Mike's Delayed Reaction Review-#412 (4-51), "Fire!"

MDRR #412 (4-51)

Pardon Me, While I Burst Into Flames - Now we know another thing that happens when Jake has too much caffeine - he starts fires. What I thought was most interesting about the whole thing was how they all reacted, they were all kind of panicky, except for Daria. The most enjoyable part of it for me was when Jake answered Helenís rhetorical "what were you thinking?" But the fire itself, caused enough damage to put the Morgendorffers in a hotel for two weeks, which, of course, ended up starting a bunch more figurative fires. A couple more points of interest, as far as Helen and Jake are concerned. First, they seem to be only capable of relating well on a physical level, which seems odd to me since theyíve been married for so long (not that couples married that long canít relate well that way, itís just that this is the only way that Helen and Jake do). Also, they seemed to really need a break from their every day lives, and their little "trip" allowed them some of that chance to get away and relax (maybe too relaxed), at least for a while.

Tomís First Fatal Mistake - That would be mentioning to Jane that Daria left him a message on his answering machine. He has to be aware of most of the things Jane is concerning their relationship (at least, he should be aware of them). A much more tactful way to ask Jane about going to that film festival would have been, "hey, I heard about this, you want to go?" He could even throw in a "maybe Daria would like to go with us" without causing too much trouble.

We Didnít Start the Fire - One of those figurative fires that were started had a whole lot to do with Daria staying at the Laneís. Jane knows that her relationship with Tom is on the rocks and, after finding out about Daria and Tomís private communications, she knew that Daria would complicate things even more. Daria even knew that she was causing some tension after Tomís second mistake (even though she "played dumb"), which weíll get to in a second, and she didnít want to stay a second night if she didnít have to. Jane obviously wanted Daria out of there also, you could see the disappointment in her face when Daria was forced to ask to stay longer. Jane was kind of caught here, she had to help Daria avoid the hell that is the fashion Club, but at the same time, she knew this could hurt her.

Tomís Second Fatal Mistake - That would be not wanting to go out for pizza after Daria decided not to accompany them. He might as well told Jane to her face that heíd rather hang out with Daria. One of Jane and Tomís biggest problems seems to be that they donít communicate very well. But the way Tom acted was very insensitive, whether he meant it to or not. At least these mistakes are showing that Tom isnít perfect.

Every Breathe You TakeÖ - Bobby certainly seemed to "be watching" Quinn. He started out by sweet talking her and then getting her stuff. And then he showed up just about every place she was. She didnít even consider that he was stalking her until Sandi pointed it out, wither out of concern or jealousy. The oddest part to me was the crime that Bobby was committing. It seemed to be a whole lot of effort to go to for potentially no payoff. He wasnít getting the stuff he was charging and then deleting and Quinn probably wouldíve forgotten about him about five minutes after she left the hotel.

Tomís Third and Fourth Fatal Mistakes - Hereís the easy one. The third mistake was when Tom went to talk to Daria instead of Jane, whatever his reasons were. The topper, and the fourth mistake, was when he kept going on with "morgue talk" after Jane arrived to get him (of course, Daria kept going too, but she wouldnít have had the chance if Tom didnít keep it up).

I Can See Clearly Now Ė Trent is a little more perceptive than I could imagine, even though that "guys can tell" stuff seemed like a load of hogwash to me (because I never have a clue about any of this stuff). He got on to something that Jane had already realized, Tom is somehow interested in Daria (he wouldnít want to talk to her so much if he werenít). Trent was also right about another thing, Daria knows too, but she doesnít (or didnít) want to admit it. She reacted very defensively to Trent when he confronted her with this, but she should listen to him - whatever started isnít really her fault (unless she's hiding something that we don't know about).

There was a lot of stuff that went down in this episode, so many that Iím not too sure I can give them all justice in something as short as this review. First it is obvious that Jane feels that she and Tom are having difficulty. Why else would she be so quick to get angry at Daria for "monopolizing his time?" It definitely started way before any of the events in this episode. A series of big question arises from all of this. First, how does Tomís new found interest in Daria fit into the puzzle? Is it a cause for some of Tom and Janeís problems, or is it the result of them? Second, do we even know what kind of interest he has in Daria? Is he attracted to her romantically? Does he just want someone to talk to about history or literature or whatever? Is she just another friend to him? The problems that pose these questions end up causing even more hardships, like the tension between Daria and Jane that was unlike any they had ever seen before. They also seemed to have less in common with each other, which troubles me because it kind of flies in the face of almost four years of shows, but I digress. If I had to try to figure out this whole mess, Iíd say that Jane has suffered a bit from a case of "getting what she wished for." Tom and Daria didnít get along at first and Jane didnít like that. And now that they do get along, she still doesnít like it because itís threatening to her relationship (Iím sure she didnít expect them to get so chummy, she wouldnít have pushed Daria to try if she did). As for Tom, he seems to want to be able to combine the things he likes about Daria and Jane into one person. He wants the best of both worlds, Dariaís knowledge on things that interest him and Janeís zest for life. I donít think heís trying to hurt anyone - even if thatís what ends up happening. Daria has kind of gotten caught in the middle of all of this. She doesnít quite know how to deal with it because sheís never been in this position before and she may also feel something for Tom as well (she seemed to enjoy talking to him, thatís bound to create some feelings). The episode itself seemed to have two endings - one with Jane and Dariaís last conversation and the other with Daria forlorn look out the window (which felt like it had to be continued written all over it). In the end this episode was just one big question mark. There is no way anyone can figure out where this is going to go, because there are so many possibilities. As long as it goes somewhere.

Grade (on this episode on its own): A-

Grade (in regards to what may happen later): Incomplete

Daria as a Whole #1, Alter-Ego of the Week - Being a fan of The Price Is Right, I can't not go with Jesse as Bob Barker standing next to the Big Wheel (I get the feeling this one was used before, though).

Copyright © 2000 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved].

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