The Daria Annotation File:
The Teachings of Don Jake

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For those of you who don't know, the title is a parody of "The Teachings of Don Juan" by Carlos Castenada. It's about self-exploration through drugs, especially peyote and mushrooms.

Quinn's not doing well in math; she needs a tutor.

Helen doesn't brush her teeth enough.

Princess Grace was an actress (Grace Kelly) who married Prince Rainier of Monaco.

Round suitcases aren't very common. Maybe Jane is using an old cymbal case she got from her brother's band.

Helen's flashback comment about putting in a parking lot is probably a reference to Big Yellow Taxi, by Joni Mitchell, which contains the lines "They paved paradise And put up a parking lot" and was released in the early seventies.

Jane's relative lives in Sloatstown.

The Sloatstown airport isn't anywhere near big enough to get regular traffic from the sort of big four-engine jet that Jane and Trent were riding, they must have transferred somewhere.

Jane's sister (one of them) is named Penny... her parents must be big Beatles fans.

The "eyes-in-the-dark" scene is a play on an old cartoon standard.

Wherever Sloatstown is, it's fairly cold at this time for there to be that much steam coming off of everyone's drinks.

A mimosa is champagne and orange juice... a very Quinn drink.

When Helen faints, Quinn calls for Daria instead of Jake. She's smart enough to realize that in any crisis not needing physical strength, Daria can probably handle it better...

Jake mentions Captain Cutlass, which is the name of a book by Gordon Shirreffs. There was also a comic book using that name, as does a video-game villain (Critical Depth).

Quinn held out against the berries longer than Helen and Jake... both of them out-mass her, and they were both hippies... interesting. Either she ate a lot fewer berries, or she's got some sort of resistance or high tolerance...

Daria reads a magazine called Trash, which has a black and yellow striped cover.


The white banner on the wall in Jane's room turns into taped up pieces of paper in close-ups of Jane's face and her suitcase comes out of nowhere.

The plant in the corner of the Morgendorffer's kitchen is missing in much of the first scene. Also, the sliding door turns into a window at the end of the scene.

The blue stain on the lampshade in Jane's room disappears for a couple of scenes.

On the airplane, Trent is wearing headphones and his necklace, but in the close up, he's only wearing headphones.

When Jane and Trent are on the plane, you can hear the music coming from Trent's headphones, yet when he talks, he talks at normal volume. Most people would talk at a scream with the volume up that high.

The fire at the campsite doesn't seem to have anything to burn. There are no visible logs.

One of the tents at the campsite changes position while the stories are being told.

In the middle of Helen's story, she mysteriously moves closer to Jake without getting up (perhaps not so mysteriously, considering her story).

At the table, Trent is wearing his headphones again, but in the close up,the headphones disappear and his necklace is back.

An extra stump appears at the beginning of the bad trail in the close-up of Daria and Jake talking.

The rock that Helen sits on to fall asleep moves by the time Quinn starts her "trip" on berries. Notice Helen's backpack (which was leaning on the rock) is now on the ground, and later leaning against a tree near Daria.

The cell phone Daria uses looks more like a cordless phone handset.

Daria doesn't appear to hang up the cell phone before she dialing 911.

Why would Daria call Jane's house if she expected her to be out of town?

Double Meanings:

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Similarities between "The Teachings of Don Jake" and "The Teachings of Don Juan"

In "The Teachings of Don Juan" the book is split into two parts, as is "Don Jake". However, that's about the only similarity in structure. "Don Juan" is first the account of what Carlos experienced, and then an analysis of his experiences. However, it isn't fragmented as "Don Jake" is, both parts are whole. This is just a minor similarity, and is probably a coincidence, but it's there.

The biggest similarity is the death overtones shown in "Don Jake". "The Misery Chick" seems to have totally obliterated this from people's minds, but in "Don Jake" there is quite a bit about death (not even counting Daria's story). Jake is having his mid-life crisis, and Helen points this out to Quinn, who doesn't understand. Now, to relate this to "Don Juan" I'll have to set a little background info. "The Teachings of Don Juan" is the recorded experiences of Carlos Castenada, who became Don Juan's apprentice. Don Juan was a 'man of knowledge', and was teaching Carlos how to become one. There were, according to Don Juan, four major enemies a man would face on his path to knowledge. Fear, clarity of mind, power, and old age. I'll be analyzing the references to the first three (and there were quite a few) later on this week, for now I'm concentrating on the last. Old age was the enemy you could never totally defeat, it would eventually win. According to Don Juan, the only way to totally lose the fight against any of these enemies was to give up. Jake's shout of "I'm not through with you yet, old man!" is probably a reference to this. It's also interesting to note that the main theme of the next show is mortality, although not in the form of old age. This may have been a hint as to what was going to happen in the season finale, but no one was familiar enough with the books to notice it (if they were, they didn't tell me about it).

In "Don Juan", a diablero is a sorcerer that can change himself (or herself) into an animal - any creature at all. In fact, one of them, who has a grudge against "Don Juan" tries to kill him at one point, and later tries to kill his apprentice, Carlos Castenada. She is only described as 'an evil old bruja', and named 'La Catalina'. Now, I'm sure everyone remembers Quinn's glitter-berry episode. When she says "Those are the ones that make you act crazy... until you spread your shimmering wings and fly away." So, this could be a snide remark about Quinn, probably comparing her make-up and cuteness to black magic. This is a pretty tenuous link, but there's something that really solidifies it. When Carlos undergoes his first transformation (to a crow) he's whacked out of his skull on hallucinogens. They're necessary (at first, anyway) to the transformation process. Also, all the transformations referred to in the book involve birds... Carlos into a crow, and La Catalina into a blackbird. So far this doesn't explain shimmering wings, but yes, there's more. From what Carlos sees, and Don Juan tells him, birds see colors differently. Specifically: "The white feathers of a crow are really silvery. The crows shine so intensely that they are not bothered by other birds." In other words, shimmering wings...

The other similarity is a fairly minor one, but worth noting anyway. Both Jake and Carlos Castenada (author of "Don Jake") served aborted apprenticeships of a kind. Carlos quit his after a period of a few years (and later goes back, but that's in later books), and Jake's father tried to force him into a different sort of apprenticeship. Jake complains greatly all through the episode about things his father forced him to do. And Carlos complains all through the book about things Don Juan was forcing him to do...

Don Juan teaches Carlos about two 'allies', one of which is the devils weed, that is, Jimson weed. He always refers to the weed as she, even though there are male and female plants, and both are used. The characteristics of the devils weed are also much like Quinn... jealous, tricks by flattery, and so on. And there's a part that might be a reference to the mud-mask Quinn put on when she didn't have any makeup on. In "Don Juan" there is a divination Carlos performs using the devils weed. The part that is interesting is that part of the plant is made into a paste, which later gets rubbed onto the temples and sides of the face, in fact, pretty much everywhere but the center of the forehead. Now, this in itself isn't much, and Quinn ended up with mud only circling her eyes. However, the paste is the portion of the divination that gives guidance. And right after Quinn puts on the mud, Helen asks if they know where Jake's spirit animal went, and Quinn says she does.

As for Jake and Carlos, they seem alike in many ways. They both complain and worry in pretty much the same fashion, although "Don Juan" never goes into Carlos' finances. Also, they both have some sort of trouble with their fathers... Jake's is pretty obvious, but Carlos' is never really explained, just hinted at.

That's pretty much everything I noticed from the book. There were a few other points that reminded me of the episode, but I couldn't explain why well enough to include them here.

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