|Original Airdate||June 28th, 2000|
|Special Guest Voices|
|Written By||Neena Beber|
|Directed By||Tony Kluck|
"Psycho Therapy" was the eighth episode of the fourth season of the Daria TV series (episode number 408). It first aired on MTV on June 28th, 2000. This episode was written by Neena Beber.
Helen's boss, Eric, is considering her for a big promotion, but before that happens, she and the family must attend a weekend retreat at Quiet Ivy, a "mental health spa", so that the company can evaluate them. Daria thinks that the whole thing is ridiculous, while Quinn is under the impression that she can get facials and other beauty treatments at the "spa".
At Quiet Ivy, each member of the family undergoes one-on-one therapy sessions: Helen prattles on nervously and self-consciously, Jake pours out his inner torment, Daria barely tolerates the questioning from Dr. Millepieds while making some rather acid observations about her family (and herself!), and Quinn goes on and on about her Fashion Club friends and how she desperately wants a facial. In an attempt to distract herself from her surroundings, Daria uses one of the spa's computers to view the goings-on at the Lane household via "JaneCam," a live Internet webcam set up in Jane's bedroom. What she sees -- Jane flossing her teeth, Trent talking to Jane while scratching his butt, and Tom goofing on a TV dance show -- is hardly earth-shattering, but it's better than her surroundings.
Things finally come to a head at a group counseling session, where each family member is asked to act out what they think is another's traits. Helen and Jake end up imitating each other, with each escalating things until Jake finally hits too close to home by accusing Helen of being a vicious control-freak who cares more about her job than her family. Shaken and upset, Helen rushes out of the room, with Jake and Daria not far behind (leaving Quinn to complain once again about the lack of facials). Daria finds Helen in the parking lot and reassures her that despite the lack of attention and the long hours she puts in at the office, they know that she's doing it for the good of the family, and that, truth be told, they're all a bit guilty in contributing to their overall dysfunction.
The family returns home, each perhaps a little wiser for the experience (all except for Quinn), and when Daria visits Jane, she discovers that Tom's anger at having his embarrassing behavior broadcast all over the Internet (and becoming popular with prison convicts) proved to be the death of "JaneCam".
- Slow Death (for a cut to Helen at work)
In her personal session, Daria shows a casual awareness of the family's dysfunctions, herself included: she states that her tendency to erect an unpleasant 'mask' is to try and keep people away; that her mother Helen is both resentful about having to work so hard and guilty that she enjoys working hard (the latter shown to be true in "Daria!"); that her father Jake feels guilty that he's not as driven as his wife but hides behind "a smokescreen of cluelessness" as he's sure it's wrong to feel that way; and that Quinn sticks to shallowness as she's scared she doesn't have any depth (also shown to be true in "Monster" and subsequently in "Is It Fall Yet?").
Helen actually states she thinks something's gone "wrong" with Quinn.
"Psycho Therapy" and Fanfic
This episode has been retold in at least two AU serials:
- Tiptoe Through the Ivy, by Richard Lobinske: episode 33 of the John Lane Series - the Morgendorffers plus John attend Quiet Ivy.
- "Psycho Therapy" Summary
- "Psycho Therapy" Transcript at Daria Transcripts
- "Mental in the Mornings (Afternoons Optional)," on the Daria Fandom Blog II
- Episode Analysis by WellTemperedClavier