Lischak gives the class some preamble about the coveted Hawking award. Glynis squees, "Ooh! I'm so excited! Dinner at Don Thornberry's!" That must be quite the steakhouse. Luke: "With Professor Lambert. An entire evening of string theory and prime rib." Sign me…up? Lischak announces that there are two winners this year. Glynis eyes her seatmates: "Only two? Oh my." Lischak makes a big production out of drumming the desk in front of her and dramatically declaring the winners. Frink: "She's great." She says the award goes to Ms. Figliola and Mr. Friedman for their work on the velocity of atoms. "Mr." Friedman? So it's his last name? Glynis and Friedman high-five each other in front of Luke, who's closed his eyes briefly in disbelief and disappointment. Lischak applauds them as the bell rings. Grace walks up to Luke, and puts her arm around him, saying quietly, "Genius goes unrecognized. What else is new? Come on." Luke just sits there, muttering, "But my entry proved the possibility of a string force field positing an energy of ten to the nineteenth power volts. This is a steak-worthy discovery." Frink: "That would be a big deal. A little too big to be believed of Luke." And the string theory experts on Joan of Arcadia forum agree (yeah, I got string theorists on my forums -- you wanna make something of it?) that this is simply way too advanced for Luke to have come up with. If he were really that kind of prodigy, he'd already be working on an advanced degree, not sitting around in AP science classes. Honestly, couldn't they come up with an entry for Luke that's at least a little believable? Grace tries to comfort him: "You're talking about the opinion of a bunch of pinheads at Arcadia College." Glynis follows them out, saying, "And Don Thornberry himself. I heard he was an honorary judge." Grace snipes, "What does he know about physics? He runs a steak joint at the airport." Friedman breezes past him: "Dude, don't worry, I'll bring you a doggy bag." Luke glares.
Joan and Adam walk outside as she harangues him: "Am I crazy or do you not want me to go with you?" Adam: "What? No!" There are a lot of people in the foreground playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. I'll bet that's all the rage in high schools these days. It occurs to me that we are more than forty episodes into a series featuring high school students and the issue of substance use -- other than Ramsay's little flirtation with alcohol -- has yet to come up. Or am I forgetting something? I don't think so. That seems unusual, no? Adam claims it would be awesome but explains that it's an overnight trip, alluding to the recent awkwardness. Joan admits the concert trip was "a disaster" but thinks this would be different, because it's visiting a school. I…don't think I see the difference. Adam stops her and explains, "Listen…it's hard for me." Frink, brightly: "Why, yes, it is!" Oh, for -- that's just too easy. He continues as Joan looks uncomfortable, "Us, being in a room alone…overnight…" Joan seems to finally get it. Adam tries to smooth things over by smiling and saying he'll go to RISD and then they'll hang out Sunday. She nods, but looks real sad. He kisses her quickly and leaves.