Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#401 (4-40), "Partnerís Complaint"

MDRR #401 (4-40) Ė I know my CalculusÖ

Millennial Enterprising - Miss Bennett is probably one of the only sane teachers at Lawndale. The project, to go out and see how a real world financial transaction might take place, was a great idea. It also led us right into the main conflict of this episode Ė Daria and Janeís argument. In the past, any project that would require working in groups would almost guarantee that Daria and Jane would work together, but not this time.

Go Team! - Speaking of working together, one of the funnier parts of this episode was the sequence when Jodie decided to work with Daria, just to make sure she wouldnít have to work with Brittany (especially Brittanyís "radar"). Too bad Kevin and Brittany didnít work together this time. <sarcasm> Iím sure their grades really suffered because of it. </sarcasm>

Tom Tension - Itís good to see that Tom wasnít a throwaway character. He was used very well in this episode for his limited role. Daria is obviously still not comfortable with him and she made this very clear to Jane in the scene where she inadvertently compared Kevin and Brittany to Daria and herself. Though, I donít really think that Jane is exclusively a Tom "worshipper." The situation is at its worst when Daria wouldnít sit down with Jane for some pizza. The sadness was apparent in Janeís face.

Whatís Your Problem? - We all know that Daria and Jodie working together all but cements an ĎAí on the project, however, things arenít perfect in brain-ville. Is what Jodie did at the second bank wrong? Thatís the sixty-four thousand dollar question. My answer is, well, yes and no. Yes, by relying on her fatherís reputation she is in a way cheating and it could probably lead to some bad business habits. However, she was smart enough to realize what she had to do to get the deal done even if it was a road she didnít really want to go down. I think this really points out some of the major difference between Daria and Jodie, as Helen rightly pointed out. Daria looks at things as they should be, if the world were ideal. Whereas, Jodie has a much better feel for real life situations and realizes that things donít take place in a vacuum.

Heart to Heart - Speaking of Helen, I think she was sincere about not wanting to pry into Dariaís business. But Daria, again, is in need of some guidance and does all but ask for it directly. She needed a reassurance from her mother that she wasnít hopeless and she got it. Helen pointed out that having strong beliefs isnít a character flaw, and it isnít, but the way she said it felt a bit heavy-handed to me. But I also though it was good for Helen to direct Daria to Jane, knowing that the only way for them to make up would be to talk about it.

Paybackís a Bitch - Daria tried her best to make it up to Jodie in their presentation and does a good job of it. However, she didnít try to make it up to Jane fast enough. But Jane was big enough to forgive her without getting an apology, which proves to Daria (or at least should prove to Daria) that Jane values their friendship. It was a really strong gesture and I think Daria realizes its importance. How many times has Daria been embarrassed and speechless at the same time (not counting Road Worrier)?

Anti-shipper Tease of the Week - That would be Trentís reaction to Brittany. On the surface, it may look like he might have the hots for her but it was really a combination of a couple of things. First, he was expecting to see Daria and Brittany is NOT Daria. Second, blame the male hormones, he saw a physically attractive girl and he acted accordingly for a guy that likes girls. See, itís not a big deal.

Rest Sleazy - Way to sell cars Wally! Not listening to the customers has to be the best way to sell stuff. Oh, and stalking a high school cheerleader doesnít sound like anything from car salesman training. Boy was he a loser. The other Johnny Cochran-like car salesman really tried to fast talk Kevin and Mack. Not that itís terribly difficult to pull one over on Kevin (fortunately, Mack saw right through it), but I think it may have worked too well - he went and really bought the car anyway.

This episode had nearly everything that makes for a good episode of Daria. There was some real tension and conflict between the characters, which led to some great character development. There was good use of continuity, things that happened before werenít forgotten (especially the way Daria reacts to Tom) which is a refreshing change from the mentality that is prevalent in most episodic TV. There were a couple of things that were over the top (like Wally and Jodie and Dariaís first attempt to start their project). But overall, Partnerís Complaint was a strong episode.

Grade: A-

Daria as a Whole #1, New Animation - It seemed obvious to me that the animators now have a few new tricks at their disposal. The animation was a bit brighter and the characterís movements were more smooth. Iím guessing that theyíre using some kind of computer software (a la Futurama) for some scenes, like when anyone walks in front of a stationary background. I did like it, it just took a second or two to get used to.

Daria as a Whole #2, Alter-Ego of the Week - Iím hoping to make this a regular feature, which will probably become more difficult as the alter-egos start to get reused. Anyway, this weekís alter-ego is Jane as Elec-girl (which is what Iím calling it - anyone who spent hours upon hours playing the original Mega Man on their NES, might know what Iím talking about).

Copyright © 2000 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

"Daria" and all related characters are © 1997-2000 MTV Networks, Inc.