Joan of Arcadia
Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Deborah: A | 3 USERS: A+
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"But What's Puzzling You / Is The Nature Of My Game"

Goth God tells her she has everything she needs, just before walking off with a little Godwave. We can hear Bruce Springsteen's song "Trapped" playing. "Good will conquer Evil / And the truth will set me free / And I know some day I will find the key / I know somewhere I will find the key." Okay, not the most subtle thing, but after "Sympathy for the Devil," I'll take what I can get. Joan stands there stressing about all this, and then Ryan, who lurks around this campus more than a schoolyard perv (and psst, Joan -- if you're ever ready to fight dirty, that's the tack I suggest), walks behind her in slow-motion, staring in her direction. She sees him and stares back. "Seems like I've been playing your game way too long / Seems the game I've played has made you strong / When the game is over / I won't walk out the loser / I know I'll walk out of here again / I know someday I'll walk out of here again." She watches him go, her ponytail blowing and skirt flapping in the gust of wind he leaves in his wake. Man. We get it. It's an ill wind that blows no God. Ryan throws a glance over his shoulder at her. Springsteen howls, " Well now I'm / Trapped / Ooh yeah / Trapped / Ooh yeah / Trapped." Joan stands there thinking, "If this is what I'm suiting up for, what was all that crap with the Duff girls?"

As I write this, it's not yet known whether there'll be a third season. The steady decline of this show over this season -- culminating in the Adam/Bonnie debacle -- made me hope there wouldn't be. (Hey! Don't hate on me just because I want the show to be as good as it once was.) But then they went and did these last two episodes, and while I'm pissed that so much time was wasted this season on Lucyfer, the Duffs, the lawsuit, police plots, et cetera, while meatier stories like Joan's friendship with Judith, her experiences at crazy camp, and her having told Adam about seeing God got relatively short shrift, I now hope there'll be a third season. (And Barbara Hall needs to write many more episodes than she did this year, or at least supervise the scripts much more closely. Unfortunately, I think Hart Hanson's gone for good.) But in case this is the end of the line: it's been fun (mostly), and I'd be disappointed not to see these excellent actors inhabiting these characters I've come to love. If the show doesn't come back, I hope they all find projects worthy of their considerable talents. (Somebody give Becky Wahlstrom her own show.) And many thanks to all my readers and posters, who've been, on the whole, engaging and intelligent and incisive. Special thanks to those who hung in during what we'll call the sophomore slump.

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Joan of Arcadia

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