Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#402 (4-41), "Antisocial Climbers"

MDRR #402 (4-41) Two questions: am I getting too cynical? And are these things getting too long?

At Whom Should We Really Be Mad? - Quinn or her fan club. Itís true that she manipulates the three Jís into doing almost anything and they tend not to think too clearly around her, but they should shoulder some of the blame for forgetting the supplies. Mack, whoís probably already had more face time than in all of season three, seems to be the only one that even gets close to being mad at the three Jís. While Iím not defending Quinn for valuing her loads of unnecessary gear over food and water, but if those guys even thought about it for a second, there might not have been a problem.

Can It Be? - Did the standoff between Sandi and Quinn finally boil over into life changing occurrences? Yeah, if by "life changing," you mean "for a couple or minutes." Sandi temporarily had Quinn kicked out of the Fashion Club for a stupid skin care "charge" (as opposed to having a large part in stranding them without supplies). However, the expulsion became short lived when Quinn started bribing Sandi by giving her stuff. At least she did join the cheerleading squad while waiting to be reinstated.

What Was the Point? #1 - Did anyone else think that the Sick Sad World promo was somewhat gratuitous? It didnít even really comment on any part of this episode and put an awkward pause in the scene it was in.

Made Up Word of the Week - "halternative" I thought that one was funny.

Intimacy Challenged - Iím going to go out on a limb here and say that one of the reasons that Helen and Jake are still married, is the fact that they communicate on completely different levels. This is how I would try to explain the inconsistency in their attempts at intimacy in this episode. Itís almost as if they canít even talk to each other without an interpretation or a diversion, like Mr. DeMartino (BTW, charades has to be one of my least favorite games of any kind). The scene where Jake brings in the "snow turkey" is representative. When Helen asks him about being intimate, he gets whiny and asks if theyíd not already "done that."

Crazy - I know I just commented on the sanity of Lawndaleís faculty last week with some comments about Miss Bennettís relative normalcy, but this episode shows just how nuts the rest of them really are. Miss Li is nothing if not consistent, sheís always looking to make a quick buck for lavish security, even if it puts her students in jeopardy. Mr. DeMartino was obviously on a half hearted suicide mission. He seems too afraid to live and too scared to die. Miss Barch, for as tough as she tries to be, folded fairly quickly in an adverse situation. Finally, Mr. OíNeill, who knows he has some sort of asthma (or else he wouldnít have an inhaler) goes on a hike in the woods, with a lot of pollen. No wonder these kids donít learn much.

Soul Search - I wonder exactly what Daria and Jane might have been thinking while they were braving the elements. While it isnít the best idea to be wandering around in the woods in the middle of a blizzard and they were in danger I think they both knew that things would more than likely work out somehow. This is sort of shown through how they tried to "make piece" with each other before meeting their maker. After the appropriate apologies related to each otherís love lives, come the more wise ass remarks about being an only child and blue M&Ms.

What was the point, #2,Ö - Öof leaving Kevin stranded in the woods, forgotten by the bus? Itís not like we havenít seen that ending before. Letís see if thereís a pattern: there was Sandi, left at the paintball range in The Daria Hunter; Kevin, stuck in the car with Brittany in Fair Enough; the Fashion Club, locked outside in Daria Dance Party; and, well, you get the picture.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this episode isnít particularly bad when viewed independently for the rest of Daria-dom but when coupled with the fact that there have been a bunch of episodes with very similar scenarios played out in entirely different venues, Antisocial Climbers loses some of its luster. Maybe I should just learn to accept a filler episode here and there but, at the very least, an effort should be made to fill the filler episode with something different. That being said, Iíll have to admit that Antisocial Climbers is probably one of the stronger episodes of this ilk, if only for some of the funny one-liners and most of the Helen and Jake subplot. The only other point Iíd like to make is that some of the outcomes and occurrences were a bit too easy to predict.

The Final Verdict - The Daria Hunter on the side of a mountain, but a little bit better.

Grade: B

Daria as a Whole #1, Alter-Ego of the Week - This week Iím declaring a tie between Jodie as Jimi Hendrix because it was good and Jane as a Green Beret, holding a gun because it was appropriate.

Daria as a Whole #2, Writer Watch - According to the credits, this episode was written by Jill Cargerman, a new addition to the Daria writerís club. Iíd have to say that this comes as a bit of a surprise, since this episode seemed to have "written by Peggy Nicoll" written (chuckle) all over it.

Daria as a Whole #3, Miscellaneous - It seems that Quinn has changed her shirt for goodÖ. If Iím not mistaken, this is the first time there has been a flashback sequence that used clips from past episodes.

Copyright © 2000 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

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