Joan of Arcadia
Spring Cleaning

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Deborah: B- | Grade It Now!
Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

Kevin comes up to his room to find Helen…yes, doing his laundry. He tells her she doesn't have to do that. She claims not to mind. He says he's taking it to the Fluff 'n' Fold: "I can afford it and I have to stop depending on you." She sits on the bed and apologizes for how she's been acting. He shrugs and says it's okay. She adds softly, "And I think you should move out." Kevin looks worried: "Right now?" Helen: "No. But soon. When you're ready." She stands up, saying, "Now I have to leave before I cry." Kevin wants to ask a question: "What do women want?" Helen: "Shoes." Hey! I resemble that remark. I know some viewers really bristled at this, but I can't be among you, especially since she didn't leave it at that. Among the many, many things I want, I can't honestly say shoes aren't in…well, the top thirty. (Sars, I'm counting on you to back me up here. I'm pretty sure your closet's filled with Steve Maddens. ["It is, but the comment still bugged. I don't watch this show for that glib Tim Allen crap." -- Sars]) Kevin, to his minor credit, has the sense to ask, "What else?" Helen says it's complicated: "I think you might have to spend the rest of your life figuring that one out." He claims, "I knew what they wanted in high school." Yeah, I'll bet. "It's so different now. I mean, what do I have to offer her besides my wit and my…charm? And that's a given." Helen smiles and sighs, "She wants to be respected…listened to…understood…she wants flowers…she wants to laugh…she wants to trust you…she doesn't want to read your mind…she wants to be valued for who she is…and sometimes she wants you to just shut up and stop trying to fix things." Major word on the last one. Well, that's not a bad list; it does hit on a lot of points I would agree with (including the flowers: orchids, lilies, and tulips, please) but I wish Helen had told him that she couldn't answer for Lily, and that what women really want is for men to stop thinking there's one laundry list of what we want that applies equally to all women, because there isn't and there never was and there never will be. I wish she had told him that if he really wants to know what Lily wants, he has to work at finding that out from Lily. I wish she'd told him that no matter who he's with or for how long, the only thing he can do is work really hard at finding out what that specific woman wants and to be patient with that process, because sometimes we're still figuring it out ourselves. Anyway. Kevin comments that this is going to be very difficult.

Luke's sitting at his desk in his room, wearing his leather jacket, sprawled out over the chair like…Arthur Koestlerelli. Someone knocks, and he mutters, "Uh-huh?" He just about jumps out of his skin -- as do Frink and I -- when he sees it's Grace, who's apparently been kidnapped and brainwashed by a team of Lilly Pulitzer guerillas. She's wearing little gold ballet flats, kelly green capris with little sky blue…things…embroidered on them, a short-sleeved polo shirt in alternating stripes of sky blue and kelly green, with a sky blue cardie tied over her shoulders. Her hair is smoothed into a bouncy flip and pushed back with a black hairband. She seems to have inserted a man's striped tie through her waistband as a belt. She stands there posing like a catalogue ad from 1967, beaming idiotically. ["Sadly, I could identify almost everything she had on -- it's all from J. Crew and I own most of it myself. The 'little sky blue things'? Whales. …I know, I know." -- Sars] I don't know where the hell she got that outfit -- her mother? -- but I'd like to know if she walked through the streets like that, or if she got dressed somewhere in the Girardi house. Did Joan help her? Joan must have helped her. Luke, panicked: "What happened?" Grace replies, "Oh, this? It's my new look. I'm also wearing a ton of perfume, and I'll probably be saying things like [Valley Girl voice] 'no way!' a lot." Luke: "I don't think you're being logical. Have you looked in a mirror?" She beams, and strikes another cutesy pose, saying, "Oh, yeah. Kelly green. The preppy thing totally works for me." She struts over to his bed and sits down. Luke has his hands over his mouth, and he shakes his head, saying, "Grace, you can't look like that." She turns back into Grace and asks, "How does it feel, watching someone you thought you knew have a total personality transplant?" Luke: "You gave me the jacket. I was trying to make you happy!" Grace: "Well, stop. Because if you don't stop, I'm gonna kill you. Look, I panicked. It was like you were saying, the whole Adam-Joan thing, they're so much alike and they didn't make it, and…I over-thought it." Luke: "You were worried." Grace: "Leave it." Luke: "About losing me." Grace warns him, "Drop the jacket, dude. This conversation's over." Luke agrees to take it off, but says he won't give it back. He says he's just going to keep it around, "like art." Grace: "Fair enough." Whatever you do, dude, don't ever provoke her into dressing like that again. It's just too many kinds of wrong.

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Joan of Arcadia




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