Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#107 (1-07), "The Lab Brat"

MDRR #107 (1-07)

Self Examples - Daria's example of reinforcement sound as if it could be something that describes her. I wouldn't even say anything, if the end of the example didn't go something like 'and the grown child is incapable of showing any emotion' (that's a paraphrase). Some of the stuff she described sounded well within Helen's capabilities: tell her daughter she'll be sent to her real father and using a plane ticket to keep her quiet. Sounds like a lawyer.

Loveslaves - Quinn and Brittany both can be seen as 'slaves' to 'love' in this episode but their situations aren't remotely the same. Brittany is being blackmailed by Upchuck into doing his bidding by the incriminating photographs he had. She doesn't want to be near him. Quinn is trying to throw herself at Kevin but at first every time she talked to him, he inadvertently made her do something for her. Eventually, she began to bake him cakes and get him bears. She wanted to get closer to him.

Good Deal - Both Daria and Brittany thought that they got the better end of the 'Kevin for a mouse' deal. There really wasn't much need for the deal, if Brittany would have realized that Daria wasn't interested in stealing her boyfriend and he only wanted to watch the pigskin channel. Daria told her that directly and it still didn't get through. They were both right about the 'jerk' part, though.

Huh? - Daria's cool exterior and self-alienation work for her now. However, there seems to be an indication that deep down inside, she may want to be popular and have a lot of friends. Notice her reaction to Kevin when it seems as if she's being invited to his party (a far cry from her reaction in "The Invitation"- out of character? You be the judge!) and her apparent disappointment that he wanted to invite Quinn instead.

I really liked this episode. It had it all; it was funny and showed all of the characters at their 'best.' Kevin and Brittany are acting stupid, Quinn is trying to get a date and Daria is twisting an almost hopeless situation to her advantage. 'The Lab Brat" is a keeper.

Grade: A

Daria as a Whole - This is the first episode where Jake had more of a role than 'background vocalist' (he was in 'College Bored' a lot, but didn't have much of a role there). He showed some of the comedic potential that has surfaced in more recent episodes. His interaction with Kevin was great, it was like he wants his own son to talk football with. 'Back in my day, it wasn't called self-love- it was self abuse....'

Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

Daria and all related characters are © 1997 MTV Networks, Inc.