Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#406 (4-45), "I Loathe a Parade"

MDRR #406 (4-45) I wouldíve gotten away with it, if it werenít for those meddling kids!

Their Own Little World - Helen and Quinn both seemed to be immersed completely in their own little universe. At least theyíre both listening to Dariaís sarcastic comebacks enough to realize that they are sarcastic comebacks. If they only knew that the bathroom held the key to finding what they were looking for (whoíd of thunk it?).

She Can Really Move - Come to think of it, how exactly did Quinn get ready and get into the parade so quickly? By my figuring, she only had about fifteen to twenty minutes, from the time she walked past Daria in the living room to the time we saw her on the parade float.

Walk of Shame - First of all, I think Daria probably knew about the parade and forgot about it (she does go to school, after all). Either way, she was stuck there, and had a mission to complete (not to mention that getting as far away as possible was a top priority). But at every turn, there was some impedance. About the only thing that was certain was that she wasnít going to make that $20 (and that Jake would end up stranded).

Just a Tad - One of the first of those interruptions came in the form of a lost little boy named Tad Gupty. Daria tried her best to help quickly, but that wasnít possible once he turned on the waterworks. As for Tad himself, it seems that the mind deprogramming didnít completely work - he still doesnít eat sugar (What do I expect, little kids usually listen to their parents).

Float Away, Already - What a bunch of pains in the ass are the Fashion Club? They make the three Jís (probably willingly) pull their float and then they come up with the idea to makeover some unsuspecting parade goer, which might have worked, if they didnít pick the last person there that would agree to it. It was actually good for Daria to have Tad along; he did easily show heís at least as mature as Sandi. The most pleasing part of their exchange was when he called her a "mean, old witch" and she responds with, "Iím not old."

Donít Forget Us - The mini C-story (I say "C" instead of "B" because it only lasted two or three scenes) with Mack and Jodie brought up an interesting point. Were they homecoming royalty because Lawndale feels guilty? Of course, we have no way or knowing. Jodie ends up not caring in the end, as long as young kids, who might have to go through similar situations, can see her in a positive light.

Just Stop, Stupid! - Looking past the obvious absurdity of a zombie football player decapitating a paper mache penguin, the best way to avoid hitting retreating cheerleaders would be to stop the float, not swerve. I know, I know, it wouldnít have given Daria the chance to get "lost in the moment."

Analyze This - We all know what the biggest part of this episode is, that would be Tom and Dariaís little adventure. The real question is what the implications of this get together will be. Weíll just have to wait and see (more than likely, thisíll be a major part of at least two more episodes this season and maybe even part of the movie). What we can do, however, is take a look at what did happen here. The big thing is that Tom got Daria to smile at least four times, which proves to me that her hostility toward him is virtually nonexistent. (I can hear someone saying "but Mike, she still said a lot of nasty stuff to and about Tom." I would chalk that up to either force of habit or the fact that she is still fearful of losing her best friend because of him.) Daria was, at the very least, intent on not showing that she was having a good time because that would be like admitting defeat. Tom, for his part, was sincere, but maybe a bit too sincere. For instance, after the unfortunate float fire and the ensuing conversation about "knowing how Jane is," he just had to add, "thanks for getting lost in the moment." He seems to like Daria; thereís no question about that. The question is how much. With the way he looked back while he left with Jane, it might be more than most of us thought. And the feeling could end up becoming more than mutual (Daria all but said "oh no, not again" with her expression).

There arenít many bad things I can say about episode. Despite a mildly slow start, that quickly picked up by the middle of Act I, I Loathe a Parade was hitting on all cylinders. There was nearly no lack of relevance, every scene was important. Additionally, this episode could very well become the perfect set up for the rest of the season. (I say could because we donít know whatís going to happen later. Also it seemed to me that the staff of the show thought that this one would end the first half of the season. Thereís far too much meat in it.) We all know that Daria and Tom should at least be friendly because of their views are complementary, just like Jane and Daria (like the whole "avoiding vs. embracing the nightmare" philosophies). I remember saying that this episode had no real chance of being average, it would be great or horrible. Iím glad it was great.

Grade: A

Daria as a Whole #1, Alter-Ego of the Week - This week Iíll go with Miss Li, as the stripping soccer player.

Daria as a Whole #2, Didja Notice? - It seems that everyone noticed that just about every peripheral character that has ever appeared on Daria was somewhere in the background of the parade, so I wonít bother to try to list the ones I saw (though Iíd have to say that the girl that waved to Jodie looked like the same one on the big wheel in Daria!). However, thereís got to be an interesting story behind Rock ĎN Roll Randy and Dr. Shar hooking up.

Daria as a Whole #3, Plethora of Pigskin - There has been a large dependence on football so far in season four. Thatís wouldnít be too bad, if it didnít mean that Kevin and Brittany would show up.

Copyright © 2000 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

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