There's not really a whole lot to say about this little production. It's a standard sitcomesque "Daria" episode that follows a pretty conventional plotline. No hurricanes, no crossovers. Just good clean American fun at European expense, as God intended.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to my parents, for taking me to Germany and France to visit relatives when I was little. Thanks to my friends for sharing their exchange experiences, and thanks to the exchange students who had the misfortune to have to go to my high school for a year. I learned from your captivity.

Legal Stuff: "Daria" and all related characters are copyright and TM of MTV and VIACOM. The following is a work of parody, created solely for the Author's personal amusement, for the purpose of learning the method of writing a teleplay, and not for any commercial purpose whatsoever. The Author does not wish nor intend to do any of the wonderful creative people at MTV Animation out of any part of their market, as he respects the hard work, dedication, and Old-world craftsmanship they put into each and every show. See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music 510 U.S. 569 (1994). All rights not belonging to MTV, VIACOM, their successors, or assigns, are reserved by the Author of this parody. All images generated for this fic are also 1998 the paperpusher. Steal them at your own peril, as I created them from scratch all by myself. If you wish to use them with permission, get it from me first.

Translation of the last four sentences: Even though this is a not-for-profit parody created solely for my amusement, as well as the amusement of anyone who accidentally stumbles across it, please don't steal this story, post it on your own site, and claim it as your own fanfic creation, or I'll have to get some hired goons, and I'll try to recover the costs of hiring them, too. And while I know I'm being pissy about the graphics, I didn't just copy them off of some website-- I developed them all by myself from scratch. If you want them, please ASK me first.


Roll Intro. to Daria in "Free Quinn, Fly Her Miles Away" (or "Unbargained-For Exchange.")

Written by The Paperpusher

Act I.

FADE IN.

INT. Mr. DeMARTINO'S CLASSROOM - DAY.

WS of CLASSROOM, POV BACK WALL. MR. DeMARTINO is speaking to the class in his usual borderline sociopathic fashion.

SLOW ZOOM IN TO MS as DeMARTINO speaks.

DeMARTINO


Now, class, I have some very INTERESTING news for you. Well, at least for ONE of you. The STUDENT EXCHANGE COMMITTEE, consisting of myself, Ms. Li, Ms. Barch, and Mr. O'NEILL, have agreed upon two things that will impact one of you. FIRST, due to budget cuts, our YEARLY EXCHANGE with our sister school in Bruges, Belgium will be cut from three months to THREE WEEKS.

FINISH ZOOM.

CUT TO CU OF BRITTANY.

BRITTANY


Rouge? I love makeup!

CUT BACK TO MS of CLASSROOM, POV BACK WALL.

DeMARTINO


(Irritated.)

That BRUGES, Brittany. As in the city in BELGIUM. (Beat.) Now, before I was so RUDELY interrupted, I was getting to the second point. I have the unique PLEASURE of congratulating the lucky student who will receive this BOUNTY from our impoverished school system FREE of charge. (Pauses for effect.) Ms. Morgendorffer, PACK your bags.

CUT TO XCU of DARIA, who is stunned.

DARIA


(Shocked.)

Excuse me? But I didn't even apply.

ZOOM OUT TO MS of BRITTANY, JANE, DARIA. DARIA looks over at BRITTANY.

BRITTANY


But Daria, you could use some free makeup!

DARIA rolls her eyes. JANE grins.

CUT TO CU of DeMARTINO, who is a bit irritated that DARIA is not visibly ecstatic or overjoyed at her sudden good fortune.

DeMARTINO


(Irritated.)

Yes, Daria, we were AWARE that you did not file an APPLICATION. Apparently your COUSIN submitted an application FOR you. She wanted to SURPRISE you with this GIFT of travel on the school's DIME. SOME of the committee members were moved by her selfless ACT, and so IMPRESSED with your CREDENTIALS that we finally agreed that you should have the HONOR of representing Lawndale High in Belgium.

CUT TO CU of JANE and DARIA.

JANE


Wow, lucky you. I wonder what moved her to such an act of selflessness?

DARIA


(Suspiciously.)

She's not capable of selfless action-- it interferes with her dating, shopping, and personal grooming schedules. I don't know what she's up to, but I'll find out one way or another.

CUT TO MS of DeMARTINO, looming over DARIA.

DeMARTINO


Well, Ms. Morgendorffer, what is your ANSWER?

DARIA


(Stalling for time.)

Uh, I need to ask my parents first.

DeMARTINO


(Grins evilly. In a more moderate tone.)

No need. Your cousin already spoke with them, and they agreed to let you make the journey, and take in the exchange student who will be visiting here in your place for the next three weeks.

DARIA


Ummm, I don't have a passport.

DeMARTINO


(Hands her a passport.)

Taken care of.

(Snaps at her.)

Your ANSWER, please? Or would you RATHER I send someone else to Belgium in your place to LOAF around for three weeks, and send your regrets to your PARENTS and COUSIN?

DARIA


(Resigned tone.)

Okay, okay. I'll go.

DeMARTINO


(Sarcastic tone.)

Thank you for your ENTHUSIASTIC acceptance, Daria. Your flight leaves in two days. (Hands DARIA an envelope.) You'll find your tickets, your instructions, and your CONTACT INFORMATION for Bruges in this envelope.

CUT TO CU of JANE and DARIA.

JANE


(Smirks. To DARIA, in a fake French accent.)

Just remember to find Remy and get zee microfeeelm, or else do not come back at all. Ze Free World 'angs on your every breath.

DARIA


Great. Now, where's Q with my combination wristwatch/blowgun?

INT. -- HALLWAY/LOCKERS -- DAY -- 10 MINUTES LATER.

MS of DARIA and JANE walking down the hall POV SIDE.

JANE


So, have you figured out why they want you out of the town for three weeks?

DARIA


Unfortunately, no. But knowing Quinn, she probably just saw it as an opportunity to get a free vacation from me and score points with Mom and Dad. Hm. (Beat.) That means that she must be up to something, because she doesn't usually need to build up points with Mom and Dad.

CUT TO CU of DARIA and JANE walking down the hall, POV FRONT.

JANE


So, does that mean you won't go?

DARIA


Much as I'd love to kick over Quinn's little sand castle, I don't think I can avoid going.

JANE


(False Shock.)

Does this mean that you've actually been outmaneuvered?

DARIA


Hardly. I thought you knew me better than that. (Beat.) No, Quinn couldn't have thought of this by herself. (Beat.) Mom is behind this to get more extracurriculars on my transcript. She knows I wouldn't turn down an opportunity to be away from the family for three weeks. Especially if the school's paying for it. Mom probably fooled Quinn into thinking that she'd get some kind of perqs out of me not being there, but since they're going to be hosting the exchange student, I bet Quinn ends up doing all of my chores. (Grins.)

JANE


So, does that mean you will go?

DARIA


Well, it's not like Quinn could sabotage the trip or anything. She can't even spell the word, let alone understand what it means.

JANE


Well, do me a favor, and get me something uniquely Belgian when you get there.

DARIA


Don't worry, I'm sure there's a waffle out there with your name on it.

JANE


(Smiles.)

Aw, that's awfully nice of you.

CUT TO MS POV SIDE.

DARIA


Now, if I can just figure out how the Gang of Four got swayed into agreeing to all of this, I'd feel much better about the whole thing.

JANE


Why do you think they agreed on you?

DARIA


Hm. They wanted someone whom they knew wouldn't embarrass the school on an academic level, someone who was observant enough to understand the differences between the two countries' cultures, and someone who could competently report about it. (Beat.) Damn. That's the hook. They knew I'd go just because I can't resist the opportunity to see something different, and I won't be able to resist writing about it either. I bet O'Neill was behind that part.

JANE


That's kinda scary.

DARIA


I know. I wonder what else they've been planning?

JANE


Don't worry, we'll probably never even notice it when they implant the electrodes.

BRITTANY runs to catch up to DARIA and JANE.

BRITTANY


Daria! Wait up! I need to ask you something!

DARIA and JANE turn to face BRITTANY.

DARIA


Yes, Brittany?

BRITTANY


When you get to Belgium, can you do something for me?

DARIA


(Sighs.)

What is it, Brittany?

BRITTANY


Can you get me some of that rouge that Mr. DeMartino was talking about?

DARIA


(Closes her eyes. Sighs.)

Brittany, that's the name of the city. Bruges. It's a city in Belgium. They don't make rouge there.

BRITTANY


(Confused.)

They don't? (Beat.) Well, could you just get me some eye liner, then? Thanks!

BRITTANY runs off in the direction she came from.

CU of DARIA, as she turns to face the camera with a deadpan look on her face.

DARIA


Whatever I did to deserve this, it couldn't've been that bad.

CUT BACK TO MS. JODIE walks up to DARIA and JANE from the other direction.

JODIE


Hey, Daria, I just wanted to congratulate you on getting the trip.

DARIA


Thanks. Didn't you apply? I thought this would be the sort of thing you'd love to do.

JODIE


(In a wry manner.)

Ordinarily, it would, but I've got so much on my plate already that I can't afford to take three weeks to actually do something that I might actually find interesting. (Starts ticking items off on her fingers.) Instead, I get to baby-sit the sophomore student council members, teach a group of young children to read, work the next five Saturday mornings in the soup kitchen, go to tennis practice four times a week, work on the yearbook, and somehow manage to fit in time to study, eat, and sleep. (Beat.) Oh, yeah, and still make time to see Mack-- whenever that happens.

DARIA


Well, if you suddenly decide to give in to the overwhelming urge to dump it all a start a new life for yourself in Belgium, let me know before I leave and the ticket is yours.

JODIE


(Grumbles.)

Don't tempt me.

JANE


(Grins.)

You could always say that you always wanted to help disadvantaged Belgian youths truly understand the American work ethic, and you just decided to Follow Your Dream.

JODIE


And spread the American disease even more? It's bad enough as it is, let's not ruin anyone else's lives. (Beat.) Daria, could you do me a favor while you're over there?

DARIA


Sure, name it.

JODIE


Could you get me something uniquely Belgian?

CUT TO CU DARIA. She gets her note pad out, and starts writing.

DARIA


(Out loud, as she writes.)

Get waffles for Jane and Jodie, eyeliner for Brittany. There. Did you want fries smothered in mayonnaise with that order?

CUT BACK TO MS.

JODIE


(Grins.)

I'll trust your innate sense of good taste.

DARIA


Then I should warn you that I have no sense of taste, fashion, or style.

CUT TO CU JODIE.

JODIE


(Shrugs.)

Well, if all else fails, just get me a shot glass.

CUT BACK TO MS.

JANE


A shot glass?

JODIE


Yeah, I get one wherever I go. It serves two purposes-- I get a cheap memento without having to waste time in gift shops, and it has the added benefit of irritating my parents.

JODIE grins.

DARIA


(Smiles ever so slightly.)

That's a nice tactic. I gotta make a note of that. Fat Elvis or skinny Elvis?

JODIE


Surprise me. (Looks down at watch.) Whoops! See you guys later, I gotta go to practice.

JODIE runs on through the scene from left to right.

INT. MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN -- SAME DAY -- AFTERNOON.

MS of MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN, POV BACK WALL. QUINN is seated at the kitchen table facing the wall. She is talking on the cordless phone.

ZOOM IN to CU of QUINN as she talks on the phone.

QUINN


Yes, I'm sure. She won't pass up a free trip to Europe or whatever, so she'll be out of the way for the next three weeks. (Pauses.) Uh-huh. (Pauses.) Uh-huh. (Pauses.) Sure, I'm sure! (Pauses.) Okay, bye!

CUT TO WS of KITCHEN, SAME POV. DARIA has paused in the doorway, and watches as QUINN hangs up the phone and walks out the sliding door.

ZOOM IN to MS of DARIA as she walks towards the kitchen table. She picks up the cordless phone and dials *69.

SANDI


(OS.)

Hellooo? (Pause. Irritated tone.) Hell--ooo!

DARIA hangs up the phone.

INT. MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN. -- SAME DAY. -- EVENING.

WS of MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN, POV BACK WALL. JAKE, QUINN, HELEN, and DARIA are seated at the table for their usual dinner of lasagna.

CUT TO MS of DARIA and HELEN.

DARIA


(To HELEN.)

Congratulations, Mom. You got me this time.

HELEN


What do you mean, Daria?

DARIA


(Pulls out envelope, lays it on the table.)

This. Apparently I'm going to Belgium for the next three weeks.

HELEN


(Excited.)

You mean you won? Congratulations, sweetie!

CUT TO CU JAKE.

JAKE


You know, I remember my days as an exchange student...

ZOOM OUT TO MS including DARIA and HELEN.

HELEN AND DARIA


(Together.)

Jake/Dad, don't.

JAKE


(Looks hurt.)

What? I had a great time abroad until...

HELEN


Jake! Don't!

DARIA


I was going to say that the interesting part is that I didn't even apply for it.

HELEN


(Innocently.)

Really?

CUT TO MS of DARIA and QUINN, POV BEHIND QUINN.

DARIA


(Looks at QUINN.)

Yes, apparently someone claiming to be my cousin applied for me.

CUT TO MS QUINN, POV BEHIND DARIA.

QUINN


Don't look at me, I didn't do it. It's not like I want to do your chores while you're off wandering around the world in Japan or whatever.

The phone rings. QUINN picks it up.

QUINN (CONT'D.)


Hello? (Pauses.) Oh, hi Larry. Sure. (Walks away from the table.)

HELEN


Daria, I just want you to promise me something.

DARIA


What?

HELEN


I just want you to promise to be careful over there. You'll be travelling alone, and, well, I just don't want anything to happen to you.

DARIA


Don't worry. Since it's a school trip, I have to obey their rules at all times.

HELEN


Well, that's a relief.

DARIA


Yeah, now I'm sure I won't any have fun.

INT. DARIA'S ROOM -- SAME DAY -- EVENING.

MS of DARIA'S ROOM OBLIQUE POV FRONT CORNER (Hall side). DARIA has put a small backpack on her bed, and stands next to it, packing it, while JANE sits on the bed. Both are watching TV.

CUT TO XCU TV. A hand lifts a silver lid from a dish, revealing a plate of wriggling worms.

SSW ANNOUNCER


(OS.)

First-class airline dining for the birds! Next on Sick, Sad World.

TV CUTS TO the familiar eyeball symbol.

CUT BACK TO MS OBLIQUE. JANE picks up a book titled "Let's Blow Through Europe."

JANE


"Let's Blow Through Europe?" Where did you find this book? It still has a section on East Berlin.

DARIA


It may be a little dated, but I figured it'd have some cool advice on travelling abroad. I refuse to carry the chunky old travel guide that the golf pants crowd uses.

JANE


Here's something helpful-- did you know that the Tall Thing to Climb in Paris is the Eiffel Tower?

DARIA


Yeah, it has other useful advice, too, like "Don't bother trying to learn all of those languages. They all speak perfectly good English over there."

JANE


So, you're going to go as the Ugly American?

DARIA


(Shrugs.)

Why not? It's something to do.

JANE


Did you find out anything about Quinn's little plans for the next three weeks?

DARIA


Yeah. It's actually a little disappointing.

JANE


What do you mean?

DARIA


Well, it seems like all she's planning is some sort of lame get-together with her little friends.

JANE


Why is that disappointing?

DARIA


I don't know. I was just hoping that maybe she had something big planned, and I could somehow ruin it from afar.

JANE


Don't waste the energy. Save it for Bruges. (In the fake accent.) Remy will need all of your strength.

DARIA


You're right. I should just concentrate on having fun.

JANE


Exactly!

DARIA


The only problem is, I don't like fun.

JANE


Daria, will you loosen up a little? Most kids our age would kill to get this kind of opportunity. So what if the Gang of Four, Helen, and Quinn are behind it? Sometimes you've just got to grab an opportunity like this and just ride it-- see where it goes. (Beat.) Has it ever occurred to you that maybe some of these people do respect you? And that maybe your Mother wanted you to have a little fun, too? Get some of that attention that Quinn always seems to hog? (Beat.) And even if it does turn into a disaster, so what? (Grins sardonically.) You'll get a great experience to write about, and a whole new trauma to discuss with your therapist when you turn forty.

DARIA


(Sighs.)

Okay. I'm just suspicious when the people I don't respect agree with the people I don't trust and send me off to somewhere I've never been to stay with people I don't know. (Beat.) But, since Remy does need my help, I'll try to relax.

JANE


That's the spirit!

DARIA


(Looks around the room.)

Now, what did you do with my lighter/flamethrower?

EXT. LAWNDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. -- DAY -- 2 DAYS LATER.

WS of the DEPARTURE TERMINAL. HELEN'S CAR pulls up to the curb and stops. It's an airport. What else is there to say?

CUT TO MS of HELEN'S CAR, POV HOOD. HELEN is in the driver's seat, DARIA is in the front passenger's seat, and QUINN is in the middle of the back seat, sitting next to DARIA'S backpack.

HELEN


(Turns to DARIA.)

Well, here we are. Are you sure you don't want us to wait with you before your flight leaves?

DARIA


No, it's okay Mom, I'll be fine.

DARIA opens the car door.

CUT TO MS POV SIDE of HELEN'S CAR. DARIA exits the passenger side, and opens the rear passenger door to get her backpack.

CUT TO CU QUINN POV DARIA.

QUINN


I can't believe you're only taking one bag for three whole weeks.

CUT TO MS DARIA.

DARIA


(Grabs her pack and puts it on.)

Well, I'm saving extra room for smuggling opportunities on the way back. You never know when you could use a little extra spreadin' around money.

CUT BACK TO CU QUINN.

QUINN


(Surprised.)

You're not serious, are you?

CUT BACK TO MS DARIA.

DARIA


(Shrugs.)

Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on the money.

CUT TO CU HELEN, POV DARIA.

HELEN


Be careful, sweetie, and please call us when you get there! And send your Grandmother a postcard, if you get a chance! (In an undertone.) Maybe then the old bat will remember her other granddaughters for a change.

CUT BACK TO MS DARIA.

DARIA


Okay. See you in three weeks.

DARIA turns and walks into the terminal.

CUT TO XCU HELEN, who looks a little misty-eyed as her daughter heads off into the Great Unknown. She sniffs briefly, then resets her features into their usual forced cheerful arrangement.

CUT TO MS HELEN'S CAR, POV WINDSHIELD. HELEN looks up at QUINN in rear view mirror.

HELEN


(Cheerfully.)

Well, let's go pick up our new guest for the next three weeks!

QUINN


(Sullenly.)

What kind of a name is Sophie?

HELEN


It's short for Sophia, and it's a perfectly nice name. Remember, she's never been here, and she's going to be our guest for the next three weeks. I want you to behave accordingly, Quinn, otherwise no party with your friends.

QUINN


(Worried.)

Mo-ooom, what if my popularity is threatened?

HELEN


Quinn, it's only for three weeks, and I mean what I say.

EXT. LAWNDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. -- SAME DAY. -- A FEW MINUTES LATER.

WS of TERMINAL. Hold for a few seconds, then

INT. LAWNDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS LOUNGE -- SAME DAY. -- A FEW MINUTES LATER

MS of HELEN and QUINN, standing in front of the CUSTOMS EXIT PORTAL, POV PORTAL. Helen is holding a small sign that says "Sophie" on it (you know, like the limo drivers use). QUINN, of course, looks embarrassed by the whole thing and stands a little off to the side, hoping that no one will guess that they're related. Hold for a few seconds then:

CUT TO MS of the PORTAL, POV QUINN. SOPHIE exits through the portal. She's more attractive than QUINN, and doesn't even wear makeup. She has long curly blond hair, and is tan and fit. She's wearing some sort of stylish casual European outfit.

CUT TO MS of HELEN, QUINN, and SOPHIE, POV SIDE, all standing at a bit of an OBLIQUE (so that they're not all in profile.)

SOPHIE


(In perfect English, with a slight accent.)

Hello, you must be the Morgendorffers! (Politely extends her hand to HELEN.) I'm Sophie.

CUT TO XCU of QUINN.

QUINN


(Worried.)

Oh, no!

CUT BACK TO MS POV SIDE.

HELEN


(Almost gushing.)

Hi Sophie, I'm Helen Morgendorffer, and this is my daughter, Quinn.

SOPHIE


(Shakes hands with HELEN, then QUINN (who shakes with a limp wrist.))

Pleased to meet you.

QUINN just makes a soft gurgling noise that sounds like "uh-huh."

CUT TO CU HELEN and SOPHIE.

HELEN


How was your flight?

SOPHIE


It was fine, thank you.

HELEN


Do you have any bags?

SOPHIE


No, Mrs. Morgendorffer. I always travel light. It's easier to travel with only just the backpack to lug around.

HELEN


Well, let's get out of here then, and get you settled.

CUT TO WS. SOPHIE and HELEN walk out of the scene, rather happy. QUINN follows at a distance, moping.

FADE OUT.

CUT TO SLO-MO of BRITTANY running to catch up to DARIA and JANE, to the music of "Vacation" by the Go-Gos.

COMMERCIAL BREAK.


ACT II.

FADE IN.

INT. QUINN'S ROOM. -- SAME DAY -- A FEW HOURS LATER.

MS of QUINN POV DOOR. QUINN is laying on her bed, on her stomach, talking on the cordless phone, and acting upset.

QUINN


It was disgusting! She didn't even need makeup!

SLIDE IN MS of SANDI, on her bed, in her room, to form a SS of the two of them.

SANDI


(Not believing QUINN.)

Quinn, there's no such thing as not needing makeup. Everyone needs a little bit, if only to highlight.

QUINN


Sandi, I don't think you understand-- her coloring is perfect! (Wails.) You have no idea what she'll do to our party!

SANDI


(Scornful.)

What is it with your house? Is it some sort of weirdo magnet or something?

QUINN


What do you mean?

SANDI


Well, first there's that weirdo cousin of yours, and now this new weird girl moves in to take her place for the next three weeks.

QUINN


(Frustrated.)

Don't you think I haven't tried to do anything about it? I would put a stop to it if I could, but I can't! (Beat.) Do you have any ideas, Sandi?

SANDI


Well, does she have to know about our little party? I mean, it's not like your cousin ever knows about our little get-togethers.

QUINN


I see your point, Sandi, but what if someone asks her out? What then?

SANDI


(Dubious.)

Oh, come on, Quinn, she can't look that good. Let me handle this.

QUINN starts to protest, but changes her mind as she sees an alternative.

QUINN


(Looks crafty, but sounds doubtful.)

Well, I don't know, Sandi... but, if you insist... I'm sure I can trust your good judgment.

SANDI


(Firmly.)

I'll handle it.

EXT. AIRPORT in BRUSSELS -- DAY.

WS of a LARGE AIRPLANE landing, POV SIDE.

INT. AIRPORT in BRUSSELS -- CUSTOMS PORTAL -- DAY -- A FEW MINUTES LATER.

WS of the VAN RIJN family. MIRJAM (Mom) is holding a sign with the name "Daria" printed on it. MIRJAM is a professional looking woman in her late '40s, with short blond hair, and a tired look in her face. HELMUT (Dad) is talking on his cell phone. HELMUT is a balding man in his late '40s, with a bit of a gut from eating out too much. ANALISE and BERTHOLD are arguing. ANALISE is 15 with long blond hair kept in a ponytail. BERTHOLD is 17 with short blond hair, rectangular glasses, a faded T-shirt, and old jeans.

BERTHOLD


(Condescendingly.)

Honestly, 'Lise, I can't believe that you'd do something so stupid.

ANALISE


(Irritatedly.)

It doesn't matter! It's still my business, not yours! Stay out of it!

BERTHOLD


(Gives up.)

Fine. Be that way. Just don't come running and snivelling to me when it all blows up in your face.

CUT TO MS POV PORTAL, BEHIND DARIA. While the younger VAN RIJNS have been arguing, DARIA has witnessed the incident from behind the CUSTOMS PORTAL. She sighs.

CUT BACK TO MS of VAN RIJNS.

MIRJAM


(Tired.)

Both of you, stop it. Let's remember that we are here for our guest, you know, the poor student who has just spent 10 long hours on a plane, only to be harassed by Customs. Act your ages, please. Wait-- strike that. Pretend you're ten years older.

ANALISE


But--

MIRJAM


No buts, 'Lise. Stop it. Now.

BERTHOLD smirks at ANALISE.

MIRJAM (CONT'D.)


That goes for you, too, Bertie. Drop that smug smile at once-- you look stupid.

CUT TO CU DARIA. She sighs again, builds up her courage, and pushes open the glass door and walks through the PORTAL.

CUT TO MS of DARIA and the VAN RIJNS, POV SIDE.

DARIA


Are you the Van Rijns? I'm Daria. The exchange student.

MIRJAM


(Cheerful, a little bit strained.)

Hello, Daria! I'm Mirjam Van Rijn, this is my husband, Helmut--

MIRJAM points to HELMUT, who is still on the cell phone. He turns to DARIA, nods, smiles, and resumes his phone conversation. MIRJAM glares at HELMUT, then turns back to DARIA with a somewhat forced smile.

MIRJAM (CONT'D.)


and these are our children, Analise and Berthold. (ANALISE sullenly nods.) Do you have any other bags? (DARIA shakes her head in the negative.) Good. If you follow me, we'll head on to the car and drive home. It's about an hour drive from Brussels to Bruges.

BERTHOLD smiles and extends his hand towards DARIA, who suspiciously shakes it.

CUT TO MS of DARIA and BERTHOLD, POV SIDE. MIRJAM leads HELMUT towards the EXIT, as the three kids follow.

BERTHOLD


Welcome to Belgium. Ignore my sister. She's always mad about some childish thing or another. (ANALISE sticks her tongue out at Berthold.) I'll be showing you around the school and the town as well. Speaking of school, I was told to give you this.

BERTHOLD hands DARIA a large manilla envelope full of papers.

BERTHOLD (CONT'D.)


Our Principal wants to make sure that you are sufficiently introduced to the way they do things here. She's a little paranoid, you see, that you won't fit in.

DARIA


For three weeks? Is she afraid that I'll spraypaint graffiti all over the walls and join a gang? Or is she just worried about my American accent and lack of education contaminating her school?

BERTHOLD chuckles.

BERTHOLD


Don't feel singled out. She makes sure that all of the students feel equally alienated. I think it's her calling in life.

DARIA


(Sighs.)

And I thought I was getting a vacation from that sort of thing.

BERTHOLD


Well, if it's any consolation, we're 3 hours away from Paris by high-speed rail, and about 4 hours from London through the Chunnel at Calais.

DARIA


Any chance we can cut class?

BERTHOLD


Don't worry, we won't need to. They've given us a little latitude in our schedules for day trips. And when you're not roaming around, there's always Bruges. It's a nice city, full of picturesque old buildings. You Americans like the old buildings, right?

DARIA


(Shrugs.)

If you've seen one, you've seen em all. (Beat.) Have you ever seen "Sick, Sad World?"

BERTHOLD


You mean the show with the freaks? I think I know where you're getting at. (Beat. Thinks.) Yeah, we could find something a little more interesting than the generic old building tour.

EXT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL -- DAY.

WS of the School.

INT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL -- HALLWAY -- DAY -- A FEW SECONDS LATER.

WS of SOPHIE walking down the hall, POV HEAD ON, AT A DISTANCE. As she makes her way towards the camera, all of the boys are staring at her in amazement. She merely smiles quietly to herself. As she walks past KEVIN and BRITTANY,

CUT TO MS of KEVIN and BRITTANY, POV SIDE. KEVIN turns his head as SOPHIE passes, and BRITTANY scowls at KEVIN. BRITTANY elbows KEVIN in the stomach.

KEVIN


Oooof! (Gasps.) What was that for, babe?

BRITTANY


Don't try to act dumb with me, Kevin, I saw you ogling that, that, foreign girl!

KEVIN


Baaabe! I'm sorry. She just looked like someone I used to know.

BRITTANY glares at KEVIN.

KEVIN (CONT'D.)


Uh, oh! Look at the time! Gotta go!

KEVIN runs off.

CUT BACK TO WS SOPHIE, as she talks towards QUINN, JOEY, JEFFY, and JAMIE.

CUT TO MS of QUINN, JOEY, JEFFY, and JAMIE. The three Js are standing in rapt attention as QUINN is talking to them.

QUINN


--and so I told her that--

All three Js stare and follow SOPHIE with their eyes as she walks by. QUINN starts to get mad.

QUINN (CONT'D.)


(Irritated.)

Guys? (Beat.) Guys! Hey! Are you even listening to me? (Beat.) Oh, never mind!

QUINN stomps her foot and walks off. The three Js all run after SOPHIE, and cluster around her.

All 3 Js start talking to SOPHIE at once:

JOEY


Hi, I'm Joey, who are you?

JEFFY


I'm Jeffy, and you are?

JAMIE


I'm Jamie, but you can call me anything you like!

SOPHIE


(Smiles coquettishly.)

Boys, boys, one at a time! Joey, Jeffy, Jamie, I am Sophie Van Rijn. I am the exchange student here for the next three weeks to learn everything about your interesting country that isn't already on television. Now if you'll excuse me, I am already late for class, and I do not wish to make a bad impression on my first day.

CUT TO MS of JOEY, JEFFY, and JAMIE, POV SOPHIE. The 3 Js start talking all over each other:

JOEY


Well, I'm already impressed!

JEFFY


Me, too! I'm really impressed!

JAMIE


Um, yeah! I'm really impressed too!

CUT BACK TO MS.

SOPHIE


(Amused.)

I can tell. But I need to impress the instructors here as well. Now, if you'll excuse me, we can talk later, okay, boys?

SOPHIE walks out of the scene. The 3 Js immediately start bickering with each other.

JEFFY


She likes me the best. I can tell, so I'll get to ask her out first.

JOEY


Keep dreaming, Jeffy, she wants to go out with me. But you can ask her if you want. I hear rejection builds character.

JAMIE


You're both crazy. It's me she wants.

JEFFY


No way!

JOEY


Only in your dreams, Jamie!

JAMIE


Oh, yeah?

The 3 Js start pushing each other around and scuffling. QUINN walks by, stops, looks at them. They keep fighting, ignoring her. She stamps her foot again and storms off.

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL IN BRUGES. -- DAY -- MORNING.

WS of the SCHOOL. A bell rings.

INT. SCHOOL AUDITORIUM. -- DAY -- MORNING -- A FEW SECONDS LATER.

WS of the AUDITORIUM STAGE. Ms. DeGROOT (the Principal) is standing at a suspiciously familiar-looking podium. She is a tall, blond woman with her hair in a bun and a severe expression permanently embedded in her face. She is wearing a dark, non-descript pantsuit. Ms. DeGROOT is giving out the morning announcements in her usual no-nonsense style.

SLOW ZOOM IN TO MS.

DeGROOT


... and those who do not arrive at their scheduled time will automatically be moved to the end of the line and given a demerit.

CUT TO CU of DeGROOT.

DeGROOT (CONT'D.)


Now, I have the pleasure of introducing our exchange student from Lawndale for the next three weeks. Please welcome Daria Morgendorffer. Stand, Ms. Morgendorffer, so that you may be recognized.

CUT TO MS AUDIENCE. DARIA reluctantly stands up from towards the back of the room. The students crane their necks and quietly "golf-clap."

CUT BACK TO CU DeGROOT

DeGROOT (CONT'D.)


Thank you, Ms. Morgendorffer. Be seated.

CUT TO CU DARIA. DARIA sits back down, with a puzzled frown on her face.

CUT TO MS DeGROOT.

DeGROOT (CONT'D.)


Now, remember, the next three weeks are English weeks. You may only speak English in class or on school grounds. Anyone caught speaking any other language will be dealt with accordingly. Remember, this is for your benefit. Dis-missed!

CUT TO MS of DARIA and BERTHOLD as they gather their books and head to class.

DARIA


English weeks? What's that all about?

CUT TO CU BERTHOLD.

BERTHOLD


(Grimaces.)

She's got some sort of a thing about wanting us to know as many languages as possible. Personally, I think she's got a bet going with one of the other schools.

CUT TO CU DARIA

DARIA


(Getting a sneaking suspicion.)

What did Ms. DeGroot do before she was the principal?

CUT BACK TO MS.

BERTHOLD


(Shrugs.)

No one's really sure. There are a few rumors, but no one has any proof.

DARIA


Like...?

BERTHOLD


Well, the most frequently circulated one says that she was a counter-intelligence officer for NATO during the cold war.

DARIA


So, the transition to principal would've been easy for her, then.

BERTHOLD


Yeah, she's a real charmer, alright. Just don't cross her, whatever you do. She's got a long memory. Rumor says that she left NATO because she felt that they were too soft on the Communists. (Beat.) By the way, what do you want to do after school today? Tourist stuff?

DARIA


I guess I'd better get in at least a few obligatory snapshots of Old Buildings and Charming Customs, if only to prove to the school that I didn't just cash the ticket in and disappear.

BERTHOLD


(Grins.)

Don't worry, I'll make it as painless as possible.

DARIA


Thanks.

EXT. MORGENDORFFER HOUSE -- DAY -- AFTERNOON.

WS of the HOUSE.

INT. MORGENDORFFER KITCHEN -- DAY -- AFTERNOON -- A FEW SECONDS LATER.

MS of the KITCHEN TABLE. QUINN is sitting there, bored, leafing through the latest copy of Waif, drinking her diet soda. The phone rings. QUINN looks happy and relieved. QUINN quickly grabs the phone.

QUINN


(Excited.)

Hello? (Beat.) (Deflated.) Oh. No, she's not here right now. (Beat.) (Annoyed.) No, I don't know where she is. (Beat.) (Exasperated.) Alright, I'll give her the message.

QUINN scribbles down a message and adds it to a growing pile. She is not amused. She hangs up the phone and dials a number.

QUINN (CONT'D.)


Hello, is Sandi there?

CUT TO SS MS QUINN (left) and MS SANDI in the GRIFFIN'S LIVING ROOM (right).

SANDI


Hello?

QUINN


Sandi, it's Quinn.

SANDI


(Insincerely.)

Oh, Hell-o, Quinn. How are you doing today?

QUINN


Well, ever since this new girl has come to town, I've been positively swamped with calls. (Beat. Grumbles.) For her.

SANDI


(Insincerely.)

Really? Why, that's too bad.

QUINN


(Irritated.)

Save your sympathy for someone who needs it. Like yourself.

SANDI


(Suspicious.)

What do you mean?

QUINN


(Innocently.)

You were planning on going out with Michael Tompkins this Thursday, weren't you?

SANDI


Yeah, so?

QUINN


Well, he's left four messages for our little visitor. He's just dying to meet her for dinner. (Beat.) At Chez Pierre.

SANDI


(Getting the point.)

Rrrreally?

QUINN


Yes. Now, do you have a plan or don't you? It's been only one day, and I bet that by the end of the next three weeks, we'll have a disaster on our hands. It's time to go into damage-control mode, Sandi.

SANDI


Don't worry, I'll handle it.

SANDI Hangs up the phone.

Slide out MS of SANDI to MS of QUINN.

CUT TO CU of QUINN

QUINN


(To herself, speculating.)

No, you won't, Sandi. You don't have a freaking clue. (Beat. Smiles.) Well, if it's going to go this way, I might as well wind up on the winning side of this one.

CUT TO WS KITCHEN. SOPHIE enters the room from the LIVING ROOM entry.

SOPHIE


(Cheerfully.)

Hello, Quinn. How are you doing today?

SOPHIE moves to JAKE'S chair and sits down at the table.

CUT TO MS of QUINN and SOPHIE.

QUINN


(Nonchalantly.)

Oh, hi Sophie. Oh, I'm doing okay, I guess. But I can see that you're doing very well, indeed.

QUINN slides the pile of messages over to SOPHIE.

QUINN (CONT'D.)


(A little sullenly.)

All of these messages are for you.

CUT TO CU SOPHIE.

SOPHIE


(Sighs.)

Oh, no. Just what I need, a bunch of silly little boys all slobbering at my heels. Don't they understand that I'm not even going to be here for more than three weeks?

CUT TO CU QUINN.

QUINN


For some reason, I don't think that they even care about that.

CUT BACK TO MS.

SOPHIE


It's just that it's so frustrating to have to put up with this. It's bad enough to have to be attractive and popular at my school back home, but I just don't think I can take all of the added work here as well. Surely you understand, Quinn?

QUINN


(Puzzled.)

No, not really. I love being attractive and popular. It keeps me busy all the time.

CUT TO CU SOPHIE.

SOPHIE


(Emphasizes points by pointing finger on table.)

Exactly. You spend so much time being attractive and popular that you don't have any time for yourself. I'll bet that you never even have the time to sit alone quietly and just think. (Beat.) Oh, it's just so unfair! And all I wanted was a little vacation from it all!

QUINN


(A little surprised.)

You mean you volunteered for this trip?

SOPHIE


But of course! I was so busy with my usual schedule, that I just had to have a little time away from it all. And now, this! (Beat.) Well, if it must be done, it must be done. (Sighs.) Well, we'd better do something about this, Quinn.

QUINN


Like what?

SOPHIE


Well, are there any clubs around here? You know, places where all of the interesting people hang out?

QUINN


You mean like the mall?

SOPHIE


The mall? Please. You shop there for things. Not for fun. Where do you go to have fun?

QUINN


Well, sometimes we go out to some of the local clubs, and sometimes one of us will have, you know, a party...

SOPHIE


Quinn, what a great idea! Why don't we have a little party? We'll only invite people who are interesting and worthy of our attention! I'll let you plan the guest list, I'll arrange the "entertainment." This will be perfect!

QUINN gulps a little nervously, as she is getting out of her depth. SOPHIE knows a heck of a lot more about being attractive and popular than QUINN, and QUINN is desperately trying to decide if SOPHIE is setting her up.

QUINN


(Hesitantly.)

Um, okay... what sort of entertainment did you have in mind?

SOPHIE


(Dismisses it with a flick of her wrist.)

I don't know yet. I haven't made up my mind. I'll let you know soon enough. I figure we time this right before I leave-- that'll give us plenty of time to prepare, and I can rest up for it. You'll need time to rest too, Quinn.

EXT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL. LAWN OUTSIDE THE CAFETERIA. -- DAY -- AFTERNOON.

MS of JANE and JODIE, sitting on the lawn, talking. JANE rummages around in her bookbag.

JANE


By the way, I got a postcard from our foreign correspondent.

JODIE


Really? Cool. Where's it from?

JANE


(Looks at front of postcard.)

Figures. The Tower of London. It says, "I'll be-heading to the Tower."

JODIE


What does she have to say?

JANE


(Reading postcard.)

"Jane..."

EXT. LONDON. NEAR BIG BEN -- OUTSIDE -- DAY.

START MONTAGE. MONTAGE of BIG BEN, BUCKINGHAM PALACE, TRAFALGAR SQUARE, WESTMINSTER ABBEY, POV GROUND LEVEL. All shots are WS of DARIA and BERTHOLD standing in front the various buildings, all with huge lines (or queues, as they call them in England) in front of them. They look at the queue, shrug, and move on.

DARIA


(OS)

Greetings from London. What can I say? It's crowded and full of tourists, all trying to catch the same four or five Important Historical English Things before the lines get too long.

CONTINUE MONTAGE TO TOWER OF LONDON. MS of DARIA and BERTHOLD walking towards the TOWER.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


(OS)

Berthold, or Bert, as he prefers to be called, is my guide for these next few weeks. He really seems to know where all of the cool places are. And, if you're wondering, yes, we did visit the Tower of London, and I got both you and Jodie some really cool shot glasses there.

INT. TOWER OF LONDON GIFT SHOP -- DAY.

MS of DARIA and BERTHOLD looking at a row of various sizes of headsman's axes. DARIA tests the edge of an axe with a thumb, and smiles to herself.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


(OS)

I got a small headsman's axe for myself-- I'm going to have to ship it home, though, it won't fit in the backpack.

EXT. MME. TOUSSAUD'S -- DAY.

MS of DARIA and BERTHOLD walking into the MUSEUM.

INT. MME. TOUSSAUD'S -- DAY.

SHORT MONTAGE of DARIA and BERTHOLD looking at various wax figures of dead Vegas celebrities.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


(OS)

After that, we managed to make it over to Madame Toussaud's Wax Museum, to see their latest exhibit on How Famous Dead Entertainers Would Look If They Were Made Of Wax. Definitely worth the four hour trip. I gotta say one thing, though, and that is that it's got to be better to live 4 hours away from London than to be 4 hours away from Swedesville. And 3 hours from Paris. I'll drop you a post card from there, too, when we go next weekend.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL IN BELGIUM. -- DAY.

SHORT MONTAGE of DARIA sitting in the AUDITORIUM as MS. DeGROOT pounds her shoe on the podium, of DARIA sitting in class looking extremely bored, and of DARIA sitting at the table in the CAFETERIA looking repulsed at the cabbagey offering.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


(OS)

Oh, I almost forgot, we still have school, but it's so much like Lawndale that it's really not worth commenting on, except that the students score higher on standardized tests. But they're just as screwed as we are. Tell Jodie that other than the trips to London and Paris, she really isn't missing much.

EXT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL. LAWN OUTSIDE THE CAFETERIA. -- DAY -- AFTERNOON.

MS of JANE and JODIE.

JANE


(Finishing the postcard.)

"Be productive, or at least fake it. Daria." (Beat.) Well, sounds like she's having fun.

JODIE


(A little sourly.)

Yeah. (Beat. Sighs. Tries to sound more cheerful.) Well, at least I know someone who's having fun, if I'm not.

JANE


Hey, don't sweat it. Just keep reminding yourself that all of this hard work will pay off someday.

JODIE


Thanks.

JANE


(Grins.)

And if it doesn't pay off for you, at least it'll pay off for your therapist.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL IN BRUGES. HALLWAY. -- DAY. -- MORNING.

MS of DARIA at her locker, shifting her loads of books, POV SIDE. Ms. DeGROOT silently approaches her from behind.

DeGROOT


(In her usual, business-like style.)

Ms. Morgendorffer.

DARIA jumps in surprise and turns around.

DARIA


Yes, Ms. DeGroot?

CUT TO CU DeGROOT.

DeGROOT


How are you adjusting to our school?

CUT TO CU DARIA.

DARIA


Uh, I'm doing quite well, thank you. It kind of reminds me of my school back home.

CUT TO CU DeGROOT. ZOOM TO XCU as she finishes.

DeGROOT


(Almost ominously.)

Ah, yes, Angela has always been an efficient administrator. Very security-conscious. I approve. Fun is fun, Ms. Morgendorffer, but without security, all you get is chaos, and people get hurt when there's chaos.

CUT TO CU DARIA. DARIA looks from side to side, hoping that someone will show up and bail her out. No such luck.

DARIA


(A little uneasy.)

Um, I see your point, ma'am. (Hopes to change the subject a little.) Have you ever met Ms. Li in person?

CUT TO CU DeGROOT.

DeGROOT


Oh, yes, we met at a conference in Washington about 10 years ago. A few years later, we agreed to set up the exchange program. It's been very successful for both schools, and everyone involved has benefitted from it.

CUT TO CU DARIA.

DARIA


Well, I can definitely say that I'm learning quite a bit, ma'am.

CUT TO MS.

DeGROOT.


Good. (Beat.) Now, you'd better be off to your next class. Wouldn't want you to miss anything.

DARIA


(Gratefully.)

Yes, ma'am. You're right.

DARIA heads off to class at a brisk pace.

EXT. A STREET SOMEWHERE IN BRUGES. -- DAY -- AFTERNOON.

MS of DARIA and BERTHOLD, sitting on the side of a fountain, eating pommes frites covered in mayonnaise (or remoulade).

DARIA


Well, Bert, I gotta admit it. These fries aren't too disgusting this way.

BERTHOLD


Oh, I love mayonnaise on my fries. It adds a nice subtle flavoring to them. I doubt that it'll ever catch on in America, but enough about food. What did you want to talk to me about that was so important?

DARIA


I think I've discovered a very disturbing connection between Ms. DeGroot and Ms. Li.

BERTHOLD


Really?

DARIA


Yeah. But you've got to keep it to yourself. This is the sort of thing that could get us both in trouble, if it ever got out.

BERTHOLD


(Considers it.)

Okay. Done. Now, what's the dirt, as you say?

DARIA


Well, Ms. DeGroot let it slip that she met Ms. Li 10 years ago at a conference in Washington.

BERTHOLD


So?

DARIA


There's just one little problem-- Ms. Li wasn't the principal then-- she wasn't even a teacher in Lawndale. Yet Ms. DeGroot said that she and Ms. Li set up the exchange program only a few years later. (Beat.) Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

BERTHOLD


Yeah. (Beat.) You know, suddenly, I'm not so hungry anymore.

DARIA


Yeah, I know what you mean. Let's go someplace fun for the afternoon and forget this for a while.

BERTHOLD


Sure. We can go to Dr. Tongue's House of 8-Tracks.

DARIA


70's retro?

BERTHOLD


Sorry, but that's about it for here.

DARIA


Alright, Dr. Tongue's it is then.

FADE OUT

CUT TO SLO-MO of DARIA testing the edge of an axe with her thumb, to "Runaway," by Dell Shannon.

COMMERCIAL BREAK


ACT III

FADE IN

INT. VAN RIJN HOUSE -- DARIA'S ROOM -- DAY -- AFTERNOON.

MS of DARIA, as she sets her books down on the desk, she picks up a postcard addressed to her from Jane.

CUT TO XCU DARIA.

DARIA


(To herself.)

"Daria, Just thought I'd drop you a line and let you in on what you're missing..."

INT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL -- HALLWAY -- DAY -- MORNING.

WS of SOPHIE, walking down the hall, followed by a swarm of boys. Hold for a few seconds as JANE speaks then...

CUT TO MS of SANDI and BRITTANY, both of whom look really pissed off.

JANE


(OS.)

First off, it appears that your replacement has cut quite a swath through the boys here, and it hasn't gone unnoticed by the local womenfolk.

INT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL -- MR. O'NEILL'S ROOM -- DAY -- MORNING.

MS of SOPHIE, POV SIDE. She is seated in the first row, with her hand raised.

JANE (CONT'D.)


(OS.)

And she isn't a slouch in the classroom, either. She's managed to make Mr. O'Neill happy enough to keep him from pestering us with his usual flakey ideas.

INT. PIZZA KING -- DAY -- AFTERNOON.

WS of RESTAURANT, POV FRONT. JANE is sitting at one of the tables in the front, sketching something. PAN LEFT and ZOOM IN to MS of QUINN and SOPHIE, talking in a booth together.

JANE (CONT'D.)


(OS)

But the weird part is that for some reason, Quinn hangs around with Sophie all the time after school. If it weren't for the fact that they don't have any classes together, I'd swear that they were joined at the hip. I guess maybe Quinn is hoping to learn a few beauty tips from our visitor, or maybe a few helpful hints at mass manipulation, because except for her ability to attract every guy in a room, she doesn't really have any objectionable flaws. Naturally, the other girls can't stand her.

INT. VAN RIJN HOUSE -- DARIA'S ROOM -- DAY -- AFTERNOON.

CU DARIA reading postcard.

DARIA


(To herself.)

"This, of course, begs the question: can you get any dirt on her from her brother or sister? Enjoy Paris. Jane."

INT. VAN RIJN HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- SAME DAY -- AFTERNOON -- A FEW MINUTES LATER. The LIVING ROOM is just a plain old living room -- modern furniture, modern art, modern tchachkes.

MS of BERTHOLD, seated on the couch, reading the newspaper. DARIA walks into the room from the left. BERTHOLD looks up from the paper.

BERTHOLD


Hey.

DARIA


Hey. Mind if I ask you something weird?

BERTHOLD


Shoot.

DARIA


My friend Jane would like to know on behalf of the female population of Lawndale High, "What is it with your sister?"

BERTHOLD laughs.

BERTHOLD


Tell her if I knew anything of use, I'd be glad to tell her. Sophie is a sweet girl, if a bit shallow. She enjoys having fun and being well-liked. Tell Jane that she's harmless. (Beat. Grins evilly.) Even if she tends to anger every woman in a five kilometer radius.

DARIA


Sounds scary.

BERTHOLD


(Laughs)

You have no idea. She loves it that way, even if it is a sort of curse. To be attractive and popular, and envied and despised at the same time. If she had any depth, she'd ditch that crowd, but she's still having fun. And getting the exchange was a feather in her cap to make everyone else even more jealous of her.

DARIA


Well, unless they dramatically changed Lawndale after I left, there's nothing for them to be jealous about, unless of course her friends are brain-damaged, too.

BERTHOLD chuckles.

BERTHOLD


It's possible. But, Sophie could use a little break from all of the excitement for a while. Maybe it'll give her something to think about.

DARIA


That won't be too hard to do. Lawndale is about as exciting as an infected hangnail. Every weekend people watch paint dry for entertainment. (Beat.) Now, to more important things. When are we going to Paris?

INT. MORGENDORFFER HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT.

WS of the LIVING ROOM, all festooned with streamers and balloons. QUINN and SOPHIE are working on last-minute party favors.

CUT TO CU QUINN.

QUINN


(Nervous.)

What do you think? Do we need more ice? More chips? More ---

CUT TO MS QUINN and SOPHIE.

SOPHIE


(Cuts QUINN off.)

Quinn, relax. It's a party. We aren't going to look like we're going out of our way to impress these people, after all. They're already impressed, if they show up, and if we look too much like we're trying, they'll think we're desperate. Remember, cool is a state of mind. Besides, do you ever remember what the chips look like, or whether there's enough ice? Of course not. You have more important things to worry about.

QUINN


(Looks down.)

Okay. I'm sorry.

SOPHIE


Quinn, don't look down like that. It makes you look too meek and submissive. Remember, you aren't just in the top tier, you are the top tier. (Beat.) Oh, by the way, I modified the guest list a little.

CUT TO CU QUINN.

QUINN


(Looks nervous.)

Modified it?

CUT TO CU SOPHIE.

SOPHIE picks up a shrimp on a toothpick, and starts nibbling at it.

SOPHIE


You know, these shrimp are excellent. You really should try one, you know.

CUT TO CU QUINN.

QUINN


(Getting more nervous.)

Sophie, what did you do to the guest list?

CUT TO MS.

SOPHIE


(Offhandedly.)

Well, some of the girls on the list seemed like they might reject the invitations, so I didn't invite them.

QUINN


(Starting to look physically sick, but has to know.)

Just how much is "some?"

SOPHIE


Well, actually, I guess "most" is more accurate.

CUT TO XCU QUINN.

QUINN


(Horrified.)

WHAT????

CUT TO MS.

SOPHIE


Honestly, Quinn, I wouldn't get too upset about it. It just means more guys paying attention to us. Besides, if they reject the invitations, it gives them the upper hand. And you must never, ever, let them have the upper hand.

QUINN


But, but, my friends will kill me!

SOPHIE


No, they won't, because they're not really your friends. (Disappointed.) Come on, Quinn, haven't you learned anything that I've taught you yet? All they are are little back-stabbers, just waiting to pick you off at a weak moment. You've got to stay one step ahead of them. Besides, the girls who think you've got the upper hand will all swing dates to get here, even without an invitation.

QUINN


(In stunned disbelief.)

Really?

SOPHIE finishes her shrimp, takes a sip of soda, and chews a breath mint.

SOPHIE


Of course. This is the ultimate test of our popularity, Quinn. I handed out 20 invitations. Count the guests as they arrive.

The doorbell rings.

SOPHIE (CONT'D)


Ah, time to start counting, Quinn. Go get that, would you?

CUT TO CU of FRONT DOOR, POV BEHIND and to the RIGHT of QUINN. The door opens, revealing SANDI and her date, SOME NAMELESS GUY WITH AN INVITATION.

INT. MORGENDORFFER HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT -- A FEW HOURS LATER.

SAME WS of the LIVING ROOM, but it's now a little bit on the messy side. QUINN and SOPHIE are seated on the sofas. Well, not so much seated, as flopped out.

CUT TO MS of QUINN and SOPHIE, both tired.

SOPHIE


So, Quinn, what was the final count?

QUINN smiles.

QUINN


Well, out of 20 invitations, 50 people showed up.

SOPHIE


Not bad. Not bad at all. How did the crashers get in?

QUINN


I don't know, and, frankly, I don't care. I'm too tired to think of anything else.

SOPHIE


You know, it's too bad that I'm going to be leaving tomorrow night. You could use the help on Monday.

CUT TO CU QUINN.

QUINN


(Nervous all over again.)

What do you mean?

CUT TO MS.

SOPHIE


Well, you'll have to solidify your new position in the pecking order at school. And that takes brains and skill. Just read your Machiavelli. He has some interesting thoughts on the subject.

QUINN


You mean the cologne guy? What does he know about politics?

SOPHIE


(Sighs.)

Never mind. Just enjoy the afterglow from tonight, Quinn.

Pause for two beats.

QUINN


Sophie?

SOPHIE


Yes?

QUINN


Now I know why you wanted a vacation. This is brutal.

SOPHIE


Tell me about it, Quinn. Tell me about it.

INT. AIRPORT in BRUSSELS -- GATE 12 -- DAY.

WS of DARIA and the VAN RIJNs saying goodbye. HELMUT is still on the cell phone, nodding emphatically at thin air.

CUT TO MS of DARIA, MIRJAM, and HELMUT.

MIRJAM


Well, Daria, goodbye. It has been nice having you, even though we didn't get to see very much of you. Helmut? (Beat.) Helmut!

HELMUT turns to MIRJAM with a questioning look on his face.

MIRJAM (CONT'D.)


(Grinding her teeth a little bit.)

Please wish Daria here a nice trip back home.

HELMUT smiles briefly at DARIA and nods, then goes back to his cell phone, nodding away. MIRJAM just shakes her head and sighs.

ZOOM OUT TO include ANALISE and BERTHOLD.

ANALISE


Have a nice trip back. (Beat.) (To MIRJAM.) Can we go now? I have a party to go to.

BERTHOLD scowls at ANALISE.

BERTHOLD


Honestly, 'Lise, you're the absolute limit. (ANALISE walks off in a huff. BERTHOLD extends his hand to DARIA, who shakes it.) Sorry about that.

CUT TO MS BERTHOLD and DARIA.

DARIA


It's okay. After 14 and a half years, I'm used to it by now. Thanks for showing me around.

BERTHOLD


My pleasure.

DARIA


Write me as soon as you can pump the info out of Sophie. I want to know all of the dirt on what really happened when I was away.

BERTHOLD


(Grins.)

You have my word of honor. (Beat.) (In a fake, melodramatic way.) Just remember, we'll always have Paris.

DARIA


(Shudders.)

Don't remind me. I didn't know a restaurant could be that filthy and still have a license to serve food.

BERTHOLD


(Laughs.)

Well, it's a good thing I didn't take you to the seedy side of town, then. Bon voyage!

DARIA


Merci. I'll probably be back in a few years, when I decide to do the generic college European vacation thing.

BERTHOLD


Well, you'll always have a place to crash in Bruges.

DARIA


And if you're ever struck in the head with a large, blunt object, you'll have a place to recover in Lawndale. Au revoir.

DARIA walks through the gate, and onto the plane.

EXT. LAWNDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- EVENING -- A FEW HOURS LATER.

WS of an AIRPLANE landing, POV SIDE. After the tires briefly squeal, hold a second then CUT TO:

INT. LAWNDALE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- EVENING -- A FEW MINUTES LATER.

MS of JAKE, HELEN, and QUINN (who doesn't look too thrilled to be at the stupid airport again.) JAKE and HELEN have goofy smiles plastered all over their faces.

DARIA walks into the scene from the LEFT. HELEN runs up to DARIA and gives her a hug. DARIA cringes a little at the PDA, and HELEN releases her.

HELEN


Oh, sweetie! It's so good to have you back!

DARIA


Uh, thanks, Mom. It's good to be back, I think.

JAKE


So, did you have a cool time in Europe?

DARIA


(Sounds tired.)

I guess so, Dad.

HELEN


(Concerned.)

Are you alright, Daria?

DARIA


I'm fine. I'm just a little tired.

HELEN


Well, don't just stand there, Jake, get her backpack for her!

JAKE


Oh! Yeah! Right!

JAKE grabs DARIA's backpack and almost knocks her off balance.

JAKE (CONT'D.)


Whoa! Sorry, kiddo, but this thing is heavy! What've you got in it, rocks?

DARIA looks at QUINN and grins evilly.

DARIA


Something like that, Dad.

QUINN's eyes get big, and she raises her eyebrows in surprise.

INT. MORGENDORFFER HOUSE. DARIA'S ROOM. -- NIGHT -- AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER.

MS of DARIA, writing something at her desk. There's a knock at her door.

DARIA


Yes?

CUT TO MS QUINN on the OTHER side of the door, POV SIDE.

QUINN


Daria, can I come in?

CUT TO MS DARIA.

DARIA


Yeah, it's open.

QUINN opens the door and walks into the room.

QUINN


Ugh! How could Sophie stand being in this room for three weeks?

DARIA


Did you just want to critique the decor, or is there a point to this intrusion?

QUINN


Daria, I ... need your help.

DARIA


Which class do you need the homework for?

QUINN


No, it's not that. You see, Sophie kind of got me into a bit of a political mess, and I need your help figuring out a way to get out of it.

DARIA


Have you been eating mushrooms from the front yard again?

QUINN


Look, this is tough for me, you know that. You see, Sophie suggested that we have a party, then she only invited all of the guys, and none of the other girls. And now that Sophie's gone, I have no idea how to keep the other girls from killing me!

DARIA


Hmmm. Interesting problem. (Beat.) Okay, I'll help you.

QUINN


You will?

DARIA


Yeah, I can save your popularity for, oh, say, seventy bucks.

DARIA and QUINN go into the usual quick bargaining mode.

QUINN


Seventy?? Thirty.

DARIA


(Shrugs.)

It's your popularity, not mine. Sixty.

QUINN


Forty.

DARIA


Fifty.

QUINN


Done.

DARIA


Done. Now, all you need to do is tell them this...

INT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL. HALLWAY. -- DAY -- THE NEXT MORNING.

MS of DARIA and JANE talking in front of DARIA'S locker, which is open, POV HEAD ON.

JANE


So, are you ready for your big presentation?

DARIA


You betcha. I've got all sorts of interesting slides.

JANE


Really? What kind of stuff?

DARIA


Aw, c'mon, it'll spoil the surprise. Besides, you know me well enough to guess.

JANE


True enough.

DARIA and JANE walk off to the LEFT. PAN RIGHT TO MS of QUINN, SANDI, STACY, and TIFFANY.

QUINN


(Irritated.)

Look, I said I was sorry. I didn't make up the guest list, and I didn't hand out the invitations. And I told you before that my parents made me hang out with her.

SANDI


Quinn, I most definitely told you that I'd handle it, and you let her take over and mess everything up.

QUINN


You're just mad because your date wound up talking to Sophie all night. (SANDI scowls at QUINN.) But look, she's gone now. The boys will forget her soon enough.

SANDI


They might, but don't count on everyone to forget this incident anytime soon.

SANDI walks off.

TIFFANY


Don't worry, Quinn, she's just mad that Michael ditched her for Sophie. She'll get over it.

STACY


Yeah, Quinn, don't worry about it.

QUINN


(Smiles.)

Thanks, guys, you're the best!

INT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL. MR. O'NEILL'S ROOM. -- MORNING. -- A FEW MINUTES LATER.

MS of MR. O'NEILL standing in front of his desk, POV CLASS. He is eagerly anticipating DARIA'S report from Europe.

O'NEILL


And now, class, please welcome back Daria from Belgium! Daria, we eagerly anticipate your report!

CUT TO WS of CLASS, POV FRONT of ROOM. DARIA gets up from her desk and walks to the front of the room.

CUT TO MS of DARIA and MR. O'NEILL, POV CLASS.

DARIA


Thank you, Mr. O'Neill. Before I start my presentation, I'd like to thank Berthold van Rijn, who served as my guide and camera assistant. I hope you enjoy this slide show of sites of famous executions in England, Belgium, and France.

MR O'NEILL pales visibly.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


First slide, please.

A slide of the Tower of London appears behind DARIA.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


Here we see the Tower of London, where many a famous historical personage has spent time enjoying its various sights such as -- next slide please --

A slide of a rack appears behind DARIA.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


--The rack. An early form of the now-popular lie detector, the rack was used to ensure that people were telling the truth by pulling their arms slowly from their sockets. Next slide please.

CUT TO CU of MR. O'NEILL, who is cringing.

CUT BACK TO MS of DARIA, as a slide of a small courtyard with a small stone tablet surrounded by a black chain-link fence appears.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


After a good confession, the guilty were then sent to an area such as this-- the place where Anne Boleyn, one of Henry VIII's wives, was beheaded. In those days, it was always the custom to tip the headsman a gold coin, to ensure he did a neat job.

DISSOLVE TO LAST SLIDE, of the BASTILLE.

DARIA (CONT'D)


... and, finally, the French inventor, Joseph Guillotin, finally found a way to save the condemned that gold coin I mentioned earlier, with his invention of the guillotine. Here at the Bastille, many condemned Frenchmen were given quick, clean deaths, and could pass that gold coin on to the State. That ends my report on my three weeks in Bruges. Any questions?

There is a brief uncomfortable silence, which MR. O'NEILL quickly fills.

O'NEILL


(Shaken.)

Uh, thank you, Daria, for your very, um.... interesting report on an, uh, aspect of European culture that many of us haven't, um, had the opportunity to consider.

CUT TO XCU DARIA. DARIA smiles that secret smile. "Gotcha!" is probably what she's thinking.

INT. LAWNDALE HIGH SCHOOL. HALLWAY. -- DAY -- AFTER THE LAST CLASS.

MS of DARIA and JANE, walking down the hallway, POV SIDE OBLIQUE.

JANE


I gotta take my hat off to you, you really got 'em good this time.

DARIA


Well, they thought they had me pegged. I had to find a way to reestablish the balance of power.

JANE


Yeah, otherwise they might send you on those school's Outward Bound trip next month.

DARIA


(Cringes.)

Don't even mention that around Quinn. She might get another stupid idea. Speaking of which...

BRITTANY runs up to catch up with DARIA and JANE.

BRITTANY


Daria, did you get me my eye liner?

DARIA


Huh? (Beat.) Oh, yeah, Brittany, I almost forgot.

DARIA rummages around in her bookbag and hands BRITTANY a pencil.

DARIA (CONT'D.)


It's the latest in European cosmetics.

BRITTANY


Really? Wooow! And they made it look just like a Ticonderoga #2! They're really clever about design!

DARIA


Yeah, but don't mix it up with the rest of your pencils, though.

BRITTANY


Thanks, Daria!

BRITTANY runs off.

MS. LI approaches from the other side.

LI


Ms. Morgendorffer! A word with you, please!

JANE


Uh-oh...

DARIA


Yes, Ms. Li?

LI


I understand that we sent you on a three week exchange to Europe, and all you had to report on was the various methods of execution used through the ages?

DARIA


Well, that wasn't all of the information that I was going to report.

LI


Really? What else did you learn on your trip?

DARIA


(Leans closer to Ms. LI.)

Well, I met Ms. DeGroot, and she wanted me to report back to you that "the vulture circles hungrily over the fatted calf."

LI


(Quickly and nervously.)

Uh, oh, well, good work, Ms. Morgendorffer. Carry on!

MS. LI walks quickly to her office.

JANE


What was that all about?

DARIA


Well, it turns out that Ms. DeGroot used to work for NATO counter-intelligence. And now, I've just managed to prove to my satisfaction that Ms. Li must still be working in counter-intelligence-- other than in her role as Principal, I mean.

JANE


Which agency, do you think?

DARIA


What difference does it make? This just gives me another bargaining chip for future use. It still doesn't solve the final mystery, though.

JANE


Which one?

DARIA


The mystery of why Quinn put me up to this stupid trip in the first place.

JANE


Oh, come on, don't tell me you didn't have fun?

DARIA


Well, yeah, of course I had fun. Three weeks away from my family and Lawndale, the opportunity to see some real cities, experience real culture, and, of course, the opportunity to get one up on Ms. Li and Mr. O'Neill in one fell swoop. But I still can't figure out why Quinn put me up to it in the first place.

JANE


Oh, I figured that out a while ago.

DARIA


Really?

JANE


(Grins wickedly.)

Yeah, because Quinn never filled out the forms. (Beat. Pauses for effect.) I did, and I got your mother to go in on it with me.

DARIA looks at JANE, speechless. DARIA shakes her head slowly, then covers her eyes. As she starts to walk away, JANE follows her out of the scene.

JANE (CONT'D.)


What? You had fun, didn't you? Oh, come on, you can't tell me you didn't have fun, Daria. (Beat.) Daria?

FADE OUT.

ROLL CREDITS to "Roam," by the B-52's.


NOTES:

I'll add more notes later. This'll have to do for now. Email me if you have questions, though.

First off, I'll explain the title. If you say "Free Quinn Fly Her" really fast, it sounds like "Frequent Flier." I thought it was kinda cool. As for who "Her" refers to, well, at first it refers to Daria, but after the party, it refers to Sophie. "Unbargained For Exchange" was the original working title, but I liked "Free Quinn" better for the finished product.

Okay, I've never been to Belgium, London, or Paris. I have travelled around Germany, Switzerland, and France, and half of my family lives in Europe (Germany, mostly.) So, while I do have some "European Experience," I did have to drop the doughnut and do a little research. As usual, what I couldn't research, I faked.

Bruges? Why Bruges? Well, at first it was going to be Brussels, so I could really play up the NATO angle, but then a friend of mine pointed out the "Tick" episode where the Tick gets sent to Brussels. So I picked Bruges, mostly because it rhymes with "rouge," and gave me the cheap Brittany joke early in Act I.

"Let's Blow Through Europe" is a real book. The edition I have I got in 1989, but it's still funny, and very much dead on about those college trips to Europe. They're all the same.

"Golf-clap." You know, like when somebody makes a putt for par on one of those boring TV golf tournaments. Polite, restrained applause.

Quick turnaround on the mail... isn't it a little unrealistic? Okay, I understand that ordinarily the postal services of the various countries involved aren't nearly this efficient, but hey, it is a work of fiction. Besides, it'd cost too much to phone from Belgium.

Dr. Toungue's House of 8-Tracks? Well, there actually is a club in Bruges called "Dr. Vinyl's." In order to avoid being sued by Dr. Vinyl, I made up a fictitious place. I also wanted to get in a gratuitous SCTV reference as well. (Does anyone else remember Dr. Tongue's 3-D House of Stewardesses? Or any of the other Dr. Tongue movies? Or am I the only sick, sad, soul?)

PDA=Public Display of Affection.

So, why no chemistry between Daria and Berthold? Well, just cause. I dunno. Maybe there just weren't any "sparks," beyond those that co-conspirators share. I also didn't want to bog the story down with a gratuitous affair/romance.

So, why no Trent? Please. I won't even dignify such a question with a response.