Joan of Arcadia
Common Thread

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Luke of Narcadia

Luke and Friedman are walking through the halls. Friedman is wearing…the dog's breakfast? That is, if the dog ate a Thomas Kinkade painting and then threw it up. I guess it's the very sweater (worn over a peach turtleneck) that Friedman-gone-"psychedelic" would wear, so kudos, Wardrobe Department. Friedman: "Dude, it's not heroin!" Realizing his voice was a little loud, he repeats it more quietly. "It's not heroin. It's just a little recreational ganja. I've only done it a few times." Luke: "Dude, you had to call Child Protective Services for a Sims baby. I mean, if you can't handle virtual reality --" Friedman: "I'm a scientist, not a father, okay? I'm expanding my neural frontier, exploring inner space. Where is your spirit of discovery, Doctor?" Luke spouts a bunch of stuff about the chemical properties of tetrahydrocannabinol, which may or may not be correct. I'd have to be a lot farther ahead on this recap than I currently am to spend any time looking that up, so you're on your own. Friedman's response: "Yeah. Somebody's been doing some reading. Intrigued, are we?" Luke leans on Friedman's locker: "It slows down your brain. Why would you want that?" Friedman claims, "Because it releases that sweet nectar dopamine, which heightens perception of music…food…sex…which, when I start having it, will be re-mark-a-ble!" He sings the last words. Luke: "If you like getting stoned, that's fine. But experimenting with drugs is not a genuine scientific pursuit." Tell it to Timothy Leary. Friedman: "Oh? So there's a limit on self-discovery?" He walks down the hall, lecturing Luke: "Deviation from the norm is precisely what generates our most extraordinary advances in science. Plus: you laugh your ass off, dude."

Helen (in her red coat) and Father Payne walk down the hospice corridor. She tells him, "I fantasized about bringing a gun today." Father Payne looks mildly concerned. "My husband's a cop and he would have happily given me his -- I didn't," she assures Father Payne, who's looking more concerned. He says, "Mrs. Girardi, if it's too painful --" Helen insists she wants to do this: "Forgiveness is an important part of faith." Professor Frink: "That's stupid. Shoot him." Me: "At least rip his catheter out." They go into his room and find the bed-ridden Edmond dozing very lightly. Helen stands there, staring at the creep who did her such damage. Father Payne clears his throat gently to stir Edmond, who looks over at Helen for a bit before he thanks her for coming. Helen doesn't say anything. Edmond: "I don't know how to do this. I'm just so sorry. Every day, I think about what I did." Helen asks in a calm, low voice: "Did you work on campus? Did I know you…from somewhere…I mean…why me?" He says he doesn't know: "I'd never done anything like that before, I swear -- and I never did again." Maybe, but she has no reason to believe you, and frankly, neither do I. He continues, "The next morning when I woke up…I hoped it was a dream…but I saw the scratch marks." Helen's body heaves gently at the horrible memory. Father Payne looks at Helen. Frink: "Michael Badalucco always looks like he's about to cry." Her glance falls on a photo at Edmond's bedside, of him with a smiling blonde wife and cute little daughter. She asks softly, "Is that your family?" He nods. Helen asks if they know. He turns his face away and shakes his head a bit: "When I met Father Payne…he helped me find God." He holds his hand out, crying: "I want to repent. Please…I want to repent."

Helen's looking away, ignoring his hand. Then she asks, "When? When did you find God? When you came in here?" He turns his head toward the window again. Helen sighs: "That's pretty convenient." Edmond insists: "I know that Christ is with me." She replies, "Then you don't need my forgiveness, do you?" Burn. Father Payne intervenes, "Mrs. Girardi, perhaps --" Helen: "No." To Edmond, in an angry but controlled voice: "You grabbed me. You held me down…your hand on my throat so that I couldn't breathe and then you -- you left me there. Do you know how long it took before I could get through one day…without being terrified, without thinking of you? To let myself be touched again be someone who loved me? Twenty-five years I lived with that, and now you have a deathbed conversion and you want me to spare you the guilt for your last couple of weeks? No." Through his tears, he begs, "Please." Helen: "You feel every bit of this agony, every single moment until it ends you, and then, maybe you'll begin to understand what you did to me." Shot of Edmond looking pained. Helen: "You're getting exactly what you deserve. I hope you rot in hell." Frink: "Right on!" Yeah, we're all about the forgiveness here at Casa Vengeance. Helen turns sharply, and gives Father Payne a look that would wither a sequoia before walking out, leaving him to comfort the crying Edmond. Mary Steenburgen was great here.

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Joan of Arcadia




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