Jake of Hearts
|Jake of Hearts|
|Original Airdate||July 21st, 1999|
|Special Guest Voices|
|Written By||Dan Vebber|
|Directed By||Gloria De Ponte|
"Jake of Hearts" was the ninth episode of the third season of Daria (episode number 309). It first aired on MTV on July 21st, 1999 and was written by Dan Vebber.
At the start of the episode, Daria and Jane, at school, discuss possible scenarios for puppets. They are interrupted by the arrival of two newscasts for Z-93, invited by Angela Li to provide morale for the school.
Later at the Morgendorffere’s that evening, during dinner, Jake is so excited about a new dish and miffed due to his wife and children’s disinterest that he goes on a stronger rant than usual and has a heart attack. Later at the hospital, Helen and the girls are told that it was just a scare and that he should be spared from stress. Later, as his family stands by his bedside, Jake asks for his mother
The accident and the arrival of Ruth Morgendorffer a few days later causes changes and stress on all family: Helen resents her mother-in-law unsolicited advice and starts to try to cook and take more care of the household. Quinn has the idea to study medicine to help her father in the future, despite her grandmother’s warnings that she does not need to study, but rather just marry a nice doctor. While witnessing this, Daria has to listen to her father’s anxious speeches and beliefs that he will not live much longer, while at the same time having to endure the harassment of the two Z-93 DJs at school. At a later conversation between Ruth and Jake, details of their previous life with "Mad Dog" Morgendorffer begin to surface, revealing that his father had been an abuser of both her wife and son.
Between witnessing her father’s and grandmother’s breakdowns, the complete reversal of her mother’s and sisters’ personalities (Quinn is studying and ignoring calls from boys, and Helen is cooking and redecorating and ignoring calls from the office), Daria is fed up and decides to take action: she makes a deadpan speech on radio retelling her father’s illness and criticizing the DJs behaviour. At home, she calmly puts her grandmother on the spot when she notices how bad her decisions regarding her husband had been. This effectively silences Ruth and frees Quinn and Helen to her normal personalities. And then Daria calms her hypochondriac father by making him notice that he has effectively lived further and better than his own father.
At the end of the episode, Daria tells the previous days’ events with Jane while at Pizza Prince. As the two friends comment on the latter’s world view, Z-93 parks and starts broadcasting just by the pizza store.
Jake rants "[Dad] tried to mold me into a soldier, but did he ever let me have a G.I. Joe? Didn't want his boy playing with dolls, he said!", and that it wasn't a doll but "an action figure!". The original G.I. Joe came out in 1964, with the term "action figure" invented for it. If this happened before Jake went to military school (and it sounds like it did), then he has to go to Buxton Ridge Military Academy between 1964-8 and start at Middleton College in 1968, as "That Was Then, This Is Dumb" has him and Helen being arrested in August 1969. Unfortunately, "The Daria Diaries" has him lasting 'more than four years at Buxton and implying he was there at an earlier age than 14 (as does this episode, as he needs to learn how to shave at Buxton).
Alternatively, he wanted a G.I. Joe toy when he was at military school but then you have to wonder why.
"Jake of Hearts" and Fanfic
This episode was one of those that turned aside from disaster at the last moment, much as happened in "The Teachings of Don Jake" and "Boxing Daria". Jake's heart attack has reappeared in many fanfics. In alternate-universe stories, it is often fatal. In post-canon tales, a subsequent heart attack is nearly always fatal.
- When Bing and Spatula first corner Daria & Jane, they're followed by a crowd of background characters - Jennifer and "Red Cap" act like they're mugging for the camera. Except there is no camera. Unless... they're trying to get our attention...
- Quinn's Jake-like quip of "Darn gallbladder" shows that she has some of her father's personality traits.
- Mr. O'Neill's is quoting Hamlet in his class.