Joan of Arcadia
Romancing The Joan

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Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
The Duffening II: Electric Boogaloo

At home, Helen's in the kitchen working on a collage project for class. Kevin comes in, saying he's starving: "Do we have anything fried, or in the burrito family?" Helen's response: "Hey, tell me something: where do you get off being rude to Lily?" Kevin's expression changes and he says, "Not as hungry as I thought." He wheels away as Helen sighs, "She's very vulnerable in the area of dating. You could have scarred her for life." That, I very much doubt. Kevin: "Mom, I don't discuss this stuff with you." Helen says Lily's her friend. Kevin claims Lily's the one who hit on him. Helen: "You could have said no. You should have." Kevin: "See? This is precisely why I don't date nuns." Helen declares that a "very good policy" as Kevin takes off and Joan comes in, soaked to the skin. Guess she doesn't love the bus as much as she told Roger. Helen notes she's home early. Joan tells her about the power failure. Helen says she would have come and picked her up. Helen notices Joan's soaking wet. Joan says she's fine: "Don't fuss." Joan looks at the pictures spread all over the kitchen island and asks, "What's all this?" Helen: "I assigned a collage for the class. It's harder than I remember, trying to keep it edgy and creative and not like the placemats we make our parents in kindergarten." She comes over with a towel for Joan's hair and starts drying it for her as Joan asks, "Where's Dad?" Helen says he's still at work. Joan: "He's been working so much lately. What's he going for, cop of the year?" Helen says nothing. Joan picks up a picture and asks, "Were you married here?" Helen says it's a picture of them on their honeymoon in Niagara Falls. "Unoriginal, but fun." That's where my parents went, too. It's a really weird picture, black and white -- and they totally look Photoshopped together. And like they were then pasted on an old image of Niagara Falls. I don't think I believe that many people were still many taking black and white photos some twenty-two years ago. Especially on their honeymoon -- wouldn't you pop for colour? Anyway. In his big moustache and flannel shirt, Will looks like he got lost on his way to a Village People concert. Helen just has too much hair.

Suddenly Joan's face caves in and she starts crying and whimpering. She pulls the towel over her head as Helen asks what's the matter. Frink: "Look, it's a terrycloth burqa." It's almost the right colour, too: the grey-blue towel looks like a faded Afghan burqa. Joan just shakes her head under the towel and says, "Nothing." They sit down as Helen persists, lifting the towel to peek inside. Joan takes the towel off her head and asks when Helen knew she was going to marry her father. Helen: "About a week before the wedding. I kept breaking up with him." Joan: "Why?" Helen says she thought marriage was so predictable: "I thought it would be the end of my life." Joan: "So why did you do it?" Helen: "Because I couldn't not do it. My future was…connected with his. What, I was gonna let somebody else have that smile for the rest of her life?" Joan just looks unhappy. Helen: "This is the kind of thing that usually makes you squirm." Joan: "I'm squirming on the inside." Hee. Helen smiles: "Sweetheart, love is complicated…way more complicated than driving a car, which you're just barely old enough to do." Joan: "I know that I love Adam." Helen says that doesn't mean Joan's going to spend her life with him. She quickly adds, "And it doesn't mean that you aren't. It just means you can't know that now. So just enjoy your time together." Joan gets up to walk out, and then stops, saying, "It must be nice to know you found the guy who's gonna love you forever and that he can't ever leave you for some perky blonde and that you're not gonna kiss some guy by candlelight just because he has blue eyes and quotes poetry." She pauses, looking at her mother with some apprehension after spilling all that, and then says, "Good night." Helen uncharacteristically leaves Joan's confession alone, looking at the pictures of her and Will all over the table.

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Joan of Arcadia




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