Joan of Arcadia
Friday Night

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Helen's straightening up in the dining room when Judith comes downstairs and tells her, "The fairy godmother has completed her job." She says she's going home, and thanks Helen, who comes over to give her a hug. I guess all that stealing from the homeless stuff has been forgiven. I wonder how Fran would feel to see how comfortable Judith is with Helen's affection. Will comes in, with glasses of red wine for himself and Helen, and suggests that Kevin can give Judith a ride: "You shouldn't be walking around at night." Kevin says he's heading downtown anyway. Judith: "Everyone has a date tonight." Kevin says he's just covering night court. Judith mutters, "Oh…been there." Suddenly remembering herself, she turns to Joan's parents: "In my youth." They nod indulgently. Kevin opens the door to find Adam standing there nervously. He's in a suit and tie, with a slightly too-big overcoat, and his hair greased back. Not loving the hair. And for anyone who hasn't been able to see the John Cusack resemblance I mentioned well over a year ago…come on, you must be able to see it now. He's carrying a single red rose in a cellophane sleeve. Kevin wraps his coat around himself, crosses his arms and looks at Adam expectantly. Adam's confronted with his date's older brother, her best friend, and her parents -- one of whom is his teacher and the other, a cop. Poor kid. To his credit, he doesn't get too flustered: "Uh, I'm here for Joan." Nobody says anything; Helen and Judith beam at him. Will suppresses a smirk with a slightly disgruntled fatherly look. You can tell Kevin wants to give him a hard time, but lets him off with a firm clap of his hands and an "Aw!" As he passes Adam, he slaps him on the shoulder a couple of times. Judith tells him, "Dude. You are the shock and awe of cute." Aw! Adam's nervous expression hasn't changed. Will: "You can come in, Adam. You have before." He finally relaxes a little as he crosses the threshold and closes the door.

Helen calls to Joan. Will asks where they're going. Adam: "Uh, La Cachette. It's a surprise." Helen and Will smile; Helen says, "Wow." Adam looks up when he hears Joan's footsteps on the stairs. We see her feet, in open-toed black heels, first. The camera drifts up to show Joan wearing the black dress -- which actually has pink fabric flowers stitched randomly over the skirt, too, which I couldn't see before -- and carrying a little pink bag. Her hair is long and pulled back, with her long bangs parted in the middle and styled softly to one side. There's a pink flower in her hair, too. She's seen fit, for reasons best known only to her and one wacky God avatar or another, to drape a length of filmy pink lace around her neck -- and it's very Joan, but I think it kind of ruins the look. The dress doesn't need it, and it totally interferes with appreciating the dress. Still, to Adam, she looks like Botticelli's Venus. She could have sausage links draped around her neck, and Adam would still see her that way. I remark on this to Frink, who says, "Yeah, love is blind." I roll my eyes: "No. Love is kind." Joan pauses on the landing and smiles at Adam, who's dumsquizzled. She walks toward him, smiling awkwardly, waiting for him to find his vocal chords and give her some reassurance. He finally remembers the rose, and offers it to her. Nobody says anything. Will and Helen smile and gulp and are the greatest parents in the world for refraining from saying anything dopey or embarrassing right now. Adam finally says, "Uh, uh…we should go." He helps Joan put on her coat as her parents tell them to have a good time. Once they leave, Helen and Will turn to each other. Helen's waterworks are T minus one second. Will: "I'll get the Kleenex."

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Joan of Arcadia

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