Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#313 (3-39), "Jane's Addition"

MDRR #313 (3-39)

Major Tom - Tom was the likeable sort from Jane's perspective. He was witty and charming. Also honest and not the least bit afraid of telling it like it is (or at least how he sees it). In essence, she liked the way he looked and was wowed by his personality. From Daria's perspective, he was a predator intent on devouring Daria and Jane's friendship. This was evident in her reaction to the two of them leaving the club early. All she said was "Great," but she said it in such a way that conveyed disgust and dismay. It was almost an "Uh Oh" type of reaction and it told Daria that she should be at war with this intruder. Daria really tried hard not to like Tom because Jane is smitten with him so quickly. The way she reacted to his unannounced appearance at the pizzeria expanded this. The scowl and subsequent verbal putdowns were enough to shake the knees of even the most confident. Despite all of the hostilities directed his way; Tom remained diplomatic and made a sincere effort to be nice to Daria. He finally forced her into a conversation and made her realize that he wasn't all that bad. He told her how Jane is always talking her up and how that their friendship is too strong to be pulled apart by any one person. She finally conceded that her actions would do more damage than Tome ever could.

Ohhhhh, Jealousy - Daria was more nasty than she has ever been. And not just to Tom. She was being way too overprotective of Jane because she is so afraid to lose her as a friend. The irrationality of her responses was seen in her anger in the pizza shop. She got mad for no real reason. The only thing that Jane could have done to deserve anything like that was her blowing off of Daria in the club. That may have been inconsiderate but it shouldn't facilitate the type of anger Daria had. The fight gets really out of hand when Daria goes to check on Trent's music. They got so carried away that they started to transfer their anger on to Trent. They almost found another way to feel (or at least who to feel it towards). Forgetting what you're fighting about is a good way to stop the fight.

Oddly Placed Possible Reference of the Week - Daria and Jane's final presentation was oddly reminiscent of South Park. It was almost surely unintentional, since some computer animation works that way. It could also be a sly commentary about Daria’s animated cousins that don't move their legs when they walk. You be the judge!

Filler Scenes of the Week - That would be the presentations that we saw that weren't attributed to Daria and Jane. Kevin and Brittany are now full-fledged members of the school spirit cult and Upchuck seems to think he is some sort of deity. On the other hand, Daria and Jane's emotional cycle can be linked to the main plot (If I recall correctly, they are also the five psychological stages that terminally ill patients go through, but it's been a while since I took Psych 101). Daria went through at least some of those stages dealing with Tom and Jane in this episode. She didn't believe what was happening, she tried not to deal with it, she was forced to negotiate a truce, she was angry a lot and in the end she accepted the whole thing.

Multiple Media - Mr. O'Niell's multimedia assignment is such a bad idea for so many reasons. First, he's assuming that his students have some prior knowledge of the software or can learn it quickly. Also, he's expecting his students to be capable of coming up with some kind of production on their own. The project was contrived. However, Daria and Jane's handling of the project is more the point. Jane assumes that she and Daria would work together; that's probably what would have happened anyway but you should never assume. Daria does the words, Jane does the pictures; that's more than appropriate. Trent for the music? That should be well within his capabilities (even though he thought the project was about Mystic Spiral). However, he didn't come through. He is cool, but less than reliable. He doesn't work well in the time restraints that most of the world does.

Shipper Teases of the Week - Daria and Trent's final conversation was littered with phrases that could only be meant to appeal to the thirty some odd percent of us that are 'shippers. There was Trent's "we couldn't get together on this," followed by Daria's "this couldn't work out," and then the both of them were "understanding each other" which put the whole scene at 'shipper critical mass. When Trent apologized and gave Daria a kiss (which was the most contrived scene in Daria history), it felt like they were breaking up from a relationship that never took place. Maybe the intent was to get all of the 'shipper to see the light or make them think that they missed Trent' and Daria's hook up.

Crushed - The crush, as it has been, is over (Hallelujah!). In it's place, the domain of "let's be friends" land now resides. Daria has finally realized that Trent is way too "relaxed" for her tastes. He claims to take his career seriously but is chronically late for gigs. In effect, Daria and Trent find out that they are completely incompatible and that they would drive each other crazy. However, Trent is definitely developing some feelings for Daria and it will remain to be seen where those feelings end up. Too bad she is over him as a love interest. Does this stuff ever work out?

Missing in Action - Quinn, Jake and Helen aren't seen and have three words of dialogue between them. Now they know how Andrea, Mack, Jodie and countless others feel! The only minor characters that don't go away, are the most annoying (the fashion club, Kevin, Brittany, etc.).

This first element that I want to address is the excess of spooge in this episode (it's one reason that I don't read as much fanfic as most people). I can't take too much of the over the top soap opera type shenanigans and they were laid on pretty thick here. I can't remember exactly what the official word was, but the crush is seemingly gone and I couldn't be happier. Daria has figured out that the Trent she idolizes isn't the Trent that lives in Lawndale. Otherwise, Tom tested like Jane and Daria’s friendship never before. One can only hope that he sticks around as a recurring character because he is a rare positive portrayal of the human male.

The Bottom Line - More or less a strong finish. Heavy.

Grade: B+

Daria as a Whole #1, MTV Scheduling - Unfortunately, after this episode originally aired, some screw up at MTV decided not to rerun any Daria except for the ten spot airing for a couple of weeks. Oh well.

Daria as a Whole #2, She Sure Knows How to Pick 'Em - Jane has finally picked a guy that is half decent. In the past her choices were either jerks or pigs.

Daria as a Whole #3, Band Development - Mystic Spiral seems to be getting better but Trent seems to be getting more and more ticked off at his bandmates. Isn't that always what happens, just when a group is getting toward the cusp of greatness, they members start to resent one another.

Daria as a Whole #4, The Review That Wouldn't End - This seems like one of the longer reviews I've ever written, I don't really know why. There was even some stuff that may have been left out about this season as a unit (all will be revealed in the season three review). Other than that, all I want to say is that I've enjoyed this season immensely and appreciate all of the support this whole community has given. Thank you all. Oh, and I can't wait until season four starts (sets alarm clock to February).

Copyright © 1999 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

"Daria" and all related characters are © 1999 MTV Networks, Inc.