Joan of Arcadia
Back To The Garden

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Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
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Growth Opportunity

Will and Chewy are at the station. Chewy's eating something out of a plastic bag, and looking through a glass wall. He seems anxious. Will advises him, "Ease up, man. Our medical plan doesn't cover stomach stapling." Hee! Taking that as a shout-out for sure. Chewy: "I'm peckish. Happens whenever a grieving family member accuses me of murder." And in any month with an R in it, and on any day with a Y in it. They go in to see Roebuck, who says, "First off, let me say, we go up against the blue wall, we better have a solid case." Chewy says the only witness against the two shooters they arrested for killing an eight-year-old in a drive-by dies in a fire: "Convenient." Roebuck: "They're drug dealers. Their friends wanted to send a message. Roasting some woman isn't exactly a moral quandary for them." Will shows Roebuck photographs from Mary Wallace's house, commenting that arson investigators believe the fire started in the basement, probably a box close to the heater. He asks, "Now, you came from the arson squad; you buy it?" Roebuck thinks it looks like there's a line of accelerant running from the back window. Chewy: "Meaning?" Roebuck: "A pro. Gangbanger's not gonna waste time hiding his tracks like this." Will tells Roebuck that the two shooters told them to "look to [their] own" and that they received the same message at Mary's funeral. Roebuck paces slightly, saying they he thought they'd finally cleaned up the force. He looks out through one of the glass walls of his office. Will: "Funny, Roy, isn't this where we met? On the outside looking in?" Not loving that bit of dialogue.

Joan's at work on her garden when a couple of the smokers clomp through. A chick in a loud red skirt and combat boots tells her, "Man, you smell like a litter box." Yes, and I'll bet you smell like a freesia. She walks over to the rest of the smokers. Judith's there, smirking. The Big Gulp Kid plops himself down in the dirt and declares, "The ground is soft…I have happy butt." Joan throws him out: "Would you get off my plants, you freak?" Judith and the others laugh. Joan asks her, "Hey, you wanna rein in the animals?" Judith just laughs some more. Joan asks, "Why are you doing this?" Judith walks over to her, all smirky: "Why are you doing that?" Joan says it's an assignment: "And I know you don't want to have anything to do with it, but do you have to try to impress your new friends by being an even bigger twerp than they are?" Red Skirt makes a childish, taunting face in the background. Judith: "Your friends are so great? Judging me for getting a little loaded. Like they're so perfect." Joan hisses, "Grace saved your life, Judith!" I'm sure Grace, like me, is starting to wonder why she bothered. Judith's completely full of it: "Doctors exaggerate. I coulda slept it off!" Joan reminds her she was in the hospital with her for two days. Judith: "Aren't you great? Mmm!" Joan: "Okay, look, I know you're embarrassed, okay? I get it. Let it go. Everybody will be willing to get past this --" Judith interrupts: "Now I'm supposed to take advice from some nutjob who sees people who aren't even there?" Whoa. Joan looks as hurt as you'd expect. Judith, of course, knew that was way over the line but said it anyway. Her face registers a mixture of regret and apprehension, but she doesn't take it back or apologize. Joan gives up and turns away, trying to absorb the blow she's just received. Shockingly, she doesn't cry. I repeat: Joan. Not crying. The hell? Judith, too immature and defensive to try to mend the situation, decides to blow it off: "Who wants Big Gulps? I'm buying!" The Big Gulp Kid's all, "Wait. Me. Whoa. I love Big Gulps." How many plugs is that, anyway? As Judith's posse walks off, they trample and kick Joan's plants. Joan objects, "Hey! Hey!" As if it makes any difference to that bunch. She stands there, alone and defeated, at least temporarily. Sprague Grayden did a great job in that scene. She has completely nailed the borderline personality disorder type. I hope we're supposed to hate Judith, because I do. She's quite the sucking vortex of neurosis. But it's probably time there was a character on this show who requires the others to really dig for any kind of redeeming quality. I don't know if that's the purpose Judith is supposed to serve, but since she's going to be around for more than a third of the season, I'm trying to figure it out.

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Joan of Arcadia

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