Joan of Arcadia
Back To The Garden

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Growth Opportunity

I think the real problem with the scene is not so much the cheesy chanting but the insincerity of Judith's behaviour. The chanting rings false because people don't change their feelings about someone so unlikable that easily. It's impossible for me, after two episodes of nothing but obnoxious, selfish, attention-whoring behaviour from her, to see her gesture as anything but self-aggrandizing and disingenuous. Even if some small part of her motivation is to defend the garden on its own merits and support her friend(s), we haven't seen enough of any other side of Judith to buy it as a genuine position. It just reads as a cheap opportunity for Judith to both get attention and buy her way back into her classmates' good graces -- a grandstand instead of a stand. There needed to be a little more sympathy developed for Judith, and her character needed to be a little more well-rounded, before I could buy this as an act of redemption. I don't fault Sprague Grayden's portrayal; I think she's done well with the material she's been given. I think the writers rushed the character development -- though not as much as they did with Iris, thank God. On the other hand…I have this little epigram taped up in front of me, which I took off a tea bag -- some of the teas Frink drinks come with little bits of wisdom on the bags, and I like some of them enough to stick them up on my monitor. Anyway, this one says, "If you cannot see God in all, you cannot see God at all." And thinking about that, I sort of suspect that the character of Judith is going to pay off, despite my dislike and misgivings at this point. On the third hand…shut up, teabag.

Joan stands in front of Slacker God, who says, "It was a cool garden, Joan. And I loved the fire spear." Joan asks, "Is she gonna be okay?" He replies, "She was planting crocuses and tulips. It doesn't matter if the ground gets bulldozed 'cause they'll still come up in the spring. She knew that." Well, I hate to differ with God, but if she planted them at the right depth, probably three to six inches deep, they're likely to get bulldozed, and if she planted them a whole lot deeper they're not going to get enough heat and light to grow. Joan: "So what I was growing…" Joan gives him a questioning shrug. Slacker God: "Grew." Joan takes that in and then turns around to look at Judith, basking in celebrity following her ouster from the garden. God leaves with a Godwave, and Joan walks down the bleachers and leans toward Judith, putting her hands on her shoulders and letting herself fall off the last seat into a slo-mo hug with Judith. "I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame / And every time I pass that way I always hear my name / Then onward in my journey I come to understand / That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand."

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Joan of Arcadia

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