A different doctor is talking to Helen and Will about Joan's diagnosis: "Lyme disease. Caused by a tick bite. Could have been lying dormant in her system for a long time. The rash on her leg gave it away -- which is fortunate, because sometimes the rash is overlooked, and the symptoms of this disease are misdiagnosed." Helen asks how. The doctor explains, "It manifests in subtle ways at first: moodiness, extreme behaviour " Luke interjects, "That's every girl. They're all infected." Grace narrows her eyes at him. Helen also gives him a look. The doctor continues, "But later on, it becomes more serious: scattered thinking, lack of concentration, and eventually aural -- even visual -- hallucinations. Sometimes people are misdiagnosed as mentally ill." Grace: "This is clearing up a lot for me." It would help explain a lot of Joan's flakiness and apparent gaps in common knowledge and inconsistent levels of intelligence -- the latter two being pet peeves of mine this season. Will asks what the treatment is. The doctor says she needs a course of antibiotics: "We'll start her today and keep her overnight for observation." Helen wants to know how long this could have been in her system; the doctor replies, "Months. In some cases, years." Luke: "But all the symptoms will go away, including the crankiness?" Kevin: "Yeah, that's like Joan going away." No one, especially Helen, finds this particularly amusing. The doctor assures them, "Uh, she'll be herself, whatever she was before." Adam finally pipes up in a small, sad voice, "Well, I didn't know her before. And I like her now." The doctor says Will and Helen can see her now. As they walk off, Adam asks no one in particular, "How different will she be?"
Joan tells the five silent Gods, "Fine. I can sit here all day, too." As the sun suddenly moves so much more rapidly than normal that we can see the shadows on the wall moving, she adds, "I never liked any of you." She points to Goth God and says, "Especially you." Is that because he made her ask Ramsay to the dance? She whines, "Go on! Just leave." She starts hollering: "Go, okay? Dump me like Adam did! Please go!" They all walk out slowly (well, except for Newcaster God -- the TV just shuts itself off) as Joan panics about what she's done and says, "Wait! Are you really leaving? You can't just abandon people!" The God Squad exits as Helen and Will enter the room. Helen and Will don't see them -- but remember, that doesn't mean they're not there. God has told us from the very first episode, "I'm not appearing to you. You are seeing me." Helen hugs Joan as she asks how she is; as she does, she notices Joan's fever and says, "Oh, God. Oh, you're still so hot." Will sits on the bed and apologizes that she had to be alone for so long. Joan, woozily: "Alone? Are you kidding me?" She sinks back on the pillow. "Those people you saw leaving just now, they've been here the whole time driving me crazy." Helen looks toward the door, puzzled. Helen: "What people?" Joan: "The oh you walked right past them." Helen's concern increases, and she sits next to Joan and puts her arm around her: "Okay. Honey we need to talk. You may have been imagining some things." Joan: "No, I'm not crazy." Helen: "No, of course not! Just sick. And you may have been that way for a little while. But you are gonna get well." Joan: "I'm sick?" Helen promises her she's going to be okay. Tears start running from Joan's eyes: "It was never real? I've always been sick?" She cries, not sparing us the unpleasant doubling of her chin as she clutches her mother's clothes. You gotta love her lack of vanity. There's one freeze-frame where she looks much like a drawing by Aline Kominsky-Crumb -- and if you know AKC's work, you understand what I'm saying here. Sars: "They couldn't have given her another take?" Frink: "'No, Amber! Uglier! Uglier!'" Hee hee.