Joan of Arcadia
Common Thread

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Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
Luke of Narcadia

On the first commercial break, I learn that American commercials for the Kia Sportage pronounced the car's name "sport-ej" whereas the Canadian ones go for "sport-azh." So are we pretentious, or are Americans oafs? I guess it doesn't have to be either/or.

It's a lovely sunny day all of a sudden. Joan's sitting on her porch struggling with her knitting. I say "'all of a sudden" because she's wearing the same dress but a different jacket than she was wearing the first scenes. She regards her hole-y work (hee) with dismay: "What next? I have to make my own car?" Suddenly Grace is standing before her, wondering aloud, "Do you need to be medicated?" Joan says she doesn't: "I'm just knitting. It's very hip right now, very meditative. Damn." Grace mutters, "Looks fun. I gotta try it sometime…when I'm a hundred." She sits down next to Joan: "Look, I came by to cut you in on something: I hate my life." Joan: "Why?" Grace: "Well, let's see: Iraq, corporate corruption, and you and Rove." She pronounces "Iraq" the way George Bush does: "eye-rack," except she doesn't emphasize the second syllable. No. Grace would know better. Joan says it's just awkward to be around Adam, and complains about Adam coming up and expecting her to be all excited about his big promotion: "What does he expect?" Grace reminds her, "I came to talk about me…" Joan: "He's very needy. I know he's artistic and sensitive and everything, but you can use that to, you know, manipulate people. Just like he used you --" Grace gets up: "You know, I won't do this." Joan acts like she doesn’t know what she's talking about. Grace: "I won't talk trash about Rove. We've been friends since the second grade." Joan: "I can't believe you're taking his side! He slept with Bonnie while he was still with me!" Grace: "I'm not taking anybody's side! Don't you get it? I don't want there to be sides! Maybe we should all break up!" She storms off. Joan rips out all her knitting.

Helen arrives at a coffee shop, looking for someone. A priest (played by Michael Badalucco, who will always be Jimmy to me) notices her and comes over to her: "Mrs. Girardi?" Good grief. Helen's two-timing Father Ken. Well, she was pretty pissed off with his refusal to dance to her tune in recent episodes. I guess it was inevitable. They shake hands as she says "Father Payne," and then giggles. She apologizes, saying she went to Catholic high school and that was what they called the principal. He suggests she call him "Father Dave." She comments that the principal's real name was Angelini and "he's probably still out there somewhere, whacking kids with the board of education." She apologizes for rambling, and says, "You said there was something we shouldn't discuss on the phone." Man. You call Helen up and claim to be a priest and she'll just run out and meet you? It would take a lot more than that to get me out of the house to meet some stranger. Father Payne (the name I'll use for its anvilicious value) mentions that he works at a hospice in Hamilton: "There's no easy way to say this: I'm here on behalf of Edmond Dodd." Helen wonders if she should know who that is. Father Payne pauses before explaining, "He's the man who assaulted you in 1980." Helen's expression hardens slightly as she says, "You mean the man who raped me." Father Payne agrees: "Edmond has advanced pancreatic cancer. His doctors say that he could die at any time now." Pancreatic cancer is an interesting choice, given that the pancreas is part of the third chakra, the one related to fear of assuming responsibility and issues of fear, intimidation, and trust. "He wants to apologize to you for what he did. He wanted me to ask if you'd come see him." Helen doesn't say anything. Man. I suppose I should question how he happened to find her, and how it happens that he's not that far from where she ended up living, but I've got a lot of recap left to write yet, and not a lot of day left to do it in, so I'll just ignore all that.

Friedman and Luke are playing the Sims II. Through a mouthful of chips, Friedman says the Sims rule. Luke: "So what do we do? We're out of money, we're down to our last happiness, and we've got flies." Friedman suggests going in the hot tub: "That always perks up the Sims, you know." I've never even played one minute of a Sims game, but it looks like lots of fun. That's actually why I've never played it: because I have very little self-control when it comes to things like that. I'd never get another thing done as long as I lived. I found out the hard way when I first got a computer more than ten years ago, and wasted far too much time becoming incredibly good at Wolfenstein. (And Solitaire, and then later Free Cell and Tetris.) It's all I can do now to pretend not to see the links for Letter Rip and Fowl Words on my desktop. Anyway. Luke: "We can't do that; we're going to have another baby." Hee hee! Friedman: "Forget the baby, man. If you neglect it long enough, a social worker comes and takes it away." Friedman seems to have something smeared all around his mouth in this scene, but in this lighting, I can't tell if it's flavour residue from the chips he's eating or an acne outbreak. Friedman suddenly starts making sounds that are supposed to be baby sounds, but they sound more like a baby gull than a humanoid baby. He jerks around a bit. Luke just gives Friedman a skeptical look. Friedman: "Oh, dude, these are, like, über-Doritos. The Platonic ideal of Dorito-ness." Luke takes Friedman's chin in his hand and turns his face toward him. Friedman: "Qué pasa, mon ami?" Luke: "You're stoned." In three or four languages, no less. Friedman, like he just remembered: "Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah." He nods and smiles. Luke complains that his mother's downstairs. Friedman tells him to chill, he didn't smoke it in the Girardi house: "I swiped it from my Uncle Herb." Hee. "He has glaucoma." Friedman giggles about that as a doorbell rings, and tells Luke to focus: "The social worker's coming. He's here." Luke's face is covered with consternation.

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Joan of Arcadia




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