Episode Guide

Of Human Bonding
Episode #407 - April 14, 2000
Written by Anne D. Bernstein

Song List Entries For This Episode
Oops! List Entries For This Episode
Transcript For This Episode
"I Loathe a Parade" (#406)
"Psycho Therapy" (#408)

Regular: Daria, Quinn, Helen, Jake, Jane, Sandi, Stacy, Tiffany, Joey, Jeffy, Jamie

Guest: Andrew Landon, Michele Landon, Terry Perry Barlow, Arno

Non-Speaking: None

Summary: Jake is excited to attend a franchising conference, hoping to meet a famous franchising genius, but when Helen is unable to attend, Daria decides to go in her place.

Full Synopsis: Jake is excited over the opportunity to attend a franchising conference, where he'll have the opportunity to meet franchising genius Terry Perry Barlow. The rest of the family is not quite as excited, particularly Quinn, who's been forbidden to date while Helen and Jake are out of town. She is permitted to have one friend sleep over; however, when she tries to invite Stacy, she ends up inviting the rest of the Fashion Club when Sandi guilt-trips her. Daria's plan to stay at Jane's is similarly derailed when Jane informs her that she and Tom have something planned for Saturday night. And Jake's plans are almost ruined as well when Helen has to stay behind to handle a case, until Daria decides to accompany him in order to avoid Quinn and her friends (and for the opportunity to visit the Museum of Medical Oddities). On the flight, Jake reveals his fear of heights and begins to question his ability as a father, while Daria considers breaking down and expressing her confidence in her father. Back at home, Helen's case is settled at the last minute, leaving her free to stay at home and keep an eye on Quinn and her friends. Much to Quinn's embarrassment, however, Helen ends up joining their little party, getting a makeover from Sandi and asking for relationship advice. At the symposium, Jake and Daria run into Jodie's parents, and as Andrew introduces Jake to Terry Perry Barlow, Michele and Daria head to the snack table to talk. Barlow is impressed with Daria's frankness when he later asks her opinion about theme restaurants, and invites her and Jake to go ballooning with him early the next morning. Daria initially resists, but relents when she starts feeling guilty about how she and Jake have never really gotten to know each other. In the morning, Daria, Jake, and Barlow prepare for their balloon trip, but Arno, the assistant, balks due to the weather, Jake's inexperience, and Barlow's attitude. When he bails, Barlow decides to chuck the trip and go sailing, but Jake is inadvertantly launched in the balloon, where he's successful in finally overcoming his fear of heights... right before crashing into a tree. Emboldened by his newfound confidence, he takes Daria to the Museum of Medical Oddities, where he learns the true nature of fear.

Interesting Tidbits
Historical & Cultural References:
  • The title of the episode is a pun on the W. Somerset Maugham novel Of Human Bondage.
  • Arno the balloonist is undeniably a parody of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, star of such action films as Predator, Total Recall, and the first three Terminator films.
  • "Mr. CNN George Bernie Shaw" is a mash-up of playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) and Bernard Shaw, an anchor for the CNN cable news network until his retirement in 2001.
  • "Montessori my butt!" -- The Montessori Method was developed in the early 1900s by Dr. Maria Montessori, and is built upon the idea that children develop and think differently than adults. Schools that teach according to Montessori's philosophy are geared mainly towards children of preschool age. Andrew Landon's reaction here is somewhat surprising, given that Grove Hills (from "Gifted" #408) could be considered a school in the Montessori vein and that he was hot to have Jodie attend classes there... though if Montessori schools actually turned out kids like those we saw at Grove Hills, maybe his attitude was justified!
Memorable Quotes
Coming soon!
Mike Quinn's
Delayed Reaction Review

Seminaaaaaa... <snore>: We don't exactly have a detailed job description for Jake other than he's a consultant (usually, when he talks about his projects, he sounds like an amateur inventor). But assuming he has some sort of business background, an entrepreneur's convention seems appropriate (come to think of it, it could also fit the inventor motif). But just going to the seminar with Helen provided the chance to, ahem, "get the spice back in their marriage." That is, until Eric called Helen back to work.

Boyz & Guyz: It was fairly obvious to me that Quinn would pick Stacy as her friend to have over (because Tiffany is too slow and to make Sandi jealous). After the all but predictable sequence where Quinn ends up inviting all of them, the rivalry intensified. The whole slumber party had a "been there, done that" feel to it. Without going into any of the details, I felt like I'd seen it before, but not really. The one new twist, having Helen there, was somewhat refreshing. Despite Quinn's expected embarrassment, Helen did "help" her with the comments about frequent scowling.

The Lesser of Two Evils: Helen couldn't go to the seminar and Daria didn't want to... until the prospect of being anywhere near her lovely sister's plans came up. The chance of maybe having to listen to a few nonsensical rants about Mad Dog must have seemed like paradise by comparison.

Deep Thoughts: What Daria and Jake were thinking en route to the conference provides some insight into their thought processes and feelings. Jake's thoughts were uncharacteristically deep and much more coherent than usual. He knows his anger at his father is misplaced energy at this point and won't help any, and that he should concentrate on being the best that he could be (though, he probably won't). Daria's thoughts came as sort of a mild surprise to me. I can see her thinking that Jake is "afraid to be afraid," but I would never expect her to see Jake as a "hero." She respects him, looks up to him and probably identifies with him better than Helen, but "hero" seems a little strong.

Jerry Larry Carload: I think that was his name, but I'm not too good with names. He seemed like a real jerk and a fraud (a successful fraud, but still a fraud). He seemed to ignore or insult just about everyone, including his chum Andrew (who came off sort of jerky himself). He's probably successful only by charming people into financing whatever he's doing and stepping over anyone getting in the way (like the Danish guy).

An Affair to Consider? How upset is Helen with her marriage? Putting aside the fact that so far this is something for the "lingering story lines that have gone nowhere" file, she seems to be having some major problems here. Why else would she ask the fashion club and Quinn's fan club for advice (and I hope Quinn eventually realized that Helen was talking about herself)? She seems to love Jake but isn't in love with him (and the relationship is no longer "hot").

Food for Thought: Maybe this is nothing, but wasn't it just a little suspicious that Eric needed Helen to work until Jake left? Hmmmmmm...

Something Positive: At least Jake got over his fear of heights. Not just that, he did get a chance to get to know and bond with his "lonely" daughter at that museum. Their relationship does go beyond sitting at the table and reading the newspaper together.

As far as Jake episodes go, this was pretty good. Serious and funny, without getting wacky, unlike "Jake of Hearts" (granted, Jake is probably hard to write for, because the character is so stereotypical). The irony of this episode is that while Jake was gaining ground in his relationship with his daughter, he was losing ground with his wife (both through no fault of his own). Overall, this episode will probably seem to get stronger over time. I don't think anyone will disagree that "Of Human Bonding" was overshadowed by "I Loathe a Parade."

Grade: B+

Daria as a Whole #1, Alter Ego of the Week: I'll go with Jake as the Fatman.

Daria as a Whole #2, Jane-less-ness: About the time "Jane's Addition" originally aired, I had a conversation with someone whom shall remain nameless (OK, it was Kara) about the fact that, besides Daria, Jane is the only other character that has appeared in every episode. I think this is the closest it has ever been to having Jane completely absent (which is something that I probably wouldn't like too much).

Copyright © 2000 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.