from Shakespeare's original?

MACK: Yeah, Jodie thought it was done to tone down the Kate/Petruchio conflict.

DARIA: Probably. There's plenty of precedent for such interpretations. But I don't like it, especially the way the whole ending has been replaced with this saccharine "we're all friends" travesty. It removes all of the honest fire from their relationship.

MACK: Daria, I've read the real play. You can't seriously want to present Kate as a meek and subservient woman with all independent thought crushed out of her by her husband. Can you?

DARIA: What do you think?

MACK: (laughs) Okay, so what are you really suggesting?

DARIA: It's possible to perform the original play, and make it clear than both Kate and Petruchio are paying lip service to convention, while actually forging a more equal partnership. It's not easy, and I'm not sure I can do it, but I'd rather try to present the play Shakespeare wrote than a censored version. Done correctly, it challenges the audience to think about their own behavior. But to do that, you need to present Petruchio as a sympathetic character from the beginning. I don't know how you were planning to perform the role, but here's what I think you need to do...

Interior. Auditorium.

The play is in progress on the stage, with a scene set in a street. The backdrop is the wall that formerly had a balcony, still showing the scars of its removal. Onstage are Daria (as Katherina), Jamie (as her father, Baptista), Sandi (as Bianca), Jeffy (as Gremio) and Jamie (as Hortensio), as well as two other students (as Lucentio and Tranio).

Daria is speaking, and with rather more emotion than she usually shows. She appears to be caught up in the role. The boys are more wooden in their delivery, and appear to be reading cue cards from off-stage, pausing occasionally in their speech.

DARIA: (as Katherina, to Jamie) I pray you, sir, is it your will to make a stale of me among these mates?

JAMIE: (as Hortensio) 'Mates', maid? How mean you that? (pause) No mates for you unless you were of gentler, milder mould.

DARIA: (as Katherina) I'faith, sir, you shall never need to fear. Iwis it is not halfway to her heart - but if it were, doubt not her care should be to comb your noddle with a three-legged stool and paint your face, and use you like a fool.

JAMIE: (as Hortensio) From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!

Jeffy pauses, looking off-stage.

JEFFY: (as Gremio) And me too, good Lord!

The camera pans to show Jane and Tom in the audience, sitting with Jodie.

JODIE: She's good. Where did she learn to act? I've never seen her show so much emotion.

JANE: Oh, she does, just not in public.

TOM: Yeah, she usually controls herself when there are other people around, but she's not doing that now. I think she's enjoying herself.

JANE: And O'Neill's videotaping this, too. I'm going to have to arrange a "bad movie night", and substitute the tape.

Jodie looks sternly at Jane, but her words belie her appearance.

JODIE: That's cruel. Invite me, please.

TOM: I think I'll duck the event, she's mad enough at me already.

JANE: Huh, what are you two arguing about now?

TOM: I'm not really sure, but I think it's you.

JANE: Ah, recent events begin to make sense.

JODIE: What does?

JANE: She kept ducking out of helping me with the painting, even after she promised to help. It's not like her to go back on her word. But if she's feeling jealous of Tom's and my friendship, that's exactly how she'd act; avoiding me to avoid conflict.

TOM: Can you find some way to reassure her there's nothing to be jealous of? She isn't listening to me, and it's driving me crazy.

JANE: I don't know, she and I need to talk before that can happen.

JODIE: Well, you're right about the cause, and she was planning to talk to you tonight. She spoke to me yesterday.

JANE: Then I just need to make sure I'm alone with her for a short time. The drive home should work.

TOM: I hope so.

Fade out and Back In on the stage.

Daria, Mack, Jamie (as Hortensio) and two other students (as Lucentio and Vincentio) are foremost on the stage, with several others, including Sandi (as Bianca) and Stacy (as the Widow) standing further back, observing.

Daria is in mid-speech, delivering her lines with an ironic tone that undercuts their apparent meaning.

DARIA: (as Katherina) But now I see our lances are but straws, our strength as weak, our weakness past compare, that seeming to be most which we indeed least are. Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot, and place your hands beneath your husbands foot. In token of which duty, if he please, my hand is ready, may it do him ease.

As she finishes, the look she turns on Petruchio is challenging, not subservient. Mack's response is humorous, as he sees past her words and accepts that Kate isn't going to bend to his will except as necessary for social convention.

MACK: (as Petruchio) Why, there's a wench! Come on and kiss me, Kate.

Daria and Mack embrace, although they don't actually kiss.

STUDENT1: (as Lucentio) Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou shall have it.

STUDENT2: (as Vincentio) 'Tis a good hearing when children are toward.

STUDENT1: (as Lucentio) But a harsh hearing when women are froward.

MACK: (as Petruchio) Come Kate, we'll to bed. We three are married, but you two are sped. (to Lucentio) 'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white, and being a winner, God give you good night.

Mack and Daria walk off stage.

JAMIE: (as Hortensio) Now, go thy ways... (pause) thou has tamed a cursed shrew.

STUDENT1: (as Lucentio) 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed so.

When he stops speaking, there is total silence in the auditorium for a long moment, and then someone begins to clap. More join, and the camera pans over the audience, showing faces, many with shocked and disbelieving looks. More of them begin to clap, and to stand, until the entire audience is on their feet, clapping madly.

Cut to: Stage wings, with Mr. O'Neill, Daria and Mack.

Mr. O'Neill has his face buried in his hands. Daria and Mack look out at the audience, as the sound of applause swells.

ONEILL: (muffled wailing) Oh God, I'm dead. The school board is going to fire me. Why did I ever let Ms. Li talk me into this?

DARIA: (to Mack) Hey, I think we pulled it off.

Mack smiles, broadly, as he looks out at the audience.

MACK: No, you pulled it off. They look like they don't know what hit them, but apparently they liked it.

DARIA: Or they're so embarrassed that they have to act like that to avoid acknowledging it.

MACK: Either way, a success.

Mr. O'Neill looks up, tears streaking his face.

ONEILL: (incredulous) They liked it?

DARIA: Yep. Looks like your job is safe, at least this week.

Mr. O'Neill breaks into a broad grin, and embraces Daria, who recoils.

ONEILL: I knew you could do it! I knew it!

DARIA: (urgent) Mr. O'Neill! Control yourself!

He quickly lets her go, and steps back.

ONEILL: (apologetic) Sorry! I'm just so overwhelmed. I never thought this could work, and when you departed from the script I thought it was all over.

DARIA: You want me to perform Shakespeare, you get Shakespeare. You've known me for over two years; didn't you see this coming?

ONEILL: I knew you'd do it well, but I wasn't expecting you to do it this way.

The camera pans to the audience, which is still standing, and applauding.

ONEILL: What are you two waiting for? Get back out on stage and take a bow!

Daria and Mack look at each other, shrug, and head out onto the stage.

Interior. Backstage.

Daria, still in costume, is sitting on a folding chair. Other students, some in costume and some not, mill around or sit on other chairs.

Jodie walks up with Mack in tow.

JODIE: Daria! That was incredible. You make an excellent Kate. I didn't know you could act.

DARIA: I didn't either, but it wasn't as hard as I thought. I'd been living that dialog for two weeks coaching Quinn, and I guess it made an impression.

Jodie looks more serious.

JODIE: How is she? Any word?

DARIA: Mom and Dad stopped on their way to the hospital and left me Dad's car, but they didn't have any news then, except that it didn't seem too serious.

JODIE: Well, that's good news. It could have been much worse. Is anyone going to do anything to Joey and Jeffy?

MACK: Ms. Li said there'd be a disciplinary hearing next week. They'll get suspended for a couple of weeks, but unless Daria's parents want to press charges that's probably the end of it, after all they didn't intended to hurt anyone, and Quinn threw herself under the balcony.

JODIE: Yeah. Um, no offense Daria, but who'd have thought Quinn would do something that selfless.

DARIA: None taken. She surprised me, too. I guess even though she and Sandi fight all the time, she actually cares about her. Either that, or the tackle was some new form of aerobic workout.

Jane hobbles up on her crutches, followed by Tom.

JANE: Hey, discussing the pink linebacker?

JODIE: Jane!

DARIA: (smiling) Yep, we think she's going out for football next year.

MACK: Hey, she'd probably be a better quarterback than Kevin.

JANE: There are things in my refrigerator that could call better plays than Kevin. Anyway, I wanted to tell you, your Mother called during the play. Quinn's fine, two broken ribs but apparently nothing else wrong. They're going to keep her overnight, and your parents will be home late, but they said to tell you it was okay if we took your father's car out for pizza or something.

DARIA: (to Jodie) Want to join us?

JODIE: Sorry, Mack and I have dinner plans. I'm taking him to Chez Pierre to celebrate.

MACK: (surprised) You are?

JODIE: (smiling) Oh, did I forget to tell you?

Jodie and Mack walk off, leaving Daria, Jane, and Tom together.

DARIA: So, I guess it's just us.

TOM: Looks like it. Why don't I go ahead and get a table, and you two catch up after you change into normal clothes.

JANE: Sounds like a plan, see you there.

Tom gives Daria a kiss.

TOM: By the way, you were incredible onstage.

Daria blushes, and looks down.

DARIA: (mumbling) Thanks.

TOM: Hey, none of that. You were good. Accept it.

JANE: He's right, you know. I'd never have believed you could act in such an emotional role, but you really made Kate come alive. Of course, maybe it's not acting. Crusty exterior, soft center, sounds like someone I know.

DARIA: Jane! I'm not like that! (quieter) Am I?

TOM: No, you aren't nearly as unpleasant as Kate on the outside. The part about a soft center's right, though.

Daria blushes again, as Tom hugs her.

JANE: Hey, you two can do that later. Right now, I'm hungry.

Tom and Daria disengage, and Tom starts to leave.

TOM: Okay, I'm going. Hurry up yourselves.

As Tom walks away, Sandi, Stacy, and Tiffany come over to Daria.

SANDI: Uh, Daria, have you heard anything about Quinn?

DARIA: She's fine. Two broken ribs, but they're going to let her come home tomorrow.

STACY: Oh, thank God!

TIFFANY: Yeah. Are they going to let her have visitors tomorrow morning?

DARIA: I don't know, but if you call the hospital they should be able to tell you.

SANDI: Great, thanks.

The three wander away, talking animatedly.

JANE: Weird. I thought they killed and ate their wounded.

DARIA: They're getting mellow in their old age.

Interior. Jake's Car - Night.

Daria is driving, with Jane in the passenger seat. The car pulls into the parking lot of the strip mall containing the pizza place, and Daria shuts the motor off.

DARIA: Jane, before we go in, there's something I want to talk to you about.

Jane looks over at the serious expression on her friends face, and tilts her head slightly.

JANE: Gee, let me guess, Tom?

Daria's eyes widen, and she looks at Jane, who's grinning, then down at the steering wheel.

DARIA: Uh, yeah. Um, I've been a real idiot all week, and I wanted to apologize for not helping you with the scenery as much as I'd promised I would.

JANE: So amiga, what were you being an idiot about, hmm?

Daria turns to Jane, and takes a breath.

DARIA: (rushed) I was afraid of losing Tom to you. Back to you. (slower) So I ended up pushing the two of you together.

JANE: Thought so. (pauses briefly for thought) Look, Daria, Tom's a nice guy, and I enjoy his company. More than I would have expected I would. But what the two of us had last spring is over. I've got some good memories, and some painful ones, from then, but they're memories.

DARIA: I still feel like an idiot for being jealous.

JANE: And so you should, my friend, so you should.

Daria looks over at Jane with a hint of her usual humor.

DARIA: You don't need to be smug about it, "gimpy", just because we're friends doesn't mean I won't leave you to hobble home.

JANE: Heh, after this week, I figure you owe me.

DARIA: I'll buy the pizza. Deal?

JANE: Two. I'm starving.

DARIA: Works for me, being on stage takes a lot out of you.

JANE: Oh, but you and Mack make such a nice couple. Jodie should be jealous.

DARIA: Please. Once was enough. Mack's a great guy, but I'm never going to get a in a car alone with him.

JANE: And speaking of young Thomas, is that him I see inside?

DARIA: Looks like it.

JANE: And it looks like he's bought the pizza, so you'll have to owe me.

DARIA: Okay, okay. Can we go inside now, or would you like to gloat some more?

Jane opens the car door, reaching into the back seat for her crutches.

JANE: Let's eat.

Interior. Hospital Room - Day.

Quinn is sitting up in bed, leaning on a large pillow, reading an issue of Waif. The door opens, and Sandi sticks her head in, but doesn't enter.

SANDI: (diffident) Hey, Quinn, can I come in?

Quinn sets down the magazine, and looks in Sandi's direction with a smile.

QUINN: (excited) Sandi! Come on in, I'm just re-reading last month's issue.

Sandi enters, carrying a large Cashman's bag. Quinn looks at the bag with a small frown.

QUINN: (disappointed) Did I miss a sale today? I don't remember there being one this weekend.

SANDI: This? No, I just brought you some stuff.

She sets the bag down on the edge of the bed, and pulls out some folded clothing (jeans and a pink top), several magazines, and a video tape.

SANDI: I went by your house, and your mother gave me some clothes for you. She said they were going to let you out this afternoon, and she thought you might want to get dressed before your folks came to pick you up.

QUINN: Yeah, thanks, I'm just waiting for the doctor to come in and look at the results from the CAT scan they did last night, but the technician said it was fine: no injuries other than the two broken ribs.

SANDI: So, why does the doctor need to look at the results?

QUINN: Probably so he can bill the insurance company for doing it. What's the other stuff there?

SANDI: Well, I brought the new issue of Waif, and a couple of other magazines. I figured you'd have read everything they had here already, and if they weren't letting you out until later you'd be bored stiff.

QUINN: Yeah. I think I've memorized the color-matching tips in this issue. What's the tape, a movie?

SANDI: No. Mr. O'Neill taped the play last night. I thought you might like a copy. Your sister did pretty well, but you should see the way Joey kept messing up his lines. It's hilarious.

Sandi laughs, and Quinn laughs too, but her heart doesn't seem to be in it. Sandi notices, and abruptly stops laughing.

SANDI: (concerned) Are your ribs still hurting? I'm sorry, I should have realized laughter wasn't something you'd be doing yet.

Quinn looks down at the closed magazine in her hands, resting on the bed.

QUINN: (quieter) No. I'm just disappointed I missed it.

Quinn looks at Sandi. Takes a deep breath.

QUINN: I'm also sorry I took the part away from you. If I hadn't, you could have done it last night, instead of Daria. I feel really bad about that.

SANDI: Don't. I hadn't realized how much dialog Kate had. I could never have learned it all in time. You kept me from making a fool of myself, as well as saving me from that balcony. You've got nothing to apologize for. I should apologize to you for being such a bitch about it.

QUINN: Yeah, but I didn't do it to help you. I did it to beat you.

SANDI: So? We've been competing for everything since you moved to town. Why should this be any different?

Quinn is visibly shocked.

QUINN: But don't you mind?

Sandi looks at Quinn, organizing her thoughts before speaking.

SANDI: I mind losing, but winning wouldn't be any fun if it was easy. Until you came along I only had Stacy and Tiffany to compete with, and they give up too easy. You're the only one who can challenge me. I knew that the first day I met you; why do you think I made you the vice president of the Fashion Club?

QUINN: I thought you did it to keep me from trying for the presidency.

Sandi smiles.

SANDI: That too.

Quinn chuckles, a real, deep, laugh, and winces, putting one hand on her ribs.

QUINN: Oww. No laughing today. But Sandi, I want to be your friend. I don't want to fight all the time.

SANDI: You are my friend. You've been a better friend to me than I've ever been to you. Not just last night, but also when I quit the Fashion Club; Stacy told me you were the one who convinced her and Tiffany to hang out with me on the hike.

QUINN: Yeah, but we keep fighting, and I'm just as much to blame as you.

SANDI: Maybe we'll always fight. Neither of us is going to accept being second best. My Mom taught me that I had to be number one or be nothing, and that how I made it didn't matter as long as I won. Even though I think she was wrong, I still act like that when I don't stop to think. And anyway, trying to be number one isn't wrong, what matters is not hurting other people while you try.

QUINN: But we can't both be number one.

SANDI: No, we can't. But that doesn't mean we have to be enemies. Sometimes you'll win, and sometimes I will, but as long as we remember we're friends, we should be able to lose without taking it too personally. I need to remember that, and do a better job of being your friend.

QUINN: Think so? I'd like that. But is that friendship? I thought friends were people who liked each other so much they didn't fight.

SANDI: Well, I don't think so, but how would I know? I don't have any real friends other than you. Stacy is kind of like a friend, but I have to be careful how I behave around her, or she freaks out. You're the only person I can be myself with, other than Chuck.

QUINN: Eww, Sandi, what can you possibly see in him? He's not popular, he dresses terribly even with your influence, and he's still the same guy who installed a video camera in the girls' locker room. He's not just a geek, he's an unpleasant geek.

SANDI: I know you don't like him, Quinn, but he's not that bad. He's really kind of shy underneath; I think he just acted like that to keep people from getting too close. And he's really changed since we started dating.

QUINN: Even so, he's still a geek. What's to like?

SANDI: He actually listens to me when I talk. He asks my opinion about things. Nobody I'd ever dated before cared if I had a mind or not. I'm not book-smart like you, but I still have a brain, and opinions, and it hurts when someone treats me like part of the scenery.

QUINN: But we've always cared about your opinions. Why do you need him, too? Boys are just for taking you out and buying stuff.

SANDI: You'll understand when you get a steady boyfriend.

QUINN: Maybe. But I like having guys fight over me. Who needs one, when I can have a bunch?

SANDI: Trust me, one's better. Look at Tiffany and Jamie.

QUINN: You remember his name?

SANDI: Of course I do. If you thought about him as a person, instead of a mobile cup holder, you'd remember his name too. But you don't, and that's why you lost him to Tiffany.

QUINN: Funny, Daria said almost the same thing the other day. I hope Tiffany's happy with him; I always liked him best out of the three, even if I couldn't remember his name. He doesn't have Joey's mean streak, and he's smarter than Jeffy.

SANDI: Brittany is smarter than Jeffy. All three of them are losers. If they weren't, they'd have caught on years ago that you'd never date any of them. You can do a lot better. So can Tiffany, but she seems to be enjoying herself for now, and I guess that's what matters.

QUINN: Yeah. Have you seen Stacy or Tiffany today? I was hoping they'd come to visit.

SANDI: They'll be over later. I told them I wanted to talk to you alone first.

Sandi pauses, looking thoughtful.

QUINN: What is it, Sandi?

SANDI: Well. I've been thinking. How would you feel about putting the club back together?

QUINN: Fine by me, but Stacy and Tiffany were the ones who quit. They're the ones you need to convince.

SANDI: They said okay, on three conditions.

QUINN: Oh. What conditions?

Sandi ticks off the three points on her fingers.

SANDI: One, you have to agree; two, we need to admit Brooke and any others who want to join; and three, we need to hold an election for club officers after we admit the new members.

QUINN: But we won't be exclusive if we let just anyone in. And what if people who don't know anything about fashion want to join?

SANDI: I think that's their point. Besides, those of us who've been doing this for years will have an advantage. We can give seminars on color coordination, or makeup, and show the new members how to be fashionable. If we prove we know our stuff, we can probably get our old jobs back even with an election.

QUINN: What do you mean, our OLD jobs? I'm going to be president this time!

SANDI: (smiling) Over my dead body.

QUINN: (smiling) If that's what it takes.

The camera freezes on the two of them smiling, and the credits roll.

Authors Notes:

The title - There are some scholars who think Love's Labors Won was an alternate title for The Taming of the Shrew (both that and Love's Labors Lost appear in a contemporary list of the Bard's early plays, but The Shrew does not, and no such play exists today). The "Undone" part is a reference to the Daria/Jane/Tom subplot, and the theme of Quinn and her dates, as well as Daria's restoration of the plays original ending.

My source for the following information is an edition of the play from the Cambridge University Press, The New Cambridge Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew, which has extensive historical and analytical notes (edited by Ann Thompson, ISBN 0-521-29388-x in paperback). I like Shakespeare, but I'm no academic, I just enjoy the plays, so all of this was new to me.

The Taming of the Shrew - This is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays, perhaps even his first. It lacks the polish of his later works and was apparently written before 1592 (Shakespeare is believed to have started writing plays around 1590, although some have proposed dates in the 1580's). The primary plot (Katherina and Petruchio) derives from folktales common at the time he wrote it and/or other sources. The subplot, with Bianca and Lucentio, derives from the play Supposes, by George Gascoigne, which in turn derives from Ariosto's I Suppositi, written in 1509, and there are further antecedents back to Roman times. The play is something of an anomaly among Shakespeare's works, in it's seemingly hostile approach to women. This has caused its presentation to be modified at various times, with dialog intended to balance the two sexes, or by presenting it wholly as farce. Typical recent changes include having Katherina obviously fall in love with Petruchio at first sight, to soften the later taming, and the modification of her closing speech. There is, apparently, much that a skilled actress can do to make the role of Kate less negative, while still remaining true to the source material, especially when paired with an actor who can present Petruchio as sensitive and caring. But the play remains, fundamentally, negative and even disturbing in it's central theme.

So, why did I pick this play? Well, at first it was because I misremembered it (I think I was confusing it with Much Ado About Nothing). When I actually read it, I nearly switched to another play. But the idea of a play that nobody wanted to produce, and that Daria was trapped into participating in, was too tempting to let pass. That also helped to explain how the former Fashion Club wound up acting in it rather than the Drama Club we know (from the list of clubs in the Daria Database, Pocket Books, 1998) that Lawndale High has. Finally, it provided a basis for Daria to comment on Quinn's treatment of her fan club via the parallel with Bianca, and to act against literary revisionism by presenting the real ending.

Daria as a skilled actress may seem like a reach, but I don't think it is. Much of acting comes down to understanding a role, and she clearly loves literature and is the sort of person who would look past the surface to understand the motivations of the characters. The technical skill of presenting the characters words and emotions is more problematic, but she has had experience speaking onstage in public, and the critical part required irony, a form of speech with which she is very familiar.

This tale started out as the story of Quinn and Sandi's relationship, with Daria/Jane/Tom and the play as subplots. The play, and Daria's involvement in it, came to dominate the story as I wrote it.

Random notes:

Maybe you should have checked with your guardian angel before you tried that dressing? - This is a reference to Groped By An Angel, where Sandi gets an upset stomach from bad salad dressing, after telling Quinn her guardian angel told her to eat it for her complexion.

Just where were the two of you when the electricity went out, anyway? - Tiffany and Jamie's relationship started in Strange Bedfellows, during a power failure.

We've been to your apartment - Daria and Jane saw Mr. O'Neill's apartment, complete with incense, in The F Word.

Daria's " appearance at the coffeehouse" occurred in Cafe Disaffecto, where she read one of her Melody Powers short stories, and incited an anti-communist riot.

trompe-l'oeil - Literally "deceives the eye", a style of painting intended to provide an illusion of reality. Sometimes used in buildings to make them look larger than they are with illusory corridors or windows.

The webcam - Jane's webcam, and the air guitar incident, appeared in Psycho Therapy. But there weren't "millions" of viewers. There were, in fact, less than ten hits the entire time it was set up.

Joey's mean streak - A reference to the events on the bridge in Strange Bedfellows.

Quinn and Kate - Quinn finding the older and less popular sister "more interesting" is a trifle ironic. However, in the play the younger daughter, Bianca, is pretty much a non-entity. Kate gets all the interesting lines and action, so it's not unreasonable. I'm sure the irony of the situation didn't escape Daria, but Quinn appears to have been oblivious.

Where do we go from here? Well, I'm not planning any more stories in this series at present. When I wrote Breaking Strain, I knew I wanted to explore Sandi's character (which I did in Strange Bedfellows, and further here) and her relationship with Quinn. But this story concludes what I'd planned back then. I suppose I could do something with Tiffany, or Quinn's inability to commit to a steady boyfriend, but neither really appeals to me at the moment. I'll certainly write more Daria stories, but not necessarily the further adventures of the Fashion Club.