Helen's having lunch at a pleasant little diner with Father Ken Mallory, the priest from the DMV parking lot. He's wearing regular clothes, not his vestments. She thanks him for seeing her, explaining that she's not a practicing Catholic... "or any religion." Father Mallory assures her that it's fine, and that it's a priest's job to serve all people: "And, you know -- fundraising." She explains that she was bugging him in the parking lot because of Kevin and all the concerns she had about the situation: "I'm not really crazy." He knows. Helen: "You look different in your clothes." Ha! That got a big laugh out of both Frink and me. There's a comment he probably doesn't hear much. Mary Steenburgen delivers her lines so naturally that you buy everything she says, from the goofy to the grave. She laughs, embarrassed, and tries to explain herself. Father Mallory: "It's okay. Priests scare people. You're worried that I'm seeing into your soul or gossiping about you with God." Helen: "Oh no, no. Priests -- priests make me feel like I'm going to hell." He asks her why that is. She sighs, saying she doesn't know: "I'm just rambling." She think she needs to talk to someone. She admits, "I've been doing this perpetually optimistic, 'everything's gonna work out' thing, and it's not going so well. I've been crying a lot more than I used to." She says all this smiling and nodding. She sure has piled a lot of socially acceptable expressions on top of her pain. Father Mallory asks if she is familiar with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's theory of the five stages of grief. I'm kind of surprised to find that Helen doesn't seem to have really heard of the theory. It's been common fodder on talk shows and in popular culture for such a long time that I thought practically everyone had heard of it. Anyway, he suggests that Helen read Kübler-Ross's On Death and Dying. Helen smiles, and says, "But my son didn't die. And I know I should just stop complaining and be grateful." Father Mallory points out that while Kevin didn't actually die, "all of you experienced a kind of death -- of the life you imagined for him." Helen stops smiling and looks more troubled than she acknowledges. The priest says, "The philosopher Kierkegaard -- he said that the most painful state of being is remembering the future...particularly one you can never have." Fo' shizzle my nizzle. It's all a little too much for Helen, and she seems a little upset as she fishes some money out of her purse and says she only gets half an hour for lunch. She thanks him.
Joan of Arcadia
Episode Report CardDeborah: A | 395 USERS: C+
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Joan of Arcadia