June 2, 2001
Anyone think Jane's wearing that snood a bit too tight? But that's for later.
I'll start with the subplot. This part of the story was wholly believable,
and showed some exploration of a character that's been pretty flat
before now. To take the simpler (no pun intended) matters first, we
seen Tiffany and Quinn in their shallow forms. Not that Tiffany has
any others, so far as we've seen. They're at their manipulative best
(by which I mean most typical) with their combination of obvliviousness
and desire to learn how to cry on demand.
Speaking of which, it'd be interesting to know how much of that plan was from Charles and how much was from Stacy. Since the episode there's been an increased interest in Charles fanfic, so I dare say we'll see something on the subject before long, but we won't see it in canon. Did Stacy just pick the target, or did she help with the planning?
Charles finally got a good appearance. I've always thought there
was more to that guy than hormones. Not that he stopped playing lady-killer
with Stacy, but at least he toned it down. The interest in magic is
right in line with the rest of his character, and as he's progressed
to stage style escape tricks he's put a lot of practice in. Makes
me curious to see what he's going to be after graduation. He certainly
doesn't lack for self-confidence, getting teachers to help with his
I want to touch on the teachers for a moment. Ms. Li was her usual
self, not much to say there except I wouldn't be surprised if the
students gave her a present after graduation. Say, a little round
furry cap with a spike on.
Tom really gets to show off his sense of humor this episode. I'm not sure I can forgive him for starting that "what'd I say" running gag, but at least it shows the three are (mostly) comfortable about the subject. His relationship with Daria seems to be working better than his relationship with Jane did. They may be in a rut, but at least he's willing to try other things if Daria wants to. Not that chain restaurants are a big change.
Daria has Nathan pegged from the start. After some initial attempts to make Jane see sense, she shuts up and lets Jane find out for herself. This is quite a change for her. She's also still not totally comfortable with her relationship with Tom. She worried about being in a rut right away, but when they tried something new it didn't last long. Swing dancing is a bit outside her scope, so I can understand why she wouldn't join in, but that just begs the question of what Jane was doing at the time.
Jane, after all, hasn't been known to swing dance. Not exactly something
you can pick up quick after a couple of fox-trot lessons. Her behavior
this episode was pretty extreme, but I can't say it was out of character.
We've seen her throw herself into things she normally wouldn't do
before, but this is a bit beyond all the others. Wearing the forties
fashion to school seemed over the top. The rest of it certainly fits
in her "fun" category, but why to school? (Oddest part of that is
no one mentioning it besides Daria. I'd expect at least the Fashion
Club to pick up on it.)
Overall this is a funny episode with some good character development among the underused background folk. The main plot is good, but shows a worrying tendency in Daria's best friend. Speculation on "what if Jane hadn't met Daria" (rather than "what if Daria hadn't met Jane") is likely to increase in fanfic because of this. It will be interesting to see if Jane develops another real relationship before the show ends.