Joan of Arcadia
Shadows And Light

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One Small Step For Kevin

Joan gets some whipped cream out of the refrigerator and sprays some onto a gigantic sundae. Man, leave some for the rest of us, Joan. Or at least for me. Kevin enters and notes the "sunrise ice cream," and asks what the occasion is. Joan tells him that she was supposed to help Stevie, and she just ended up stealing her iPod. Well, Joan, I'm sure you can afford your own now -- you deserve a nice bonus for going the extra product-placement mile. Kevin takes the scoop and starts eating some of Joan's sundae, which doesn't cause her much consternation, considering that the thing is big enough to feed an average husband and wife and their 2.2 kids. Joan asks what's eating Kevin, so to speak, and Kevin tells her the TV thing didn't happen, and that he told Luke he should have been the one to be paralyzed. Joan mildly says, "Ouch!" and says that calls for more whipped cream. I'm surprised she can get any out, as they've obviously sucked the nitrous oxide out of the can to view that line so casually. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? Joan and Kevin muse that they used to be good people, and Joan says it was easier to dump on other people than deal with their own stuff, but you have to face said stuff eventually. Kevin asks why. Joan: "Well, [you] can't live in a cave." You know what I'm facing? Some weak-assed writing, right there. I mean, if she's using Stevie's example to get Kevin to face his demons, as it seems, the problems are twofold: One, again, Stevie's situation seems utterly bleak at this point, so the lesson Joan's trying to push is utterly at odds with what we've seen on the screen. And two, Joan isn't aware that there's any conflict for Kevin to resolve, as he never mentioned the stim therapy, which was the reason for the fight with Luke. From her perspective, he was just mad that the TV thing didn't work out, right? End of story. Not to mention the fact that if they're wondering when they stopped being good people, they might start with the fact that they seem to think saying "You should be paralyzed instead of me" to anyone, much less your kid brother, deserves ice cream instead of a slap in the face. Man.

Thank God. Helen enters her classroom to find Adam waiting for her. He gives her Stevie's painting. Helen sighs and says the whole thing is still so hard to believe, and that Joan says Stevie's "pretty destroyed." She asks Adam if he's okay, and Adam, not sure where she's coming from, says yes. He then asks her if he can take his painting home, and she tells him sure, as she's graded it. We see the painting is of him and a woman we soon learn is his mother, so it seems like that was the specific assignment. Helen tells Adam she gave him an A, and that it's great work. Adam finally overcomes his reservations and asks why Helen didn't use it for the presentation. Helen says it's not what he thinks, and that "that's between you and Joan." Adam disbelievingly asks if she doesn't care. Adam, it's a good thing you're below the legal gambling age, because you've got a couple of things to learn about quitting while you're ahead. Helen says of course she cares, as she doesn't want to see Joan get hurt or used. "But I choose to believe that you wouldn't do that." Aw. Adam haltingly says that he didn't want to mess things up with Helen. "It's complicated with me and Joan, but I don't have anyone else like you in my life either." Foreshadowing tells me that this remark doesn't bode well for Adam's relationship with Joan. I tell Foreshadowing to shut up, as he's ruining my favorite scene in the episode. Helen beams at Adam and tells him that she knows how hard it was for him finally to paint his mother, and she didn't think he'd feel comfortable sharing that work with so many people. She apologizes for not asking him first. Adam thanks her and leaves. Man, I didn't realize how much they needed to do an Adam/Helen scene until I saw that. I mean, obviously it couldn't approach the emotions of "Jump," but it's the nicest scene I remember them having since then. More, please.

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Joan of Arcadia

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