Archived Ramblings

June 24, 2001


Just one more episode, then a break of unknown duration before the final movie. It really doesn't feel like we're near the end of this series, does it? This season doesn't seem like it was set to lead up to anything at all, much less the denouement. The description of the final episode doesn't sound like it'll be a lead-in to the movie, either. This is just a strange choice to me, but it's what's going on. Don't expect too much from Monday's episode, because we probably aren't going to get it.

Kevin and Brittany made a (thankfully) brief appearance. Brittany's "womanly talk" comment was a bit disturbing, really, but other than that there isn't much to say about those two. It's been obvious for a long time that they're doing more than, as Kevin puts it, sucking face. Kevin doesn't seem to be very good with names, though... "Daria's guy"?
Charles is about as expected. That's the sort of rumor we could expect him to jump on with both feet. He's also one of the two most likely vectors for Jane to have found out about the rumor. I can just see him going up to her and offering to help her "catch up with Daria"...

Jodie is a hypocrite again. There's certainly good reason behind her refusal to comment, but not right after her little speech. This is Daria, after all. She's not exactly known as a big gossip (although Jodie may have been the one who first mentioned the rumor to Jane, probably in a "can you believe it" way). Jodie's secret should be safe with her. I have to add that Jodie and Mack probably are sleeping together. They seem to have been close friends for a very long time, and Jodie hasn't been shown to have any other outlet for the pressure she's under. It is interesting that she won't believe Daria's denials. It doesn't say much for her that she believes gossip before she will Daria.

I can't say Quinn put in an impressive performance this episode. Barging in on Daria and Tom wasn't a good start, even if they weren't doing anything she'd recognize as dating. Her choice of people to call is interesting. She's willing to interrupt Tiffany's date, but when she hears about Tom her first reaction is to call Stacy. It isn't the first time she's been shown to pick Stacy over the others, and maybe the earlier call to Tiffany was out of consideration for Stacy on her date.
Her reaction to hearing about Tom, however, is not good. She doesn't even listen in on the rest of the conversation, she just pops out "Phone!" and runs for it. She knows Stacy well enough to know the girl can't keep a secret (at least, not one that isn't hers... we don't know if the other members found out who has the caricature or not yet). It doesn't say much for the closeness between the sisters that's been shown, especially when Quinn refuses to listen to Daria at all even though she knows she started the rumor. Her line about "coupled people" is interesting, and I think this plus her general reaction to her dates (and hearing about Daria and Tom) shows how insecure she is about sex (and real relationships) in general.

Jake doesn't have much in the way of morals sometimes, does he? Of course, he's a marketing guy, so this may not be a problem for him. If he's always been willing to act like he did about Tokyo Toby's it's hard to understand why Daria has any respect for him. She usually doesn't look kindly on that sort of behavior. There wasn't much point in this subplot, aside from some out-there counterpoints to the main plot involving the parasite.
I can understand him being uncomfortable about the whole sex subject. He's not very confident in the first place, and that's certainly a touchy subject. He probably has trouble talking to Helen about it still, much less his daughters. Although what with Quinn's endless string of new dates, you'd think he would have faced the issue by now.

Helen's (over) reaction is what I'd expect of her. I am surprised it didn't kick off a similar talk with Quinn, but then again, maybe they've already had it. This subject seems to worry Helen far more than it should, at least with Daria. If it took Daria several hours to convince her mother than nothing happened Helen isn't showing any of the understanding of Daria she shows in other episodes (or even in this one, with the calling home on Sunday comment). Maybe her experience with the stunt-car driver is what's triggering this.

Jane took the whole thing surprisingly well, considering. Well enough to joke about it with Daria. I'd bet they had more talks than just the one they had in the school hallway, but this show is just too short for some of the things they've tried to do.

Tom was quite understanding this episode, even if he wasn't very smooth. He definitely could have handled their conversation better than whipping out his wallet, but for a teenage guy who's been dating the same girl for about a year he didn't do bad at all, especially considering how males are usually portrayed on this show.

Daria is fairly predictable this episode (then again, so is the rest of it). Trying to get Tom out unnoticed, avoiding talking with Helen, that's perfectly normal behavior for her. I can certainly see her being upset about any rumors going around school about her, much less ones on this subject. She is a very private person, she doesn't want to be talked about. Even approaching Jodie makes some sense. Daria seems to suspect Jodie and Mack are having sex (which is likely), which gives her a reason to talk about it, although she comes off a bit too defensive. Talking the issue over with Jane before hand is another one that's understandable.
Losing her virginity is a big deal to her, which is no surprise. What she does do it let herself be pushed into setting the date, and not entirely by Tom. Tom wants to have sex, he's a guy, so that's assumed (especially on this show). He's also willing to wait. We don't know how far they have gone, but it seems like they've talked about this before, apparently quite a while ago. However, she only brings up the topic after the rumor makes the rounds and she has to consider the way relationships and sex are viewed. She seems to make the decision as much on this as on anything else (sort of like how she reacted to contacts in "Through a Lens Darkly"). This time she at least makes her final decision on its own merits, without any easy excuses popping up (now, if she had discovered she was allergic to latex then we would have pretty much had another TaLD...).
What stopped her this time, though, was fear, not principles. She likes Tom, she's comfortable around him, but she's also got a long history of keeping people at a distance. She's also probably not sure how long this relationship will last. We've seen nothing from either of them yet to indicate that they'll be trying to stay together after high school. It's unlikely that they'll end up at the same college, if only for financial reasons (Tom's parents are probably going to want him to go to an expensive Ivy League school, and while Daria can probably get into pretty much any school she wants to I doubt her parents can afford them all). Forming (or formalizing, depending on your point of view) a close relationship with someone right before you know you're going to end up out of touch is more than enough to make a person like Daria hesitate. We really don't have enough information to say how either of them view their future relationship, and that makes commentary on this issue more difficult.
Her feelings for Tom are what they are. She says she's ready, but scared of the intimacy involved. If she is ready, the intimacy is already there with or without the physical. Daria's never been all that good at lying to herself about her feelings, so if this relationship falls apart for whatever reason, having or not having sex isn't going to change how much it'll hurt.
A point that's barely mentioned does bring up more interesting speculation. She has performance anxiety, which is common for first-timers of both sexes. Why does she have this, though? Beginners at anything are going to require practice. Is she worried because Tom's experienced? We don't know, it's never mentioned either way. If he isn't, this fear's pretty irrational, but then most are. There's really no reason for her to be afraid about this, but there was no reason for her to think he'd want to dump her either.

The episode overall handled the subject decently. I guess they just couldn't finish a series about a high-school student without doing a sex episode. Unfortunately, this episode was highly predictable. Early episodes, even the issue ones, had more of the fun little twist endings. A solid episode with some humor, but by no means a classic.


Sick, Sad World (the site) was created by Wraith