Joan of Arcadia
Common Thread

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

I want to hurt the person who put Zeppelin over a Cadillac commercial. Show a little respect.

Back at the foot of Mount Nashman, cops are going over the inside of Adam's truck for clues. Hey! There's Adam's father. Man, it's been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time…er, since we saw his dad. Sorry, still got Zeppelin on the brain. I missed him. I like Mr. Rove. He tells Will that Adam was supposed to be back by 6:00 to pick him up at work: "He always calls." A park ranger in a yellow rain coat slams the door of Adam's truck and walks over to Will and Mr. Rove, announcing, "No suicide note!" Thank you for the information, Ranger Tactful. Will: "I'm sorry, Mr. Rove, it's important that we…" Mr. Rove says he understands, but the way he's backing up slightly from the ranger tells me he hadn't truly entertained that possibility. Ranger Tactful says they should head back to the station and organize a search team. Grace, standing off to one side under an umbrella with Joan, says he's got to be on the trail: "Why can't we just go and…" Ranger Tactful says the trail's washed out in the third mile and there are loose boulders coming down. Joan: "We can't just leave him out there!" He adds that they've already lost three people on the mountain so far this year: "We don't want to lose any more." He radios his people to come down and tells everyone to meet back at the station. Joan: "Why did he do this?" She turns and screams at the mountain: "Adam! Damn it!" Grace pulls Joan back to the car.

A glittering, colourful shot of one of those fibre-optic sculptures. I think. Or it's an artsy representation of Luke's hallucinations, which…whatever. I tried to establish whether or not marijuana is a hallucinogen but I got results -- in almost equal parts -- that indicated it definitely is, definitely is not, or is a very mild hallucinogen. So I don't know. I don't use it, so I can't really argue very strenuously on the basis of personal experience. However, Luke seems to be going through a textbook list of all possible reactions, and not stinting with the helpings of anxiety/distrust/fear/panic/paranoia. He's sitting on the bed, clutching a blanket and looking anxious when the phone rings. He looks at it: "It's Grace again." This time, he thinks Grace is talking to him from the screen: "Dude, answer your phone." Frink laughs his ass off. Luke concludes, "She definitely knows. She saw the broadcast." Friedman, curled up over on a bean bag with some snacks: "Dude, there was no broadcast." Luke wonders who else knows. The phone keeps ringing. Luke: "Man, my heart is beating like it's trying to get out of my chest, dude. Maybe there was something in that stuff, man! Maybe it was laced!" Friedman assures him there was nothing in it; he's fine, his Uncle Herb is fine: "His sight even improved!" Luke insists his heart is beating too hard: "Listen: la-dub, la-dub, la-dub…oh my God, I think it skipped a dub." Friedman tells him he's flipping out: "Chill."

The walls and furniture literally start to close in on Luke, as Friedman tells him to breathe: "People have been smoking weed forever, yo. Breathe." As the walls get closer, Luke stands up, hollering: "Neurotransmitters shutting downbraininrevolt!" as he rushes toward the window. Of course, he crashes right into it and falls back onto the floor. Friedman peers over him with concern. Luke, breathless and incredulous: "What do you like about this, Friedman?" Friedman: "Nothing, anymore." Luke, sweetie: Reality is for people who can't handle drugs. Come over here and keep me company. And I guess that's about it for these two outcastafarians. As televisual anti-drug messages go, it's not the worst I've ever seen: nobody was killed, poisoned, or raped; nobody committed suicide; nobody got arrested, robbed or beaten; nobody was brain-damaged (much); nobody really got hurt. Nobody's car was wrecked, nobody's house burned down, nobody got expelled from school, nobody cheated on anybody. And (so far, at least) nobody (including us) has had to endure some insufferable, moralizing lecture. Cripes, nobody even got grounded. Pretty mild for network TV, really. In fact, you could almost construe it as little more than this: "Drugs: probably not a good idea for the high-strung."

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Joan of Arcadia




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