|Original Airdate||July 26, 2000|
|Special Guest Voices|
|Written By||Peggy Nicoll|
|Directed By||Karen Disher|
"Fire!" was the twelfth episode of the fourth season of the television series Daria. The title is often written without the exclamation mark.
Warning: The following may contain plot or ending details.
The action begins with Jake accidentally setting the house on fire when trying to warm up some milk, forcing the family to temporarily move to a hotel. In the course of this episode, Sandi Griffin becomes jealous (and suspicious) of the attention heaped upon Quinn by a bellboy, while Jake and Helen start to enjoy a blissful, relaxed relationship with a strong sex (offscreen) life. Daria is obviously having none of us and decides to temporarily move in with Jane.
Unfortunately, this means she exacerbates the growing rift between Jane and Tom, and soon Tom starts visiting Daria... and in order to see her before he sees Jane, he has to walk pass Jane's room; Daria argues Jane was drilling at the time & he he mustn't have wanted to disturb her work, but Jane is unsure. It's increasingly clear that Tom and Daria have a connection but when Jane confronts her friend, Daria denies anything is going on and that she has any interest. A seed of doubt is planted when Trent informs her that Tom is clearly interested and that, while nobody blames her for the situation, it's obvious she has feelings too.
Convinced by Sandi that the bellboy is a stalker, Quinn ends up in police car and finds out he is: he's been charging the Morgendorffers for money and then deleting the transactions from the computer. Quinn forgets the stalker thing: she almost dated a computer geek!
This all leads to the Morgendorffers leaving the hotel and Helen and Jake getting stressed and, once again, bickering viciously. Daria stares into the distance, depressed and confused...
This is one of the few episodes that actually leads somewhere, setting up the romantic triangle between Daria, Tom, and Jane in "Dye! Dye! My Darling." Every other conflict and issue in the story is resolved except for the growing attraction between Daria and Tom, and Jane's recognition of the same, all of which was first seen in "I Loathe a Parade" and expanded upon here; Jane's growing issues with Tom had been turning up in other episodes as well, such as "Mart of Darkness" and "Psycho Therapy".
Daria's Reading Material
When Tom enters Penny's room the first time, Daria is reading Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince.
When Trent talks to Daria, she's reading Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina (misspelt "Karena").
The episode “Fire!” was available on the DVD of Is It Fall Yet?.
Le Grande Hotel is a client of Jake's, which is how the Morgendorffers get to stay there and not the crappier Dutchman Inn.
The symbolism of fire in the fourth season of Daria is interesting, as a fire (requiring fire trucks to put it out) occurred in "I Loathe a Parade," the episode in which the bond between Daria and Tom becomes apparent. Further, in the episode shown immediately prior to "Fire!" ("Groped by an Angel"), Quinn Morgendorffer remarks that she "just finished a story about a family whose house caught on fire."
Jake and Helen have a good laugh at the idea that Sandi can think.
The opening to "Spiders" by System of a Down is heard as Jane is finishing talking to Jodie and Daria appears.
As a pivotal episode in the series, there's a bunch of alternate universe ways things could have gone, as noted by TAG: the fire not happening at all or the family staying at the Dutchman Inn and thus Daria not fleeing to where she'd spend more time with Tom; the fire could have caused far more damage that meant the family had to move; or Trent could have better got through to Daria at the end
"Fire!" and Fanfic
The events in "Fire!" are rarely mentioned in fanfic except in passing, despite the fact that it directly leads into "Dye! Dye! My Darling." However, certain elements of the episode, such as Penny Lane's room and its contents, have indirectly contributed to a few stories (e.g., "Smoking Mirror," by TAG).
Alternate-Universe Versions of “Fire!”
MMan is possibly the only writer to have completed a fanfic in which "Fire!" is used in an alternate universe. "Without a Shower" is a wicked little AU tale making use of a plot device seen in the TV show Dallas, throwing open an entirely different Dariaverse rich with possibilities.
On “Fire!” the Episode
- "Fire!" transcript
- "Fire!" summary on Sick, Sad World (website)
- "Fire!" review on Sick, Sad World (website)
- "Fire!" annotations on Sick, Sad World (website)
- "Fire!" summary and more on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
- "Fire!" summary on Fandango.com
- "Fire!" summary and more on the Big Cartoon Database
- "Fire!" summary and more on RetroJunk.com
- "Fire!" summary on TV.com
- "American Animation's Finest Hour: Why 'Fire!' and 'Dye! Dye! My Darling' Have Reached a High-Water Mark for U.S. Cartoons," essay by Peter Guerin
- "The Beginning of the End: Why 'Daria' is calling it quits after five seasons," essay by Peter Guerin
- "Why Did It Come to This? A Critical Look at Daria at the Dawn of the New Millennium," essay by Brian Taylor
- "The Other Side of The Kiss: An Examination of the Infamous 'Love Triangle'," essay by Kara Wild
- "Improbable But Not Impossible," essay by Fayth S.
- "Mike's Delayed Reaction Review #400 - Season Four in Review," essay by Mike Quinn
- "Fired Up," a brief discussion of this episode's AU possibilities on the Daria Fandom Blog II.
- "A Curious Footnote," on the DFB2
- Daria Encyclopedia 0.0, by Roentgen: Do a search for "412" (the episode number) for specific details on the show
AU Versions of "Fire!"