Joan of Arcadia
Spring Cleaning

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Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

Joan wanders listlessly down the hall by herself and crosses paths with another Janitor God. Joan: "If I were God, I would give myself better jobs." Heh. He asks, "How do you know this job isn't fun? You haven't tried it." She tells him she picked up (her room, I guess). He waves a toilet brush around as he says, "I told you: I'm not talking about being tidy. I'm talking about really getting in there, where the real dirt lives…just lifting up the rock and looking underneath it." Joan asks him to please stop waving the toilet brush around: "I feel diphtheria coming on." I'm with her. Admittedly, it looks brand-new and never used, but there's just nothing pleasant about having a toilet brush up in your grill. Janitor God: "Joan: "You can't get clean until you get your hands dirty. That's all I'm saying." Joan: "Okay, that is never all you're saying!" He trundles past her, as she warns, "And don't do the wave! I am so over the wave!" He just raises the toilet brush once her back's turned.

Kevin and Lily are at her apartment, watching Gilda -- which is an incredible film featuring Rita Hayworth at her most incandescent, and if you haven't seen it, go rent it right now -- as a grey and white cat leaps off the bookshelf next to the TV. It runs past Kevin and Lily, who are curled up on the couch with a bag of chips the size of the TV I'm recapping this on and another cat -- that one's orange and white. The grey and white cat runs into the kitchen or somewhere and we hear yowling and the metallic sounds of feline havoc being wreaked. (Wreaked? I wrote that and then second-guessed myself, thinking perhaps it should be "wrought." Apparently not.) Lily, like most experienced cat owners, is more or less oblivious to the minor kitty kafuffle, but Kevin looks around, vaguely concerned about noise and damage. Lily comments, "I want to live when it was okay to have hips and smoke." Kevin reaches for the chips and she passes the bag, apologizing for the presence of "Tippi hair" on it. I'm guessing the orange and white cat's named after Tippi Hedren. I wonder what the other one's named? Lily pets Tippi lovingly, and Tippi seems very content on Lily's lap. Kevin's not too fazed by the cat hair, and he digs in.

Suddenly there's an incoherent muttering sound from off to one side. We see a woman in her bathrobe sitting at a desk. I can't tell if she's using a computer, because she's in this little alcove of sorts, but it kind of looks like she's staring at a monitor. Lily responds to this unintelligible comment: "No, you're not bothering us." The woman replies, "Hgfnh." Lily assures her, "Ginger, I keep forgetting you're even here, okay? Don't worry about it." Ginger, who still hasn't actually looked in their direction, makes some little sound of what I'll call assent. Kevin asks Lily quietly how she can understand what Ginger's saying. Lily: "What do you mean?" Kevin: "Well, nothing I guess. But does she ever leave?" Lily: "The apartment? No. She's agoraphobic. You know, afraid of the world." Interesting…an agoraphobic and a cloisterphobic. Kevin asks how she deals with that. Lily smiles: "Are you kidding? I used to live in a convent, okay? What's one phobic roommate who mumbles?" Nuns everywhere are taking umbrage. Well…probably not. I don't think they allow TVs in convents. Speaking of mumbly roommates, Ginger is standing up now, mumbling and gesturing: "Mvmgmlsm…tea?" Lily says she'd love some tea. Kevin doesn't want any. Ginger drifts off to the kitchen, which isn't where the cat went before, so I guess it was destroying one of the bedrooms. Kevin takes advantage of their momentary solitude to kiss Lily, but quickly breaks it off: "Wait, so…she, like, never leaves?" Lily: "She left once last year. Fire drill." Ginger's got pretty short hair for someone who never goes out. Either she cuts it or Lily does. Kevin muses, "So I'm going to have to set a fire for us to be alone?" Lily asks if he's ever thought about getting his own place. He just keeps smiling blankly and doesn't say anything. Lily's surprised: "God, that was…rhetorical, but you really haven't…" Kevin: "Yeah, someday, sure, but there are practical things to consider." Lily just stares at him questioningly. He adds, "There are considerations…that are practical." Clearly, she's already forgotten his endearing conversation on their first date. Lily smirks: "Like?" Kevin: "Money." Lily sputters, "You -- you make more money than I do." Kevin: "And…other stuff." Lily shakes her head slightly, mystified. Kevin: "You're going to make me say it. Okay…I have to have help." She says there are all kinds of county programs for in-home care. Really? Does she know for a fact that they're available to anyone other than the neediest of the needy? (And maybe not even that.) Because that's not what I hear. And I'm guessing private in-home care ain't cheap. Lily's still incredulous: "You seriously haven't thought about it?" Trying to be suave, Kevin puts his arm around her and cuddles her a bit, saying, "Well, I haven't had to before now." Because all the women I've been sleeping with live by themselves, is the part he doesn't add. Lily laughs a bit nervously and says he can't live with his parents forever: "I mean, it is very sexy and all, but I don't know…" Kevin: "You are a very obnoxious nun!" Lily: "I know." They're smooching when Ginger comes back in, bearing a tea tray and looking a bit anxious when she sees what she's interrupted. She starts to turn around, but Lily notices her and mentions it to Kevin. Ginger puts the tea down: "Mnrgrmlrv…"

Joan's in her room. She starts unpinning pictures of her and Adam and ripping them up. She's putting one of his small sculptures in a box as Helen comes along, finding her room in disarray: "What are you doing?" Joan says she's spring cleaning. Helen: "No, really." Joan complains that her mother's acting like she never cleans. Helen wonders if she should be worried. Joan claims she's fine: "It's therapeutic." As Helen comes further into the room, Joan warns her not to step on the return pile: "That all goes back to Tuchman." Helen's puzzled: "You have Tuchman's stuff?" Joan says he lends her books and CDs: "He's trying to be part of the youth culture." Helen: "Is that appropriate?" Joan: "He's just trying to be cool, Mom. He's a goof." She hands her mother something, asking, "Hey, is this yours?" Helen looks annoyed: "That's my mother's cameo!" Joan: "Well, I almost threw it out." This, from the girl who seemed so envious when Grace's mother bestowed her grandmother's pendant upon her. Helen tells Joan that she's here if Joan wants to talk: "This is your first big breakup…" Well, it's pretty much the only one, unless we're counting that loser Clay, which, in case anyone's forgotten, I'm not. Joan doesn't want to talk. She says cleaning up is helping. Helen gets the message and leaves. Joan fishes a box out of her closet and sits down to look through it as a song about giving up on love (no, I couldn't find the title or artist) plays. She pulls out a sketch of herself drawn by Adam. It looks familiar and I think I remember seeing it before, but I don't remember the scene or episode and I no longer care. She then opens up a tri-fold card on heavy paper. In the first third there's a sketch of a heavy door with huge hinges and an even bigger lock on the door. In the middle third, the door is the same, except now it has a small window in it, with bars on it, like you'd find in an asylum or high-security prison. In the final third the door is slightly ajar and there's sun shining out into the hallway through the window and door. Aw. Joan's eyes drop to the message written below the images: "Jane, What's happening to me? Adam" and she squeezes her face up, about to cry. Frink: "Be strong, Joan." She manages not to totally break down, though. She glances at a couple more cards and then wipes away some tears. By all rights, I should be all broken up over this, and I'm totally not, thanks to the way they decided to end this relationship. Don't get me wrong: I basically agree that they had to end their relationship because I think it was choking the show (though it's far from the only problem), but I hate the way they decided to do it. Maybe now, though, there's hope for the third season.

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Joan of Arcadia

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