"Rock & Roll" Randy,
Daria's trip to the drugstore lands her in the middle of the Lawndale High homecoming parade. As she tries to escape, she runs into Tad Gupty, who's lost, and Tom, who's trying to meet up with Jane.
When Jake sends Daria to the drugstore to pick up some toilet paper, Daria discovers that she's walked right into the middle of the Lawndale High homecoming parade. After a run-in with Jane (who's meeting Tom), Daria attempts to return home, only to be thwarted by Ms. Li, then by a lost Tad Gupty. Cursing her concience, she decides to help Tad find his parents. Along the way, they run into Tom, who's looking for Jane, and the three of them hook up to search for the Guptys. At first, Daria is her usual aloof self towards Tom, but she eventually starts to warm up to him through their adventures (including hopping the Fashion Club's float -- with Daria narrowly escaping a makeover -- and several encounters with Mr. O'Neill dressed as the Lawndale Lions' mascot). They eventually find the Guptys, and eventually Jane finds them. As they head out to get some pizza, Daria is suddenly soaked with blue and yellow paint by two kids having a paint fight. Tom and Jane try to convince Daria to come along anyway, but she begs off. They eventually leave, but as they go, Tom steals a glance over his shoulder at a lonely and miserable Daria... and the viewer is left wondering if there might be more going on than meets the eye.
Quinn - Daria, have you seen my new Teenage Superstars magazine?
Daria - I couldn't help myself. I've plastered my walls with its hot, sexy pinups.
Helen - Daria, have you seen your father?
Daria - Did you look under the Teenage Superstars magazine?
(a camera flashes in her eyes; the picture is of Daria wincing at the bright light)
Jane - You'll pay through the nose for that shot, missy. Unless you can give me a plausible reason for your being here.
Daria - I was having too much fun at home, so I thought I'd go out and get killed by an unstable parade float.
Jane - Yep, through the nose.
Daria - My dad sent me on an emergency errand and I got stranded.
(Jane looks in the bag and sees the toilet paper)
Jane - I'm betting he's stranded, too.
Daria - Just because he's a few minutes late doesn't mean he's an inconsiderate jerk who will ultimately bring you nothing but misery.
Jane - I'm glad you're starting to warm to him.
Ms. Li - Ms. Morgendorffer, where do you think you're going?
Daria - Slowly insane. But I need to pop in at home first.
Tad - Daria? Oh, Daria, I'm scared!
(Daria glances at the parade, where a cutesy kitty float is going past)
Daria - So am I.
Tad - My dad says police officers too often utilize excessive force in their quest for efficient pacification.
Daria - And I'm sure your father has had more than his share of scrapes with John Law.
Jodie - Isn't it great how they keep electing us Homecoming King and Queen every year?
Mack - Yes, it's such a generous and enlightened gesture. It completely makes up for the town's utter lack of diversity, in my mind.
Jodie - And we're playing into it.
Mack - Damn college applications.
Tad - You're a mean old witch.
Sandi - I am not old!
(with a squeal of tires, the float narrowly avoids the cheerleaders and the crowd as it topples over; the driver and his buddy barely get out in time to avoid the car exploding)
Daria - Wow.
Tom - It's like the Hindenburg.
Daria - Oh, the lack of humanity.
Jodie - Oh, what the hell. We may be tokens, but we're damn good-looking ones.
Mack - Can't argue with that.
Tom - Hey, it could be worse.
Daria - Let's see... in the past half-hour, I've lost the chance to make 20 bucks, lost my dignity on a float, and, oh, yeah... I lost a seven-year-old child.
Tom - Weren't you also carrying some toilet paper before?
Daria - Yeah. Okay, now I'm angry.
(Daria and Tom pull the mascot's head off, revealing him to be Mr. O'Neill)
Mr. O'Neill (gasping) - Hello? Where am I? Oh...
Daria - I can't believe it. It's Mr. O'Neill.
Tom - And he would have gotten away with it if it weren't for us meddling kids.
Their Own Little World:
Helen and Quinn both seemed to be immersed completely in their own little universe. At least they're both listening to Daria's sarcastic comebacks enough to realize that they are sarcastic comebacks. If they only knew that the bathroom held the key to finding what they were looking for (who'd of thunk it?).
She Can Really Move:
Come to think of it, how exactly did Quinn get ready and get into the parade so quickly? By my figuring, she only had about fifteen to twenty minutes, from the time she walked past Daria in the living room to the time we saw her on the parade float.
Walk of Shame:
First of all, I think Daria probably knew about the parade and forgot about it (she does go to school, after all). Either way, she was stuck there, and had a mission to complete (not to mention that getting as far away as possible was a top priority). But at every turn, there was some impedance. About the only thing that was certain was that she wasn't going to make that $20 (and that Jake would end up stranded).
Just a Tad:
One of the first of those interruptions came in the form of a lost little boy named Tad Gupty. Daria tried her best to help quickly, but that wasn't possible once he turned on the waterworks. As for Tad himself, it seems that the mind deprogramming didn't completely work: he still doesn't eat sugar (what do I expect, little kids usually listen to their parents).
Float Away, Already:
What a bunch of pains in the ass are the Fashion Club! They make the Three J's (probably willingly) pull their float and then they come up with the idea to makeover some unsuspecting parade goer, which might have worked if they hadn't picked the last person there that would agree to it. It was actually good for Daria to have Tad along; he did easily show he's at least as mature as Sandi. The most pleasing part of their exchange was when he called her a "mean, old witch" and she responds with, "I'm not old."
Don't Forget Us:
The mini C-story (I say "C" instead of "B" because it only lasted two or three scenes) with Mack and Jodie brought up an interesting point. Were they homecoming royalty because Lawndale feels guilty? Of course, we have no way of knowing. Jodie ends up not caring in the end, as long as young kids, who might have to go through similar situations, can see her in a positive light.
Just Stop, Stupid!
Looking past the obvious absurdity of a zombie football player decapitating a paper mache penguin, the best way to avoid hitting retreating cheerleaders would be to stop the float, no swerve. I know, I know, it wouldn't have given Daria the chance to get "lost in the moment."
We all know what the biggest part of this episode is, that would be Tom and Daria's little adventure. The real question is what the implications of this get together will be. We'll just have to wait and see (more than likely, this'll be a major part of at least two more episodes this season and maybe even part of the movie). What we can do, however, is take a look at what did happen here. The big thing is that Tom got Daria to smile at least four times, which proves to me that her hostility toward him is virtually nonexistent. (I can hear someone saying "but Mike, she still said a lot of nasty stuff to and about Tom." I would chalk that up to either force of habit or the fact that she is still fearful of losing her best friend because of him.) Daria was, at the very least, intent on not showing that she was having a good time because that would be like admitting defeat. Tom, for his part, was sincere, but maybe a bit too sincere. For instance, after the unfortunate float fire and the ensuing conversation about "knowing how Jane is," he just had to add, "thanks for getting lost in the moment." He seems to like Daria; there's no question about that. The question is how much. With the way he looked back while he left with Jane, it might be more than most of us thought. And the feeling could end up becoming more than mutual (Daria all but said "oh no, not again" with her expression).
There aren't many bad things I can say about episode. Despite a mildly slow start, things quickly picked up by the middle of Act I, and "I Loathe a Parade" was hitting on all cylinders. There was nearly no lack of relevance; every scene was important. Additionally, this episode could very well become the perfect set up for the rest of the season. (I say could because we don't know what's going to happen later. Also, it seemed to me that the staff of the show thought that this one would end the first half of the season. There's far too much meat in it.) We all know that Daria and Tom should at least be friendly because of their views are complementary, just like Jane and Daria (like the whole "avoiding vs. embracing the nightmare" philosophies). I remember saying that this episode had no real chance of being average, it would be great or horrible. I'm glad it was great.
Daria as a Whole #1, Alter-Ego of the Week:
This week I'll go with Ms. Li as the stripping soccer player.
Daria as a Whole #2, Didja Notice?
It seems that everyone noticed that just about every peripheral character that has ever appeared on Daria was somewhere in the background of the parade, so I won't bother to try to list the ones I saw (though I'd have to say that the girl that waved to Jodie looked like the same one on the big wheel in "Daria!"). However, there's got to be an interesting story behind Rock 'N Roll Randy and Dr. Shar hooking up.
Daria as a Whole #3, Plethora of Pigskin:
There has been a large dependence on football so far in season four. That wouldn't be too bad, if it didn't mean that Kevin and Brittany would show up.
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.