Joan of Arcadia
Friday Night

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No Goofs

Cherish the moments of levity of in this recap, folks, because they are few and far between. Lay in some Visine.

Judith's at Joan's house, juggling some colourful balls. Judith: "See? How cool is this? When you're in the zone, all's right with the world." Joan's on the couch in full-on bored teenager mode: "Yeah. Great. Cirque de Judith. Listen, where is Adam taking me for dinner?" Judith juggles on: "Sworn to secrecy. I already told Lischak you'd do the project with me. Try it again." She tosses the balls to Joan, who protests, "I would like to obsess over me now, okay, and not these stupid balls." She says it's her first real date with Adam. Judith counters that this is the only way to salvage her physics grade. Have we ever actually seen Judith in a class, since the beginning of the season? Judith pleads with Joan, asking, "Do you want me to get shipped off to boarding school?" Joan sighs forcefully and begins to juggle badly. Judith tries to be encouraging. As the doorbell rings, Joan asks, "Can't we just see if Styrofoam floats?" Judith promises that if Joan will learn to juggle, she'll spill about where Adam's taking Joan for dinner.

The doorbell rings again as Helen comes down the stairs to answer it, crabbing, "Deaf, are we?" Judith demonstrates as Helen greets someone named Fran. It's Judith's mother, played by Jayne Atkinson, who comes in saying, "Hi, honey." She's sort of a Poor Man's Helen Mirren (tm Gustave). Judith, clearly thrilled: "Hi, Fran." Her mother doesn't seem as monstrously indifferent as Judith's implied, but then, parents rarely do when they're on display. She's brought Judith some clothes. Judith, still juggling: "Joan's fit." Her mother replies in a pleasant yet pointed way, "You're welcome." Fran turns to Helen and asks if it's really okay that Judith spends the night again: "Bill's out of town and I have a lecture…" Helen insists it's all right: "She's like one of us now." Fran: "I'm just so grateful that she's spending time here. She hasn't always made the best choices in the past." I'm guessing you haven't either, lady, parenting-wise. Just saying. There's a mild crash behind her and Fran turns, reprimanding, "Judith." But it's klutzy Joan who's knocked the lamp over. Helen: "Joan. Take it outside." The girls shuffle out. Judith doesn't bother to protest her mother's assumption, giving the impression that it's happened too often for her to bother. Helen generously commiserates: "Teenagers are hard. Even when it's going well." Fran: "I guess being shrinks, we thought we could work it all out, but they have to rebel, and be independent…" Helen: "While we do their laundry…yeah."

Outside, Judith is continuing to instruct Joan, as Joan continues to pester Judith to tell her about the date destination. Judith just keeps on with Juggling 101. She hands the balls to Joan, who claims, "I hate you." Fran emerges from the house and says good night to Joan, and then puts her hands on Judith's shoulders, like she's going to kiss her, and says, "Good night, honey." Judith pulls back and says, "Yeah. 'Night, Fran." Her mother knows better than to make a scene and goes to her expensive-looking car. Judith: "Juggle, JoJo." Joan drops one ball, and a dog trailing a leash runs up and snatches it. Joan chases after it as Dog Walker God and his many pooches stroll into view. Joan: "Divine intervention. I should have known." Judith conveniently decides to take this opportunity to…lie on the grass in front of the Girardis' house? Okay. Dog Walker God is playing with the ball, saying Judith's right: "It's all about catching what's coming at you." Well, that explains my problems. I am the most hopelessly uncoordinated person alive. ["Second most." -- Sars] Joan: "Okay. But this is too hard for me." She glances around to see Judith flaked out on the lawn. Dog Walker God points out, "You're always going to be met with challenges you think you can never overcome, but everyone has the ability to surprise themselves." It's probably not a smart idea for me to fix God's grammar, is it? Especially when I need so much help in the hand-eye coordination department. Joan, impatient as ever: "So it's important to you that I juggle?" He just walks off, tossing the ball over his shoulder to her as he goes. She catches it. Judith conveniently wakes up from her wee rest now and comes over to Joan. I honestly can't imagine why her friends rarely ask her about these encounters, unless God is directly influencing their indifference or lack of interest. Joan's managing to juggle slightly as Judith comes over, pleased. She says, "Better!" Then she half-whispers, "He's taking you to La Cachette." Joan, breathless: "That place is fancier than real France!" She runs her tongue over her teeth: "I'm going to get stuff stuck in my teeth!" Well, keep a good thought. And…theme song.

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Joan of Arcadia

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