Episode Guide

The Teachings of Don Jake
Episode #112 - July 14, 1997
Written by Glenn Eichler

Song List Entries For This Episode
Oops! List Entries For This Episode
Transcript For This Episode
"Road Worrier" (#111)
"The Misery Chick" (#113)

Regular: Daria, Quinn, Helen, Jake, Jane, Trent

Guest:, Aunt Bernice, Uncle Max, Grandma Lane, other Lane family members, SSW Reporter

Non-Speaking: None

Summary: In order to relieve his stress, Helen, Daria and Quinn take Jake camping for the weekend, while Jane and Trent endure the hell that is a Lane family reunion.

Full Synopsis: Daria and Jane are about to be reminded of how much a pain in the ass families can be, much to their chagrin. When Jake bursts a blood vessel in his eye after stressing out over the family finances, Helen announces that the Morgendorffers will be taking a weekend camping trip. Daria is pretty sullen about it, until she hears about the "fun" Jane and Trent will be having at the annual Lane Family Reunion; suffice it to say that camping turns out to be the more appealing option (especially since having a root canal sans novocaine wasn't one of the choices). Not unexpectedly, the camping trip doesn't exactly start out with a bang, as Jake's enthusiasm and planned itinerary goes over like a lead balloon with his two unenthusiastic daughters. Jane and Trent don't fare much better, after they inadvertantly insult their Aunt Bernice on the plane, get left behind by that same aunt, and are treated rudely by the by the rest of the family when they finally arrive at the reunion (the aunt who owns the house is snotty and condescending, Uncle Max acts like a drunken fool, and Grandma screams insults in Jane's ear). Morning provides no relief, as Jane and Trent are awoken 7:00am for the family croquet tournament, and the Morgendorffers set out for a nature hike after a Jake-prepared breakfast. Unfortunately, Jake's nature skills prove to be somewhat lacking when he, Helen, and Quinn start hallucinating, thanks to their breakfast of psychotropic berries. Fortunately, Daria had not eaten any of the berries (due to her distrust of Jake's nature skills), and used Helen's cellphone (which she brought despite her earlier claim of wanting to get "totally back to nature") to call for a rescue helicopter. Back at home, Daria relays the tale to Jane, who (along with Trent) had flown the coop and returned early because they couldn't stand it at the reunion for one second longer. And to put a cap on the whole experience, Jake gets a $15,000 bill for the helicopter rescue... and promptly bursts blood vessels in both eyes.

Interesting Tidbits
  • This episode marks the first mention of Jake's father, "Mad Dog" Morgendorffer, and is the first of many times Jake would rant about "his no-good father."
  • Jane's siblings -- Penny, Summer, and Wind -- are mentioned for the first time here, as are their unique situations (Penny's Third World travels, Wind's failed relationships, Summer's AWOL kids). They will be mentioned at various times over subsequent episodes, culminating in their appearance in "Lane Miserables" (#308).
Memorable Quotes
Jake - It's my eye! Oh, God, it's my eye! (moves hand away to show one eye red from a burst blood vessel)
Daria - Oh, no! (sotto voce to Quinn) Get the camera.
Quinn - Ugh!

Quinn - Don't worry about us, Mom. We'll be fine. Right, Daria?
Daria - Absolutely. No guests, no late nights...
Helen (VO) - Don't even bother, girls. You're coming with us.
Quinn - (pounds fist on table) Dammit, Daria! You could've sounded like you meant it! (leaves)
(after a moment, Daria softly pounds fist on table)
Daria - Dammit! It's my turn to say dammit!

Jane - Lemme get this straight. You, Jake, Helen, and Princess Grace are going camping? Like in the woods camping?
Daria - I hope the raging envy you're feeling won't affect our friendship.
Jane - I do envy you.
Daria - Then I'm afraid the fever has reached your brain, and you'll have to be destroyed.

Jake - Is this great, or what? For the next 72 hours, we're going to live off what nature send our way! (points) See that stream? That's our drinking water! (points) See those berries! That's our breakfast!
Daria - See that skeleton? That's our future.
(everyone looks; there's nothing there)
Daria - Made you look.

Jane - Trent. Trent. (she pulls headphones away from his ear) Trent!
Trent - (wakes up) Officer it's not even my car.

Jake - We don't need big business electricity! We don't need manufactured foods! We don't need chemically-softened toilet paper!
Helen - (eyes fly open) We don't?
(flashback ends)
(Helen rummages around in her backpack, and with a smirk, takes out a roll of toilet paper)

Jake - Girls, doesn't all this beauty take you right out of yourselves?
Helen - Daria?
Daria - I think I'm getting a chill. If you don't mind, I'm gonna crawl back into myself for a while.
Helen - What about you Quinn?
Quinn - No phone???

Uncle Max - (slurred) I always liked you, Trent. You were my favorite.
Trent - And why is that, Uncle Max?
Uncle Max - Cuz you're a bum! You're a lousy bum! You're a rotten bum! You remind me of myself! You know why?
Trent - Cuz I'm a bum.
Uncle Max - That's right, ya bum!

Grandma - Janey?
Jane - Yes, Grandma?
Grandma - Come closer.
Jane - Yes, Grandma?
Grandma - Closer.
Jane - Yes, Grandma?
Grandma - Closer.
Jane - Yes, Grandma?
Grandma - (shouts) What the hell is wrong with you!

Quinn - What's Dad so worked up about, anyway?
Helen - Oh, Quinn. It's not easy being an adult.
Quinn - He can drive, he never has to take a pop quiz, and he can order a mimosa anytime he wants. What's the problem?

Quinn - This is really scary, Daria.
Daria - All right, let's not get panicked. We're going to look at the situation calmly and objectively. Agreed?
Quinn - Okay.
Daria - We're out in the middle of nowhere, nobody knows we're here, we have no way to contact anyone, and our parents have gone insane.
Quinn - Yes.
Daria - This is really scary, Quinn.

Daria - Okay. Remain calm. Family's gone mad. Must get them back to civilization, but no way to contact civilization because Mother made big deal about cutting off all communications. What to do?
(cellphone in Helen's backpack rings)
Daria - Rely on Mother's hypocrisy to see us through this crisis.
Mike Quinn's
Delayed Reaction Review

Eye-Popping Goodness: It's a mystery why the blood vessels in Jake's eyes were bursting. :) Yeah, right! It was fairly obvious what was bothering him: money troubles. Oh, and that mid-life crisis had something to do with it, too. He's upset about all those doors closing, the "entry-level" job that he took (down the wrong path) and the way his father treated him. Taking pictures of him in that state wouldn't have helped, but if all of that was bothering him that long, it's amazing that he's held it together as long as he has (there were some things that tend to point to the fact that this wasn't the first time this has happened). Daria was almost trying to get this to happen (to take a picture) by telling Jake how much money Congress spends.

More on the Subject: There is too much for just one entry, so here is more. Jake was trying so hard to relax by going camping (didn't seem possible based on the flashback) that he pretty much missed everything that was said to him. First, when Helen told him to stop "releasing tension," Daria and Quinn probably didn't need to know when their father stopped wetting the bed. Also, when Daria made the "joke" about Jake being discouraged to take the other path by someone, he took her statement at face value, which he shouldn't have.

Helpful Corn, I Mean Hypocrisy: Daria thought they were stranded, until Helen's hypocrisy saved the day. She made a big deal about being totally disconnected from the rest of society but couldn't bear the thought of being completely alone. She may have justified bringing the phone after the fact by saying that it was brought along for just such an occurrence (which is a great idea), but any decent lawyer could come up with that one and that reason would be secondary for her.

No Way Out: Both Daria and Jane are in similar but distinct situations. They both have to go somewhere they would rather not go (camping, reunion) because of the wishes of their parents. Daria has to sit through boring "scary" stories, Jake's going somewhat insane on fumes from the mid-life crisis and the rest of her family getting high on glitter-berries. She handled it fairly easily (except for a few tense moments before hearing the phone ring) which is good but she didn't like a second of it (like she would). Jane and Trent, on the other hand, were sent to the family reunion by their parents as "sacrificial lambs." They were looking for ways to get away from the second they got off the plane. At the reunion, Jane is asked what is wrong with her, Trent's only redeeming quality (to the rest of the Lanes) is that he is a bum and they are both made to get up early on a Saturday for no reason (croquet isn't a good reason for them). Despite this, the family reunion subplot did have a somewhat happy (and illegal) ending -- freedom! It does remind us why our families scatter in the first place.

Of all of the episodes with B-story subplots, this is the one that best integrates the two plots with some common theme that is pretty much constant between the A and B story. It was good to see the Lane family and how different Jane and Trent really are. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't comment a little on the berry "trips." They kicked ass! Where can I get me some of those berries?

Grade: A

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.