Joan of Arcadia
Spring Cleaning

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Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

It's evening. Joan knocks on a door I find vaguely familiar. PMJS opens it -- in his bathrobe, naturally. Frink and I are all, "Whoa, this is nine kinds of bad idea." Which is pretty much what PMJS says as soon as he sees it's Joan. She says she only needs a minute. He asks if she was followed. Only by God, my man, only by God. Joan: "Let me in, I can help you!" He lets her in. Man, he's easily persuaded. He's one of those kids who would totally take candy from strangers. Saying, "Welcome to my nightmare," he leads her into the den, where he's surrounded by the detritus of a junk-food binge. "I've been engaged in some primo soul-searching. Shove aside the polyhydrogenated treat of your choice and have a seat." Where's Mommy? She's usually around. Joan tells him she believes him and defended him. Joan doesn't know why Chelsea dragged her into it, but she "feels responsible" and wants to help him clean up the mess. PMJS shrugs: "It was bound to happen eventually." Joan: "So you really are having a thing with her?" PMJS: "Of course not. She's a child. I'm a grown man, Joan." He tosses some tiny snack in the air and catches it in his mouth. Joan refrains from smirking openly, and asks what happened. He says Chelsea's disturbed, and that's why he was counselling her: "She was having debilitating anxiety attacks." Well…I'm not sure, but is that really the sort of thing that's in the purview of your average guidance counsellor? Isn't that the sort of thing they should really be referring to a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist? I thought the primary focus for guidance counsellors was to help students with educational and career plans. I'd say that's where this guy went wrong. He says that somewhere along the line Chelsea became convinced she was in love with him and he couldn't talk her out of it. You know, I want to believe he tried, but he just has this desperate, skeevy vibe I can't shake off. "I probably should have just walked away…but oh no! Dana Tuchman to the rescue!"

He offers Joan something to drink, but she declines. He wanders into the kitchen as Joan lectures him about what a huge misunderstanding this mess is, and cites God's ideas about what a mess needs: vision, attention, effort. Man, this house has nice wood panelling. Joan thinks they need to make a list of people who will vouch for him: kids, adults… "Do you happen to have a girlfriend?" Right now, the most helpful thing he could probably have is a boyfriend, if you ask me. He gives her a grim look from behind the refrigerator door. Joan: "Or an ex-girlfriend? Maybe someone who will give a reference on your behalf?" He trudges past her: "Just Elaine." Joan's excited about that. He says she won't do it: "She resents me." Joan asks, "Elaine who?" Are you sitting down? PMJS: "Lischak." Joan: "Lischak, as in Ms. Lischak?" Interesting they gave her the same first name as the woman who plays her. Joan can't believe he dated her. PMJS: "Dated her? I adored her. I revered her." Yeah, but…what'd she see in you? I mean, come on now. I can see her dating Price before I can see her dating you.

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Joan of Arcadia

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