Episode Guide

Episode #208 - June 29, 1998
Written by Peggy Nicoll

Song List Entries For This Episode
Oops! List Entries For This Episode
Transcript For This Episode
"The New Kid" (#207)
"Ill" (#209)

Regular: Daria, Quinn, Helen, Jake, Jane, Trent, Brittany, Jodie, Sandi, Stacy, Tiffany, Ms. Barch, Ms. Li

Guest: Andrew Landon, Michele Landon, Linda Griffin, Sam Griffin, Chris Griffin, Marina, Lara, Graham, Cassidy, SSW Reporter

Non-Speaking: Kevin, Mack

Summary: Daria and Jodie visit the exclusive Grove Hills school for academically gifted students, which proves to be disillusioning on many levels. Quinn, meanwhile, is forced to stay at Jane's house when she overstays her welcome with her Fashion Club friends.

Full Synopsis: Jodie and Daria are chosen to visit Grove Hills, a school for academically gifted students. Daria isn't impressed, but is bribed into it by Helen, who informs Quinn that she'll be staying behind for the weekend. Visions of staying home alone (and partying) are shattered when Helen works out a deal with Sandi's mother, Linda, to allow Quinn to stay with them while they're gone. While Daria and her parents give Jodie a ride to Grove Hills (her parents will meet them there and drive her home), Quinn slowly and methodically wears out her welcome with all three Fashion Club members: Sandi, when her younger brothers fawn all over Quinn; Tiffany, when Quinn blows up at her for constantly asking if she's "too fat"; and Stacy, where Quinn actually runs off after getting creeped out by Stacy's way-too-needy overtures of friendship. She ends up at the Lane house and pleads with Jane to let her stay the night. Jane lets her stay when she realizes that Quinn is terrified to be home alone, but almost immediately regrets it when her shallow and self-centered attitude starts driving her crazy. At Grove Hills, Helen and Jake meet Jodie's parents, Andrew and Michele, but their association is strained and awkward as the Morgendorffers' liberal attitudes clash with the conservative views of the Landons. After initially hitting it off with some of the Grove Hills students, Daria and Jodie come to find out that they're even more stuck-up and obnoxious than the students at Lawndale High. Jodie valiantly tries to make nice, but she eventually reaches her limit, tells off the other students, and storms out, with Daria right on her heels (after getting off a parting shot of her own). She finds Jodie sitting outside on a bench and stewing over the whole experience, and both girls have a heart-to-heart talk, with each admitting that they sometimes wish they could be more like each other... and both agreeing that they're better off at Lawndale High. When they finally get home, an emotionally frazzled Jane escorts Quinn home, making Daria extremely curious about what happened over the weekend.

Interesting Tidbits
Historical & Cultural References:
  • "It's just a visit" and "that's what they told J.F.K." refers to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 as his motorcade was driving through downtown Dallas, Texas.
  • The books Daria reads in study hall are The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1857-1924). The latter was the basis for the 1979 film Apocalypse Now, which starred Martin Sheen as an Army officer sent to track down and kill a renegade colonel (played by Marlon Brando) during the Vietnam War.
  • The book Jodie reads in study hall is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
Memorable Quotes
Brittany - The Telltale Heart? I love romance novels!
Daria - Yeah, nothing says "be mine" like a pounding heart beneath a floorboard.

Jake - Hey, Mom told me about Grove Hills. That's great, kiddo!
Daria - Yeah. I'm tired of being at a school where the kids just think they're cooler than me. I want to go to one where they think they're smarter than me also.

Helen - We're going to Grove Hills this weekend.
Quinn - That place where they fence in all the geeks? Why do I have to go? That's not fair!
Helen - Quinn, I'm afraid siblings aren't invited. You're staying home.
Quinn - You mean the whole family gets to go without me? That's not fair!

Jodie - Thanks for the ride. My parents will meet us up there after the new members' brunch at their club. My father's been on the waiting list for three years.
Daria - Remember, no matter what happens on this ride you've already waived your right to sue me for confining you with lunatics.

Jake - Daria, why aren't you on the tennis team?
Daria - Because it's classified as a sport.
Helen - Speaking of sports, Jodie, do you know Kevin Thompson? He and Daria did a science project together.
Jodie - Oh, sure. Kevin's great... (softly to Daria) ...at smashing beer cans with his head.
Helen - I don't know why Daria doesn't hang around with him and his gang more.
Daria - For the same reason I don't sleep with my head packed in ice.

Narrator - At Grove Hills, you can contemplate Proust in our spacious dorm rooms, converse in Latin over a delicious meal...
Daria - (whispers) Dump bodies into the river from our scenic bell tower.

Marina - Daria? What about your goal?
Daria - Um, I don't have any.
Marina - Oh, come, Daria. You must have some goal.
Daria - My goal is not to wake up at 40 with the bitter realization that I've wasted my life in a job I hate because I was forced to decide on a career in my teens.

Jake - Maybe I could talk Helen into having a boy.
Helen - Maybe I could talk you into letting me keep the house.

Graham - Our happiest years will begin when we make our first million. I can't wait to stroll down the Riviera with a model on each arm.
Daria - Gee, that's interesting. I guess you can be intellectually gifted and still be morally bankrupt.

Daria - Thank God for standardized tests. Otherwise you'd never know who your real friends are.

Jodie - Hey! Just because some jock made you feel like the loser you are, don't take it out on me.
Graham - I'm not a loser! I have a 165 I.Q.!
Jodie - Who cares? You're still boring and miserable! Try taking your head out of your butt for once and opening up your myopic little eyes. Or doesn't your 165 I.Q. make you smart enough to see the way you really are? (leaves)
Graham - I'll make sure you never set foot in this school again!
Daria - That's a relief. For a minute there I thought you were going to threaten us. (leaves)

Daria - Look, Jodie, I'm too smart and too sensitive to live in a world like ours at a time like this with a sister like mine. Maybe I do miss out on stuff, but this attitude is what works for me now.
Jodie - Then you'll understand what works for me now. At home, I'm Jodie. I can say or do whatever feels right. But at school, I'm the Queen of the Negroes. The perfect African-American teen. The role model for all of the other African-American teens at Lawndale. Oops! Where'd they go? Believe me, I'd like to be more like you.

Jodie - So, Lawndale or Grove Hills?
Daria - I'm sticking with Lawndale. If I came here, I'd end up poisoning the sloppy joe mix.
Jodie - Yeah, you're right. I'm pushed to the breaking point being Miss Model Student at Lawndale. A year here might kill me.

(Quinn walks up the street, pushed by Jane)
Quinn - And then the other thing is, who came up with the name "tennis bracelet" anyway? It sounds like some kind of a sweatband, if you ask me. You know what I'd name them? Wrist ornaments. It's like a tree ornament, only for your wrist. Doesn't that sound festive?
Jake - (frazzled) Take... her... now.
Daria - This story I've gotta hear.
Mike Quinn's
Delayed Reaction Review

Character Development?? There appears to be some character development in this episode. Jodie seems to have become more of a best friend to Daria now. Daria and Jodie seemed to have found some common ground or at least some mutual understanding of how each other operates. It seems that Grove Hills can bring out the best in some people. Quinn also is growing, too, which is more surprising. She seems to be fed up with the whole fashion club scene and is smart enough to go to someone smart (Jane, in this case) when she needs help.

Marital Trouble: Helen drops some not too subtle hints that she doesn't really like Jake. As some have noted, maybe Helen's embarrassment and frustration over how they handled the Landons in this episode could have contributed to her disposition. It was funny to see her react the way she did to the Landons (she couldn't say anything right, she knew it and couldn't do a thing about it). Jake doesn't seem to like being a "team" player anymore -- at least under Helen's definition of their team. Maybe it's because he's sick of Helen taking control of everything. On the plus side, he did get his bribe.

Hit the Mute Button: Kevin and Brittany are much more interesting when they don't say all that much. Her face after being told to "rent a brain" is hilarious. Kevin's (and Mack's) homage to Bart Simpson was amusing -- "I will write until my hand is numb."

Grove Hills: At first, Daria was somewhat seduced by the Grove Hills environment of no stupid people. The novelty wore off after talking to some of the people whom have taken advantage of it. They all but admitted to being a bunch of jerks through their behavior. They wouldn't talk to someone because they had slightly lower test scores -- that's ridiculous.

This episode may become infamous for one thing: the introduction of Linda and some of the rest of Sandi's family (more below). All kidding aside, "Gifted" is a good transitional episode that helps to bridge the gap between the beginning and end of the second season. Daria starts to realize that there are people out there that can understand how she is without trying to change her. I'm also glad that Daria and Jodie didn't switch books at the end. The goods outweigh the bads, for me.

Grade: B+

Daria as a Whole: In the original "Initial Reaction Review" of this episode (which was the first one ever written), I made a comment that I hoped that Helen's competitive streak would be "downplayed more in the future" episodes. It seems that the opposite happened in "Fair Enough" and "Pierce Me." We all know she is competitive; we don't need Linda or anyone else to jam it down our throat.

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.