School. Adam and Joan are standing around waiting. Joan's head is on Adam's shoulder and she looks bummed. Adam (who's wearing a long-sleeved black T-shirt that he looks really good in) wonders if it's really a big deal if Joan doesn't make Ivy League: "I mean, if George Bush is any indication " Joan says she wants to go where he goes: "I mean, that's still the plan at least, right?" Okay: they don't use tongue yet, but they're already planning to go to college together? He agrees, and says he's thinking of second tier: "University of Texas, Austin. A lot of great filmmakers came out of there. Wes Anderson, for example." I'm all, "Mention Richard Linklater. Mention Richard Linklater!" He doesn't. I'm all bitterly disappointed in my boyfriend. Come on, how can you overlook Richard Linklater? That is numerous kinds of wrong. I love Richard Linklater. Also, his name is fun to say over and over again. Anyway, Joan brightens up, saying, "I could do Austin. We could learn how to two-step." Adam laughs, too nice to tell her, "Over my dead artsy body." Joan: "You know what I think about? How much Judith is missing out on all this." Some pretty blond guy we've never seen comes out and calls Joan into Price's office. Is he Helen's replacement? Perhaps. Joan asks Adam to wish her luck, and kisses him. The secretary taps on the window behind them, announcing, "Watching the PDA." Joan makes a face about that at Adam and enters the office.
As she's signing in, the secretary tells her, "Try to remember who you are, Joan. 'Coyly stated by the Almighty.'" Joan seems to know it's God as soon as he said "Joan," though -- but how odd is it that the guy calling students into Price's office would know her name? Usually that's the giveaway, but here, it doesn't make sense. Joan asks, "Remember who I am: that's my assignment?" The secretary manifests some stereotypically gay mannerisms, and normally I wouldn't jump to conclusions, but since I know this role was described as "Gay Male Secretary God," we can just cut to the chase and call him Queer Deity for the Straight Girl, or QDftSG for short. (And if Joan turns out to be flexible we'll change "straight" to "self-absorbed.") I'm all for God being gay, but what's with the "male secretary" thing? Aren't we past the era of "lady doctors" and "male nurses" yet? As some old second-wave feminist used to say, there are only two jobs that are sex-specific: sperm donor and wet nurse. And frankly, even the latter seems to be up for grabs. Frink wants to know why they didn't just get Scott Thompson for this role. Me: "Because Scott Thompson probably costs ten times what this guy does?" QDftSG says, "It's easy to get derailed when confronting your future. Try to stay grounded. And stand up straight. I didn't create you to slouch." Joan complies. QDftSG: "Go." Joan: "Wait. You know my future. So why do I have to go discuss it with Price?" QDftSG: "That free will lecture just doesn't land with you, does it?" Hee! Before she can reply, Price emerges from his office, clearing his throat loudly: "Growing old and dying in here, Ms. Girardi." Yeah, that oughta light a fire under her. Joan: "Works for me."