Joan of Arcadia
Do The Math

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Joan catches up with her brother in the hallway at school and tells him he has to help her track down Richard Girardi. Luke: "Joan, that would be irrational in the extreme. Dad's behaviour made it quite clear he didn't want this to become an issue." Joan: "I'm pretty sure his hammer is broken, and how can he play music without all his notes? So you have to help me find Richard!" Luke thinks briefly and then comments, "There was so little of that that I understood." Joan tells him, "Get on the internet and kick your geek thing into action and find Richard Girardi." Luke: "Joan, you remember watching The Godfather with Dad? He thinks it's a documentary." It's not? Luke: "You donot mess around with Italians and their families." Joan threatens that if he doesn't help her, "I'm going to tell Mom that you and Glynis are knockin' boots and she's going to give you the sex lecture every day for months." Luke is alarmed: "That would be spurious, manipulative fiction, and…" Joan does a pretty good imitation of her mother: clapping her hands together once and slipping into a slight Southern accent, she says, "'Luuuuke, when two people love each other verrah much…" Luke winces and says he'll see what he can find.

Joan's at Eva's struggling through a piece while Eva sighs beside her and mentally calculates how much alcohol is in the house. Joan stops and apologizes, saying she knows it's supposed to be an F sharp. Joan: "I practiced. It's just…scales are so hard." Eva: "Those aren't scales. That's Bach." Joan: "Then I guess I'm not good at Bach." Well, if you were, as a beginner, you'd probably be a prodigy. Eva: "Well, if you can't play Bach, you can't play anything. He's the foundation." Eva takes the keyboard and plays (though it's clearly not Louise Fletcher playing -- all the shots of her playing carefully disconnect her hands from the rest of her, so it's definitely someone else. As she plays, she says, "What you are destroying is nothing more than a G major triad. Sometimes it's inverted, but the notes are always the same: one-three-five, one-three-five." Joan listens, and thinks, and says softly, "A squared plus B squared…equals C squared. Pythagoras." Eva: "What are you mumbling?" Joan just says she gets it. Frink complains that it isn't a Pythagorean triplet. I can't get worked up about it, myself. But that's what comes of shortchanging girls on math education. We'll get into that later. Eva gets up, annoyed: "You can't just get it! It takes years of practice. This lesson is over." Joan says she still has five minutes. Eva forces the timer through the last five minutes and makes it ding. She tells Joan to start clearing out a closet. Joan opens the closet door and finds a bunch of old albums. Eva tells her to toss them. Joan: "You don't listen to any of them?" Eva says she can't even see what's on them: "The radio's all I need now." Eva smokes and pours herself another drink. Joan sensitively remarks, "These are so old!" Eva: "Yeah. Just like me. And one day they're going to toss me, too." Joan looks at Eva and then away again, raising her eyebrows. Old people, man. Who can figure 'em?

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Joan of Arcadia

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