Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#208 (2-21), "Gifted"

MDRR #208 (2-21)

Character Development?? - There appears to be some character development in this episode. Jodie seems to have become more of a best friend to Daria now. Daria and Jodie seemed to have found some common ground or at least some mutual understanding of how each other operates. It seems that Grove Hill can bring out the best in some people. Quinn also is growing, too; which is more surprising. She seems to be fed up with the whole fashion club scene and is smart enough to go to someone smart (Jane, in this case) when she needs help.

Marital Trouble - Helen drops some not too subtle hints that she doesn't really like Jake. As some have noted, maybe Helen's embarrassment and frustration over how they handled the Landons in this episode could have contributed to her disposition. It was funny to see her react the way she did to the Landons (she couldn't say anything right, she knew it and couldn't do a thing about it). Jake doesn't seem to like being a 'team' player anymore- at least under Helen's definition of their team. Maybe it's because he's sick of Helen taking control of everything. On the plus side, he did get his bribe.

Hit the Mute Button - Kevin & Brittany are much more interesting when they don't say all that much. Her face after being told to "rent a brain" is hilarious. Kevin's (and Mack's) homage to Bart Simpson was amusing- "I will write until my hand is numb"

Grove Hill - At first, Daria was somewhat seduces by the Grove Hill environment of no stupid people. The novelty wore off after talking to some of the people whom have taken advantage of it. They all but admitted to being a bunch of jerks through their behavior. They wouldn't talk to someone because they had slightly lower test scores - that's ridiculous.

This episode may become infamous for one thing: the introduction of Linda and some of the rest of Sandi's family (more below). All kidding aside, Gifted is a good transitional episode that helps to bridge the gap between the beginning and end of the second season. Daria starts to realize that there are people out there that can understand how she is without trying to change her. I'm also glad that Daria and Jodie didn't switch books at the end. The goods outweigh the bads, for me.

Grade: B+

Daria as a Whole- In the original Initial Reaction Review of this episode (which was the first one ever written), I made a comment that I hoped that Helen's competitive streak would be 'downplayed more in the future' episodes. It seems that the opposite happened in Fair Enough and Pierce Me. We all know she is competitive, we don't need Linda or anyone else to tell us otherwise.

Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

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