Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#112 (1-12), "The Teachings of Don Jake"

MDRR #112 (1-12)

Eye Popping Goodness - It's a mystery why the blood vessels in Jake's eyes were bursting Yeah, right! It was fairly obvious what was bothering him: money troubles. Oh, and that mid-life crisis had something to do with it, too. He's upset about all those doors closing, the 'entry-level' job that he took (down the wrong path) and the way his father treated him. Taking pictures of him in that state wouldn't have helped but if all of that was bothering him that long, it's amazing that he's held it together as long as he has (there were some things that tend to point to the fact that this wasn't the first time this has happened). Daria was almost trying to get this to happen (to take a picture) by telling Jake how much money Congress spends.

More on the Subject - There is too much for just one entry, so here is more. Jake was trying so hard to relax by going camping (didn't seem possible based on the flashback) that he pretty much missed everything that was said to him. First, when Helen told him to stop 'releasing tension,' Daria and Quinn probably didn't need to know when their father stopped wetting the bed. Also, when Daria made the 'joke' about Jake being discouraged to take the other path by someone. He took her statement at face value, which he shouldn't have.

Helpful Corn, I Mean Hypocrisy - Daria though they were stranded, until Helen's hypocrisy saved the day. She made a big deal about being totally disconnected from the rest of society but couldn't bear the thought of being completely alone. She may have justified bringing the phone after the fact by saying that it was brought along for just such an occurrence (which is a great idea) but any decent lawyer could come up with that one and that reason would be secondary for her.

No Way Out - Both Daria and Jane are in similar but distant situations. They both have to go somewhere they would rather not go (camping, reunion) because of the wishes of their parents. Daria has to sit through boring 'scary' stories, Jake's going somewhat insane on fumes from the mid-life crisis and the rest of her family getting high on glitter-berries. She handled it fairly easily (except for a few tense moment before hearing the phone ring) which is good but she didn't like a second of it(like she would). Jane and Trent, on the other hand, were sent to the family reunion by their parents as 'sacrificial lambs.' They were looking for ways to get away from the second they got off the plane. At the reunion; Jane is asked what is wrong with her, Trent's only redeeming quality (to the rest of the Lanes) is that he is a bum and they are both made to get up early on a Saturday for no reason (croquet isn't a good reason for them). Despite this, the family reunion subplot did have a somewhat happy (and illegal) ending- freedom! It does remind us why our families scatter in the first place.

Of all of the episodes with B-story subplots, this is the one that best integrates the two plots with some common theme that is pretty much constant between the A and B story. It was good to see the Lane family and how different Jane and Trent really are. Finally I would be remiss if I didn't comment a little on the berry 'trips,' they kicked ass. Where can I get me some of those berries?

Grade: A

Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

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