Joan of Arcadia
Night Without Stars

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Deborah: C | Grade It Now!
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Boiling Point

The next shot is Joan on her knees at the community centre, mopping up a huge pile of pee that some kid's just unleashed on the colourful floor. Heh. Instant karma's gonna get you. She asks the kid, "What happened?" The kid, who seems incredibly blasé about the situation, especially for his age, shrugs, "I had an emergency." Most kids I've seen wet themselves publicly are extremely upset. The rest of the kids are staring at Joan and the kid. She asks if he has any other clothes with him. He doesn't. She says it's okay. Then she remarks, "Wow, you are so small...and this is...so-o-o-o-o-o much." Joan tells him she was supposed to go to a White Stripes concert, but couldn't, because she had to be here. Pee Boy says, "You know, Iris doesn't talk so much." Joan: "Hey, news flash: I am not Iris." Another kid, over by the table, says, "You're mean." General murmurs of agreement from the peanut gallery. Joan says she's not mean. Another girl says she's bored. The boy who said Joan was mean says he's bored, too. Joan: "Why don't you guys throw blocks at each other, or write on the walls?" The little girl suggests making a piñata. The kids are all for that. Joan wants to know how they even know what a piñata is? Odd. It's not that arcane. The kids all talk at once, explaining to her what it is. She's got it, but says, "We're not making a piñata. You guys just want candy." The little girl snipes, "Iris always said no, too." Well, now Joan's interested.

Luke walks out of what I guess is the high school. Though it looks just like what I've been taking to be the community centre where Joan's doing her volunteer work. Are the kids somewhere in the school? Are the buildings right next door to each other? Who knows? I'll just sit here like Adam and look confused. I need a toque. Anyway, Luke walks out and finds Kevin parked there, waiting. He doesn't seem too thrilled about it either, and asks what he's doing there. Kevin motions to him to get in: "Mom asked me to pick up Joan, 'cause she gets out late from her thing with the kids." You know, this is probably a stupid question, but I'm not clear on how Kevin gets himself in and out of this car. His wheelchair's not in the front seat. Perhaps someone could explain it on the forums. Luke says he's going to walk. Kevin: "Don't be a jerk. Get in." Luke reluctantly complies. He gets in the front seat and rolls up the window. He says nothing. Kevin leers at him: "So...you been, uh, 'studying' with your girlfriend?" Luke says he doesn't want to talk about it. Kevin: "Maybe if you learn how to shoot some hoops we can turn you into a real man and put a smile on her face." It's accompanied by the usual arm punch. Luke turns to him, angry: "God, why don't you just cut out the cocky athletic crap, Kevin? You're not that guy anymore and you never will be again." Whoa. Kevin looks momentarily hurt, then puzzled. Luke quickly adds, "I'm sorry. I'm...I'm sorry." Kevin: "What's your problem? The more things go my way, the more pissed off you get. What's that about?" Luke: "I said I'm sorry, okay? It won't happen again." Kevin: "Yes, it will. What do you and your science friends call that -- the law of inertia? What is it? What's the problem, Luke?" He shoves Luke's shoulder. Luke explodes: "That! Right there! Do you have any idea how much I hated you for shoving me and hitting me and making fun of me all the time? And no one would say anything about it because you were the big star and I was just a geek! You know, after your accident, when I heard you'd never walk again, I was happy." Kevin's pretty stunned. So am I. Luke struggles not to cry. So do I. Joan suddenly gets into the back seat, happily oblivious: "Hey! Let's stop and get Slurpees." Kevin and Luke just sit in angry silence. Joan asks what's going on. Her brothers still don't speak. Joan: "Guys?" Luke's managed to harden his expression. Now Kevin's the one trying to hold back tears. Excellent work by Michael Welch. I was holding my breath from the moment he told Kevin to cut the crap and I didn't exhale until Joan got in the car.

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Joan of Arcadia

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