When Helen's sister Rita informs them that her daughter Erin is getting married, Helen makes sure that Daria and Quinn are bridesmaids as part of her long-standing feud with her sister.
When the Morgendorffers are invited to the wedding of Daria's cousin Erin, which is being held at the posh Windsor Hills Resort in Leeville, Helen makes sure that Daria and Quinn are bridesmaids. Quinn, naturally, is delighted, while Daria basically wants nothing to do with the whole affair. She knows that Helen and her sister, Rita, have a sibling rivalry going that makes her own battles with Quinn look like a cake walk, and she can sense disaster looming. Nonetheless, she's trapped, so she and Jane go to the bridal store to get the dress fitted. At the store, they run into Jodie and Brittany, who are getting fitted for gowns to wear at a bridal show fundraiser at school. On the day of the wedding, the Morgendorffers are greeted at Windsor Hills by Rita and her new beau, Paul Meyerson, and the tension in the air is thick enough to cut with a knife. Things get interesting with the arrival of Helen's other sister, Amy, who looks a lot like an adult version of Daria... and acts like it, too. Quinn and Daria are soon introduced to their escorts: Quinn's is the handsome Garret, while Daria is stuck with the moody and sarcastic Luhrman. Meanwhile, at the school bridal show, Kevin and Mack attend (in spite of Brittany and Jodie's insistence that they don't) and are mistaken for a gay couple by a vendor hawking wedding bands. Kevin then acts like a fool during the show and embarrasses Brittany, who quickly gets over it when he buys her an entire booth's worth of flowers. Back at the wedding, the reception is in full swing, with Quinn being constantly hit on by the minister and Daria telling outrageous tall tales to the other bridesmaids (with help from a surprising ally: Luhrman). Daria encounters her aunt Amy in the restroom, and finds that she's something of a kindred spirit. Outside, things start to slide rapidly downhill when a drunken Helen, who's still upset at her mother for constantly favoring Rita over her, starts an argument with her sister, which sets off a chain reaction with everyone else. Daria and Amy decide to make a fast getaway and drive to a local bowling alley, where they proceed to chat over an order of cheese fries as Erin's new husband, Brian, slowly gets drunk at the bar and vows "never to go back there." The fight is eventually broken up, and while Helen and Rita reconcile and Paul bribes the police to look the other way, Jake drags a caddy and a flashlight out to the resort's world-renowned golf course and squeezes in a few well-deserved rounds.
Historical & Cultural References:
- Jane's "Oh, Scarlett, you grow lovelier by the day!" is a line from the 1939 film Gone With the Wind (based on the Margaret Mitchell novel), which starred Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh as star-crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the American Civil War.
- Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882) did indeed suffer a mental breakdown after the 1865 assasination of her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, and the death of their son Tad in 1871.
- Daria crooking her finger and saying "Redrum! Redrum!" at the sight of the Windsor Hills Resort is a reference to the 1980 film The Shining (based on the Stephen King novel), starring Jack Nicholson as a man who, while acting as winter caretaker of a resort hotel, slowly goes insane and tries to kill his wife and son. "Redrum" ("murder" spelled backwards) is what Nicholson's clairvoyant son, Danny, repeatedly says as a warning.
- "America's Least Wanted" is a pun on the long-running Fox TV series America's Most Wanted. Hosted by John Walsh, AMW is dedicated to profiling and capturing dangerous criminals.
- One of singer Seal's (birth name: Sealhenry Samuel) most popular songs was "Kiss From a Rose," which was featured in the 1995 film Batman Forever. (Daria had convinced Daphne and the other gullible bridesmaids that she knew him, only to admit later that she was pulling their legs.)
- Although it's not him, Luhrman's voice sounds remarkably like that of comedian Steven Wright, whose stand-up act consists mostly of outrageous observations on life delivered in a deadpan monotone.
- In the original airing, Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" (from the 1997 film Titanic) was playing during the final scene at the reception, but was removed from subsequent airings.
- In the original airing, Ani DiFranco's cover of "Wishin' & Hopin'" was played during the closing credits, but was replaced in subsequent airings by Dusty Springfield's original version.
Extended Family, Don't You Just Love 'Em:
I can see why Helen's mother wouldn't want to come to the wedding. Helen is trying to drink away all of the bad memories of Rita (is she alcoholic?). Then, once she is drunk, she starts a chain reaction that sends the whole reception into chaos. Even the priest -- I mean minister (the one who was fighting over Quinn; kind of unrelated) -- got into it. Helen was right about one thing: they were there to see her family, not to have fun.
Daria and Quinn were made bridesmaids because of Helen's mad rush to compete with her sister and not to be upstaged. Thus began the saga of the dress "running gag." At least three different (could be more, I didn't keep track) people ask her why she didn't get the same dress. Well, it wasn't really funny the first time, so why did it have to be repeated over and over again? Only one slightly funny remark came out of the whole dress thing, and that involved Jane being buried in it. This just in to the newsroom.... those paintball thingies hurt. :)
What extracurricular activities could lead to marriage? Not many, I would imagine. Even if there were, do they really need the expo to be in the school? This is just another addition to the list of things that happen at Lawndale High that probably shouldn't (but probably do) happen at any high school anywhere: field trips to a mall and a paintball range, and an on-campus modeling class.
Daria goes back into story telling mode, first seen in "Pinch Sitter," while spending time getting rid of the other bridesmaids (more on this below). One of the first things that Amy says to Daria is "I like the way you think." Ms. Barch said the exact same thing to Daria back in "The Lab Brat." Are the writers and creators of the show so desperate that they are even stealing from themselves (that would be trouble) or did this one just fall through the cracks? You be the judge.
"I Don't" was all right, but more of a parallel move than a move forward (from "Quinn the Brain"). It was good to see some of the neuroses of Helen's family and where Daria and Quinn's genes come from (I think Daria is more her father's daughter than anything, look at her scratch her ear just like Jake).
Daria as a Whole:
Daria has shown three degrees of story telling (for different purposes) throughout the series: total truth, for the most part (for her own amusement or to pass the time in "Fair Enough"); some truth, some lies (to deprogram the Gupty kids in "Pinch Sitter"); and total bull (to get rid of the other bridesmaids in "I Don't"). She is versatile in this respect (most people are capable of this), however, she is more willing than most to actually use this talent to this extent.
Copyright © 1998 Mike Quinn [All Rights Reserved]. Used with permission. The views presented here are those of the author, and may or may not necessarily be those of Outpost Daria Reborn.