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Pretty good episode, with lots of exploration of Daria's family life. Plenty of specifics to comment on, but I'll start with the entire Jane-Cam subplot, which didn't seem to have a whole lot of purpose. What it does manage to do is highlight a pair of relationship problems; first Daria and Jane, as Daria walks out on her. This one is pretty minor, and probably doesn't mean all that much in the long run, but it is interesting in light of the amount of time Daria spent watching the thing. I don't know why she was never shown reading this episode. If she was bored, that seems a far more natural outlet than her little voyeur period. The other relationship problem is, of course, Jane and Tom. It seems like every episode since "Partner's Complaint" that they've both appeared in has had some sort of fight. The "at least I'd have my eyes closed" in "The F Word", the "You big dope" in "I Loathe a Parade", and now this.
On to the Morgendorffer family therapy day. Quinn seemed rather shallow this episode, but that's probably because there was no Fashion Club around to give her slight depth a comparative boost. She was well in character, and that "Okay, okay" upon being order out of Jean-Michelle's office was great. I do wonder about her little hypnosis bit, however. I'm assuming she was just faking it to get attention, but I wonder if she was really under. The people most susceptible to hypnosis are the most trusting of others (which is why I couldn't see this working on Daria at all).
Jake was in fine form all episode, with his milk-induced relaxation state, taking Daria's jokes too seriously, flying off the handle at Helen... we unfortunately didn't really learn that much about him this episode, but he was at least consistent with his earlier presentation. It's interesting that he's willing to stand up to Helen with just a little encouragement. The dinner theater scene was, sadly, not that much of an exaggeration on either Helen or Jake's part.
Helen's final report was just exactly as expected for her. The word-association scene was great, especially her "waste of freakin' time." She certainly tyrannizes her poor assistant...
Daria is obviously the most well-adjusted person in that family.
That's not saying much, but this isn't the first time we've seen it,
either. I want to hit a minor point before going on, namely Daria's
diet. If she routinely eats things like chocolate cake for breakfast,
she must have a pretty good metabolism to be staying that thin. She
certainly hasn't been eating exactly balanced meals as long as the
series has gone on (remember the pig-out scene in "Arts 'N Crass"?).