The Daria Episode Guide:
Lane Miserables

Is your toll collector wearing pants, a skirt, or nothing but a smile? Cold Breeze on the Interstate, next on Sick, Sad World.

Helen is going all out attempting to have a family dinner, but it fails miserably. Meanwhile, over at the Lane's the whole clan is showing up. First Trent and Jane, then Amanda, then Wind, and Penny and Vincent. Wind has been thrown out, again, Penny's native art stand was wiped out by a volcano, and Vincent is finished taking pictures of Celtic rock formations.
Helen starts to worry that she doesn't know her kids very well any more. She tries talking to Jake about it, but he's as oblivious as ever.
The TV in the family room is busted, so Wind goes to Jane's room to watch a marriage counseling show. Jane goes off to try and call Daria, but Penny is on the phone trying to get paid for losing her stand. Jane then tries to hide in the restroom, but Vincent is in there developing his pictures. Jane tries to talk to Amanda, but she just talks about how holding butterflies kills them. So of course Jane runs off to Daria's to spend a few days.
Jane goes out running, and meets Helen, who is out speed-walking. Helen gets her to slow down long enough to ask some questions about Daria.
Back at the Lane residence, Trent is trying to compose, but keeps getting interrupted. Then Courtney and Adrian phone to say they're coming over to visit, and Trent goes looking for Jane.
At the Morgendorffer's place, Jane is helping Jake get dinner ready; Jane is doing origami napkins. Jake takes the chance to ask some questions about Daria. Then Jane gets to experience a Morgendorffer dinner firsthand. Luckily, Trent shows during dinner to tell Jane that's he's staying in the Tank for a while. He compliments Jake's cooking, which ends up getting him an invitation to stay for the night.
Daria and Jane play a game of Scrabble, but Jane gets dragged off by Quinn, who wants an artist's opinion on makeup. Trent then comes by looking for Jane. He and Daria have a little talk that turns into a Huckleberry Hound conversation.
Trent goes out with Monique that night, and Helen and Jake act just like he was their son, which Daria finds out about.
Quinn convinces Daria to try visualizing her dream. When she does, Trent turns out to be a couch-potato and Daria is working double shifts at a gene-splicing lab to help support his band. She finally realizes what Trent's like, and gets over her crush.
Summer finally shows up at the Lane residence to retrieve her kids.
The next morning, Quinn's staying out late is overshadowed by Helen going slightly crazy over Trent's staying out late. This discussion manages to trigger another one of Jake's childhood rants, which is interrupted only by Amanda showing up. She's not looking for her kids, she's looking for a way to get everyone else out of the house.
Amanda simply holds a family sit-down dinner, and off they go. Jane and Trent return, and all is well with the world.

Daria: Well, I was just pondering the idea that the negative, which is the nothingness of being and the annihilating power both together, is nothingness.
Quinn: Oh, Daria! That whole "less is more" thing is so over! Accessories are back.

Wind: Do I smell cookies baking?
Jane: Not bloody likely.
Amanda: The kiln!

Helen: Jake, do you ever worry that our children are becoming strangers to us?
Jake: Stranger than us? What's so strange about us?

"No, no, Señor Finance Minister. Necesito dinero to reopen my business. Your volcano wiped out hundreds of hand-fashioned tin picture frames and I'd like to know how your government intends to compensate me." -- Penny ("Lane Miserables")

Vincent: Oh, honey? Don't drink from that big bottle in the kitchen; it's silver nitrate.
Jane: It's poisonous?
Dad: Yeah. And I need it for my prints.

Jane: Maximum of three questions. No betrayals. Immunity from prosecution.
Helen: Agreed. Drugs?
Jane: Nope. Unless you count TV.
Helen: Depressed?
Jane: No, just realistic.
Helen: Sex? Oh, that's too obvious. Can I have another one?

"I gotta go sharpen my guitar pick." -- Trent ("Lane Miserables")

Jane: I don't suppose you could tear out a chapter for me?
Daria: Sorry. Library book.

Quinn: You're an artist, right?
Jane: I've been known to push the paint around.

Jake: Quinn, your date is here! (Opens door) Wow, I really don't know my kids...
Monique: Hey, Trent around?

Wraith's Ramblings:
Wonderful episode; funny, lots of background on Jane's family, good exploration of Daria and Jane and their relationships. The only thing keeping it from being listed as excellent is the ending, which applies a mild application of the Reset Button.
Also see my Rambling of 11-02-00.

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