Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#206 (2-19), "Monster"

MDRR #206 (2-19)

Childhood Trauma - There seems to have been an event or series of events (not necessarily traumatic) that made Daria the way she is, especially in her dealings with Quinn. There are two such cases shown or mentioned in Monster. The first is the video they are watching at the beginning with baby Quinn blowing out Daria's birthday candles and the other is Helen's mention of a ballet recital. Quinn has pushed Daria out of the spotlight so often that she doesn't want to try anymore.

It's All Coming Back to Me Now!! - Daria and Jake have at least one 'special' moment in this episode. They both seemed to realize that it wasn't that special but as Jake said, it worked for him (since he couldn't let go of the pain involved in falling off his bike as a child). Jake is a man of dizzying highs and cavernous lows and doesn't want Daria to miss out on the 'golden times,' like he really had any of them himself. This is still the dream, right?

Stupid Conscience - Daria eventually collapsed under the pressure put on her by her mother and sister to 'go easy on her.' Helen's attempt didn't do much except make Daria overly aware of what she was doing (destroying her sister), but she did get to Jane a little bit by saying "do what you think is right" (Jane's response was great- "I don't like the sound of THAT"). Quinn did more of a job by laying an effective guilt trip on Daria and Jane (to a lesser extent). One is left to wonder if Quinn was sincere in her little monologue or did she do this on purpose because she knew what Daria and Jane were about to do.

Which Is My Best Side? - Daria has never been interested much in what Quinn does away from her, so auto-sleep is an appropriate mode for her during the taping. Daria got a lot of good stuff about Quinn including the 'shopping instructions' for 'Guy' and of course the stuff about Quinn's not so cute pores. She didn't use any of this stuff in the long run because she felt bad about it. The even sadder part for Daria is that the movie had the opposite effect that she wanted - it made Quinn even more popular.

I really enjoyed this episode. It wasn't the standard Daria story in that her devious plan was foiled, but it does continue the idea that Quinn and Daria have more common ground than either of them would like to admit. Quinn shows that she does realize how shallow she could be. Except for the repeated lines (I used two of them as section headers - I'll let you guess which ones), Monster was great.

Grade: B+

Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

Daria and all related characters are © 1998 MTV Networks, Inc.