Episode Guide

The Daria Hunter
Episode #202
Written by Peggy Nicoll

(opening theme song)

(at Lawndale High, in Mr. DeMartino's class)

Mr. DeMartino - And finally, we will be teaming up with the Science and Language Arts departments for an interdisciplinary field trip to Jim's Paintballing Jungle. (goes nose-to-nose with Kevin, who's fast asleep) An activity that some of you may find more taxing than sleeping through class!

Kevin - (wakes up) Um... the League of Nations?

Mr. DeMartino - And why are we going to engage in simulated combat? Daria?

Daria - Because no high school education is complete until you've chased your fellow students around the woods with toy guns?

Mr. DeMartino - (chuckles) Your sarcasm amuses me, Daria. I hope it provides you comfort when you're cowering in a foxhole. No, we're going to study how warfare affects all aspects of culture. Now, we're going to need parent volunteers. That is, if anyone can pull themselves away from their six figure jobs as sycophants!

(Kevin raises hand)

Mr. DeMartino - Yes, Kevin?

Kevin - My dad's not a sycophant, Mr. D. He's a contractor!

Mr. DeMartino - Kevin, stay close to me when you get to the paintball range, okay, son?

Kevin - Sure!

(Mr. DeMartino laughs evilly)

(at the Morgendorffer house)

(television close-up shows a scene at the beach; a kid is quickly exiting the water, as if he'd encountered something gross)

SSW Announcer - Are fish using our oceans as their own private toilet? A Sick, Sad World exclusive, right after this.

(cut to Quinn walking into Daria's bedroom as Daria shuts off the TV)

Daria - The bathroom's down the hall, or there's an ocean that way. (crooks thumb towards the side window)

Quinn - Ugh. This room is even geekier then I remembered.

Daria - I'm sorry, the maximum occupancy is one. Please exit through the front.

Quinn - Look, I know how you like to embarrass me and say we're related and stuff, but please don't tell Mom and Dad that they're looking for paintball volunteers, okay?

Daria - But I already sent out their invitations.

Quinn - Ha ha. (pause) You didn't, right?

Daria - Relax. We work together for the sake of a common goal: no mention of paintballing or volunteering from either one of us.

Quinn - Agreed.

Daria - Later, after we have achieved this goal, we'll resume the age-old hostilities that have made peace in this region of the house a seeming impossibility.

Quinn - Good plan.

(later, Helen and Daria are sitting at the kitchen table when Quinn walks into the room; her hair, which is normally straight, is now braided)

Helen - Quinn?

Quinn - Do you think this hair style means something? Because it doesn't.

Helen - But you never...

Quinn - Can't I experiment with a new look if I want to?

Helen - Of course, but I...

Quinn - All right, all right! The whole school's going on a paintballing field trip.

Daria - Put away the red-hot poker.

Quinn - The Fashion Club put me in charge of figuring out a style to prevent helmet hair. I didn't know they were going to do it! I can't take all this pressure...

Daria - Don't beat yourself up. You held out a good ten seconds.

Helen - Paintballing! That's exciting, isn't it, Daria?

Daria - No.

Helen - Daria, this trip would be very good for you. You'll get to know your schoolmates and your teachers. I smell recommendations for college!

Daria - That's funny. All I smell is fifteen pounds of Magic Braid hair gel.

Helen - Those letters can make the difference in getting into your first choice school.

Daria - Only if you have a first choice school.

(Jake walks in)

Helen - Jake, tell Daria...

Jake - Oh, my God, I have to fix that loose floorboard all the way at the other end of the house. (turns right around and leaves without missing a beat)

Helen - Actually, I should probably deal with these teachers directly.

Daria - Hey, do you want to finish out the semester for me?

Helen - It's what an involved parent would do.

Daria - Mom, I think you've already demonstrated your involvement by pretending you're going out of town whenever Mr. O'Neill calls about school review meetings.

Helen - That man is just so... creepy. I don't suppose they need volunteers for this...

Daria and Quinn - No!

Helen - Oh, darn!

(on the road, two Lawndale High school buses are traveling to the paintball range; on the first bus is Mr. O'Neill, Mr. DeMartino, Daria, Jane, Jodie, Mack, Kevin, and Brittany)

Mr. O'Neill - All right! Now lets see which side of the bus can sing the loudest! Left side! (sings while marching in place) "When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah, hurrah!" Come on, left side, don't be shy.

(Mr. O'Neill yelps in surprise as Mr. DeMartino stands up and shoves him out of the way)

Mr. DeMartino - Thank you, Mr. O'Neill, for your tireless dedication to reminding the students how out of touch we are. Now, we're going to discuss the history of guerilla warfare.

(bus passes a sign advertising "The Great White Shark")

Jane - (reading sign) "Only 20 miles to the Great White Shark." You know, sharks don't really like to eat humans. They usually just tear out a bite and swim away.

Daria - Very much like my sister's dates.

Jane - I mean, sure, they often take a vital organ or two with them...

Daria - I appreciate you trying to cheer me up, but it's not going to work.

Brittany - Come on! Let's play a word game!

Jodie - How about geography?

Kevin - Nah, you have to, like, know stuff for that. What about Monopoly?

Mack - Monopoly isn't a word game.

Kevin - I know that. Can I be the racing car?

(on the second bus, we have Ms. Li, Ms. Barch, the Fashion Club, Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie)

Sandi - So it's decided: no matter what happens, we won't shoot each other and mess up our outfits. (holds hand over copy of Waif magazine) If I fire on a fellow Fashion Club member, may I wear brown pants with an elastic band for a whole week.

Quinn - (does the same) If I fire, I'll wear taupe pantyhose. The shiny kind.

Stacy - (does the same) Stonewashed jeans.

Tiffany - (does the same) Glasses.

Joey - Quinn, don't worry about anyone hitting you. I'll protect you.

Jeffy - Me, too! I'll be your bodyguard! They'll have to kill me first.

Quinn - Well, okay!

Jamie - I really want to take a bullet for you.

Mrs. Barch - Oh, if only you could. (resumes reading magazine)

(back on the first bus)

Kevin - Okay, so let's say it's Mack's turn. He says, "I never went steady with two people at the same time." And then Jodie, if you never went steady with two people at the same time, then you don't take a drink.

Jodie - A drink of what? We're on a bus.

Kevin - But I, like, have gone steady with two people at the same time, so I do take a drink. Get it?

(Brittany glares at him)

Kevin - Um... uh... I mean... (winces, knows he's in deep trouble) Oh, no!

(they pass another sign advertising the Great White Shark)

Jane - Come on! Let's ditch paintballing and go visit the Great White Shark. It'll be cool.

Daria - No, it won't. It'll be stupid, and we're already doing something stupid.

Jane - But this stupid thing will be our idea.

Daria - Not interested. There are plenty of tiny-brained prehistoric creatures right here.

(as if to prove her point, we hear the sounds of Brittany and Kevin fighting)

(eventually, both buses arrive at Jim's Paintballing Jungle, and as the students begin to get off the buses, Daria and Quinn get an unpleasant surprise)

Helen and Jake - Surprise!

Quinn - Ah! (runs off)

Jane - What are they doing here?

Daria - I guess tormenting me in the privacy of my own home wasn't enough.

Mr. O'Neill - Daria, isn't this great? I called your mother about the school review board meeting, but she was going out of town that night and asked if we were looking for paintball volunteers! I only wish more parents cared enough to take such an active role in their child's education.

Jake - Me, too!

Helen - Yes...

Daria - If we walk fast, we can see the Great White Shark by ten.

(at Jim's Paintballing Jungle)

(Jim, dressed in fatigues, addresses the gathered students and adults on the specifics of the paintball course)

Jim - We also have an exact replica of 'nam's infamous POW prison, the Hanoi Hilton. Special rates for weddings.

Sandi - (raises hand) Colonel, or whatever. Where's the ladies room?

Jim - Oh, there are "comfort stations" scattered about, but they're really well camouflaged. (addresses Jake) Hey, you! Come here!

Jake - Me?

Jim - Watch this! (pushes Jake into hole in ground)

Jake - Ahhhh!

Helen - Jake!

Jim - Isn't it great? A whole labyrinth of underground tunnels. You could get lost down there for days.

Jake - (inside tunnel) Yeah, great. Uck, worms!

(the students separate into two teams, each wearing red or blue arm bands; Mr. O'Neill addresses Team Red)

Mr. O'Neill - So, seize this golden opportunity to say, "Private Young Person reporting, sir or madam, ready, willing, and able to learn the true meaning of teamwork."

Brittany - Let's go, team!

Mr. O'Neill - That's it, Brittany! Who else on Team Red wants to say something before we begin? Jane...?

(Jane remains silent)

Mr. O'Neill - Now, Jane, there's no "I" in team.

Ms. Barch - Oh, shut up!

(elsewhere, Mr. DeMartino addresses Team Blue)

Mr. DeMartino - To understand the disruptive nature of war on society, first we must understand its shattering impact on individuals. I realize it's foolish of me to assume that any member of Team Blue knows what physical pain feels like, outside of a paper cut!

Jake - Yeah, what a bunch of... ahh! (Jake drops to ground as Mr. DeMartino points gun at him)

Mr. DeMartino - Sorry. False alarm!

Jake - That's okay.

Stacy - (to Quinn) Eww, that's your uncle?

Mr. DeMartino - Now, the object of the game is to shoot to kill.

Daria - Excuse me. Isn't the object of the game to capture the enemy's flag?

Mr. DeMartino - Whatever. Move out!

(back to Team Red)

Mr. O'Neill - Now, before we go out on the battlefield, would anyone like to share their feelings...

(Ms. Barch shoots into the air behind Mr. O'Neill, causing him to run off sobbing)

Ms. Barch - Now that Mr. O'Neill has predictably deserted us in our prime, I will take command. Now, if we spread out in a long line and sweep towards the flag...

Brittany - Excuse me, Ms. Barch? Since they can't see us very well because of the terrain, we can split up and they won't know where we are, then we can attack them from three sides, drive them out to the one side that they think is safe, and then set up an ambush so we can capture them all at once! Probably be a good idea to set up a secret observation post on the high ground so we can watch them without them seeing us.

(everyone on the team stares at Brittany, shocked by her knowledge of combat tactics)

Brittany - What?

Ms. Barch - That's very good, Brittany.

Brittany - Okay, team, let's go! Come on Jane!

Jane - I'm more of the mercenary type. You know, lone wolf working on their own type of thing.

Brittany - Good idea, Jane. If Plan A fails, you can come in on a rescue mission!

(paintballs start flying in their direction)

Ms. Barch - The men are shooting!

(Jane gets hit in the shoulder)

Jane - Ow! Those paintball thingies hurt.

Brittany - Oh, no, you're hit. You're out of the game.

Jane - Dammit! Oh, well. (tosses gun aside and walks away)

Brittany - Poor kid. She never had a chance.

(cut to Daria walking through through the woods)

Daria - (thinking) Somebody in a movie once said, hell is the possibility of sanity. That's what this place feels like. Hell. I hate it already. Some damn tour, Grandma.

(Helen suddenly appears and points her gun at Daria, who surrenders immediately)

Helen - Daria, you could at least try.

Daria - I can't shoot my own mother. Not with paint, anyway.

Helen - I'm out here giving my all. Why can't you for once... (phone rings) Morgendorffer! Oh, hi, Eric! Yes, I'm out here in the middle of the woods, can you believe it? (starts running as paintballs fly their way) Memo? Didn't Stephanie give it to you?

(Daria gets hit and drops her gun)

Daria - Ow!

Jane - Sorry.

Daria - What took you so long?

Jane - I stopped to wipe out a village of farmers. (tosses gun aside as they both head off)

(elsewhere, Jodie and the Fashion Club are in a foxhole)

Quinn - I mean, just because you dump a guy for his older, cuter brother, does that give him the right to hold a grudge?

Stacy - That's so immature.

Tiffany - You know, if I knew we were going to be running around in the dirt, I wouldn't have worn my good sneakers.

Jodie - Will you quiet down? I think I see something. (leaves)

Stacy - Hey, Quinn, is that your cousin? (points to a helmeted figure approaching from the distance)

(Quinn immediately starts shooting, not knowing she's actually shooting at -- and hitting -- Sandi)

Tiffany - Way to go, Quinn.

Stacy - Our leader!

(Sandi starts shooting back, causing the other girls to return fire, resulting in all of them getting covered in paint)

Tiffany - Hey, I just bought this.

(Sandi takes off helmet and goggles)

Quinn - Sandi? What are you doing here?

Sandi - I was looking for the bathroom, and all of a sudden you started shooting at me. I thought we promised not to do that.

Quinn - I would never fire at you, Sandi. I didn't recognize you with your goggles.

Tiffany - Yeah, why are you wearing them, anyway? They're so ugly.

Sandi - Because those are the rules.

Quinn - Well, some rules were meant to be broken, like wearing red lipstick with an orange top.

Stacy - Or black mascara with blond hair.

Quinn - Besides, you fired on us when you were already hit, and that's against the rules, too.

Tiffany - Yeah.

Sandi - Gee, if everyone's on Quinn's side, maybe Quinn should be president of the Fashion Club.

Quinn - Don't be silly. I would never try to be president, as long as you were around.

Sandi - Really?

Quinn - Sure. I mean, do you really think I could replace you?

(Sandi and Quinn scowl at each other, each knowing that the other is being less than sincere)

(elsewhere, Kevin and Mr. DeMartino are crouched behind a rock as they eye Team Red's flag)

Mr. DeMartino - Okay, Kevin, do you think that atrophied, pea-sized cluster of cells that you refer to as your brain can remember the complicated instructions I just gave you?

Kevin - Um... "get the flag"?

Mr. DeMartino - Very good, Kevin.

(Kevin makes his way across the field, but Brittany appears just before he reaches the flag)

Brittany - Freeze, babe.

(she shoots him with a paintball)

Kevin - Ow! Those paintball thingies hurt! I'm going to get a welt!

Brittany - War's not pretty, Kevvy.

(Mr. DeMartino emerges from behind the rock and starts shooting at Brittany)

Brittany - Hi-ya!

(she backflips across the field and kicks away Mr. DeMartino's gun, just as Ms. Barch approaches and starts shooting at him at point-blank range)

Ms. Barch - Rotten, dirtbag liars! All of you!

Brittany - Ms. Barch, stop shooting! Those paintball thingies hurt!

Ms. Barch - (ignores Brittany) I trusted you, dammit! Two decades of legal slavery, and still you throw it all away for a halter top and a pair of pumps!

Mr. DeMartino - Madam, I believe you've got me confused with someone else! I'm not your ex-husband!

Ms. Barch - I know that, but he's not here!

(Daria and Jane are walking along the road, on their way to see the Great White Shark, when it starts to rain)

Daria - Good. I was feeling too dry.

(Daria and Jane are still walking along the road; they're quite soaked by this point)

Daria - Maybe we should turn back.

Jane - Maybe your mother will lend you a raincoat.

Daria - Shut up and keep walking.

(they finally arrive and enter the store; Jordana, the lady who runs the store, is behind the counter)

Jane - We're hear to see the Great White Shark.

Jordana - Oh, it's a beauty, ain't it?

(she points to a display case, wherein lies a large tooth)

Daria - It's a tooth.

Jordana - You wouldn't say, "it's a tooth," if you know the legend of Great White.

(back on the paintball range, Helen and Ms. Li have taken shelter from the rain inside a tent)

Helen - Woman have been programmed to lie about their age for so long, no wonder people think forty looks like fifty. I'm glad that's over.

Ms. Li - Amen! Thank God men no longer look at us like sex objects.

Helen - You said it, sister. (pause) So do I look like forty tw... four?

(Mr. O'Neill and Ms. Barch are huddled together inside another tent)

Mr. O'Neill - Would you like my...

Ms. Barch - Forget it, you man!

Mr. O'Neill - But I was just offering my...

Ms. Barch - Twenty two years of my life, gone! And all I have to show for tending to your every need are the corns on my feet and a big rash on my chest.

Mr. O'Neill - Go ahead, it's all right. Let it out.

Mrs. Barch - Oh, why don't you just go back outside with your war mongering sex and destroy something weak.

Mr. O'Neill - Venting feels good, doesn't it? You have every right to feel angry, and to express that anger.

Ms. Barch - (surprised) Huh?

(Jake walks into another tent and finds Mr. DeMartino)

Jake - Hi! It's raining cats and dogs out there!

Mr. DeMartino - What a unique perspective on the situation.

Jake - (offers him a flask) Little nip to warm you up?

Mr. DeMartino - Mr. Morgendorffer, I'm a teacher, responsible for dozens of students on a fairly hazardous filed trip. Do you think I should take a little nip?

Jake - I guess not.

Mr. DeMartino - No, I guess not! Gimme that! (gulps down alcohol)

Jake - Say, did you, by any chance, go to military school?

Mr. DeMartino - How'd you know that?!

(at the Great White Shark)

Jordana - Until Great White was captured two months ago, he terrorized the eastern seaboard, chomping on tourists and spitting them out like bad red wine.

Jane - Excellent.

Jordana - It was the peak of tourist season, when a mangled body washed up on the shore, scaring the beachcombers...

(at the Hanoi Hilton; a boombox is playing music and several students are dancing; Kevin and Brittany are making out; Quinn, Joey, Jeffy, and Jamie are playing Spin the Bottle with one of the guns; Sandi and Tiffany are watching from the sidelines)

Jeffy - Which one of us do you like best?

Quinn - Which one of you wants to take me to Chez Pierre?

Joey - I'll take you!

Jamie - No, no, me! I've got the money!

Sandi - Quinn's so cute.

Tiffany - Yeah.

Sandi - Cuter than me?

Tiffany - Oh, no. You're way cuter.

Sandi - Not that looks are important.

Tiffany - No way.

Sandi - I wish I could find that bathroom.

Tiffany - I think it's over there somewhere.

(Sandi goes outside; through the rain, she looks through a hole in the wall, sees Tiffany approaching Quinn, and aims her paintgun at Quinn; deciding against it, she tosses her gun aside and walks away to find the bathroom)

Quinn - Where's Sandi?

Tiffany - Oh, you know Sandi. Always looking for a bathroom.

Quinn - She looks really cute today.

Tiffany - Mmm-hmm.

Quinn - Cuter than me?

Tiffany - Oh, no. You're way cuter.

(at the Great White Shark)

Jordana - Of course, the mayor claimed that the chewed-up bodies were the victims of a propeller, but the people knew better.

Daria - Excuse me, but isn't this the plot of Jaws?

Jordana - No, no! This is completely different. That's when they called in the great white shark hunter. That's when they called in... me.

(in Helen and Ms. Li's tent)

Ms. Li - I'm glad to see you take such an interest in your daughters, Mrs. Morgendorffer.

Helen - Well, it isn't easy raising two teenagers all by yourself... with Jake.

Ms. Li - Of course, I like to think the school environment also plays a pivotal role.

Helen - Absolutely. Although it would be nice if the students got a little more encouragement. Maybe a bright kid like Daria would have a better attitude.

(Ms. Li laughs)

Helen - Did I say something funny?

Ms. Li - With all due respect, I can't think of a prison that could create an attitude like your daughter's, much less a school. No, I always assumed that came from interaction with her parents, or lack of it.

Helen - (angry) Oh, so you draw a distinction between prison and school. Because from what I've heard, you run the one pretty much like the other.

Ms. Li - I don't have to listen to this!

Helen - No, you don't!

Ms. Li - And by the way, you look fifty! (leaves tent)

(at the Great White Shark)

(Daria and Jane have nearly nodded off with boredom while listening to Jordana put herself into the plot of Jaws)

Jordana - I tried harpooning Great White, but the massive beast shook them off like so many toothpicks. I tried tying him down with floating barrels, but no. Great White said, "I will have none of this!" So the captain decided...

(Jane looks up and notices the rain letting up, and elbows Daria to wake her up)

Jane - The rain's letting up. Let's get out of here.

(both girls get up and leave; Jordana never notices)

Jordana - Then that little snot Richard Dreyfuss decides that it was all his big game...

(in Mr. O'Neill and Ms. Barch's tent)

Mr. O'Neill - Just what good is signing a prenuptial agreement with another if we don't first sign one with ourselves?

Ms. Barch - (sniffs) I never thought it possible. You're sensitive, yet you're a male.

Mr. O'Neill - Oh, well, I...

(pounces on Mr. O'Neill and kisses him; Mr. O'Neill responds back)

Ms. Barch - (softly) Watch the rash...

(in Jake and Mr. DeMartino's tent)

(both men are well-marinated by now, and are swapping stories of their difficult childhoods)

Jake - I didn't mean to step on Dad's contact. The next day, he shipped me off to military school!

Mr. DeMartino - My mother didn't want her dates to know she had a son, so I spent a lot of time at the neighbors. Strange, twisted people!

Jake - I know! I had the same neighbors!

(Helen bursts in)

Helen - Jake! You're drunk!

Jake - Drunk? Don't be silly! (he says this while his eyes are splitting Helen into several people)

(the rain has finally stopped, allowing the students and adults to board the buses for the trip home)

(Quinn is kneeling on the ground and aiming her gun at Sandi, who has finally found one of the "comfort stations")

Joey - Quinn, come on!

Jeffy - Quinn! We're leaving!

Jamie - Quinn! Come back!

(Quinn tosses her gun aside as Ms. Barch and a breathless Mr. O'Neill arrive at the buses, followed by a worn-out Mr. DeMartino)

Mr. DeMartino - (muttering) "When Johnny comes marching home again, hurrah, hurrah..."

Mr. O'Neill - All right, is everyone accounted for?

Quinn - Yes. Okay, time to go! (quickly climbs onto bus)

Mr. O'Neill - Wait! I don't see the Morgendorffers.

Daria - Oh, well, what can you do. (climbs onto bus)

Ms. Li - Besides, they drove here. They can drive themselves home. (softly) That is, if someone hadn't taken their distributor cap. (climbs onto bus)

(Sandi finally emerges from the "comfort station" just as the buses drive off, and she starts chasing after them)

Sandi - Wait!

(after a few steps, she stumbles and falls into a mud puddle; on her knees, she raises her fists to the sky and cries out in despair; Quinn, on the bus, watches out the back window, then turns around and faces forward)

(back on the paintball range, Helen is crawling after Jake through the tunnels)

Helen - Drinking on a school trip when you're supposed to be showing the girls that you're committed!

Jake - Committed? Oh, I've been committed, all right, and I never even had a trial!

Helen - Just wait till I have enough room to reload!

Jake - No! Helen! Those paintball thingies hurt!

(fade to black)

Jake - The horror... the horror...

(closing credits)