Joan of Arcadia
Bringeth It On

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Cheer Nation

Joan's sitting on the floor in the living room or family room or whatever, working on the words for the cheer for the final tryouts. She's sitting there whispering phrases to herself and scribbling in her notebook when her father's walking through another part of the house and comes over to ask, "How could you not tell me about this Brianna girl when I asked you straight out?" Man, there are a couple of goofy-looking coloured glass tchotchkes on the table in the foreground. What the hell are those? Those don't seem like their style. Joan doesn't know what he's talking about. He asks, "Is it so important to be liked that you would protect someone who did this?" Joan says she didn't protect anyone, and stands up, saying, "God! I can't believe you." Will says he understands about wanting friends. Joan insists that has nothing to do with it, and nobody knew. Will: "How could you not know? How could all these people in her life be so blind?" Joan: "So now it's my fault?" Will says he's not saying that. She insists that if she knew anything, she would have told him. Will continues, "Every day I see people doing stupid, destructive things, and ruining their lives, all because nobody's watching out for them! I'm not going to just stand by --" Joan wants to know how she became the criminal. Will: "I'm just saying, I don't want you to get so wrapped up in these girls that you don't see --" Joan shouts back, "But I do see! I see all the same stuff you do, every day at school! The drugs and the sex and people breaking the law and ruining their lives! Only I'm not having sex, I'm not doing drugs, and I don't lie to my dad!" Well, she told him. They gaze at each other for a moment and then Joan takes off, upset.

Will goes into the bedroom where Helen's reading in bed. They have a very interesting and colourful bedspread. Kinda weird with their sheets and pillows, though, which seem to be mostly neutral colours. Will says, "I think I just alienated our daughter for good." Helen says not to be too hard on himself; she thinks that by being the "school snitch," she contributed to the situation too. Will sits on the bed and says, "She's facing stuff we never dreamed of. How's she gonna survive?" Helen says Joan's got a good dad. She puts her arms around him.

Luke and Joan are walking to school. Luke's playing with a yo-yo, and Joan looks bummed. Ahead them are some cheerleaders and jocks. Luke wonders, "Think they know?" Joan: "What, that Mom turned in their alpha dog? Probably. They're gonna eat me alive." Luke: "I wouldn't worry. Probably anorexic, or at least vegetarian." Heh. As they walk past a parked vehicle, Joan notices Brianna sitting in the front seat. Joan tells her brother she'll catch up with him. She walks over to the car, where Brianna's sitting there trying to smile through tears. They say "hey" to each other quietly. Brianna explains that her father's inside getting the paperwork necessary so she can transfer to another school, which everyone thinks will be better. Joan asks, "Brianna...are you okay?" She replies, "You're the only one who's asked me that. You're the only one who's talked to me at all. CeCe and the others, they walked by like they didn't even see me. They did see me." She sniffles as her father gets back in the car. He tells her to say goodbye to her friend. As the car starts up, Joan puts her hand on Brianna's shoulder and says gently, "It's gonna be okay." You can tell Brianna wants to believe her, but doesn't. When the car drives away, CeCe walks up to Joan and says, "I guess you heard?" Joan says she did. CeCe: "And we were just making that stupid list yesterday? It's like, hello, I'm standing right here next to number one." Joan is surprised to find that CeCe really didn't know. CeCe: "I mean, we all noticed that Brianna kinda porked out over the summer, but nobody thought she was like..." She makes that screwball gesture beside her head. CeCe: "Anyway, aren't you psyched for final tryouts?" She looks at Joan expectantly. Joan's surprised they're still having them. CeCe admits that it's a pain to run things all by herself without Brianna: "But you know I am up for the challenge." Joan: "I can see that." That can-do spirit is just what we need in these troubled times, you know?

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Joan of Arcadia

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