Outside at Arcadia High, Mr. Price's head is sticking out through a brightly coloured target at which kids are throwing something, probably water balloons. I can't believe there isn't a lineup a mile long for that event. I also can't believe he's willing to do this. It must in his contract or something. Joan, Grace, and Luke are walking through the party area as Joan complains that she's sick. Luke suggests that she find their mother and go home. Joan says she already went looking for her and was told Helen had gone home, and she can't find Adam. Grace observes, "Oh, look, they made it three-legged this year. Inspired choice: tying yourself to a faculty member. I've had that dream." I'll bet Friedman's trying to get himself tied to Ms. Lischak at this very moment. We all notice Michael Welch's height advantage over the other two, and agree that he's gotten taller this year. We don't discuss it, but Sars and I are both thinking the same thing: "And cuter." Joan walks and scratches at the same time. Joan says she needs to find Adam. Luke says, "Hornsby's the one to beat. Three-year reigning champion." Grace: "The typing teacher? He's, like, eighty." Joan whines, "Where is he? Is he at the library?" Grace: "Are you talking to your little invisible friend?" They run into a wet-headed Price, who asks, "So…who wants a shot at beating Hornsby? He's going down. Ms. Polk: here's your chance to humiliate a faculty member." Grace: "Oh, they don't need my help." Hee. Price asks Luke next. Luke: "Mmm…ovophobia. It's a fear of eggs." Everyone looks at him incredulously. Luke shrugs: "It's a real thing." Suddenly everyone and everything freezes except for Joan. That's kind of Charmed-esque, isn't it? I don't know; I never watch that either, but sometimes I see bits of it because it comes on right after this, while I'm scrambling to get recaplets written. I see people getting frozen a lot. Joan looks around, stunned. Mascot God comes up to Joan and says, "You should do it." He advises her to be in the race. Joan: "You said 'go to the doctor.'" Mascot God: "I say a lot of things." Joan, sick and confused, "Okay…was that you…in the bathroom?" Mascot God: "It's me here now, and that's the point. My name is I Am, not I Was." Mascot God marches off. Suddenly everything and everyone starts moving again, right where they left off. Price says, "Ms. Girardi, I'm not saying this could affect your final average, but --" Joan: "I'll do it." That has to be the least resistance she's ever given a Godtask. Price takes off after her, surprised it was so easy. Grace, to Luke: "This is alarming."
Helen walks into a large church with lovely stained glass. I'd probably be more impressed with it (and the one in her dream) had I not spent the morning of the broadcast at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Dude, now that is a church. I can't urge you strongly enough to visit it -- the largest Gothic cathedral in the world -- if you find yourself in Manhattan. How many other churches have a triptych by Keith Haring? And if you liked the piece of celestite Luke gave Grace, you ought to see the one-ton, 200-million-year-old chunk of crystal they've got in this place. It's a truly awesome place, in more ways I have space to tell you about here. Just go see it for yourself. Helen sits down in a pew in the front row. The church is empty now; a couple of other people just left. She sits there, thinking a moment, when Cute Guy God walks up behind her and says, "Helen?" But it sounds like Father Mallory's voice. As she starts to look up to see who's behind her, she also notices that Father Mallory has passed in front of her and is standing at the end of the row, carrying some books and saying, "Helen?" Frink points out that both Adam and Father Mallory were carrying books, but I really don't know that there's anything to be made of that. She looks behind her, still convinced someone was there, and exhales forcefully. Father Mallory makes kind of a questioning gesture with his hand. She finally explains, "You scared me. Is this -- is this your church?" He replies, "It's my parish, yes." Helen: "Right, right. You guys don't go around owning churches." He asks her how she's been. She says she's been good: "I'm teaching, Kevin's…doing well, everybody's okay." Father Mallory, gently: "So why are you here?" Helen, a little touchy: "Do I have to have a problem to be here?" He replies, "No, of course not…I -- it's just a simple question." She says she came to think about things "God-related." He says that's a good exercise, and that he'll leave her alone. As he walks off, she suddenly says, "I dreamt about him." Father Mallory turns, and Helen gives him kind of a sheepish smile. He glances ever so nervously upward -- clearly remembering some of their previous discussions, and probably wondering what he's in for this time -- and walks back to sit next to Helen, asking, "What did he look like?" Helen: "Teenage boy." Father Mallory: "I haven't had that one." For some reason this makes me burst into highly inappropriate laughter. Helen: "So you've dreamed about him, too?" He replies, "Yes. He usually looks like the Gorton['s] fisherman." So he looks like Josh Lyman when he's hung over? (Josh, not God.) To Helen's questioning look, he adds, "I like boats." Helen: "So…it's however we want to see him." Father Mallory: "Or her." Okay, I take back any snarky thing I ever said about this guy. He's a'ight, he's a'ight. (Sorry, I've been watching too much American Idol. I'll be better soon, I promise.) Helen: "But why would I want him to be a teenage boy?" Father Mallory asks if he looked anything like Kevin: "That could be why." She says that what she really needs to know is, "Was it really him, or was it just…a dream?" He replies, "I don't know, Helen. I mean, I know what I'd choose to believe." Helen: "Not Freud?" Father Mallory chuckles a little and says, "Right. Freud did a lot of cocaine." Sars: "I'm-a stitch that on a pillow." I find the image of Sars stitching anything on a pillow as amusing as the comment itself. He continues, "That doesn't mean he was wrong about everything. It's just…" Helen's body language says she's not getting the answers she came for. He says that the real question is, "Do you want it to be God?" She sighs and her shoulders sink: "And that's all it takes?" Father Mallory: "No. That's where it starts." She doesn't say anything to that. We get a nice shot of the light coming through the stained glass window above the altar.
Back at Arcadia High, Joan's tied to Price (ew) and they're holding out their spoons with eggs in them. Someone fires the starting gun and Price advises Joan, "Keep the upper body still." Joan says she doesn't think she can do this. Price: "Everybody feels like this the first time." Joan's having trouble keeping her body upright, never mind keeping her upper body still. She says she's going to fall down; Price insists she's not. Next to Price is a girl in a neck brace; is she the same one from early in the season? I leave it to someone less lazy to figure out. The Troublemint Twins are next to her in the race, saying, "I thought I told you to go to the doctor." Joan looks horrified. Joan: "Then you told me not to!" God Squared replies, "No, I didn't." Joan insists otherwise: "Yes! Yes! You were the mascot! And then you told me to join the race!" Price asks, "Joan! Joan! Who are you talking to?" He turns to face her, and his eyes suddenly morph into green CGI demonic cat eyes. He grins. Joan is really losing it. She freaks out, gasping, "Are you the devil?" She turns to the Troublemint Twins and demands, "Is he the devil? I mean, I always knew he was bad, but…" The twins tell her, "Learn to see in the dark." The world goes all wobbly and slo-mo as Joan starts to faint; she sees the concerned faces